Is Content Personalization the Key
to Content Marketing?

11

AUGUST 2016

Picture this: you are incredibly good looking, rich, and famous. You have a red carpet event to attend and no idea what to wear. That’s alright; your personal shopper will take care of it.

Now picture this: you’re a regular Jane. You have an office cocktail event tomorrow and just two hours before the mall closes the night before, so you are going to have to sprint over to find an outfit.

Which scenario makes you feel comfortable and relaxed and which one stresses you out?

This is what your online visitors feel like when you flood them with content. They don’t want to sift through piece after piece to find what they need. They want content that caters to them and makes them feel special. They want content personalization.

What Is Content Personalization?

Personalization is all about targeting your content in a way that it is tailored to your audience based on their interests and needs. Wondering why this is important? People are exposed to floods of content every day, so they choose what they read; they only read what is relevant to them. The rest is ignored. To cut through the clutter and get your audience to stop and engage with your content, it needs to address the challenges they face and offer valuable solutions.

At Iris Content we all love our series and movies, and we’re all big fans of Netflix. The platform is the perfect example of content personalization. When you log into your account, you will see recommended categories that may interest you based on your viewing history.

personalized content platform

But there is a lot more that goes into personalization strategies than most people realize. It’s not all about addressing a customer by name on an email, product recommendations, call-outs, and popups. There’s somewhat of a science behind it.

Can I Add Personalization to My Content Marketing?

Definitely! While it’s important to realize that content personalization can be tricky as it is less automated and a longer form compared to emails or banner ads, it is possible. Here are three tips to get you started.

  1. Understand Your Audience

You already know how important it is to create personas of your audience, but you need to leverage the customer data and insights to tailor your content strategy. Talk to the people you are targeting and discover what they care about. Learn the type of language they use. And then go forth and create your content in a way that resonates with them.

  1. Start Small, Scale Smart

Content personalization does take consistent effort. You need to continue to reach your audience on that personal level. For instance, based on what you already know about your list of email subscribers, you can personalize content in your newsletters so that you are only sharing information that is most relevant to them. You can then track to see which pieces resonated the most and then get even more personal with your content to include different content types (such as videos or infographics) and multiple topics they would be most interested in reading.

  1. Leverage Technology and Data

Data and an effective content personalization strategy go hand-in-hand. Data is used to gain insight into your audience’s interests and needs, and to predict their future behavior patterns and trends. You can use the data to build and expand your current relationships and hone engagement with your prospects.

This is where technology plays an important role. You want to ensure that all your marketing technology, including your content management system, web analytic tools, and other sources, can be connected to offer deeper insights into your audience, so you can further personalize your content.

content personalization

Who Is Getting It Right?

Several brands have rolled out content personalization campaigns. Take beauty brand Sephora as an example. The brand was quick to realize how important personalization is to their customers, and they took action to personalize their customers’ experiences based on behavioral and demographic indicators.

With more than 1,700 stores in over 30 countries, the brand has massive variations among customer profiles. Their loyalty program, Beauty Insider, has helped the brand to convert anonymous visitors to recognizable entities. Thanks to the ColorIQ feature, customers can have their skin tone defined, and the company can then match existing products to individual skin shades, making for a personalized experience. Once a client signs up for the program, a profile is created that they can access through desktop and mobile devices and links are designed for customers to receive notifications about specials on products that match their skin tone.

Time to Get Personal

Cut and dried content marketing is dead. Throw out the cookie cutters. Get to know your audience, trigger their emotions, and use your data and insights to guide your content personalization. You have to extract what is relevant and essential for your audience.

Is your content failing to trigger your audience’s feelings? Let Iris Content help you get personal.

Annie Ianko

Content Happiness Advisor

Annie has 18 years’ experience as an editor and content creator and manager. With work in television and written media, she has dedicated her past 10 years to learning the ropes of online content creation, from writing to editing, from SEO to content management.

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