One of the best ways to increase the effectiveness of your website is by creating a personalized experience for the user. Personalization is all about accommodating the differences between individuals. This allows you to offer each of your website's visitors a unique experience that will encourage them to spend more time on your site, trust your brand, and make more purchases. Visitors should feel like they benefit from spending time on your website. Providing relevant and personalized content is the key to achieving this. Without relevant content, potential customers may abandon their buyer's journey and take their business to another website with content that is better tailored to their needs, which is something no company wants to see happen.
According to HubSpot, 74 percent of online consumers get frustrated with websites when content appears that has nothing to do with their interests. After analyzing data from more than 93,000 calls-to-action (CTAs) over the course of a year, HubSpot found that personalized CTAs had a 43 percent higher view-to-submission rate than CTAs that were the same for every visitor.
A well-executed content personalization strategy is extremely effective. Below are four strong examples of content personalization. Each of these companies is leading the way with their creative approaches to personalization.
Spotify and Pandora
Based on the music you've listened to in the past, Spotify suggests albums that you might enjoy. This a particularly useful feature for finding music you've never heard before. Similar to Pandora, Spotify uses data to create a musical web of recommendations for you.
Pandora revolutionized the way that we think of radio by providing users with their own personalized radio stations. By listening to an artist you enjoy, Pandora leverages its vast musical library to build a playlist filled with other similar songs you would also like. In addition, Pandora allows users to further personalize recommendations by indicating a thumbs up or thumbs down for each song that plays. As you choose to like or dislike songs, Pandora's recommendations become more personalized and relevant.
Amazon is arguably one of the best examples of content personalization, and they've been at it for years. When you visit Amazon, the homepage is completely personalized for you. You can see previous ratings for sellers, products, and buyers in addition to viewing history and past purchases. The home page also displays a list of recommended products for you. Netflix has echoed these tactics by showing users past films viewed, recommended films, and films popular with other users.
Like Amazon, Facebook provides another kind of content personalization. Your News Feed is a personalized newspaper that includes everything from relevant advertisements, updates from your friends, news articles trending in your regions, and suggested events. The ads you see are also personalized by the advertisers who want to target specific people. Paying for a Facebook ad entails entering a lot of data about your target buyer including age, interests, and geographic location. Entering this data ensures your ad is precisely targeted to maximize relevancy and effectiveness
Mapmyrun is an app that tracks the distance and route you run. At the end of your "fitness year" they send you a summary email containing a personalized introduction and snapshot of your workouts from the past year including your farthest run and biggest burn. It also tells you the number of workouts you completed, routes ran, miles jogged, hours logged, and total calories burned. At the end of the email, Mapmyrun gives you the option to share your status with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, or by email. One thing that makes this an extremely effective method of content personalization is that it is extremely sharable. Personally, I'd be proud to see the aggregation of my hard work and would love to show it off to my friends.
Each of these examples of personalization is effective in its own way. There is no right answer, but there certainly are wrong answers. Each of these companies has taken into account the types of information or data that their target customers would likely want to find and provided it to them. Amazon provides recommended products, Netflix provides recommended movies, Facebook provides relevant news, and Mapmyrun provides relevant data about your fitness progress.
The key factor across the board is relevancy, however without a solid foundation of data about your users, relevancy is difficult to achieve. Knowing your buyers inside and out is the first step towards creating targeted content and implementing a personalized web experience. When you accomplish that, you can truly begin personalizing your web experience, and experience the benefits that come with it.