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How To Personalize Your Content Marketing

May 22, 2020

Personalization is not just a marketing buzzword - it produces results. Research has shown that 78% of companies that surpass their sales goals have a documented personalization strategy.

Personalized marketing is all about using data to produce and deliver content that’s relevant to your target audience. Personalized content is more engaging than a generic one, because it appeals to the subject’s sense of individuality.

There are many ways you can deliver personalized content to your audience. Here are some of them.

Segment your audience

One of the most popular ways marketers personalize is through the use of segmentation. It’s a great start: you can segment your audience by demographics, industry, size, or any other category that’s relevant to your brand. Segmenting helps your brand anticipate what a customer needs so you can deliver personalized emails, texts, ads, and other content that’s likely to convert them.

The most common ways marketers segment their audience include:

  • Demographics, such as age, gender identity, income level, and geographic location.
  • Industry, such as retail, pharmaceuticals, banking & finance, and real estate
  • Companize size, such as micro enterprises (less than 10 employees), small enterprises (10 to 49 employees), medium-sized enterprises (50 to 249 employees), or large enterprises (250 or more people).

Create personas

A persona is a representation of your brand’s ideal customer. It is best to create personas that are based on data, including website activity, purchase histories, or demographics. You can segment your audience by personas such as top fan or competitor’s customer to inform the direction of your marketing strategy.

If you do not have enough data just yet, your personas may be anecdotal to start with. However, in order to continually optimize this strategy, you will need to collect and analyze real customer data.

Look at the buyer’s journey progress

The buyer’s journey progress is important in personalization. If a customer is still unaware of your brand, it’s not a good idea to require them to sign up for a gated content asset. Finalizing a transaction over a Facebook comment is also not a good idea.

At its most basic, there are three stages in the buyer’s journey: awareness, consideration, and decision. A buyer at the awareness stage could just be finding out that they have a problem that needs solving. On the other end, a buyer may already be ready to purchase a specific product. Instead of sending them the same content, you can segment them in a way that provides context and encouragement for them to move onto the next stage.

Consider an account-based strategy

Particularly important in the B2B sector, account-based marketing takes personalization a big step further. It’s a strategy where you treat a single customer like its own market. This may not be cost-efficient for all customers, but it should definitely be considered in acquiring high-value customers.

Also seen as individualization, an account-based strategy is personalizing content for a segment of one customer. The content is targeted to one person’s (or the company decision-maker’s) unique interests.

Automate recommendations

Another common personalization tactic is using recommendations. Websites like YouTube and Netflix rely on their recommendation engines to keep the user engaged, and they work. For brands, this translates to using data like purchase history and website activity to determine what type of product, service, offer, or even content a user is most likely interested in and tailor’s recommendations accordingly.

It may also be useful to provide the customer the ability to rate content and delivered campaigns so you can gain more insight on whether they enjoyed the recommendations or not.

Personalized marketing provides customers a more enhanced customer experience, which can improve engagement and conversion. If your brand has not yet dipped its toes into personalization, it may be time to start applying the strategies above and see its impact on your marketing efforts.

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