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Content Personalization: What Is It?



Content Personalization: What Is It?

Are customers finding relevant, informative content when they search for your business or visit your website?

How do you create a more seamless experience devoid of friction from the start of the sales journey?

Creating meaningful experiences through personalized content is a great place to start.

If you’re not consistently testing, analyzing, and refining your customer experience strategy, you risk losing your current and potential customer base.

One of the most integral components of the customer experience is content marketing.

Yet, many content marketers neglect to create relevant and useful content, instead focusing on how the content benefits their business rather than the customer.

In this post, we’ll explore what exactly personalized content is, how it benefits the end user, examples of personalization, and how to create a successful content personalization strategy.

Let’s get started.

What Is Personalized Content?

Customers crave personalization in every aspect of life – from their shopping preferences to the types of food they eat and the home decor styles they desire.

They are more likely to spend their time and money on products and services that align with their preferences, wants, and needs.

For example, say you’re shopping for black winter boots on a retailer’s website and view multiple product pages featuring different boots, but don’t actually purchase anything.

When you exit the page, you’re later sent a promotional email for 20% off the retailer’s winter jackets.

In this instance, you might ignore the retailer’s email and even unsubscribe entirely from its email list, as you are being served irrelevant content.

This example halts the user’s journey rather than moving them further down the sales funnel.

It would have been a more worthwhile strategy to deliver engaging content based on the customer’s predetermined shopping preferences and the items they are actually looking for.

The Case For Building A Content Personalization Strategy

Content personalization strategy entails leveraging online consumer data insights to deliver relevant content.

By consistently monitoring and analyzing this data, brands can, in turn, better understand their end users’ interests and motivations.

Surfacing relevant and timely information improves the online user experience, leading to higher conversions and sales.

Research shows that 80% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company that provides a tailored experience, furthering the need for a personalized content marketing strategy.

The results of content personalization are tangible for businesses too.

Ninety-seven percent of marketers report a measurable lift from their personalization efforts.

Additionally, a separate study found that 51% of retailers with an end-to-end personalization strategy earned 300% ROI or more.

Knowing personalization can improve conversion rates, how can content marketers improve this effort? We’ll explore that next.

How Can I Personalize My Content?

Creating individualized content sounds ideal in theory, but how can your business effectively take on this endeavor?

As a savvy marketer, you should understand the demographic factors and ideal target personas that make up your audience.

Your audience probably has different wants and needs.

Thinking back to the previous winter boots example and applying it to your audience, different members of your audience likely have varying budgets, style preferences, and uses for the boots.

This is where audience segmentation comes into play.

Whether your business uses Google Analytics, another web analytics service, or a personalization software solution, you can break down your audience segments into groups.

By breaking down your audience segments and behaviors, you will better understand the types of content each group will engage with most and what will resonate best.

These user behaviors insights include:

Generally, four methods can be used for audience segmentation, which we will explain further below.

Demographic Personalization

Demographic personalization entails segmenting your audience based on their demographic makeup and other behavioral factors. This may include targeting a customer based on their:

  • Age.
  • Geography.
  • Language.
  • Gender.
  • Job title.
  • Devices used.
  • Browser.
  • Screen resolution.
  • Device category (desktop, mobile, tablet, etc.).
  • And more.

Demographic personalization can help provide more relevant information, but it shouldn’t be the only way your business segments your audience.

Persona-Based Personalization

Every business should have a strong understanding of its ideal buyer persona – from what your target customer looks like to how they shop, work, and behave.

Persona-based personalization goes a level deeper than just understanding your audience’s demographics.

It entails understanding purchase drivers, pain points and challenges, and the user’s role in the purchasing decision.

For more complex purchases, there are likely several key personas you’ll want to develop content for.

Personalizing content to each key decision-maker allows you to connect with a wider audience of stakeholders and address their concerns more effectively.

For example, a chief financial offer (CFO) may want to learn how you can solve their problems for less. A manager may focus on ease of use, training, and implementation.

