This article is the second in our series of posts focusing on content personalization: What is it, what are the benefits, and how can you implement it into your current marketing strategy? In our previous article, we did an overview of what content personalization is. Now we are going to look at how it has changed digital marketing.
It has been a good run, but it is time to accept that it is over: After dumping money into your car, the final straw was the AC conking out. It's time to get a new one.
You research, find one that is in your budget and has great consumer and safety ratings. But you don't want any random one off the lot: You want one with premium features like leather seats and a sun roof. Plus, you saw that there was an option for a deep ivy green color, and you knew you had to get your car in that color. You personalized it to your preferences. There wasn't any car on the dealer's lot that was customized the way you wanted, so you went online to the manufacturer's website and designed your own.
Your website is like the car lot: You have so many options to offer. But unlike that car lot, you need to make sure your audience doesn't leave empty-handed, turning to someone else to get the content they need. And to ensure they don't go elsewhere, you need to employ content personalization.
What is Content Personalization?
You may not realize it, but content personalization is everywhere. It's the "Because you watched…" section of any video, TV, and/or movie streaming platform. It's the "Users who bought this also bought…" product suggesting other items you may want to purchase.
Content personalization is tailoring the content you have to your audience based on the information you have about them. Doing so is great for a lot of reasons, including:
And so many more.
It's like bringing flowers to your first date: You know she is fond of lilacs. Instead of getting her any random bouquet from the store, you look for one that has lilacs in it (or have one created for you). She’ll be excited, and you’ve already started the date off on the right foot!
Content personalization works by looking at all the data available and comparing it to a set of variables that you have predetermined.
This personal data is provided from a variety of sources. For example, the accessing computer provides the website with various information, such as location. And other pieces of information like what you’ve searched, what ads you’ve click on, products that you’ve purchased, and more can be found in your browser or cookie history. The variables can include any of the following information:
These are just some of the potential variables, but there are others—such as what keywords they used in their query—and endless ways to personalize, really getting down to the core of what people want to see. The results could look something like this:
Based on the information given, you can guide users to a page curated specifically for them and who they are. This ability to personalize pages has made a lot of changes in digital marketing.
How Content Personalization Changed Digital Marketing
“Oh, that’s cool!” or “Hey, check this out!” and “Wait, I need that in my life.” are likely thoughts that run through your mind as you’ve mindlessly browsed Amazon, looked for a top in your size on your favorite store’s website, or scrolled through your Facebook feed. It’s made an impact on both consumers and marketers alike.
First, consumers. They’ll be led to products, news stories, destinations, and more based on their previous Internet interaction. Because there is an overwhelming amount of information, products for sale, and cat videos floating around, it can be difficult to find what you need. It’s changed how we’ve interacted with the online space. It’s added a topic of humor to our lives (“I’m so glad I saw an ad on Facebook for the product I want that I never Googled or told another soul about in my life.”). In general, we find things quicker, and we don’t waste our time digging through content that isn’t relevant to us.
And for digital marketers, it has been a whirlwind of change. We have come a long way since the birth of the Internet and its growth into what we know it now. From suggested ads that target users based on demographics (age, gender, location, interests, previous purchase history) to creating landing pages for specific regions in which a company does business, marketers are able to target consumers better than before.
Personalization isn’t going anywhere. While many people are still not used to it and may think it’s a bit “creepy,” it has shaped the way we interact with companies in the digital space.
While we made a lot of references to eCommerce and product sales, content personalization is for everyone:
Content personalization is only going to get even more specific as technology changes and introduces more options for us to personalize. If you have yet to implement some type of personalization onto your website, now is the time.
One day, we may log online and see an ad that says, "Hey _____! Here are those Reeboks you posted on Facebook about wanting in the coral color—and yes, we have them in your size!"
Those days, if they ever do come, are still a ways off. For now, content personalization is more about customizing the user experience and presenting them with content that creates a more intimate connection. It won't be perfect or even overly (eerily) specific, but we promise that a little goes a long way.
As you see more of the types of data you are able to receive about your customers, you can start to refine your variables and improve the type of content that is suggested.
Learn more about Content Marketing, Content Intelligence, Content Marketing Artificial Intelligence on our blog.
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