But seeing as every other company and corporation with an interest in promoting their goods and services online has recognised this fact, things are getting quite overcrowded. Type in a search query and you will be greeted with an abundance of results, which attempt to lure you in with their respective content offerings.
In order to stand out like a sore thumb and ensure your content gets seen by the right people, in the right place, at the right time, you’ll need to create something that is distinctive, relevant and personal.
This means that brands and businesses can no longer adopt a “one size fits all” approach to content, as audiences will reject it at a moment’s notice. On top of that, online users want to have a favourable and worthwhile experience when interacting with content. If not, they won’t be inspired to take their interest in your products or services any further and will look elsewhere for an answer or solution to their initial question or problem.
The statistics that support the need for better content experiences
To create a better content experience, your organisation will need to speak to customers directly, which can typically be achieved through greater personalisation. After all, the statistics (taken from this Mojn blog) speak for themselves:
- Personalised emails improve click-through rates by 14 per cent and conversion rates by 10 per cent (Aberdeen Group)
- 75 per of consumers like it when brands personalise messaging and offers (Aberdeen Group)
- 56 per cent of consumers say they would be more inclined to use a retailer if it offered a good personalised experience (o2 – The Rise of Me-tail)
- 74 per cent of online consumers get frustrated with websites when content (such as offers and promotions) appears that has nothing to do with their interests (Janrain & Harris Interactive)
- 94 per cent of companies agree that personalisation “is critical to current and future success” (Econsultancy)
But even if the majority of businesses recognise the need for deeper content experiences through personalisation, how many are actually doing so?
- 70 per cent of brands are still not personalising emails sent to subscribers (Experian)
- 77 per cent of marketers say “dynamic, personalised content” across channels is very important, but most are still in the planning stages (Adobe & DMA)
- Scarce resources (lack of budget and/or staff) hold back a large portion (44 per cent) of companies from investing in, or improving, their personalisation efforts (Econsultancy + Monetate)
Even if there are certain challenges and obstacles to overcome before you can reap the rewards of personalisation, the opportunity to create deeper content experiences before competitors do so is clearly there to capitalise on.
How to create deeper content experiences
First of all, you will need to have a detailed and in-depth understanding of your target market, which can be achieved through audience segmentation. Categories for this typically include:
- Location – Most online users are happy to disclose their location, but others will want greater privacy. But in order to deliver the most relevant and personalised experience possible, websites like Groupon will ask visitors to confirm their location straight away so it can provide appropriate offers.
- Interests – Businesses operating in a small sector or with a very niche product offering will find it easier to identify their audience’s interests than a company covering different industries. To collect this information, you may need to create a landing page form or use social media.
- Behaviour – Thanks to tools like Google Analytics, you can see how previous website visitors have interacted with your content in the past and can tailor-make future offerings accordingly. However, behavioural data is now starting to evolve in real time too.
- Referrals – Seeing as you might want to deliver different content to visitors coming from banner advertisements to those arriving through a blog post, segmenting your audience through referral traffic can also be a highly advantageous tool.
Although all of these are usually measured with or without visitor opt-in, which refers to the willingness of offering personal information, an Econsultancy/Adobe study revealed that 42 per cent of surveyed marketers claim they personalise using anonymous data anyway.
At Matizmo, we have developed a new service that enables businesses to generate personalised PDFs based on user form submissions, which means you don’t have to dig around for audience segmentation data.
Essentially, a website visitor will select their specific industry in the download form and our system will dynamically deliver a highly relevant PDF. However, testimonials, images, client names, CTAs, stats and graphs can also be changed according to particular sectors. This is far more appealing and attractive than generic pieces of content but also delivers a deep, personalised experience too.
Things to bear in mind with deeper content experiences
Once an audience has been identified and their requirements have been understood, it is possible to create deeper content experiences through personalisation. But there are a few things you have to bear in mind when delivering these experiences to your audience according to Loni Stark of Adobe.
The first is to be transparent with everything you do, as clients and customers have trusted content creators with their personal data. Therefore, think about telling your audience why you want their information and what they will receive in return. If this adds value to their browsing experience, they will be more accommodating to your requests.
Then again, you shouldn’t try to achieve too much with deep personalised experiences, as quality is more important than quantity. Start small and concentrate on groups of consumers and buying personas that matter most.
If you’ve got content that works on different platforms and channels, consider localising these assets to facilitate easier distribution among various personas. Finally, integrate everything with your CRM processes to make the experience easier to deliver.
Nobody doubts the boons and benefits that content provides but if the experiences you create are not personal or relevant to your audience’s wants and needs, there is little point in attempting this marketing technique.