In the crowded waters of content marketing, it is getting harder than ever to grab your audience's attention utilizing generic material. By personalizing your content, you are more likely to engage your targeted customers. In this guide, we'll break down personalized content and five types:
What Is Personalized Content?
Personalized content utilizes specific information about consumers to create a distinct, unique experience between an individual and your brand. This data allows your algorithms to intuitively know who is viewing your website or social media or receiving an email from you.
You will know if they are a man or woman, their age, location, and even their interests. This helps you better connect with your customers and drive engagement.
The numbers don’t lie — personalization is what shoppers want. Around 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with companies that present them with personalized offers and recommendations. And around 74% of online shoppers are frustrated when web content doesn’t target their interests.
Your Personalized Content Plan
Every successful business should have a marketing plan that includes personalized content. This strategy delivers targeted content and relevant information to individuals to increase their likelihood of engaging with your company.
You can do this by looking at the available data about each visitor to your website or social media page. The information available ranges from their keyword searches and buying history to information they might provide, such as location, age, and gender. When pulled together, this data helps paint a picture of each customer’s interests and needs, so you can share content that speaks to them. The result is higher sales and increased engagement.
The return on investment (ROI) for personalized content is significant. About half of the retailers that personalize their marketing content see a 300% ROI over the course of their relationship with a consumer. Other industries have seen an increased ROI due to content personalization, as well.
There are different ways you might segment your audience when creating personalized content. Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) have made it easier than ever to mine information about your customers and web visitors. Then, based on where they fall within the groups you’ve created, you can optimize their content to address their personal interests and buying habits.
Moving forward, if companies want to improve engagement and grow their business, they’ll need to prioritize personalization. Keep reading to learn more about how you can incorporate personalized content into your business’s marketing strategy. We’ll also show you how SEMrush’s Content Marketing Tools can give your content a boost and help you connect with your target audience.
Here are a few common demographic factors used to segment audiences:
Using location-based marketing, you can target customers who live in specific areas. For instance, if you have several locations for your store, but you are only having a sale in the New York City location, you can target previous shoppers and web visitors in the New York metropolitan area.
A shopper’s location also provides additional information about them, such as the weather or season they are currently experiencing.
Knowing your visitor’s age gives you additional insight into who they are as a shopper. For example, older shoppers likely prefer shopping in-store. So, your targeted ads might push them to visit your brick-and-mortar locations in their area. Meanwhile, millennials, Gen Zers, and younger generations are more likely to shop online, so you should drive them to make their purchases through your website.
Marketing based on a shopper’s gender can also help drive sales. Be careful, though, as this can be tricky. The interests of men and women tend to overlap more these days.
Stage in the Sales Funnel
There are five main stages in a customer’s sales process when it comes to digital marketing:
Awareness of your brand.
Growing interest in your products and services.
An assessment of whether your business suits their needs.
Engagement with your team or website.
Committing to a purchase.
By tracking their process through your website, you can personalize the content they see when they revisit your website at each stage. The goal is to move them toward the bottom of the funnel, where they make a purchase, and, hopefully, start a long-term relationship with your brand.
By understanding a shopper’s previous purchases on your website, you can target the content they see on subsequent visits. Perhaps you can upsell them on accessories to their previous purchase, or you can show them similar items.
Knowing how a customer came to your website helps you determine their interests so that you can present them with content that matters to them. Keyword searches provide better insight into what makes them tick, as does whether they landed on your page from a social media page or another website.
Additional Reading: How to Create Your Buyer Persona: the What, the Why, and the How
5 Types of Personalized Content
Now that you know a bit about what personalized content is and different factors you might consider when segmenting your audience, you may wonder how you can put this information into practice. Here are some real-world examples of personalized content at work:
1. Interactive Quizzes
Everyone loves interactive quizzes on social media, which makes them an excellent content marketing tool. The interactive nature of these quizzes lets users personalize the content presented to them. Media outlet BuzzFeed is known for creating such quizzes and uses them to drive engagement to its website and its sponsors’ sites.
Even smaller businesses can drive leads and engagement by creating fun quizzes. There are software programs that allow you to easily build your own personalized and unique quizzes. These programs have different features, functions, and price points, so examine the features and options available to find the one best for your company.
2. Retargeted Ads on Social Media
Social media platforms like Facebook make it easier than ever to deliver personalized content to your audience. As you create posts to your profile page, you can boost these messages to target specific audiences based on a variety of demographics, including age, gender, location, and specific interests.
You can also retarget current customers or audiences that have visited your site before. Facebook states, "If your business is using retargeting to find people who have visited your physical store, or if you have collected customer contact information through a CRM, you can create a list to reach these people with ads."
Retargeting is a great way to get a second chance at selling to recent visitors.
3. GPS-Based Map Apps
Trackable map apps are an excellent way to target users based on location. These maps might reach users with specific interests — those looking for vegan restaurants near them, the best local hikes, or nearby fuel prices — or that can be more generalized day-to-day maps.
More than 1 billion people use Google Maps each month. In addition to offering directions to wherever individuals are headed, it also offers suggestions for restaurants, gas stations, and shops based on their location and interests.
Many companies use fun, interactive games to collect data about consumers. This information can be used to better understand your customers and boost their engagement with your brand. There is a bonus benefit to this, as well: People enjoy gamification. Users will likely associate this enjoyment with your company.
SEMrush has released three games in recent years around the holidays, but they send traffic all year:
In recent years, Coca-Cola has used branded games to offer customers incentives and collect information about users to target them better. Crabs and Penguins is a story-building game with levels to unlock meant to build a long-term relationship with teens and young adults.
Meanwhile, in the Hong Kong market, Coca-Cola offers a free, branded app called Shake It to teens. During specific commercials and other times, they are asked to open the app and shake their phone to unlock prizes from Coca-Cola and their partners.
You don’t need to be a global corporate powerhouse to utilize gamification, either. Smaller businesses don’t have to be intimidated by the technology needed to add gamification to their marketing toolbox.
5. Personalized Emails
In email marketing, by segmenting your audience, you can target your subscribers with specific email campaigns. This tailored content is more likely to drive consumers to your website.
Spotify, the music-streaming app, is known for its personalized emails to encourage users to sign into their account. The company has a ton of information about users’ music preferences and uses it to share personalized playlists via email.
In fact, each week, Spotify sends users a personalized Discover Weekly playlist based on what they have been listening to, their likes, and dislikes. This email re-engages users and gets them to sign into their app again.
Personalization increases the likelihood of your recipient opening an email from you, and it is something that smaller businesses can benefit from, as well. For instance, when sending newsletters to those on your email list, you can add a personal touch by pulling the recipient’s name into the subject line.
Each email platform is a little different, but if you are using Microsoft Outlook, for instance, you can use its Mail Merge feature to easily personalize subject lines.
Everyone Loves a Personal Touch
As content marketing evolves, personalization is the key to driving engagement on your website. By creating content tailor-made for your visitors, you are more likely to convert their browsing into dollars. In fact, many shoppers get frustrated if their online experience doesn’t reflect their interests and are likely to move on to your competitor if they don’t feel they are getting a personalized experience from your brand.
SEMrush’s Content Marketing Toolkit empowers users to create optimized content that achieves the results they want to see. Our Topic Research Tool lets you analyze your competitors’ content for the inspiration you need to write winning content of your own.
Our platform also offers keyword and domain analytics, content templates, writing assistance, and other marketing insights. Digital marketing professionals will have everything they need to craft personalized, SEO-friendly content in one place.
Additional Reading: How to Make Dynamic Content Personalization Work for Your Company