Using Personalized Content to Improve Content Marketing Effectiveness

July 30, 2015 | by Jeff Mason

Using Personalized Content to Improve Content Marketing Effectiveness

Marketing organizations already benefit from the data collected by social media networks like LinkedIn and Facebook to better target their advertising—how should you expect content marketing technology to advance further?

Interactive content marketing tools that solicit information from your audience as a means of serving them more valuable content exist already. Personalized content within a marketing automation platform (not unlike what companies like Teradata offer today) is a real possibility. And perhaps even biologically personalized content could be in the future for marketing organizations.

Interactive Content Marketing Tools

In a few ways, interactive content represents the holy grail of content marketing.

Value to the User/Audience
The premise of content marketing is to build a relationship with your target audience by providing them with valuable content. Interactive content has a major advantage over its non-adaptive counterparts: it delivers content based on what the user “tells” it is valuable. While this still does not guarantee that the content will be valuable (it’s not magic, you still need to know your audience!), it’s a much better bet than putting out a “dead” piece of content that can’t adapt to what the individual is looking for.

Engaging Medium
Content marketing has become so widespread a strategy that audiences are sick of it and are beginning to suffer from content blindness.

To overcome this you could crowdsource content from customers, use more engaging visual formats like video or animated infographics, or struggle to consistently generate high-quality written articles and SlideShare presentations.

Alternatively, you could use a piece of interactive content – which initially inspires curiosity like a big red button just begging to be pushed, and continues to engage the user as they immediately begin to see the value of consuming your content by inputting their information through it.

Interactive content is not significantly more expensive or time-consuming to create than other, less effective formats content marketers have historically favored (e.g. blogs, infographics, whitepapers). You should expect the ratio of effort and investment to audience engagement and lead quality to be much higher with interactive content than with non-interactive content.

Automating Personalized Content

Today we are able to serve ads to our audience based on information they’ve provided in their social media profiles, or to program emails to be sent via our database or marketing automation software based on information in their record/file in our CRM or email database.

This could be as simple as including their name in the salutation of our email campaigns (“Hi Chris,”), to something more complex like scheduling the email to be delivered at 8am local time for each contact or using a different email template based on the value of a certain field in the contact’s record (e.g. if they have “director” in their job title send version A if they don’t send version B), to something very complex involving AND, OR, NOT rules to determine what piece of content gets sent to what person in what format and at what time.

This last option could even be informed by more nuanced behavioral analytics like clicking on or scrolling to certain areas on certain pages of your website. There are already tools in widespread use that allow you to spawn a pop-up call-to-action when a site visitor moves their mouse towards the “close browser window” button. By combining this functionality with the kinds of automation rules already discussed, marketing organizations can create a significantly more powerful level of personalization with the same ‘light lift’ level of effort we have come to expect from marketing automation tools today.

Biologically Personalized Content

Though biologically personalized content is certainly closer to “far future” than “near future” on the spectrum of advancements in content marketing technology, it does hold water as a concept. Read more here about how the Internet of Things has implications that could include mood-based, more sophisticated location-based, and perhaps even visual object-based (i.e. what you look at regularly) marketing.

Improving Content Marketing Effectiveness

Ultimately, it’s all about doing a better job at generating leads and strengthening the brand. You can learn more about how you might improve your content marketing effectiveness here.