Content is a word with many different meanings that exists in multiple mediums. Everything from documents to videos to images and audio are all different forms of content. Yet, that still doesn't really define what content is. At a basic level, content can be defined as information, but that's just the beginning. Updating your website with content, on its own, is not enough to generate leads or drive conversations. Rather, you must create content that engages your target buyer persona and encourages conversions. Personalization is what makes this possible.
Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, content personalization is about making the web experience more relevant to the individual. A targeted approach is more effective because it encourages users to remain on your website for a longer period of time, engage in more offers and, ideally, purchase more products. Personalized content contains variations that allow it to be delivered differently for different scenarios.
Static content is a thing of the past. Today, new personalization technology makes websites dynamic and alters content in real-time to provide an experience tailored to the user-and it really works. Personalized ecommerce websites can increase conversions by up to 70%, according to study by Search Engine Watch.
In the beginning, content personalization was based on customer demographics and purchase history. However, it has since evolved, now relying on more advanced data such as behavioral psychology and psychological linguistics. This allows personalization to be context sensitive, instantaneous, and completely personalized in real-time as customers browse the website.
Why Personalization Works
Personalization works because a customer's likelihood to convert directly correlates to the experience they have on your website. If the content is relevant, there is a reason for a visitor to spend time on your website and possibly go deeper by searching for more information or products. The truth is that customers are really only interested in their specific needs and don't usually want to see other information. Non-personalized information is a distracting turn off for modern consumers and may cause them to abandon their journey down the sales funnel.
After all, why deal with a website that doesn't display relevant content when there are plenty that do and are only a click away. It's more trouble for the customer to try to sift through irrelevant content than it is to completely change websites. Content creation should be focused on buyer personas.
Think of amazon as an example. Based on things you've viewed or searched for in the past, Amazon automatically displays similar or related products you are likely to be interested in. I can recall numerous times where I found myself in this very situation, and sometimes I actually would continue to purchase a secondary suggested item only to realize later that it was the relevancy of the content itself that drove me to carry out my secondary purchase action.
Without content personalization, I most likely would not have made a secondary purchase on Amazon. If the content was distracting enough to turn me off as a customer, I would have taken my business elsewhere. While my small single purchase didn't really impact Amazon's overall, on a grand scale, keeping buyers engaged with personalized content can be the difference between dismal and respectable conversion rates. This personal anecdote is a good example of how personalization can affect the buyer's journey.
Personalized content reflects the customer's true interests. It maximizes "engagement, brand preference, loyalty, and sales by delivering highly personalized experiences that customize your site to each visitor," according to a Search Engine Watch article. All of this is based on current and past behaviors such as clicks, searches, views, or even social network cues such as "likes" or "favorites."
By implementing content personalization, you can expect a decreased bounce rate, increased ROI, and increased conversions. Although challenging and tedious at first, content personalization is a worthwhile long-term investment and a must have for modern businesses operating online. Overall, the benefits far outweigh the costs. Customers are getting better at avoiding irrelevant content. Therefore, any business that avoids content personalization is effectively going to be left out of the conversation in the future, which is something no company can afford.
Photo Credit: Content Personalization/shutterstock