So, you’ve got your content marketing basics down to a T. You’ve mastered the art of communicating through social media and email. But are you able to talk to your audience by hitting that sweet spot that tickles a particular target just right just that they eventually throw in their loyalty with you? If you have yet to do this consistently, then read on – this is where content marketing personalization comes in.
There is a reason why “old school” sales are still so effective until now (and just need to translate their gems of experience to digital). Each and every master salesman will tell you that it’s all about the personal connection with their clients, that gaining their trust and loyalty is all about communicating with them as if they were both VIPs and best friends. No master salesman would come to a high-value client with a pre-prepared marketing spiel that sounds robotic and hollow. And in this digital age, marketers have to do the same with their audiences.
Making Content Marketing Personalization Practical
But this time, the savviest of digital marketers call it personalization.
Some of you may be dreading the amount of work that goes into this. After all, treating each client as an individual account and creating campaigns that can address their specific needs to a granular level is far more complex than making a communications piece that addresses a broader audience., but let me assure you that the payoff is worth. Let’s take a look at who leads personalization examples: the phenomenal Netflix which is the undisputed king of video streaming services. It gives you different content that will be different from ones it gives to the rest of your family, according to your preferences.
This is the key to their success, even before the pandemic hit and many turned to Netflix for stay-at-home entertainment. In 2019, just before the lockdowns, the company had 167 million subscribers across the globe, rising from just 70.8 million in 2015.
Netflix’s main strategy includes knowing what their audience wants to the most detailed level they can get. Every time you log on, their analytics and other data services get into gear: they learn about your preferences, the shows and movies you enjoy, and how often you video-binge. They continue to learn more about you to make the necessary recommendations that keep you coming back for more, and spending more time on their platform to watch more movies and series.
Now, what if your brand can harness this level of personalization through your content marketing to make your message and your products unique and relevant to BOTH the desk-tied programmer and the travel writer always on the go? They are two different individuals, yet you can speak to both of them about the same brand but with personalized messages that they will respond to even if their interests are wildly polarized.
Understanding the Basics
Getting started in personalized content marketing is the easy part, and it all comes down to basics. First, you have to prepare your basic strategy by knowing the answer to ‘why’. Why do you have to personalize and how do they relate to your key business drivers? At the end of the day, your goal is your guide to the steps you make to make your personalized communication successful.
Second, you have to know who you’re talking to. Knowing your audience is key to making people listen to you. If you don’t speak to their interests and likes, you will tune off people even before you can make the pitch. On the other hand, crafting the right message that will speak to them personally and get their attention. Research your customers to create personas that will help you understand what makes them tick. The more you understand them, the more personal your message will be and the more they will respond.
When you have these basics down, you’re on your way to refine your personalization techniques to help you gain better conversions. In fact, as of 2018, according to Marketing Charts, successful personalized marketing techniques are able to increase conversion rates by 100% (to 3.4%). Even add-to-cart rates increased by 74%, which results in higher sales for companies.
5 Content Marketing Personzalization Techniques
Now that you have a solid foundation for your personalization strategy, it’s time to put them to work. To help you along with making your strategy work, here is a list of the five best practices in content personalization that can help you increase your audience engagement. We also have personalization examples to show you that they do work.
1.The Email Technique
Even in the age of social media, email marketing is still extremely relevant. When used well in the context of personalized content, in a study done by Campaign Monitor, companies like Refinery 29 experienced a 760% increase in revenue as their content is tailor-fit to their segmented marketed groups. Audiences who have subscribed to mailing lists they’re interested in—like your mailing list— have a higher chance of clicking on and reading your email. When your customers take the initiative to let you contact them, you already have a foot in the door. All you need to do is hook them in with exactly the thing that they want from the information you gathered from them.
Spice up your messaging, be clearer on how your offerings provide a solution to their toughest challenges, and yet infuse the tone of your email with warmth and affection. The most successful email marketers get lots of responses because they sound and act more like coaches who want their clients to win in their respective battles, instead of salesmen who just want to make a quick buck.
