What is content personalisation and how will this help your business?

These days, the way people browse online, combined with the kind of data and analytics tools that digital marketers have access to, has led to a boom in micro targeted content that is tailored to individual web users. 

It’s safe to say that if “content is king”, personalised content is the crown on the king’s head.

What is content personalisation?

Content personalisation refers to any marketing tactic that adapts the content potential customers see, based on information known about them. In its simplest form, a content personalisation strategy might observe just a single variable and have only two or three different versions of a given piece of content. 

For example, a website might ask visitors for their email addresses when they first arrive at a landing page. Visitors who provide it can then be targeted with a different call to action to those who don’t.

But the potential of content personalisation is so much more far-reaching than single variables and approaches that rely on crude audience segmentation to divide your customer base into a limited number of demographic subgroups. 

Combined with powerful marketing automation tools, the wealth of data that modern website and app administrators have access to means that marketing content can be tailored not just to subgroups, but to each individual lead, on a case-by-case basis.

Content personalisation vs static websites

When we talk about static websites, we mean a website that appears exactly the same no matter who’s viewing it. It doesn’t take into account browser data that can identify who’s visiting a website, and it offers a fixed number of pages and a single version of each page layout.

The opposite of a static website is a personalised or dynamic website. A personalised website uses more sophisticated content delivery mechanisms to adjust things like which pages appear, how they interlink, and the layout of individual pages. Adjustments are typically made according to browser data that identifies specific information about each visitor.

For example, many websites use cookies to remember IP addresses and log visitor behaviour. It’s thanks to cookies that you’re able to return to an ecommerce website where you had previously added items to your basket and still find them there, even if you closed the original browsing session.

While static websites often rely solely on HTML to structure a generic, one-size-fits-all user experience, dynamic websites rely on both client-side and server-side scripting languages such as JavaScript, PHP, or ASP to deliver content that changes from one user to the next. 

The most sophisticated dynamic websites are able to create a unique customer experience by generating relevant content in real-time according to customer data gathered at multiple digital touchpoints.

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5 Aspects of content personalisation

There are five key things to think about when designing personalised content marketing campaigns. 

  1. Buyer personas

Good marketing first requires that you have a clear idea of what kind of buyer your company is targeting. A buyer persona, sometimes known as a customer avatar, is an imagined typical consumer of your product or service. 

A good idea when designing your content personalisation strategy is to start by establishing a few buyer personas based on customer research, and asking yourself how you could create different content that appeals to each of them in turn.

Ultimately, you can never know in advance exactly the content your customers will want to see. A buyer persona helps you to best anticipate their needs and make a reasonably informed decision based on the information at hand.

  1. Data sources

Of course, the information at hand is how much you know about the people accessing your content, and will vary depending on your data-gathering capacity.

As a general rule, the more personal the data you can capture, the more personal you’ll be able to make your content. If you can get visitors to your website to create an account or sign up with an email address, it will make collecting data and keeping track of user behaviour easier. Especially if you utilise a customer relationship management (CRM) platform.  

Just don’t be too pushy and always leave the option of making a purchase without handing over unnecessary personal details open if you want to maximise your conversion rates. 

  1. Data processes

To create a fully personalised experience for your customers, you’ll not only need to nail your data collection but also make sure you use all those data points effectively.

Online retailers use an increasingly sophisticated arsenal of tools that includes machine learning algorithms and robotic process automation to deliver dynamic content based on ever-more detailed behavioural data.

If that all sounds a bit too complicated for you, don’t worry. With a website personalisation platform like PureClarity, you can take the hassle out of including cutting-edge features, such as our artificial intelligence (AI) powered product recommendation engine in your web design.

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  1. Types of content

Content is a broad term that covers text, images, video, and audio resources. All sorts of content can be personalised to suit your target audience and create unique experiences for your customers and website visitors. 

On your website’s homepage alone there are usually multiple avenues for personalisation. You can adapt banners, carousels, pop-ups, and more, to best appeal to your website visitors.

It’s always a good idea to incorporate different types of content in your marketing strategy. By integrating different types of content into your personalisation efforts, you can make the most of the tactic and deliver a more frictionless customer journey.

