As much as we try to limit our screen time, research shows that the average person spends around 23 hours a week consuming digital content. That’s basically an entire day of your week spent online. While that might be concerning as a human (or not), if you’re a marketer, it is an opportunity to connect with consumers and capture their attention — but only if you offer content that resonates with them.
Consumers are exposed to so many texts, emails, ads, and other digital content everyday - you don’t want to get lost. To break through the noise and engage effectively , you need to give them what they’re looking for with the power of personalized content. Delivering personalized, relevant messaging can allow you to rise above the chatter and bring consumers positive experiences, which could mean increased brand loyalty and business growth.
How Does Content Personalization Work?
Content personalization is the process of creating content that is unique for a specific target audience and channel – email, website, apps and e-commerce sites. For example, you’re online shopping and have had something in your cart for a while. Then you get an email saying that the product is on sale! Or when you're browsing your favorite cooking website the recommended recipes are vegetarian as per your dietary choices. In both these cases, you’ve been getting personalized content that's unique to you.
These are great examples of personalization, however this hasn’t always been the standard. Until a few years ago, personalized emails would have been limited to just including consumers’ names, which is always nice to see but not really addressing their needs. In order to make the most of this marketing tactic, you have to take your content personalization strategy to the next level.
Why Is Content Personalization Important?
Incorporating personalization marketing into your strategies and workflows is important for 3 key reasons:
- First, sending personalized content allows you to make personal 1-to-1 connections with your consumers. It shows them that you know their preferences and needs and that you understand who they are, what they value, and what they are looking for. When consumers receive the information they need from you, they will be more likely to value your brand as a trusted resource.
- Second, content that’s been hyper-personalized can keep more consumers in the fold. The cost to acquire new consumers is always higher than the cost to retain the ones you already have. So, every new purchase an existing customer makes because of your right-place, right-time content personalization strategy is another win for your department.
- Third, offering personalized content helps you grow a consumer base as well, that will stay loyal to your brand and potentially refer prospects to your door as you continue to add value with relevant experiences. That means more sales and ultimately more ROI for your brand.
How to Start Personalizing Content
So now that you know how content personalization works and why it's so important in your marketing strategy, how can you make it a reality for your business? Even if you already have a general content personalization strategy in place, you can always take steps to make your consumers’ journey stronger, more meaningful and more scalable. Consider the following tips for creating personalized content:
- Support personalization with clear business objectives.
Like any other marketing endeavor, content personalization needs a well-constructed roadmap, with both short and long-term goals. While long-term goals are important as strategic priorities, clear short-term business objectives can serve as key milestones for what you intend to accomplish through your personalization journey and facilitate quick results and learning.
It’s important to set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) goals with key stakeholders that align with business objectives. For example, a good short-term goal to start off with could be to increase the conversions from cart to checkout by 5% in the next quarter.
- Identify use cases for personalized content.
Once you have clear business goals, it is much easier to find use cases for personalized content that can make them a reality. For example, if you’re trying to increase cart to checkout conversions by 5%, there are a few different use cases that could help you do that. You could use personalized product recommendations, or send discount emails to consumers that have items sitting in their cart for a week. Both of these are simple use cases that can have a measurable and quick impact.
Implementing these kinds of simple use cases for personalized content can not only help you optimize consumer experiences, but it also facilitates a culture of experimentation and learning, which will ultimately help you serve your consumers more effectively.
- Leverage AI-driven predictive personalization tools.
As you develop a content personalization strategy, look for AI-driven predictive solutions to maximize resources and improve marketing ROI. The best AI tools offer plug-and-play capabilities that seamlessly fit in with your marketing stack and provide functionality with limited manual curation. This will save your team time that could be spent on other, more creative endeavors.
If you’ve never tried predictive personalization tools, you’ll be amazed at how it can make huge improvements to your efficiency. Take personalized email campaigns, for example. With the right tool, you won’t be restricted by the number of templates your creative team can make or by the need for coding skills. The right tool can help you find insights from data and execute personalized experiences across marketing channels quickly and easily
Consumers are discerning, savvy, and quick to move from one piece of digital content to the next. Giving them relevant and meaningful personalized content can help you stand our and keep their attention.
Want to learn more about predictive personalization? Take a look at our other blog articles, or check out our podcast for insights from real marketing leaders. If you're ready to enable predictive personalization at scale for your business, then contact us today!