Content Personalisation: All the Dos and Don’ts

Content personalisation is the backbone of any website, email or digital campaign. It’s the saving grace marketing and content strategists and the technique that all successful start-ups or businesses swear by.

In this guide, we will discuss the benefits of content personalisation, how they can contribute to increasing sales, conversions, and strengthening the client base. Moreover, we shed light on expert tips and how to reinforce leads, maintain trends and stay updated at all times. Moreover, we address a hot topic in the marketing world today; how can personalised content help brand identity? Digital marketers argue that some businesses struggle with accepting social media as the go-to platform for advertising, that conflict is what makes a brand’s image appear uneven.

Experts also stress the importance of cultivating real relationships, showing the true soul of the company, using networking and finding a natural tone. This comprehensive guide shows the differences between various types of content personalisation techniques; illustrates the common B2B methods and define determining factors that reflect on the entire process.

Lastly, we’ve gathered what industry researchers and experts have said were the game-changing pieces of advice to achieve great content personalisation which shows satisfactory results.

 

What Is Content Personalisation?

According to Techopedia, content personalisation is not new. “ [It] has existed in the world wide web as far back as its earliest iterations.” The definition suggests that cookies and browsing caches have always referred, tracked, and stored user information in order to tailor customised web interactions.

“As web technology evolved, and as interfacing with the internet began to take place in newer formats, such as tablets and smartphones content personalisation, has become more important and more common.”

One of the most used tools are recommendation engines, these software programs track clicks, searched keywords, as well as interests over time and then transform them into future suggestions. If you’re an avid social media users, you’re probably familiar with user and hashtags suggestions on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. This data are also used by advertisers.

In other words, content personalisation is a strategy that integrates users data and then customises future content based on their interests and former searches. Providing advertisers and website owners with the information to use as reference and guide when preparing advertising and promotional content.

 

What Are the Benefits of Content Personalisation?

The holy grail of content personalisation mentions the following nine keystones.  According to HubSpot, having a good, reliable content strategy directing personalisation or customisation – as some people like to call it – guarantees visible changes in leads, conversions, authenticity, flexibility, and likeliness among the crowd.

 

Number One, Increasing Conversions

Characterised as the most noticeable benefit,  improving conversion is a constant issue for any business owner when it comes to content personalisation. It’s arguably the most sought after the advantage of the entire strategy. It’s agreed that personalisation and generic messages do not mix. This rule is safe for application on any digital campaign.

For instance, using a detailed subject line that incorporates a person’s name, the company’s name, and the category of business they’re doing helps big time.

Step two, using a friendly tone when greeting the recipient. Think of what a person would like to see to keep on scrolling through the email and not just simply skip it.

Here are some basic components every sales email should include:

  • Include a subject line
  • Write a strong opening line
  • Include helpful body copy
  • Add a CTA in the closing copy
  • Add a professional signature

Also, landing pages are key for attracting prospect clients. Make sure to apply the same content strategy for the emails as well as the landing pages. Both outlets should contain complementary messages.

Fourth and finally, use follow-up emails. Gentle reminders never hurt anybody. They can also be used to recommend receipts for future actions.

 

Number Two, Facilitate Conversions

Content personalisation will not only help with increasing the conversion rate, but it will also enhance the transfer process. One reason why the perks of tailored content are undisputed is that it simplifies exactly what a recipient needs, and how he or she should react. It basically poses a solution to a problem and an answer to a question.

 

Number Three, Less Emailing, More Customers

If your start-up or brand still follows the old hit-send-to-all method, then it’s time to change that strategy. Spamming a prospect’s email box or messages with content and updates has never been successful.

Now, thanks to the introduction of segmentation and targeting, companies and content creators know well where to look and how to approach the target audience.

This is now almost impossible to do, due to GDPR. GDPR restricts users from sending emails to a potential audience without their content. This law stops spam emails from small and large companies being sent directly to your inbox.

 

Number Four, Strengthen a Base with the Audience

Building up a strong audience-base is simply showcasing how well you know or understand your audience. With today’s fierce competition in all fields, it does not suffice to say that a company understands its customers’ preferences.