Don’t forget about the smaller, but just as important, forms of content. Sometimes known as microcontent, things like page titles, mobile and browser notifications, subject lines, and email headings can all be personalised.

  1. Optimisation  

When designing your personalisation strategy, it’s important to know what you’re trying to achieve—typically conversions of some kind. You might be trying to convert website visitors into paying customers, but the number of sign-ups, subscribers, or downloads that a given piece of content generates can also be used as a measure of success. 

Optimisation means boosting your conversion rate, whatever type of conversion that may be. Before implementing changes for more personalised content, be sure you understand how you will measure the success or failure of your efforts so that you can know what works and what doesn’t.

Besides conversion rates, other important metrics you could consider tracking are website traffic, volume of social engagement, changes to revenue, and profit.

5 Types of personalised content

After segmentation has been completed, ad campaigns are created to match with the corresponding segment. This has the benefit of making the ads more personalised and increasing the chances of conversions and engagement.

Now that you have an understanding of the key aspects of content personalisation, it’s time to consider some of the most popular and effective types of personalised content, and how you could go about incorporating them into your content strategy. 

  1. Retargeted ads on social media

Have you ever wondered how your social media feed seems to know when you’re in the market for a specific product or how the social ads you get hit with are so often bang on target?

Retargeting is an intelligent marketing tool that targets consumers based on their web searches and other actions online. For example, if your website specialises in hiking gear, you can set up social media retargeting to only show your ads or promoted posts to people who have recently searched specific phrases relevant to your business. In this case, those would be terms like “new hiking boots” or “best backpack for hiking”.

Retargeting is effective because it means you don’t have to waste money showing ads to people with no interest in what you sell. It can also be used to retarget people who have already shown an interest in your product or service. If someone was browsing your site but got distracted, a retargeted ad within their social media feed could be just the gentle reminder they need to convert. 

  1. GPS-based map apps

For marketers, one of the most useful side-effects of the fact that everyone now carries around a smartphone in their pocket is that as long as they have their GPS switched on, it’s possible to gather precise location data in real-time.

To get access to location data you’ll first need to ask your customers to agree to share it with you. This can be done easily with an app that integrates with Google or Apple Maps. For example, many companies are using apps with GPS functionality to trigger notifications and in-app offers when customers are near a physical store.

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  1. Gamification

Gamification employs the principles of conventional games in non-game contexts. It can refer to any situation in which a non-game task or process is made into a game to make it more enjoyable.

Today, gamification is applied in a variety of settings and many industries. The goal of gamification in marketing is to provide the most enjoyable experience for your customers so that being on the receiving end of advertisements doesn’t feel like a burden.

Businesses are increasingly applying personalisation techniques to their gamification efforts that segment their participant base into groups. This approach allows you to provide a differently gamified experience, depending on the specific tastes of each user group.

Being able to personalise your marketing gamification requires you to have an effective data model established so that you can figure out what works for which groups. Your data model should be dynamic enough that it can re-evaluate which group a given user belongs in. It should also track the effectiveness of a given game type, reward, level of complexity, etc., for each group.

mash.ie product recommendations on the product page
  1. Product recommendations

Perhaps the most familiar type of content personalisation to many people, product recommendations have been popularised by the likes of Amazon. These days, product recommendations have become a staple of ecommerce for many online retailers due to their ability to increase sales.

Static product recommendations include things like “frequently purchased together” and “new arrivals” carousels, but if you want to be making the most of this marketing tactic, you really need to be offering shoppers personalised recommendations.

Personalisation technology providers like PureClarity can help you create unique, tailored recommendations for each of your customers based on what they have already looked at or searched for.

  1. Personalised emails

If you run email campaigns as part of your digital marketing program, the chances are you already use at least some rudimentary form of content personalisation, even if this is just using an email marketing tool that automatically adds the recipient’s name to each message.

But did you know that emails are one of the most effective ways to deliver a whole range of personalised content directly to your customers? Make the most of your mailing list by combining retargeted ads, reminders, and intelligent product recommendations to ensure each of your online visitors see targeted products, offers, and promotions that are relevant to them.

Personalised content as a staple in digital marketing

Personalisation has become such a staple of digital marketing for one simple reason. It works. In a survey carried out by Accenture, 91% of respondents said that they were more likely to shop with brands that provided relevant offers and recommendations. 

