Almost every company who knows anything about marketing is working on content marketing to attract traffic to its website. But are the contents companies offer relevant enough to all their users? If not, the consequences are a reduction in engagement, conversion and loyalty. To avoid this, the use of smart content, also known as dynamic or personalised content, is spreading. This is how it works…
Imagine you are looking for information on the Internet about a topic you are interested in and the first result that is shown answers your query exactly. Is that just good luck? You enter the website and find accurate and updated information about what you were looking for. You like it so much that you decide to subscribe to the ubiquitous newsletter and the first email you get is precisely a complete ebook on the subject you wanted to know more about. Are they reading your mind? No, you have simply come across with a site is using smart content.
What is smart content? Smart content is a marketing technique that consists of adapting the information offered to the user according to his or her profile and needs. It is the reaction to the generalisation of content marketing, which is based on offering the same content to all users, without taking into account their differing interests. The result is that, according to BrightEdge, less than 20% of content shared online interests its recipients.
It may sound novel, but in fact companies have been using this technique for a long time. Smart content is the personalised search results that Google offers you based on what it has learned from you. Personalised posts that Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn display on your screen or the purchase suggestions that appear in an online store when you are placing an order and when it suggests other similar or related products this is also part of a smart content strategy.
However, smart content goes further and is definitely one of the marketing trends of 2019.
What do you need to create smart content?
The theory is quite clear, but … what does it really take to implement smart content? To apply this marketing technique you need to take the following into account:
- Know your users: the simplest thing would be to make your users fill out an extensive form the first time they enter your web, blog or online store. But increasingly, people are less and less willing to give up their personal information. There is other information that you can obtain automatically from the statistics of your website: location, time and duration of the visit, access device, page views, searches made on the site… This anonymous information is pure gold for smart content.
- Create dynamic content: smart content is the one that can be easily adapted for different users. Email marketing is a good example: you create an offer from your online store and personalise it for the different recipients, depending on where they are located, if they are new customers or not, the type of company in which they work, etc. Now think about doing the same but applied to the texts of your website, articles for your blog, videos, ebooks… It’s not that difficult! You simply have to create small pieces of modular content that are easily exchangeable so you can generate customised content depending on every type of user.
- Show personalised content: you already know the user you are going to address and you have the personalised content that you’d like to offer him, but… how are you going to show it? With a traditional web with static content, offering tailored content is going to be difficult, just as you cannot segment your email campaigns if you cannot create different groups of emails in your database. Although you can achieve many things with an intelligent use of the navigation menu, to really make smart content you need a content manager prepared for personalisation. Companies like Hubspot or Quark already offer smart content solutions for all types of sites.
Do you get the idea? It is just like when you enter Netflix or Amazon, the page you see has nothing to do with what is shown to another user. Soon we will begin to see that the websites, blogs and online stores we visit offer more and more personalized content.
And this is just the beginning: thanks to new technologies such as the Internet of things, beacons, facial recognition, etc., smart content will be extended to other areas like digital signage. Do you remember that Minority Report scene in which the screens of a shopping center greeted each person by name and showed him a custom ad? Well, at the famous Piccadilly Circus in London they are already doing something similar!
Do you think that smart content has a positive impact? Share your thoughts on social media!