Each persona will have a different pain point. It’s up to your business to explain how you can solve these diverse pain points for each stakeholder.

To obtain this deeper level of information, ask your customers to fill out a brief online survey post-purchase.

Keep the online survey short; each question asked should have a purpose for evaluating either the customer or your business.

You can also build customer profiles through your email marketing efforts. Ask your customers to opt into your emails during your checkout process.

Allow customers to select their email preferences, from the type of content they want to receive from your business to the frequency of emails they’d like to receive from you.

These insights will help you discern the types of content your customers want to receive from you.

Buyer-Journey Personalization

Delivering content based on where users are in the sales funnel is crucial.

For example, if a customer found your business through search, they’re likely in the awareness stage and comparing you to competitors.

They’re seeking more information to help guide their purchase decision at this stage.

A business may benefit from sharing content in the form of a blog post, video, or social content in the awareness stage.

If a customer already has made previous purchases with you, they’ll want more personalized content.

In the previous retailer example, if the customer bought black boots from you before, perhaps they’ll be enticed to purchase from you again with a 15% off SMS message.

When your digital marketing team creates compelling content that anticipates and matches the buyer’s interest and stage of the sales journey, you increase the chances of conversion and drive more qualified leads.

Content insights will also enable digital marketers and sales teams to better understand what content is most impactful, so you can better tailor your content calendar and frame your sales approach when it is time to connect.

Individual-Specific Personalization

The three aforementioned approaches to personalized content will help elevate your personalization strategy. However, you’re still crafting marketing content for a larger target audience.

Customers want to feel like more than just a number.

An Adobe survey found that 42% of consumers say seeing personalized content from a business is somewhat or very important. In the same survey, 35% of consumers stated personalized experiences improve their perception of the business.

It’s clear consumers no longer accept one-size-fits-all content experiences.

Segmenting individual consumers may seem an arduous task to accomplish manually, which is why businesses rely primarily on machine learning and AI technology to accomplish this task.

Through machine and AI learning, content is delivered using first- and third-party data to best serve the consumer’s needs.

This type of customization ensures the consumer is only presented with digital content that is relevant to them. This may look like special offers, dedicated landing pages, specific product recommendations, personal emails, and more.

What Are A Few Examples Of Content Personalization?

Many of the largest, most recognizable industry innovators shape their user experiences around personalization.

Netflix is a common household name and a well-known service to many.

As Netflix shares, personalization plays a large role in its mission.

“Personalized recommendations on the Netflix Homepage are based on a user’s viewing habits and the behavior of similar users. These recommendations, organized for efficient browsing, enable users to discover the next great video to watch and enjoy without additional input or an explicit expression of their intents or goals.”

Google Discover is yet another tool that relies heavily on personalization and curates a feed of content based on a user’s previous searches.

Content that surfaces is unique to the individual and what Google’s automated systems believe to be a good match for the individual’s interests.

For example, if you often search for sports scores or the odds of your favorite football team winning its next game, you’ll likely have a feed filled with sports-related content.

Both of these companies utilize complex machine learning and algorithms to drive their personalization efforts.

While most businesses can’t execute their personalization strategies at the same level as Netflix or Google, personalization solutions can help bridge this gap.

Personalization Isn’t Going Anywhere

The demand for personalization is on the rise, and more marketers are recognizing the benefit of focusing their efforts on improving their customer’s experience.

Netflix, Spotify, Google, Nike, Amazon, and more large companies are prime examples of businesses that excel at personalizing content. Other businesses are on board, too.

A third of organizations are already spending more than half their marketing budget on personalizing digital content. And 97% of organizations plan to maintain or increase their personalization budget over the next five years.

Meet customers’ needs, discontinue broad-based content, and develop or ramp up your content personalization efforts to improve your customer experience (and your ROI).

More resources:

Featured Image: Dean Drobot/Shutterstock

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LinkedIn Rolls Out 4 Updates For Business Pages



LinkedIn Rolls Out 4 Updates For Business Pages

LinkedIn is rolling out an array of new features for business pages.

