Why Web Personalization Matters

By Patrice Meadows — Tuesday, November 14th, 2017 at 11:00am

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Personalized content dominates everything from personal entertainment applications to fitness and wearable technology. As it becomes more common, many marketers are incorporating it into their digital marketing programs. As you plan for the coming year, consider the power personalization has to improve your business.

What is personalized content?

Personalized content is the customization of site information, appearance, and function to fit the unique needs and interests of users. Personalizing content helps organizations gain and keep customers more efficiently.

Marketers can use personalization to attract and engage better prospects, shorten sales cycles, and increase customer loyalty.  

Once prospects become customers, organizations can leverage personalization to present more relevant solutions or strategies to increase customer satisfaction.

How does personalized content work?

Transforming troves of existing content into personalized, digital experiences prospects will love can be a daunting task. The secret to success is starting small while thinking big.

First, identify which users visit your site and eventually become customers. Typically, organizations do this using buyer persona profiles.

Q: What is a buyer persona profile?
A:  Buyer persona profiles are fictional characters that represent how real individuals view your offering. Most personas combine demographic information like age, education level, and title with descriptions about pain-points, motivations, and goals.

Personas help marketers classify audiences based on how they move through sites. If you don’t have buyer persona profiles already, this is an opportunity to learn more about users and develop some. Want more on creating buyer persona profiles? Check out this piece for a quick how-to guide to help you start the process.  

Now that you have a feel for who comes to your site, what they do when they get there and how you can help them; you’re ready for the hard part--deciding which user actions will prompt personalized content. Should it be based on a form completion or specific pageviews? There are several ways to do it, but we’d recommend identifying a specific set of actions associated with each persona that determines what content they see. The whole goal is for your website to feel like it was created for each individual user, as opposed to the diverse audiences you serve.

Once you and your team decide which user actions will prompt the delivery of personalized content, it’s time to try the process out. Use your CMS and marketing automation tools to set your plan in motion. You can start with one persona and scale it to many or go for everything at once. As you measure and track the results, you may notice that certain triggers or pieces work better than others. Feel free to tweak your process to optimize conversions. Just remember, it’s all about continuous improvement.

How can you use it in your digital marketing campaign?

There are tons of ways to use personalization to improve your digital marketing campaigns. With the right goals, tools, and resources, you can truly transform how users interact with your brand. The key to all of this is understanding which type of personalization will work best for your goals.  Here are three common types of personalization to get you started.

  • Relevance Personalization: delivery of new content based on user interests, location or outcomes. Think: Amazon’s Recommendation Engine
  • Customer Journey Personalization: content delivery linked to users moving through a process like a buyer’s journey. Think: checklists for college applications
  • CRM-Driver Personalization: presenting users content based on key actions and outcomes linked to your CRM. Think: payment reminders

How do you personalize content to keep users engaged? Share your strategies below or tweet us @hannon_hill.


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