Individualizing the Content Experience: Do’s and Don’ts

by Marissa Sternberg, Senior Director of MarketingApr 24, 2018

Content Individualization Do’s and Don’ts

More and more marketing organizations are trying to figure out how to scale their personalization strategy from a broad-based segmentation approach to one that’s individualized to each consumer.

We’ve worked with companies across these verticals and more to make the transition from segmentation to individualization possible, and we’ve learned a lot along the way. If your organization is on the cusp of doubling down on personalization to create truly individualized customer experiences, here are a few high-level do’s and don’ts to keep in mind.

What NOT to Do

  1. Don’t focus on yourself. Engage your audience by triggering conversations and developing content that your customers can’t live without, naturally attracting them to your brand and positioning you as a source of authority in your industry. In true inbound marketing fashion, this content shouldn’t be about your brand; it should be focused on solving your customers’ problems.
  2. Don’t focus on sales. Instead, focus on building audience connections and compelling content that will lead to long-term relationships. And the more your customers consume your content, the more likely they are to purchase. Our data shows that Active Content Users who consume three or more pieces of content within a single session are 20% more likely to take high-value actions on brands’ websites, including “buy now,” “sign up for newsletter,” and “open account.”
  3. Don’t focus on quantity. How many times have you unsubscribed or unfollowed because you received too much content including too much that was irrelevant? Your customers will do the same if your content isn’t perceived as valuable. Focus your content efforts on high-quality pieces that align with your customer segments and needs. Hopefully this is content they can’t live without and content they’ll want to share.

What You SHOULD Do

  1. Document your content marketing strategy. Documenting your content marketing strategy is key to ensure you’ve established a thoughtful plan aligned to business goals and objectives. The strategy should include the content marketing roadmap that defines your marketing priorities across audiences and how content can help you achieve those priorities. Your roadmap should also include how your marketing technology should evolve as your ambitions grow.
  2. Understand your audience. You absolutely must know who you’re targeting for each of your various content assets across segments and channels. Today this is possible, even when your visitors are new or unknown, with artificial intelligence (AI). Machine learning based solutions can uncover highly granular data on unique customer interests and preferences at the individual level to inform your targeting and cross-channel content marketing strategy.
  3. Automate with machine learning. Machine learning and natural language processing — both powerful subsets of AI — have become the cornerstones to making automated content marketing and individualization possible. These solutions provide significant advances when it comes to tracking individual consumer behaviors and interests, and delivering content based on those actions. Investigate marketing technology using natural language processing and machine learning algorithms to personalize content experiences to each individual and target users with the right content consistently over time.
  4. Track the results. Measuring content marketing effectiveness and ROI is critical to a successful strategy. Your measurement strategy, aligned to clearly defined goals and data sources, should be a key part of your content marketing roadmap and one of the initial things you establish before you begin to execute on your strategy. This hard work up-front will guarantee you have the mechanisms and resources to measure your success over time.

OneSpot’s personalization solutions can help you bring the customer journey to life with individualized content experiences that improve your results and your bottom line. Contact us to learn more or request a demo.