These updates can help you showcase your business’s brand identity, values, and offerings while utilizing advanced publishing and community-building tools.

Learn how these innovative features can enhance your LinkedIn marketing efforts.

1. Update To Scheduled Posts

One of the new features lets you plan your business page posts up to three months ahead for steady interaction with followers.

Screenshot from: LinkedIn, March 2023.

Available now on desktop, this feature will come to mobile soon.

2. Audio Events

LinkedIn is introducing live, audio-only discussions, eliminating reliance on external broadcasting applications.

LinkedIn Rolls Out 4 Updates For Business PagesScreenshot from: LinkedIn, March 2023.

This versatile, casual approach fosters audience connections and can position your organization as an industry authority.

Listeners can engage in the discussion through emojis and request to speak if they wish to contribute verbally.

3. Automatic Job Posting

For businesses with fewer than 1,000 employees, LinkedIn now offers an automatic job posting feature.

LinkedIn Rolls Out 4 Updates For Business PagesScreenshot from: LinkedIn, March 2023.

Once activated, the platform will automatically share one open role daily as a pre-scheduled post. The posts can be edited after they’re shared.

The feature excludes what LinkedIn categorizes as “basic jobs.”

4. Following Pages As A Page

LinkedIn Pages can now follow other Pages, making it easier to join chats related to your field with a feed dedicated to content from the businesses you’re following.

This feature aims to help businesses work together, share ideas, and create strong online communities of professionals.

In Summary

LinkedIn’s latest features for business pages offer new options to share content, connect with people, attract new talent, and keep up with industry chatter.

By leveraging these tools, you can improve your B2B marketing efforts and strengthen your online presence.

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Top 3 Ways To Build Authority By Going Beyond Just Link Building



Top 3 Ways To Build Authority By Going Beyond Just Link Building

You want your online business to thrive. One of the best ways to do this is to establish website authority – and the key to successful authority building is to increase trust with your audience.

With the rise of AI tools, you must publish high-quality content that stands out from your competition, who may be using tools like ChatGPT.

On March 15, I moderated a webinar with Sabrina Hipps, VP of Partner Development, and Jeremy Rivera, Director of Content Analysis at CopyPress.

Hipps and Rivera demonstrated how content promotion, link building, and authentic subject matter expertise could help you rank higher on SERPs and elevate your online authority.

Here’s a summary of the webinar. To access the entire presentation, complete the form.

1. Create Unique Content With First-Hand Experience – Avoid AI, The “Fancy Parrot”

In the world of content creation, where good content creators are showing their expertise, there are certain key things AI can’t do.

  • AI can’t have first-person experience. They can’t think for themselves the same way humans can.
  • If the AI follows a generative model, and it can’t yet distinguish the truth. If you fact-check some of the information, you’ll find it doesn’t exist.

The counter to AI content is unique content that shows this truth, expertise, and first-hand experience.

[Learn how this helps build your authority] Instantly access the webinar →

2. Highlight Quality Authorship

High-quality content encompasses everything from accuracy and mistake-free writing to clearly displaying expertise.

Ensure Your Content Is Error-Free

In many cases, low-quality content, or posts with false information and repetitive issues, can lead to being devalued on SERPs or accidentally containing duplicate content.

Image created by CopyPress, March 2023

Add More “E” To EAT – Experience

The Issue: To combat low-quality SERPs, Google seeks first-hand experience.

The Solution: Invite a subject matter expert to review the content, check for factual inaccuracies, and add that extra layer of expertise to the content.

Bridge The Write ≠ Expertise Gap

The Issue: It’s important to recognize that the ability to write is not synonymous with expertise; just because someone can write doesn’t mean they are accurate or a subject matter expert.

The Solution: Try pairing a subject matter expert with a strong writer who can interview and interject quotes helps build better content.

Ask Questions

The Issue: Sometimes, you may not have the in-house subject matter experts you need for a piece of content.

The Solution: Conduct outreach to gather expertise to boost your content quality. First, consider what your audience wants to know. Then, generate three to ten questions to ask a professional.

