Creating a more customer-focused experience has become a top priority for digital marketers across industries in both B2C and B2B markets. Consumers are increasingly frustrated with brands that don’t tailor content toward their interests, making personalization a vital part of any digital marketing strategy.
But, that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Here is why your business should be focusing on personalization and some ways it can deliver more personalized content at scale.
How Personalization Benefits Your Digital Marketing Strategy
When most people think of personalization, they imagine an email message with their name attached instead of “Hi Friend,” or the automatic insertion of your address at checkout. These are fine examples, but a truly personalized customer experience goes beyond these tricks.
Personalization is most appreciated by consumers when it is useful and relevant. For example, a timely and relevant piece of content that explains the uses for a product to prospects or suggestions for complimentary services for current customers.
And personalization is undoubtedly worth your time and effort. The 2019 Trends in Personalization Report reveals that 98% of marketers believe that personalization helps improve customer relationships. Furthermore, 70% of those marketers state that personalization helps their company deliver a better customer experience, which increases brand loyalty and ROI. On the customer side, a recent study by Accenture Interactive found that 91% of consumers are more likely to give their business to brands that know them and deliver relevant recommendations and offers.
But personalization is difficult at best. Just 32% of digital marketers surveyed believe they are getting personalization right. If you want to reach your target audience, you need the right strategy.
6 Tips to Personalize Your Digital Content at Scale
Personalization in digital content can be challenging. In the past, a brand would select a market and concept, develop the content, and then publish it on a schedule. Publishing would be the culmination of the process. But, this isn’t the case with personalization.
When you are creating content for a specific audience, the process is much more fluid. Here are some tips for generating personalized content that will help your business take its digital marketing strategy to the next level.
1. Start With Data
Advancements in technology are allowing marketers to collect more customer-specific data than ever. The downside to this is that the volume of data available can be overwhelming, and you also need the right systems and tools in place to make that data meaningful.
According to a recent personalization report from Forbes Insights, 48% of marketers state that data quality is one of the top roadblocks to effective personalization. If you are creating content based on incorrect data or assumptions, you might get zero results or even harm your business.
You can begin some of your research efforts on social media, where data is readily available. But one of the best ways to overcome data obstacles is to use the most direct approach to collection.
In other words, ask consumers what they want. Maybe not all at once, but begin a repository of data, that you promise not to share with outside entities. Ask questions on social media or other channels and let consumers know that their answers will help you optimize their experience with your brand.
2. Generate Customer Personas
Once you’ve collected enough data about your current and potential customers, you can segment your audience based on a variety of factors like gender, age, location, income, pain points, interests, and shopping habits.
Examine the current demographics and behaviors of your existing customers. Understand their challenges and pain points. You can do the same thing with prospective customers. Once you understand both group’s interests and needs at each stage of the buyer’s journey, you can think about content that will reach those personas.
3. Create a Content Roadmap
From the information you’ve obtained and analyzed so far, you can create a content roadmap that speaks to different buyer personas. In other words, it’s more personalized than a standard set of generic content.
For example, you might create an informative or educational infographic for people in the “Interest” stage or a live walkthrough or customer story piece for people in the “Consideration” stage. Some items might work for several stages and groups, such as a holiday greeting or information about an industry event.
4. Produce Personalized Content
After creating your content roadmap, the next step is to produce the content. Since you need to have this content ready to go to meet the needs of a particular consumer where they’re at, you might want to consider having as much as possible produced in bulk.
Assuming a customer abandons their shopping cart after browsing your website, you’ll want to have a relevant piece of content available to send them via email that gives them some personalized alternatives. Likewise, you can send a link to a product walkthrough video or article to a client after your initial meeting.
5. Personalize Functionality
Going beyond content, your business should also aim to personalize functionality to improve the user’s experience. At the basic level, your website should auto-fill fields when you know the customer’s information.
You can also remember their preferences so that they don’t have to spend time selecting them. Let website visitors pick up where they left off last time, even across different devices.
6. Review, Refine, and Scale
True personalization through content is a complex process, and it’s easy to go down the wrong path. To be sure your efforts are paying off, you should be tracking your efforts and constantly testing the effectiveness of different approaches.
You can also use the data you collect to generate further insight into your audience so that you can improve your methods with the next round of content. As you refine your personalization efforts, you’ll find that you will be able to scale them to reach a larger and broader audience.
The world is changing fast, as is the digital marketing landscape. Consumers increasingly expect brands to tailor their message for a more personalized experience. If you’d like to learn more about how to leverage technology and the latest digital marketing tools to deliver a better customer experience, contact Connection Model to learn about how our services can help.
Written By: David Carpenter