However, it became quite the norm to highlight how accurately you know what the consumers prefer, how, where, when, and why do they prefer it.

 

Number Five, Reinforcing Leads

Content personalisation adds up to any business’s long-term goals and KPIs. by following the basic rules of content personalisation, you strengthen your chances of cultivating a deep connection with current and prospect customers and converting more marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and sales qualified leads (SQLs).

 

Number Six, Improving Sales

Increasing sales call rate and quality requires no extra effort. Since any business is typically gathering user information to tailor the content and conducting research to comprehend the latest market trends. Improving sales can be achieved by combining these recent learnings and benefitting from the data gathered.

 

Number Seven, Having an Updated Website

It goes without saying that having a dynamic, personalised content goes to show that the specific brand understands trends and has an up-to-date website. This element automatically gives users a sense of security and understanding and encourages them to spend more time on the website.

Using content personalisation, company owners and content creators ensure that they’re presenting interesting text and visuals; being aligned with the standards sales cycle, and keeping tone with the industry trends.

 

Number Eight, Taking Newcomers In

First impressions last a long time, if not forever. The same rule applies to market and sales techniques. Using content personalisation will definitely earn any company some extra points for creativity and positive vibes.

They will also show how well the company is operating based on its responsiveness, wittiness and complete understanding of the dynamic marketing and advertising fields.

Or, it can be used later on: “The personalisation can be based on the first offer they convert on, the campaign that drove their response, or even the pages they visited your website.”

 

Number Nine, One-of-a-kind Marketing

The rule of thumb claims that filtering all information to give consumers the right information is the best recipe for distinguished marketing techniques. Regardless of the target audience’s needs, adhering to that direction will surely make a difference.

Companies take advantage of content personalisation in blog making, advertising for offers,  emails, social media campaigns and more. The more a business understands and cultivates relationships based on user data, the more they can earn a spot among the creative bunch.

This could be the edge any business needs to improve its numbers and spread words about its idea, product or service.

 

How Do I Personalise My Brand?

The closest way to personalising a brand is by learning by heart what their target audience is like. Understanding their preferences and interests. In technical terms, what any brand needs to do is to conduct an audience analysis, the more they run a few the merrier.

This thorough analysis should factor in changing attributes such as the variations between social media channels and buyer personas.

Here are some key elements to integrate into any research:

  • Demographics
  • Interests and interactions on social media
  • Social media activities
  • Highly-engaged with pages
  • Followed influencers
  • Customer journey stage
  • The bridge between platforms and the website

According to Create Hype, there are seven tips that could help you with instructing a brand personality.

 

Tip One, Accept Social Media

The best results of digital marketing stem from a deep belief in the system. And the system has been working brilliantly now. Social media accommodates all businesses’ needs as well as consumers as well. The majority of users around the world check their Facebook feeds daily. So, it’s only natural to take part in that production cycle.

Tip Two, Cultivate Real Relationships

Building an automated conversation with a client is easy. Working an artificial relation is also a piece of cake. The hard task is cultivating a somewhat real relationship between the brand and its consumers.

It can be considered that any of these brand-customer relations should be based on mutual understanding, trust, and an unspoken of code about what the typical consumers’ likes or needs from the brand.

Number Three, Showing Personality

Showing a bit of actual personality when cultivating a brand identity can never hurt. Relying on true facts or stories about how the company started, the pet-peeves of the founders, funny interests or agreed upon mottos could be a great asset in any brand personality.

The next phase would be to showcase admirable consistency between that identity and the company’s material. Storytelling can help a lot with that. As shared by American Express: “Brands often get sidetracked by bullet points, facts, and the end result.

Instead, we need to remember that audiences react to emotions, and to accept or refuse a statement, humans need to be told a ‘story’ so they can rationalise and understand emotions,” explains Gabrielle Boko, executive vice president of marketing at business management software firm Sage North America.”