A good personalisation strategy also means your customers are less likely to find the marketing you approach them with off putting, helping you to increase conversions. Research by Salesforce found that 62% of consumers prefer personalised products or services, yet only 31% feel like most companies treat them as a unique individual.

What’s more, these numbers suggest personalisation is more appealing to younger consumers than older ones, making it a great marketing strategy if you want to secure loyal customers in the future. The same Salesforce report found that 74% of gen Z customers and 67% of millennial customers prefer personalised experiences as opposed to just 57% of baby boomers.

Benefits of content personalisation

It should be clear by now that when used correctly, personalised content will be beneficial to the future of your business. But if you still need convincing, consider these key benefits of content personalisation:

  • It has been shown that people are more willing to part with their money when you tailor their individual customer journey. In fact, 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when they are provided with a personalised experience.
  • Personalised messaging can help you to retain existing customers and cultivate longer-lasting, more productive relationships. Personalised marketing that helps with customer retention can include loyalty programmes, personalised offers, product recommendations, and suggested repeat purchases.
  • For those leads that are not quite customers, but who have nonetheless shown an interest in your company, personalised content can help to ensure your business is on their radar and keep them engaged. Personalised content or messages can keep customers on your site for longer, and any outbound marketing campaigns you run can also benefit from personalised messages.

Do you need to increase your online revenue?

Get started with content personalisation with PureClarity

PureClarity is a specialist content personalisation technology provider that helps businesses personalise content through customer segmentation. 

We offer a great way into the world of personalised content marketing for small and medium-sized enterprises that might not have the staff or expertise to develop their own personalisation software in-house. Our powerful suite of personalisation tools is also extensive enough to meet the needs of larger businesses. 

Features

  • Intelligent product recommenders

Our fully customisable, AI-powered product recommendation engine boosts conversion rates by automatically showing visitors the right recommendations at the right time.

  • Personalised content

Deploy personalised banners and carousels on your website with ease using PureClarity. We help you to build product awareness and loyalty, and incentivise purchases by showing promotions and offers that are relevant to the individual.

  • Personalisation within search

Help customers find what they’re looking for by displaying relevant products and offers as they search. Help visitors find what they need quicker and optimise conversion by presenting highly relevant recommendations within your website’s search bar.

  • Personalisation within email

Include personalised recommendations in each of your email campaigns to show products and offers that will entice customers to buy. Our email personalisation module integrates with all major email service providers such as MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, and DotDigital.

PureClarity Popups
  • Personalised pop-ups

Use PureClarity’s pop-up designer to create the perfect pop-up and let customers know about your amazing deals and offers. You can design a custom pop-up from scratch, or opt for one of our pre-built templates, and can choose when you want your pop-ups to display, how often, and to which customers.

  • Customer segmentation

With PureClarity’s customer segmentation capabilities, factors such as where a visitor is located, what device they’re using, and how they arrived at your site can all be used to create a personalised shopping experience.

  • Ecommerce live chat

Help your live chat contact agents deliver the best customer service by leveraging our AI recommendations and audience segmentation in real-time. Our live chat feature is specifically designed for ecommerce interactions. It equips operators with everything they need to know about a customer’s buying history, onsite and offsite behaviour, and current browsing, to be able to make data-driven decisions and relevant suggestions. In addition, our chatbots are perfect for providing fast auto-generated responses.

Insights & Analytics
  • Insights & analytics

Gain deeper insights into visitor behaviour and performance to maximise your website revenue and customer loyalty, with a platform that has data insights and analytics at its heart.

  • A/B testing

Maximise conversion by creating A/B tests for your personalised content, allowing PureClarity to test the best performing content and ensuring the correct version of the test is presented to the right individual.

Improve your customer experience with PureClarity

If you think your business could benefit from a powerful data-driven content personalisation toolkit, try PureClarity’s free 30-day trial and find out what you’ve been missing!

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

  • Why is personalisation important in marketing?

Consumers prefer personalised content. The right personalisation programme can help you convert website traffic more efficiently, increase sales, and boost customer retention.

  • How does content personalisation work?

Content personalisation leverages data to tailor content to the individual.

  • What is an example of personalisation?

A well known example of content personalisation is personalised product recommendations.