How to Personalize Your Content Marketing

Published on October 28, 2016

By some metrics, about 74% of online consumers get frustrated with websites when content appears to have “nothing to do with their interests.” Similarly, personalized emails deliver six times higher transaction rates, but 70% of brands fail to use them.

What does this tell us? Personalization is the next major wave in content marketing – and, so far, businesses are having trouble keeping up. Folding personalization into your digital marketing campaign will help you stand out from your competitors, all while also increasing engagement and loyalty among your customer base.

Ready to get started with personalization? There are lots of approaches your brand can take to adapting your content for individuals, based on your budget, scope, and labor constraints. Here are three ideas to kick around:

Start Simple

There are all sorts of small tricks you can try to add a more personal feel to your content, without having to set up any complex systems or metrics. First, it’s important to remember that your audience likes being spoken to, rather than spoken at. Writing in the second person – emphasizing “you” and “your” rather than “we,” “I,” or “our” – has been proven to increase the success of digital marketing materials, according to Hubspot.

Position the user at the center of your brand narrative, and they’ll feel more welcome and willing to take an action, like purchasing your product or subscribing to your newsletter. Adopt a conversational tone and make your user feel like a true part of the discussion.

Another easy – albeit time-consuming – way to get started with personalized copy? Actually write personalized copy. For some brands, particularly B2B organizations that rely on a few high value clients, a personal, authentic email, offer, or survey can make a huge difference to your bottom line (just be sure to give your fingers a well-deserved rest after firing off all of those messages).

Try Your Hand at Dynamic Content

Dynamic content, also called adaptive content, is copy that adjusts itself automatically, based on the person reading it. You’ve almost certainly seen one simple version of this, every day: Whenever an email comes to you with your name in the subject line, that’s dynamic marketing in action. Thousands of people get similar emails, with one or two personalized touches.

With that in mind, there are all sorts of ways that brands are putting automated dynamic content to work. Designers have implemented dynamic content in all sorts of ways, from personalized emails to enhanced landing pages to tailored lead-caption forms.

Segment Your Audience

There’s overwhelming evidence that the time you send a tweet makes a major difference in terms of engagement and clickthrough rates. All the facets of your content marketing campaign work the same way: Location, timing, and targeting are everything. The personalization tactic that takes all of those into account is known as segmenting.

The key tenet of segmenting is to break your audience down from one enormous, faceless monolith (or, at least, one endless spreadsheet of emails) into approachable segments. There are all sorts of factors that you can use to personalize and target audience members without having to resort to dynamic personalization. Try considering sending your emails at different times based on time zone, targeting your discounts based around geographic area, or by purchase behavior (i.e., a different digital coupon book sent to high volume and low volume buyers). For more, salesforce automation firm Pardot does a great job of breaking down some segmentation case studies in this excellent blog post.

Ready to start discussing the personalization methods that are right for your brand? We’d love to keep the conversation going! Drop us a line today, or feel free to reach out on Twitter or Facebook.

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