Number Four, Networking, Networking and More Networking

The best way to producing genuine content that screams personality comes from actual interaction with human beings. Learn the mighty benefits of networking with professionals on LinkedIn, Facebook and whatnot. Attempt to take feedback and constructive criticism at any given opportunity

Number Five, Select a Natural Tone

Steer clear of taking a formal tone all the way. Formality might drive visitors away. Try to incorporate a few slang words or a couple of abbreviations to seem relevant. Users won’t read your copy if it is very technical.

Tip Six, Prospects Are People

Yep. You’ve read that correctly. Although it’s undoubted, some content creators tend to forget that prospect consumers are also real people who require well-thought, genuine content tailored specifically to their needs.

If there’s any point to take from this tip, it is to use automation services with moderation. Finally. try to reach out to individuals, not to groups.

 

Why Is Content Personalisation Important in Marketing?

According to Personalisation Professionals: “Serving a personalised online customer experience is a top priority for marketing teams and can lift conversion and engagement substantially.

However, less than 10 percent feel they are equipped with the right tools, skill sets, data and technology to execute successfully.”

Content Personalisation and its derivatives in marketing are common techniques that enable businesses to better understand consumer needs and interests and therefore, cultivate improved customer experiences.

“Thanks to CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems and behavioural analytics solutions, companies can track customers’ preferences, buying patterns and more. As a result, they can create personalised experiences that make customers feel valued and appreciated.

The concept of personalisation falls into multiple categories: customer service, sales, and marketing. All three of those are important aspects of the overall customer experience,” Shep Heyken, a Contributor at Forbes.

The informative piece from Forbes also included a successful annual study by Evergage called “Trends in Personalisation study.” we’re taking a few of its conclusions as inspiration:

  • Power of personalisation — almost all marketers have agreed that personalisation advances customer relationships. Around eighty-eight percent of the crowd claim they’ve witnessed a measurable lift in business results from their personalisation campaigns
  • New hype of machine-learning personalisation – although proven very effective and time-efficient, machine learning personalisation does come with a few drawbacks. But that’s a topic for another blog. The study shows around 33 percent of marketers relying on new technology. ML is used for algorithms and giving out predictive analytics and translate them into recommendations and user experiences.
  • Multiple channel campaigns – marketers mix between using email campaigns (72 percent), company websites (57 percent), mobile sites (28 percent), web apps (20 percent), and mobile apps (18 percent).

Experts Said:

Andy Zimmerman, CMO of Evergage, states that “The message must be valuable, relevant and genuinely helpful. You must have an accurate understanding of each visitor’s true needs and interests. For example, during the checkout process of an online purchase, there may be a product recommendation.

Is it related to what the customer is buying? If the customer is buying a can of paint, it makes sense to promote paintbrushes or a paint roller – and maybe an article with tips on using the type of paint being purchased. It doesn’t make sense to promote an unrelated item, such as a hammer or buzz saw, or an article about plumbing repair.”

According to Emarsys, personalisation can effectively improve brand loyalty. “When consumers provide information and data, they expect to be treated as unique individuals with specific preferences. Businesses that dedicate time and resources to implement successful personalised marketing strategies will benefit from a competitive advantage in both brand loyalty and customer satisfaction.”

Business-to-business (B2B) and Content Personalisation

The B2B sector is full of opportunities to use content personalisation strategies. As illustrated by Strata Beat, here are five effective strategies that can assist any B2B business

  • Segment-specific: content personalisation by industry vertical or segment criteria

Perhaps the easiest strategy among all five, segment-specific personalisation relies on targeting particular categories, industries, departments or even a certain geographic element.

It can be narrowed down to very minor details. This strategy is flexible. Company owners and content creators can select multiple segments and tailor content based on the traits of each segment; beliefs, behaviours, etc.

  • Persona-specific: content personalisation for specific buyer types

Users have types, or more accurately, personas. Any successful business understands the vitality of tracking those personas and using them to cultivate content personalisation.

According to the blog: “Whether your personas are extremely detailed and data-based, or more anecdotal, the important thing is that you document them.

