To get a customer’s attention, marketers need to customize messages to the best of their abilities. It’s what attracts website visitors to sign up for a newsletter or purchase a product. However, it’s not just about personalizing the content; it’s also about giving people a whole individualized experience.
Why Is Content Personalization Valuable?
In business terms, it’s a content marketing strategy that aims to deliver relevant and select content based on what your audience’s interests and behaviors are. It is crucial for engaging customers on an individual level. Putting the right recommendations in front of customers is the difference between mediocre sales and great sales. It’s also a deciding factor for some clients whether they will return to the site in the future or not. If they feel that the experience was not pertinent towards their interest and desires, they’re less likely to be engaged and most probably won’t return. By building on your customer’s profiles and segmenting your audience, you’ll have a workable range of data to start producing compelling content.
To begin collecting usable data, you should consider a standard list of variables at the offset. Tailor the requirements according to the type of product you sell and the relevant target market. Some of the standard data specs include:
- Where are they based – City, country, region
- Age brackets
- How do they access the site – Smartphone, Tablet, Desktop, Windows, iOS, Android, etc
- How often do they visit
- Referring URL or direct access
- Dates of visits, how close to payday
- Time of day – Office hours, off-peak times, etc.
- Purchase history – What have they purchased, price, abandoned cart, wish list
- Online behavior – Navigation, pages visited, time spent on each page
However, the above list is not restricted, and the more information you can gather to better your chances are of creating a unique experience for customers.
Six steps to Content Personalization
There is a logical system for getting the most out of research data. You need to understand and follow each step to create impactful experiences for customers.
Collect Customer Data
This part is the one that doesn’t require much effort on your part. It’s as simple as adding the necessary code to the backend of your website. On sites built using WordPress platforms, there are pre-designed plugins that work just by installing them on the site dashboard. By running the software on your site, you can collect data such as clicks, purchase history, and visitors’ overall behavior. Before going into the process, it’s a good idea to sit with your marketing department and decide your goals. It will help you determine what kind of data you need.
Just gathering data is not enough; you must be able to read and understand the information collected. By analyzing the amassed research, you will determine how valuable it is and can use it to create customer profiles. It will allow you to categorize users and start formulating and creating personalized content targeted at specific groups and behaviors. Regularly analyzing the results will determine whether you align with your pre-determined goals, as outlined in the first step.
Build your Strategy
After getting the data and an in-depth understanding of who your customer is and what they want, it’s time to explore your marketing strategy options. The information you collected will be your guideline as to which areas you need to put into focus. The idea of creating personalized content is that it should work with the expectations of the customer as they go through their buying journey. It must aim to connect with them each step of the way.
Collecting data, setting analytical standards, and acting on the information’s insights are the three pivotal steps that work together to increase revenues and return on investment.
Finding the right solution for your business
Marketers are often at a loss as to the best way to start the content personalization process. Even though there might be many different options, the following three seem to be the most common ones you can consider.
In-house data research
It’s a popular option since there is no need to share the information collected with a third party. The limitation is that often an internal function lacks the advanced mathematics that brings forward valuable insight. In-house developers may not have experience with intelligent and sophisticated algorithms, which results in less useful data. Acting on information that isn’t as in-depth as you need will bring your little if no improvement in sales. Unless your developer has sufficient knowledge and experience in this field, it might not be the best way to move forward.
Third-Party Solution Data Pool Calculation
Some research companies already have a pool of data from which they extract the information. It may be a good starting point, as it is less costly to do data collection from scratch using your website. It’s also incredibly useful for a small or start-up company that doesn’t have enough traffic yet to substantiate valuable calculations. However, using data collected from other companies can be problematic as insights may be vague and almost meaningless for your target market.
Third-Party Capture and Analysis on your website
If possible, this is the recommended method for worthwhile data collection. It’s the most effective way of starting the process towards results-driven personalized content creation. If done correctly, your customers will benefit from accurate calculations. Due to the information gathered from your website and tailored made for their unique needs and behavior patterns. By using your unique dataset, you’re more likely to drive stronger purchase behavior. It’s also the safest method since you won’t be sharing any data with third parties. For smaller companies, the cost might seem unfeasible, but you need to consider that it’s a step closer to increased sales, and in the long term, you will see the return on investment through improved revenue.