Content marketing has become an effective means of building brand awareness, establishing domain authority, and creating a loyal audience that can become advocates and even repeat customers.
Content marketing can be as simple as just producing blogs, resources or even mailouts that provide valuable insights to the audience, but you can elevate that even further through personalisation. While that may sound complex, personalisation doesn’t have to be an onerous task. Distilled, it is simply the process of tailoring your content towards individual audiences to meet specific needs, rather than mass marketing. Personalised content allows you to create a more relevant experience for your audience, and further solidify your position as an expert to repeatedly return to.
There are many different approaches to personalisation, but all of them will require the same thing; data. You need to have a good understanding of who your audience is and what they are looking for before you can earnestly start to personalise your content. There are a number of ways you could collect that data, including surveys and analytics tools, and then you would store it all in a [data warehouse] ready for analysing to identify trends. A customer relationship management (CRM) tool such as Hubspot or Salesforce is a great way of collating that information and allowing you to easily segment it.
Once you know who your audience is, you can then start to make a decision on how you want to segment them. You might, for instance, start to create content based on customer preferences – do they prefer short, sharp messages or do they like to get deep into any given topic. Or perhaps categorise your audience based on their interests; if you have a mix of marketers, managers, and developers in your CRM, you could create content catering to the needs of each of those segments.
What are the benefits of personalisation?
Sure, personalisation doesn't have to be a lot of work, but it is still more work than just sticking to your mass marketing strategies. So, to consider doing it, there would probably have to be some compelling reasons, right? Well don’t worry, we have you covered!
It may seem obvious, but by creating content that actually meets the specific needs and interests of your audience, you’re going to be providing a better experience than if you flooded your touchpoints with irrelevant information. This will also have a positive impact on the level of customer engagement – it’s much easier to get people to do something they find enjoyable!
Retention and loyalty
By creating personalised content, you are indicating to the customer that you have really considered their needs, and means you can start to build long-term relationships with them.
Personalised content establishes you as an authority of relevant information, and will keep people coming back, creating a loyal audience that are more likely to become repeat customers and brand advocates.
Increased sales and higher conversion rate
Personalising your content to address the specific pain points of your audience allows you to present the solutions you can offer them, and put your products and services front and centre. It shows that you understand their needs, and that you are able to guide them through the purchasing journey.
Better data insights
Due to the need to understand who your customers are to effectively personalise your content, you will also benefit from the insights that analysis brings. Who are your big spenders? Who is more likely to convert? Is there a customer segment currently underperforming? Scrutinising your data will allow you to make corrections to your marketing strategy to further boost sales.
How do you personalise content?
Have we won you over with the benefits of personalisation? Here are some useful tips to help you get started with personalising your content and elevating customer engagement:
Understand and segment your audience
We’ve said it a number of times in this article but data-driven decisions should underpin everything you do. Spend the time to really analyse your data warehouse, see who your customers are, what trends and behaviours define them, and then try to segment them into buying personas. A buying persona is a semi-fictional personality you create for an audience segment, that then allows you to ideate their problems, buying habits, and preferences.
If you don’t have a lot of data, or if your data isn’t of high quality, then the results aren’t going to be as good: junk in, junk out. If you’re concerned about the quality or integrity of your data, focus instead on improving that, before you embark on any sort of marketing that relies on that data to make decisions.
Talk to their specific pain points
Personalising your content is about showing your customers that you understand your market, and more importantly, their needs within that market. You want to demonstrate that you are able to resolve their specific pain points with your product or service, and the best way to do that is to actually address their specific pain points – and how your product or service can resolve them. It may sound obvious but we see people make the same mistake: talking about their product, but not in relation to the audience. Yes, your product might have industry leading features, or be able to do xyz, but so what? Why should the customer care?
Be specific, don’t assume your customer will have the time or inclination to read between the lines.
There are a number of ways to deliver personalised content, and targeted delivery is just one of them. This is where you specifically target people with the messaging that you push out. For example, if somebody has previously purchased a product or registered for your newsletter, you might use their email address to send out personalised mailouts (providing it’s compliant with privacy laws). Similarly, you might want to use social media to talk to different customer segments, taking into consideration how different social media platforms attract different audiences in their own right. You could even use paid ads on social media or Google Ads to really granularly reach individual customer personas.
Implement dynamic content on your website
This will require some technical development work, but your website can be a whole lot smarter. Building modules to display dynamic content can make your website and brand feel a lot more useful and familiar to your customers. You could build personalised greetings, generate product recommendations based on previous interactions, or even present geographic-specific information or offers. This could extend all the way to completely personalised landing pages.
Create behaviour triggers
There is a lot of scope to get creative with how you might want to use behaviour triggers to increase customer engagement. You could for instance implement abandonment triggers for carts, or if you detect a user was browsing the website but never made a purchase. You could send follow-up emails if you have access to their data, or could implement retargeting ads to capture their attention and remind them of why they were considering your product or service in the first place. Alternatively, you could create triggers that celebrate loyal customers and audiences, for example discount codes for people who frequently read your blogs or open emails. You could even get very tailored and celebrate milestones like birthdays or purchase anniversaries. It helps to build a relationship with your customer, and makes them feel valued.