Customer expectations are hitting all-time highs in most industries. With a world so interconnected, individuals expect a certain standard of care in return for their attention. One of these standards is personalization or personalized content.
Personalization was nominated the word of the year in 2019 by the Association of National Advertisers. It’s become a major buzzword and of course, a new standard in marketing. So what is it all about?
What Is Personalized Content?
Personalized content uses specific information provided by consumers or individuals to offer a unique experience with your brand or business. It’s all about using what’s already been provided to offer content that addresses individual users’ needs, questions, or pain points.
Personalization is not quite the same thing as customization. The difference between the two is that customization is done by the audience member, website visitor, or individual. Personalization is done by the business (that’s you!) before reaching the individual.
What is An Example of Personalized Content?
A great personalized content strategy fits in seamlessly with your users’ regularly scheduled day. It doesn’t feel pushy or gimmicky, and your audience will reward you by engaging with the content. Here are some examples of personalized content that gets it right.
Grammarly Weekly Reports
You might think it’s difficult to create a personalization strategy for a business focusing on editing writing, but Grammarly has found a way to gamify the experience for individuals. By providing user data back to the users, Grammarly creates engaging email marketing newsletters with data points from your account. These include personalized badges based on how long you’ve been using Grammarly, which edits are most common for your account, and how grammatically accurate your writing is on average.
Amazon’s Whole Foods Promotions
Amazon Prime members can get personalized recommendations for ingredients and grocery items via their Whole Foods app when they use it to grocery shop online. The app’s algorithm tracks which groceries you buy most often and saves the data to suggest it and other items the next time you’re out. This boosts user experience for both Amazon and Whole Foods.
Starbucks’ Personalized Offers
Along with one of 400,000 potential personalized messages, the Starbucks app offers regular discounts and promotions tailored just to you. Their predictive artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm tracks your user data along with what you order to give you more great drink and treat ideas. Starbucks goes the extra mile by also considering your demographic and geographic data to ensure your product recommendations fit in with your home culture and the stores near you. This image below shows how recommendations are built right into the homepage of the app.
Function of Beauty’s Product Quiz
For this e-commerce hair care brand, personalization is the main selling point of its business model. Function of Beauty invites everyone who arrives on their website to complete what they’ve called a hair profile quiz. This interactive quiz lets users name their hair type, hair goals, and more to create a personalized product with all the right ingredients. Then you get to pick the color of your custom shampoo and conditioner and even name it!
Coca-Cola’s Share a Coke Campaign
Coca-Cola made a big move that kickstarted the product personalization movement when they launched their Share a Coke marketing campaign. Ogilvy led the campaign that was originally launched in Australia and has since become a global phenomenon. What did they do to win so many marketing awards? Put popular names on Coke bottles. So when you see your name or a best friend or family member’s name on a bottle, it’s hard to resist the purchase.
Why Create a Personalized Content Plan?
The importance of recognizing choice overload, choice paralysis, or the paradox of choice! It’s easy to assume that the more options you provide your audience, the better, but what if you were wrong? Having too many choices can lead people to freeze up, meaning they often don’t make any choice at all. It’s easier to choose between three chocolate bars than to choose between 30, right?
Now apply the same logic to your content plan. Not everyone will care about all the different areas you offer expertise in. Sharing them all at once can be overwhelming and your audience won’t know where to start. Instead, create content plans for the different types of audience members you attract to your business.
To personalize content or a marketing campaign, you’ll need to segment your total audience.
The main ways you can segment your audience are by geographic location, age, gender, job title, or any other demographic. You could even take into account time zones to boost conversion rates by optimizing email send times.
Another way to personalize content plans is by considering the customer’s journey. Personalizing your content for each of the different stages makes it easy to move individuals smoothly from the awareness stage to the purchasing decision stage. If you don’t target individual stages, people are more likely to receive a mix of messages without clear direction on how to move forwards and you might end up losing their attention.
Personalized content is also a factor in driving sales. Consumers are 44% more likely to become repeat buyers after a positive personalized experience.
Along with building engagement, your personalization efforts help build trust and loyalty within your audience. The work put into personalized marketing shows consumers that you’re paying attention to them and that they’re not just a number.
5 Types of Content Personalization
These five types of personalizations should give you some ideas on how you can create a tailored experience for your audience with your consumer marketing strategy.
1. Recommendation suggestions
When personalizing emails, think beyond adding just a first name. Where can you suggest products or services based on the consumer data you already have? Targeting specific needs shows your audience that you know where they can benefit from the value your brand offers while driving that engagement and trust.
Borrowell keeps track of user profile data and offers recommendations based on this data. This keeps their business top-of-mind for readers when they are looking for potential new products or services.
2. Interactive quizzes
People love learning about themselves and seeing how they compare to others. Offering an interactive quiz such as, “What kind of [fill-in-the-blank] are you?” generates mystery and excitement for potential customers while they engage with your brand. It’s no wonder Buzzfeed seems to have limitless quizzes for you to either learn about yourself or see if the quiz can guess something about you.
An example is this Leadership Style quiz by Mind Tools. The personal development hub lets you learn about yourself and offers follow up suggestions within their website to keep you engaged.
3. Retargeted ads
Retargeted ads aim to bring an audience member that has drifted away back to you. Maybe they have items in their shopping cart or only browsed a high intent page on your site. Reel them back in with a retargeted ad and rescue the sale.
Muse retargets potential customers who haven’t opened their emails in a while with a “We Miss You!” email. These retargeted emails can help audiences decide if they want to stay connected or not.
4. Unique landing pages
If you’ve segmented your target audience into personas, you’ll be able to direct individuals at each stage of the marketing funnel towards the eventual conversion goal with unique landing pages and a call to action (CTA) that fit their needs. Customizing your CTA can boost conversion rates by over 200% according to Hubspot’s latest research.
This unique landing page by Peak Freelance is only found through an affiliate email link. It’s meant to be short and sweet, with minimal information and a highlighted call to action.
5. Personalized discounts
54% of consumers expect a personalized discount to be sent to them within 24 hours of sharing their information. This could be signing up for an email list, creating an account, or another instance where personal data is shared.
If you can, follow through on your audience’s expectations by setting up an automated email to offer a discount for your products or service once they’ve shared their email with you.
To go the extra mile, take into account where the personal information is being shared. If they’re signing up for a free e-book, tailor the discount to a related program you offer. If they joined your email list from the bottom of a blog post, suggest products relating to the post within the discount offer email.
Old Navy offers those who sign up for their email list an instant 30% off their next purchase. Adding a time limit also creates a sense of urgency, which can boost your sales even further.
Jasper makes it easy to create top-notch content for your email campaigns. Ready to save time while creating your personalized content? Sign up for Jasper today.