Why and How You Should Use Personalised Content
Take a moment to think about some of the traits which make a brand memorable. A catchy slogan, a relevant marketing campaign and innovative services will generally come to mind. Now, shift this perspective towards equally unforgettable content. What qualities does this material possess? Not only must it resonate with the reader, but it should create a lasting impression. This helps to breed loyalty and in return, the products or services being offered are more appealing. If you haven’t already guessed, we are referring to personalised content. Why is this one of the most effective ways to interact with your audience? How have demands changed in recent times? What can you do to fully embrace this concept and to strike a proverbial chord with those who visit your website? Should you feel as if your marketing efforts have been falling upon deaf ears, the advice below could represent just what the (digital) doctor ordered.
The Rise of Targeted Content
While opinions may come and go, the fact of the matter is that statistics do not lie. Were you aware that nearly 80 per cent of consumers state that personalised content will directly impact their desire to make a purchase? On the other side of the coin, recent studies suggest that as many as 41 per cent of customers will leave a brand due to a lack of personalised material. It should now become clear that attention to detail is essential if you ever hope to successfully identify with the intended audience. A clever analogy could serve to cement this observation.
The Tuning Fork Scenario
The acoustic properties of tuning forks have allowed them to represent one of the most important musical tools. These forks are engineered in such a manner as to resonate when they are hit with sound waves of a specific frequency. The real magic here is that they are extremely sensitive and they will not respond to notes that are even slightly sharp or flat. Let’s extrapolate this observation to content marketing.
Think of your readers as tuning forks. The only way that they will resonate with what you have to say is if you employ the right writing “frequency”. Should you bombard them with a cacophony of irrelevant or otherwise generic material, the message will fly right by (assuming that they have not already lost interest). So, the ultimate intention is to identify what type of content will evoke a response. The only way to accurately determine this metric is to innately know your audience. The material can then be moulded, shaped and honed around their desires and interests. Your efforts would otherwise be akin to a musician playing for a nonexistent crowd.
A Needle Within a Stack of Needles
Another major reason why personalised content has taken centre stage in the marketing community involves the sheer number of services being offered. Believe it or not, it is estimated that more than 380 websites are created every minute. A sizeable portion of these is intended to market a product or service to the public. In other words, there is more digital competition than ever before and these figures are only expected to increase well into the future. You will, therefore, need to stand out if you expect to leave a lasting impression.
A personalised approach will enable material to lift off of what would otherwise represent nothing more than a standard web page. Perhaps more importantly, it will keep the reader interested in what you have to say. Not only is this critical in terms of standard blog posts and product descriptions, but it is a highly effective marketing technique. Consider these two automated email formats:
- “Dear sir or madam, please take a look at our latest discounts.”
- “Hello, John! We see that it has been a while since your last purchase. We have put together a list of offers based around your interests, so feel free to have a closer look.”
Which one would cause you to revisit the website? Generic content is not only impersonal, but it can even be considered rude in this day and age. The average consumer expects (and possibly demands) that websites address their discrete needs as opposed to blanketing them with bland and unappealing material. Content marketing specialists who fail to realise this trend are flirting dangerously with being relegated into the ignominious category of spam.
More Than Interest Alone
Much of the information that has already been presented is likely common sense. Of course, we all want to feel as if we are individuals as opposed to a potential profit margin alone. However, it is just as important to realise that personalised material can have a very real impact on revenue generation. It has been shown that 79 per cent of enterprises which rose above their expected revenue predictions employed personalised content as a single facet of a larger marketing campaign. Meeting and exceeding client expectations is obviously one of the most important ingredients of success.
While the initial goal might be to “hook” the reader and initiate some form of action (such as requesting further information), it is just as important to maintain brand loyalty over time. The ability to embed a sensation of brand allegiance will help to ensure that customers do not look elsewhere for similar products and services.
We have thus far addressed the “why” in terms of personalised content. It is just as critical to appreciate the “how” if you hope to take your material to the next level. Let’s, therefore, take a look at a handful of successful strategies which can be employed as well as why outsourcing these desires could very well be the best course of action to take.
Knowing Your Audience
Any successful marketing professional has come to embrace the tenet that what is good for the goose is not necessarily good for the gander. In other words, basic content curated around generalisations will only lead to a bland and easily forgettable flavour. It is essential to appreciate the needs and desires of your audience. However, we must go a bit further than simply addressing the broad strokes. This is one of the ways in which content marketing has changed. In the past, some recommended metrics included:
- The typical age of the reader.
