Amidst all the marketing noise competing for your ideal client’s attention, there’s one word that always gets picked up by their brain – their name.
When Coca Cola printed the most common names in their bottles for their “Share a Coke” campaign, they knew that there was no better way to spark a conversation than by calling someone’s name. And that campaign became one of the best examples of personalized content marketing.
From Australia, where it was initially launched in 2011, to the rest of the world, the campaign was a massive success. They didn’t stop at just calling us by our names. They also encouraged us to share this moment with someone special – to share a coke with mom, with our crush Liam, with our boss Naomi, our best friend Sarah.
They chose the most popular names for each country they launched to. They created apps that let you personalize your own Coke bottle, letting your friend with that unique name join in on the fun. They went on tours and set up kiosks where they printed custom cans on demand.
By targeting one person, Coca Cola sold more than 150 million personalized bottles, and #ShareACoke became the number one global trending topic, as well as raised US sales by 2.5% after a decade of decline.
There’s definitely a lot we can learn from Coca Cola’s powerful campaign. Personalized content does not only grab your customer’s attention – it motivates them to engage with your brand, buy what you offer, and share their experience with the world.
What is personalized content?
Personalized content is the right message delivered to the right person at the right time. By using visitor data, you deliver relevant content and meet the needs of each individual user of your website.
When all of your readers get the same type of content – regardless of their location, interest, past behaviors, and intentions – a chunk of them lose interest and click away. They get lost sifting through your resources and offers, feel overwhelmed, and likely not convert.
For example, when your first-time visitors who are “just looking around” are bumped prematurely onto a hard-hitting sales landing page, they may get turned off because they are not yet ready to buy from you. On the other hand, when return visitors you’ve already nurtured in an email sequence and are now ready to buy your product are forced to go through the entire sales funnel again, they’ll likely lose momentum and interest.
Personalized content’s main value is in improving the user experience. By giving your readers exactly what they need, you increase your engagement and conversion rates.
The benefits of using personalized content
Content personalization allows you to speak directly to each visitor. They feel seen and understood, and come to like and trust your brand.
Let’s follow a creative designer looking for a project management solution for her growing team. After a quick Google search, she lands on Asana’s website.
This is how Asana’s personalized content guides our creative designer – a first-time visitor to their site – to a quick decision.
Increased visitor engagement
As soon as our creative designer lands on Asana’s page, she already feels that this could be the project management tool she is looking for. While the left side of the above-the-fold area targets everyone who needs a project management tool, on the right side, Asana flags down the different niches it serves by targeting specific needs.
Your visitors are more likely to stick around when they land on your page and immediately see something relevant and useful to them. They are more likely to interact with you and turn into loyal followers and customers.
Improved customer experience
A few scrolls later, our creative designer has a good gist of how Asana works. But will it work specifically for her team? After a short overview of Asana’s best features, this is what our creative designer sees:
Instead of scrolling through a long feature list or reading a dozen case studies, our creative designer immediately sees exactly how she can use Asana for her creative studio. From here, she gets the first soft call-to-action: to see Asana’s personalized solutions for her.
Content personalization lets you give your audience what they are looking for faster. They don’t have to click through your site aimlessly. The personalized content they get answers their questions and addresses their concerns.
The faster you solve their problem, the happier they are with your brand.
Increased conversion rates
Two clicks later, our creative designer lands on a page specifically for designers like her. Asana highlights the top use cases for designers and gives a sneak peek of how a workflow would look.
From here, it’s an easy and obvious action to try Asana for free. In under 5 minutes, Asana has converted a first-time visitor to a potential customer, thanks to personalized content.
When potential clients find content that aligns with their individual needs, even on their first visit to your site, you make it easy for them to complete your call-to-action.
How to create personalized content
Our creative designer’s journey through Asana’s landing pages showed us how personalized content increases engagement and conversions even on the first visit. You can do a much more robust content personalization for repeat visitors and subscribers.
Here are three types of content personalization that you can immediately implement.
Segment your audience
Segmentation is one of the most popular types of personalization and also the easiest to do. You can divide your visitors based on variables, such as location, buyer history, gender, or interest.
Amazon implements a lot of powerful content personalization, and they start by simply segmenting their audience by location, language, and currency. This makes it so much easier for you to find what you’re looking for in their platform. This also minimizes the frustration of having to do mental currency conversions and finding a product that you love but isn’t available for shipping to your city.
Use geo-location to segment your audience. You can then personalize location-based details like the language of your website and the currency for the prices of your products. If you’re selling physical goods, give your audience personalized shipping information.
You can also segment by explicitly asking your reader to identify who they are – include text that points your reader to your content most relevant to them. If you offer services to entrepreneurs, for example, make them choose: do they want content for freelancers? Or for small business owners? From there, focus on each individual niche’s unique needs and pain points.
Apply these segmentation tips through every stage of the buyer’s journey. Your email marketing should also be segmented to improve engagement and conversion.
Align content with the customer journey
Segment your audience based on where they are in their customer journey. Are they just browsing and looking at options? Are they ready to purchase?
Personalized content based on the customer journey addresses the needs of the audience in a particular phase of their journey and guides them through the next stages of the sales funnel. For this type of content personalization to work, you need customer data for each stage of the customer journey map.
GrowthLab provides resources to entrepreneurs and business owners at every stage of their journey. But instead of lumping it all in one feed, they prompt their first-time visitors to choose which stage of their journey they are in – are they still trying to find an idea? Or are they looking to grow and optimize? From there, the reader then enters a stage-specific funnel and gets resources and offers most suitable to their needs.
Cater to the individual user as much as possible
If you provide services and resources to a broad target audience united by a few similar characteristics, it’s possible to end up with an overwhelming amount of content and offers. Individualizing your user’s journey works wonders for your conversion rates in this case.
Smart Passive Income targets all aspiring online entrepreneurs, which is a vast group. By using direct response copywriting and website personalization software, they can give each user an individualized experience, letting them find the most relevant resources and offers in the quickest time possible.
To get data for this type of content personalization, ask your audience to choose which type of user they are. You can also use machine learning and AI-based tools that extract the behavior of your prospects from the first time they interacted with your company. These tools help you deliver optimal content and offers that match the needs of each visitor at any moment.