You can then refine them over time as you collect more data, which coincidentally will be much easier when you are distributing content based on personas and gathering persona-specific behavioural and consumption data.”

 

  • Stage-specific: content personalisation for a stage of the buying process

On the other hand, stage-specific strategies are much more different than the previous two methods. It’s because this way focuses on each phase or stage of the marketing or purchasing cycle. Therefore, stage-specific approaches map the customer journey and make-up content that deem relevant to each phase’s needs.

Plus, it addresses questions and inquiries, market trends, various stops within the consumer journey and keeps the prospect accompanied throughout the buying process.

 

  • Account-specific: content personalisation for a specific prospect organisation

Account-based marketing (ABM) is an extremely specific method with one clear goal; attracting the account in mind and having it as a client. There are numerous ways to highlight your copy which serves that purpose.

However, either by launching a blog that dedicates itself to advocating or analysing the account’s activities, have massive reach on social media platforms or reaching out to the account directly every once in a while. ABM is an excellent targeting approach as it complements and serves a business’s interest to the maximum.

As per Contently: “Getting to that point may be something of a headache for content marketers drowning in a sea of duties. Creators are already tasked with creating a steady beat of content; personalisation asks them to target and customise content based on segment, behaviour, and, in the case of ABM, even individual accounts.

Not surprisingly, Demand Metric found that the two biggest reasons marketers don’t personalise content are “not having the bandwidth/resources” and “don’t have the technology.”

 

  • Lead-specific: content personalisation for an individual lead

This optimisation method is most effective for companies who have leads database. The idea here is to craft content based on the several types of individual leads. That way, business owners can maximise their reach and resonate with their target audience more efficiently.

Moreover, perhaps the main downside of applying this approach is the huge number of leads to be addressed. Therefore, it’s recommended to dedicate most of the effort into tailoring content for the top 20-to-30 percent of leads.

Content Personalisation: Defining the Audience

According to Content Marketing Institute, content personalisation comes in many forms. The best way to accurately identify and target a particular segment is to pay attention to the following four categories.

  • Location

Location is an integral element of each buyers’ personality or needs. Locations and demographic information can cause quite some differences in the visitors’ decision. That’s why they should be used as inspiration for the content personalisation process.

Yet, the significance location makes to personalised content has encouraged the majority of websites around the world to ask visitors to confirm their locations.

  • Interest

What does the website offer? Is it a specific service, idea, or product or selection that can accommodate various niches or industries? It’s important to highlight the top motivation for visiting the website. This, of course, can be obtained by research or questioning the visitors.

  • Behaviour

Are you monitoring how visitors interact with the website? The perks of user data collection are endless. They basically answer all questions related to what the visitor wants to see, how, when, and why he or she needs it. Also, it allows content creators to curate relevant copy which matches those specific behaviours.

  • Referral

Have you ever stumbled upon the question: “Where did you learn about us?” this classic question is usually accompanied with MCQs: from friends, via social media, search engines, etc.

Understanding how the visitors got here is a powerful tool for business owners. It indicates areas that need improvement and shows the effectiveness of others which are working very well.

HootSuite explains: “The more clearly you define your target group, the better you can understand how and where to reach your best prospects. You can start with broad categories like millennials or single dads, but you need to get much more detailed to achieve the best possible conversion rates.

People who are not included in your target market can still buy from you—they’re just not your top focus when it comes to crafting your marketing strategy.”

Pro Tips on Gathering Data and Content Personalisation

Marketers and media researchers have made numerous studies and crafting techniques that enables content creators to perfect their content personalisation methods.

As recommended by AB Tasty: “To determine in what order to collect what data, you should establish a hierarchy of attributes that match your business KPIs. An e-commerce site, for example, will be much more interested in knowing a consumer’s gender, age, and color preferences, that would be, say, a B2B SaaS solution.”

 

1. Don’t Take It Personally

According to John Hall, “Ultimately, whether they are listening or not, the invasive ads are a great example of how attempted personalisation can quickly cross the line into the downright “creepy” territory. Just as a complete lack of personalisation costs brands, excessive personalisation has a price as well.”

