To create great content, you must consider personalization.
In a previous post, I mentioned that the traditional marketing approach of creating products and then marketing to consumers has flipped on its head. Now, customers shape the products that they consume by voicing their opinions through social media and other platforms.
Overall, technology has broadened the playing field. Now companies that sell highly customized niche products have access to a substantial customer base. A highly profitable base.
Naturally, this means smaller businesses can collectively take away market share from major corporations–especially those who aren’t agile enough to meet the needs of today’s consumer.
This situation is similar to content marketing. Many organizations will create cornerstone content as a strategy to push their business objectives.
Social media is most effective if you execute bilateral communications. Meaning posting content and actually responding to your audience. Believe it or not, you should take the same approach when developing content. Obviously, your content cannot speak directly to a consumer, but there are ways to accomplish this indirectly.
And that’s through personalization.
Personalized Content Marketing
Before I get into personalized content marketing, let’s first take a look at personalization and how it relates to content marketing today. I’ll start with the basic staple in American food: the burger.
Traditionally, burger ingredients are pretty simple. You have a bun, beef, lettuce, tomato, pickles, onion, and cheese. Don’t forget the cheese!
Now, you have different variations of a burgers widely marketed to the public. Everything from Angus burgers, Bison burgers, and veggie burgers are promoted heavily in the U.S. This trend has become popular because consumers have developed more eclectic taste buds that closely resemble their purchase decisions.
This appetite for highly specialized food has spilled over to consumer products and services. And when developing content to market customers, organizations should consider personalized content marketing.
The 4 W’s of Personalization
Personalized content marketing involves developing highly relevant content for all aspects of the buyers’ journey. To simplify it a bit, I’ll showcase my 4 W’s of personalization: The Who, What, Where, and When.
Before you can develop personalized content marketing, you must know WHO you’re communicating with. Go beyond identifying demographics such as name, city, state, and annual household income. Take a deeper dive into your customers’ purchase process to understand who your customers are and how you can develop a personalized content marketing campaign to convert them.
Understanding WHO your target audience is will provide insight on WHAT type of content to deliver. Similar to how everyone likes a burger tailored to their preferences, you will increase engagement if you tailor your content to the preferences of your customers.
Give them a “content burger” exactly how they want it–and hold the onions.
There are many ways to slice and dice your content. Your content marketing possibilities are endless. Try a combination of different calls-to-action, images, and incentives with blog posts, videos, ebooks, case studies, infographics, and more. This combination alone will yield fifteen different pieces of content. Test your content based on these combinations to see WHAT resonates with customers.
Once you’ve discovered WHO you’re communicating with and determined WHAT type of content to deliver, then you must figure out WHERE to personalize. You can personalize your email messages, your online ads, your website, or even certain features on mobile.
Relevancy is a significant factor when developing personalized content marketing. If a major social trend is consuming the nation’s media coverage, incorporate your content into that trend.
Personalized content marketing is about developing highly relevant content. The timing of your content distribution plays a major role in the success or failure of that content piece.
When choosing to develop personalized content marketing, leverage as much data as possible. Understand who your audience is so that you can develop pertinent content. Find out what type of content customers like to consume. Identify where you can personalize the distribution of that content. And, finally, determine the best time to post the content so that it will provide your organization with maximum exposure.
So, what do you like on your “content burger”?
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