[Learn a tactic that works] Instantly access the webinar →

Tap Social Media

The Issue: Where do you find the professionals you need to interview for your next piece of high-expertise content?

The Solution: With so many experts creating on social media, it’s a great platform to leverage. Here are essential outreach steps you can do:

  • Observe.
  • Participate.
  • Engage.
  • Network.

Doing this can also be considered link-building in another sense. Because link building is marketing, and marketing is about building relationships.

Find Allies Who Are Also Targeting Your Audience

Combining outreach efforts with the Nexus approach helps you create relationships and connections beyond just the link.

[Learn what the Nexus approach is] Instantly access the webinar →

3. Use Other Authority Builders, In Addition To Links

One way to increase brand queries is through influencers, knowledge panel (which becomes part of a brand’s search results), and mentions.

To increase mentions:

  • Use HARO & Terkel.
  • Publish unique industry data.
  • Do something distinctive that stands out.
  • Connect with publishers with significant traffic, not for links but for visibility & mentions.
  • Leverage influencers and industry experts.

[BONUS: Get a step-by-step branded keyword strategy] Instantly access the webinar →

At the end of the day, when you publish unique, relevant, and authoritative content, it gets referenced and cited by others.

[Slides] Discover The Top 3 Ways To Build Authority By Going Beyond Just Link Building

Here’s the presentation:

Join Us For Our Next Webinar!

Google Shopping: 5 Ways AI Can Increase Ecommerce Sales and Profit

Join Malin Blomberg, CEO of Bidbrain and Google Shopping expert, as she shares the best hacks for digital marketers and ecommerce business owners to maximize conversion value.

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Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal

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Microsoft Introduces Category-Based Targeting For Search Ads



Microsoft Introduces Category-Based Targeting For Search Ads

Microsoft has unveiled a new approach to search advertising that aims to help businesses more effectively reach their target audiences in the retail media space.

This innovative category-based targeting solution aims to address the limitations of traditional keyword targeting while leveraging the power of keywords to optimize campaign performance.

Moving Beyond Keyword Targeting

Although keyword targeting has been a cornerstone of search advertising for years, it has limitations.

By focusing solely on keyword targeting, advertisers may miss out on valuable opportunities to promote their products, which can negatively impact a campaign’s performance and limit revenue potential.

Retailers and advertisers are beginning to realize that shoppers browse digital aisles on retailer websites rather than solely searching for specific products using keywords.

As a result, strategies limited to keyword targeting don’t adequately address their needs.

Unlocking The Power Of Category-Based Targeting

Microsoft’s new solution targets shoppers based on their browsing categories, utilizing keywords to boost campaign bids.

This approach allows advertisers to capitalize on both audience behaviors, resulting in a stronger performance.

By boosting bids with keywords, advertisers can increase their chances of converting purchase intent into sales.

Retailers can optimize the site experience for shoppers through product taxonomy, making it easier for customers to find what they want.

Microsoft PromoteIQ’s AI-driven algorithms can then deliver more relevant ads by layering keywords as a booster in addition to categories.

This new approach simplifies campaign management for advertisers, as they only need to test and retain a few high-performing keywords.

For retailers, this efficiency translates into increased demand.

Proven Results: Higher CTR & RPM

Tests have shown that this unique solution delivers impressive results.

Campaigns that utilize category-based targeting and boost bids by keywords have a 320% higher click-through rate (CTR) than campaigns without keyword bid boosting.

Retailers also benefit from this approach, achieving 8x higher revenue per thousand impressions (RPM).

The Future Of Search Advertising?

Microsoft PromoteIQ’s new category-based targeting solution is a significant shift in search advertising.

By addressing the limitations of traditional keyword targeting and maximizing the value of both audience behaviors, this innovative approach can potentially improve performance for advertisers and retailers alike.

As the advertising landscape continues to evolve, embracing solutions like this is crucial for staying ahead and delivering an exceptional shopping experience for customers.

Featured Image: sockagphoto/Shutterstock

Source: Microsoft

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