There’s more to personalisation today than it’s name suggests. The demand for this, according to an article from Hubspot, has been triggered mostly by the rise of Big Data. Receiving an email with your name in the salutation isn’t enough anymore in the field of digital marketing, as author Chad Pollitt further iterates.

For a clearer picture of responsive content personalisation, let us define its basics.

Content Personalisation: The Basics

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Content has become the future of marketing since the latest Google algorithmic update overhauled SEO across industries. Most businesses today have to amp up efforts to answer the diversification of their audience members and possible leads.

Since the average attention span of readers and internet users has dwindled from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds in 2014, marketers have tried many ways to hold on to that attention longer. Thus, communication must be established directly between businesses and their clients.

Although there is big chance that a piece of personalised content may become very popular, there is also a possibility that it will flop. Its success may further depend on the company’s content publishing frequency, interest factor among those who are not the target audience and its convincing power among its target audience.

Delivering the message that a company wants its audience to digest can be tricky especially if there are diverse segments within your audience. Since content personalisation may rely on the segmented audience (audience or website visitors grouped according to various characteristics i.e. age, location, navigational and search history within your website, time spent on the website, etc), the first thing that accompany needs to do is employ the use of big data and use it to understand the audience. This way, you get to classify your audience fast, give them their specific needs and hope for conversion.

Content Personalisation and the Forms it Takes

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Personalisation has always been a feature in most marketing campaigns, with the hope for reaching clients who will respond to the personal call. This now applies to content marketing. Just like in product suggestions, displaying the next, most relevant content for your audience is one trick to engage him/her longer while benefiting your Google standing. For example, these varying segments may allow you to come up with different content for a personalised marketing experience.

Location

Location can mandate the way you present your product or what product you’re going to offer to your audience. Geographical origin of your clients may matter in this regard. Take for example if your business sells clothing. You may offer or suggest apparel differently from people living in countries near the equator or in countries further away from it. The location may be determined by data you collected when the audience filled in a form on your website.

Interest

Your clients may access your site due to different reasons. They may have their own motives and interests. Pinpointing where their interests lie may help you decide on the right product to offer particular clients.

Behaviour

Behavioural data can be collected through your big data consolidation of each visitor’s digital footprint. This can be determined through cookies examining and tracing the client’s navigational behaviour through your site. Having knowledge of how your audience behaved, interacted and proceeded through the buying process may help you know what to show your clients.

Referral

Check on where your traffic came from and come up with the best possible offering to suit. Say the traffic came from a Facebook post. You should try to relate your offer to the content of the post. If it’s from a Google ad and specific keywords, then make sure you stayed true to the keyword.

Psychology behind Content Personalisation

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Consumers are interested in seeing the things that they want or need. Although there is a tendency that their interest can be perked by new things spotted out of the blue, the purpose of their visit to your website is usually still the most powerful influencer to buy.

Tailoring your website in real-time to the needs of your client can maximise engagement, make your brand standout and make your audience sure to revisit. Bombarding customers with unnecessary content data can make them feel unimportant, disinterested, misdirected and annoyed. Thus, getting it right after the gathering of data is necessary to keep them coming back.

Updated and personalised content can encourage a positive movement in the sales funnel, while random content may turn customers off and distract them, proving fatal to your sales.

How to Start using Content Personalisation

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Content personalisation creates better engagement. When a customer sees that their needs are met on the landing page, the customer may move on to the next level of purchase. Therefore, a focus on content personalisation should start now (if you haven’t already started)!

Now, the personalised experience that you need to showcase can be on your home page, product recommendations and in cross selling (lifted from relevant products related to the purchase). The content personalisation however can be taken from data which includes customer past purchases, products they’ve checked and browsed, the products that are still in their cart and those they decided against.

As said, you can further divide and segment the customer needs through their demographics, preferences and their past purchases.

Various software can help you get started with this. Yes, automation is still the key.

This automated software will draw out variables from the segment and lift the content dynamically to suit the user. For example, your business is mobile and other technological accessories. You can start showing the dynamic content by accessing your data to know the browser he uses and the hardware that goes with it. Say your customer is using a Mac, a line of code from the software may start lifting all apple products and show it in the homepage.

This helps customers spend less time in browsing since the product they are most likely to want has already been given to them. You can take this further with all other variables such as the search keywords, their OS, day of the week, location, special day (Holidays) and the mobile device used, among others.

Here are some suggested steps for you:

  1. Install customisation software. Sometimes CMS have them ready, however, you may need to configure them.
  2. Define your segments. Start in a manageable number of segments.
  3. Use a personalisation platform. This will lift the necessary data from customers to deliver the personalised content.
  4. Create rules. Create rules for your segments.
  5. Create segmented or personalised content. Start creating good content for the segments you already know.

How to Make it Work

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Loni Stark of Adobe, as interviewed by content marketing institute, outlined four important factors in making content personalisation work. It includes the advice:

  • Be transparent
  • Think small
  • Localise assets
  • Integrate CRM

Let’s try to explain these simply.

Be transparent

Being transparent helps customers lend you their trust. It is one of the most important things in forging a successful business. Without trust, there would be no conversion or sales. How do you become transparent in the issues of customer satisfaction and customer privacy?

This can be a thin line to tread but you need to establish your website’s stand on this. Always inform your customers if your website is collecting cookies and other information. Explain the value of this information in creating their experience.

Think small

We’re always advised to think big, but this time, it’s best to start small and simple. The whole process is a simple and uncomplicated road leading to better sales. Start with a small number of segments, don’t let the whole personalisation thing make you portion all personality types.

This is true especially if you are starting in this strategy. Segment your customers and clients simply. When you think you’ve mastered the simple categorisation, then start adding and devising.

Localise assets

Know how to feature content in different presentations. It’s a must in this process. Create localised assets and try to spread them out in different segments.

Integrate CRM

CRM or the Customer Relationship Management software may help you identify visitors easier. So, when implementing content personalisation, you may try to anchor it in your CRM and try to reach out to your existing customers.

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Personalised content is the best thing in current marketing strategies. With a little research in your industry and in your business field, this can be a very good way to increase sales and to pull customers to your business. Your insights and data are your best asset in this venture.

Personalised content will help you establish a deeper relationship with your clients. It’s a win-win situation – you helped your customer get exactly what they needed while you increased your ROI.

About Author

Roelen researches, creates, tailors content for outreach and content promotion campaigns as well as social presence management. She likes poetry, blues, The Walking Dead and crime books.