- The general location.
- The average money spent on products in the past.
- Which web pages and products were the most popular.
What features do these suggestions have in common? The all employ preambles such as “typical”, “general” and “average”. While this might have been sufficient during times when the notion of big data was still in its infancy, such approaches are hardly effective in this day and age.
The key to developing personalised content is to know your audience on an individual level. One of the ways in which this seemingly insurmountable demand can be addressed is to begin differentiating marketing emails based off of variables such as:
- The name and job title of the client.
- Specific product categories of interest.
- Brand loyalty (how long the client has been a customer).
The ability to come across as a trusted friend as opposed to an organisation trying to sell a product can make all of the difference in the world between a repeat customer and a one-time visitor.
SEO-Friendly Landing Pages
Most of us have had the unfortunate experience of performing a discrete online search for a specific product only to be taken to the general homepage of a website. Not only is this extremely frustrating, but it illustrates that the company in question has not remained on top of the latest SEO techniques.
It is now very important that specific queries are directly hyperlinked to their relevant landing pages. For instance, let’s imagine for a moment that you have been searching for a circular saw in order to complete a home renovation. When you click on an outbound link, you are instead redirected to the homepage of a website as opposed to the actual product in question. While some might view this as a coy marketing ploy intended to promote other services, the fact of the matter is that the potential buyer will simply click the “back” button and navigate to a site which offers more personalised search results.
The good news is that it does not require a marketing expert to enact the appropriate changes. The main takeaway point is to include entirely relevant and targeted keywords within the content. The use of proper HTML tags will help search engines such as Google recognise what it is that you have to offer. Thus, end users will be directed to the appropriate page as opposed to feeling as if they are being given the digital “run-around”.
Unlock and Interact
One of the reasons why skeleton keys fell out of favour was that they could be used to open many different types of locks. This was obviously not very beneficial in regards to privacy and security. In the past, generic content was intended to perform the same task; to unlock the potential buying power of as many readers as possible. Individuals no longer fall for this parlour trick.
While there is no doubt that targeted material and well-written texts will leave a lasting impression, proactive interaction will provide you with the means to unlock a plethora of additional marketing benefits. It should, therefore, come as no profound surprise that social media is now playing a pivotal role in this sense. Once again, we can turn to recent figures to reinforce this observation. It has been reported that those who are provided with personalised social media feedback are 21 per cent more likely to follow through with the engagement process.
However, we need to relate this finding back to content creation. Simply posting a viral image or an Instagram hashtag might no longer be sufficient. Personalised content must utilise a first-person approach to “click” with the user on an intellectual level as opposed to merely inundating a news feed with the latest deals and offers. This is once again where the power of professionally generated content will leave a lasting impression. This material can then be combined with other types of multimedia such as videos and infographics in order to provide the end user with the “big picture”. It will, therefore, be much easier to transform a basic level of interest into a real sense of urgency; helping to cement the final sale.
Addressing the Human Audience
What you are saying is just as important as how you are saying it. Although this should be entirely apparent, one of the most common mistakes is to sacrifice personalisation in favour of sales figures and pushing a product. Assuming that you have identified the digital “tribe” that is the most relevant, the final step is to ensure that you imbue the text with a truly human touch. You are not a company, a brand or a marketing machine. You are one human speaking to another who (hopefully) shares the same interests. Although there are certainly times when an article will need to delve into more technical aspects, always return to a basic level of interpersonal rapport. This can actually be quite tricky to accomplish; particularly if you lack the time or the inspiration to embrace such an organic approach. The good news is that Textbroker authors deal with such requirements on a daily basis and we are always here to help.
2019 could very well prove to be the year of personalised content. In a digital age increasingly associated with a sense of algorithmic anonymity, those who are able to reverberate with the needs of their audience will certainly rise to the top of the digital food chain. Please keep the suggestions mentioned throughout this article in mind, as a bit of personality will go a long way.
About our authorRon first arrived in Barcelona, Spain in 2007. Although initially pursuing a career in wealth management and finance, he learned that the content writing community provided the highest level of personal satisfaction while still being able to personally help clients. He has been a full-time professional writer since 2011. Some of his other interests include martial arts and bodybuilding.