Yet, there’s a silver lining between excellent curation of content and straight-forward invasion of privacy. Hall also illustrates: “Despite outright denial from major tech companies, there seems to be a mounting body of evidence that suggests your phones might be listening in on your conversations.

Of course, other experts assert that there’s no point in these companies listening to you — they already have more of your personal information than they could ever need.”

 

2. Try Investing in High-Quality Data Management

Convince and Convert has advised website owners to prioritise data management. Data collection, in a nutshell, can be a business’s golden card. With the needed information, managers and content creators can cultivate top-notch content that answers everything a visitor might need.

They also allow the company to do accurate analyses and get valuable results to improve its future performance.

As per the article: “Great personalisation campaigns answer questions consumers haven’t yet thought to ask, speak directly to their circumstances, and engage them with the types of content they find most valuable.”

 

3. Have Trust in Numbers

When it comes to data collection and content personalisation, numbers don’t lie. On the contrary, they are true testimony that can be used to counter misconceptions and bad reputations. Relying on numbers and facts can prevent a lot of mistakes.

Also, numbers indicate the frequency of human consumption. This can be illustrated perfectly in how much interaction a post or a blog receives on the website and on social media channels.

We share the same opinion as Small Business Chron: “Statistics are applied in marketing to identify market trends, and to measure and evaluate the potential and success of marketing programs. The secret to successful marketing is to identify the target market accurately and to use effective marketing communications channels and tactics to reach it.

Statistics can help the marketer achieve both of those goals as well as evaluate the success of the marketing effort and provide data on which to base changes to the marketing program.”

 

4. Pay Attention to Insights and Responsiveness

Data collection is great. But what do you do after that? Well, taking actions based on insights is an excellent way to start. Today, insights and responsiveness have become an essential element in the crafting of any customised campaign.

The use of analytics is now one of the main keystones for implementing excelling content that aims to cultivate consumer engagement and retention.

Based on the capacity of each company, some conduct these analyses within their marketing departments, others assign special research sections that take care of monitoring and analysing these insights.

 

5. Using Big Data

“Consider how big data can boost customer experience in your industry. Look to your competitors; see how they’ve utilised data so far and how they’re likely to incorporate it in the future. Big data is a non-negotiable for marketers, especially as trends toward personalisation ramp up… By investing in high-quality data collection and management now, you will position your brand for long-term customer retention and profitability,” Convince and Convert explained.

 

6. Make Changes over Time

Consumer behaviours change, for whatever reasons. Thus, content personalisation should be refined accordingly. Of course, it’s better to start off with potential room for modifications in mind, rather than starting from scratch every once in a while.

Moreover, John Hall of Forbes advises content creators to improve their messages if they’re too strong or too weak, whether you need to enhance your assumptions or update your data.

“Personalisation is a journey, and you’ll only progress if you make evolving a goal. It can be frustrating to try to pinpoint the personalisation sweet spot.

These steps will help guide your efforts, but if you’re ever in doubt, remember that personalisation is about earning your customers’ trust and building a relationship with them. If you think your content will help accomplish those goals, it’s probably safe to hit ‘send.’”

 

Final Words of Wisdom

Content personalisation is a great technique that any business owner with a digital presence, regardless of its size or popularity on social media platforms, should acquire.

Also, Investing in effective personalisation software could be a great move for companies with low or deteriorating sales rates. There are various methods and tools for improving content customisation. The adaptability of each way depends on the niche, industry, or business type in need.

As priorly mentioned in this article, the perks of having stable, reliable content personalisation are massive. It can completely alter how a company is performing and leave positive impacts on leads, conversions, sales, the overall reputation of the brand, reinforce customer loyalty, show brand character, and the list goes on and on.

While we’re on the subject of content personalisation, it’s worthy to work on cultivating the brand personality in parallel. Brand image or identity is what lingers on the backs of consumers’ minds.

Lastly, It’s the ever-lasting impression all marketing managers and company owners around the world aspire to reach. Luckily, personalization puts businesses one step closer to achieving that impressive result.

 

Want to learn more?

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