2.The Image Technique
Dynamic content is your friend when it comes to this technique. Of course, different personas prefer different things. One might find dogs more appealing than cats and some cat lovers are a little indifferent to dogs—when you’re an organization like PETA, this could mean increasing your donations just by showing the image of the right animal to your target audience.
It sounds simple but it is effective. Cat lovers would click on a cute image of that furry feline reclining cozily on a couch, while dog owners would be more drawn to a photo of puppies playing with a little boy.
3.The Recommendation Technique
Amazon arguably laid the foundation for this technique…and to date, is still succeeding at it. In an analysis done by Fortune, Amazon’s recommendation system was the key for the company’s 29% increase in sales from $9.9 billion to $12.83 billion in the same year from its first to second fiscal quarters. This is all due to the company’s data-driven marketing which helps the company gain an insight into what users are interested in, and then creating an algorithm to show users things that they might want to buy. Amazon sites showing these to their audiences in their platform, ads, and even in the emails they send out to their customers. Amazon picks up on their customer’s interest and recommends products that are along those lines.
If you’re an Amazon member who browses regularly on their sites, carefully check the list of recommendations they post on your private account page the next time you log in. Let’s say you clicked on the latest kindle release of Dan Brown’s thriller yesterday, chances are if you click in today, you’ll find more books of Brown on your recommendation list. You might also see recent bestselling thrillers written by other authors.
The data analytics of Amazon makes the logic of its offer again simple, but compelling: you spent five minutes reading up on Dan Brown’s thriller. Hence, there is a good chance you might just be interested in his other books—and in other high-tech globe-trotting adventures written by his rivals.
4. The Personality Technique
Personality quizzes are increasingly popular, because the people who click on them want to get to know themselves a little better. It does not matter if the 1-minute online tests are backed up by scientific research or not—users find it hard to turn away from a self-assessment exam that promises to tell them their most suitable career path or reveals the celebrity who most resembles their career choices.
As a content marketer, you can use this personalization technique to get to know your audience even more. Your brand certainly has something to offer for different people and using them in tandem with personality quizzes and the like are a great way to get more data out of your audience with their explicit permission. Cadbury did this and was able to get their customers’ information through a perfectly crafted personalized video for those who gave their information. The campaign gained the company a 65% clickthrough rate and a 33.6% conversion rate.
But unlike other platforms who just use these quizzes to get clicks and email registrations, come up with a more authoritative, reliable, and data-driven quiz that will really give your users the answers that they (and you need) to hear. Your quiz should still be fun and light-hearted in tone, but their evaluation of the test takers should be accurate and relevant. For example, about the job matching test, instead of coming up with a celebrity match, for example, why not ask your users the longest time they stayed in a job, what made them stay, the rewards they enjoyed in that long stay, and the skills they are developing to climb up the career ladder.
The customer profile you come up with will give you a fair idea of the user’s profession, possibly his earning capacity, his salary range, and his career goals. If you’re a bookseller like Amazon, you’d get his interest if you offer him career development books written by industry leaders. If you handle an e-learning brand, then you might engage him by showing him your user-friendly digital courses that he can take while still working.
5. The First-Time Visitor Technique
First-time visitors are often the most difficult market to target since you only have one chance to make a good first impression, and you have to do it in as short as 3 seconds. Knowing that your visitor has come in contact with you for the first time, you need to give them a good reason to come back, especially since they have very different needs from those who have visited you more than once. One method is to offer free resources or discounts to get their interest. This gives your brand more value in the eyes of your audience, resulting in higher sales like the 2000% increase Marsh was able to get with their free samples.
These techniques are just some of the most effective and creative ways companies leverage personalization to get the most out of their content marketing. As long as your organization keeps them in mind, along with personalization examples, as they craft their content marketing strategy, you have a far greater chance of increasing your audience engagement—and with it your market share and bottom-line.
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