What Is Content Personalisation and Why Does it Matter for Digital Marketing?

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Adna Tuzlak
February 22, 2021 6 min read
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Everything is more appealing with a personal touch, and websites are no exception. However, there is only so much that mere customisation can do. Consumers expect their individual needs and desires to be met as quickly and accurately as possible, and this is where content personalisation comes in.

While customisation is controlled by users, personalisation is entirely your responsibility, and it can go a long way in strengthening your online presence and overall business success.  

In this blog, we will shed light on the value of personalised content and provide four useful tips for content personalisation.  


What is content personalisation?  

Personalised content is tailored to individual consumers based on data collected about them. Through content personalisation, each user gets a unique experience with your brand, which can be a massive factor in boosting your digital marketing strategy and increasing sales.  

But how come personalised content is such a consumer magnet? Well, adding a personal touch means treating your website visitors like actual human beings. 84% of consumers attach importance to being treated like a person rather than just another number, and 74% even feel frustrated when web content is impersonal. If you want to entice your audience, it's crucial to keep these numbers in mind. 


Are there any prerequisites for content personalisation?  

In order to create personalised content, you need data about your website visitors. Certain data is automatically available, such as search queries, session behaviour, location, devices used, etc. Other data is entered manually by users, for example through surveys and forms (age, gender, job title, and so on). Analysing collected data helps you understand your customers better and plan a content personalisation strategy.  

Of course, you also need the right technology to effectively personalise content. Basic personalisation is possible with some plugins and open-source platforms, but it is quite limited. The good news is that many off the shelf enterprise-level CMS platforms have personalisation tools built in, like those found in Kentico Xperience. So, if you're looking for an advanced personalisation strategy, it's best to choose content management systems like Kentico or Sitecore


What are the benefits of personalised content?  

According to Salesforce, users are 2.1 times more likely to view personalised content as important versus unimportant. Personalised content is thus more effective in piquing consumer interest, which leads to an improved user journey and an increase in conversion rates. In fact, a study by Hubspot revealed that personalised CTAs (Calls-to-Action) perform a whopping 202% better than generic ones. 

Additionally, content personalisation makes it easier for your customers to buy exactly what they want. This alleviates the anxiety of overchoice and ultimately contributes to customer loyalty as well. 


An example of successful personalisation: Nike 

Nike offers an entire set of mobile apps, each with a specific purpose and audience segment in mind. The apps were designed with the aim of connecting better with customers, and they're a crucial factor in Nike's push towards digital transformation.

 

The Nike app for a personalised shopping experience for customers.The Nike app for a personalised shopping experience (Source: Nike)

 


Depending on the app, users can:

  • enter fitness data 
  • get expert advice and personalised coaching 
  • purchase products online 
  • reserve products at a store 
  • receive notifications about Nike events 
  • receive recommendations based on behaviour and interests 
  • and much more.


The Nike Training Club app for a personalised training program, expert advice, etc.The Nike Training Club app for a personalised training program (Source: Nike)

 

 

In December 2020, Nike reported an 80% increase in digital sales. Therefore, taking a digital-first approach has definitely contributed to this sportswear giant's continued market success.


Tips  

We have seen the impact personalised content can have on your business. Now, let's look at four useful tips on content personalisation.  


1. Ask for data  

While some of the data is collected automatically, you are best off learning about customers' needs and desires through information provided by them. 83% of consumers are willing to share data if it guarantees a more personalised experience, so make sure to use this to your advantage. Create forms, surveys, interactive quizzes and anything else that you feel will engage your audience while providing you with useful information.  


2. Choose the right strategy  

If you are looking for a relatively easy way to increase your overall online relevancy, two common personalisation strategies are audience segmentation and the customer persona strategy. 

Segmentation means separating your audience into categories by gender, location, industry or any other data. To avoid a heavy workload and a strategy that's hard to execute, you should focus on two to three priority segments. 

The persona-based strategy involves using the data collected to create an image of your ideal customer's attitudes, values and potential challenges. This helps design a digital marketing campaign that presents them with perfectly matching personalised solutions.  

While beneficial, both of these strategies offer only a limited level of personalisation as they appeal to broader target audiences. Authentic content personalisation is better achieved with the individual-specific strategy, which delivers content tailored to an individual customer's unique identity in real-time. As a result, each customer feels like a valued person and not a number, which drives up sales and increases loyalty.  


3. Stay connected  

It's important not to lose touch with your customers, old or new. In fact, more than half of consumers are likely to switch brands if a business does not put effort into personalised communication with them.  

Personalised email marketing is an easy way to stay connected. For instance, you can send new website visitors relevant product recommendations based on their session behaviour. You can also keep up with previous and regular customers by sending updates and nudging them with relevant new offers if they haven't been active in a while.  

In addition, don't forget to address regular and potential customers by their first names in emails and on landing pages to ensure a more individualised experience. 


4. Be useful, not invasive  

Content personalisation can certainly go too far, so it's important to understand the line between useful and intrusive personalisation to never cross into creepy territory. 

First of all, make it very clear to your customers that their data is being tracked. Secondly, be cautious about what data you use for personalised marketing and how. Sending sneaker recommendations based on the customer's buying behaviour is good. Sending baby item recommendations based on a pregnancy prediction score is not. 

In conclusion, think your wording through very carefully to ensure customers have a positive personalised experience with your brand.  


Summary  

As long as you do it right, your customers will appreciate the effort you put into creating personalised content and remain loyal to you. Therefore, investing in consistent content personalisation will certainly bear fruit in terms of growing your brand.  


If you are looking to use content personalisation in your digital marketing, digital agency GRM Digital offer services that help your content effectively meet each customer's needs and fortify your digital presence.