This blog was originally published on 5 November 2013, and has been updated with relevant content.
74% of consumers feel frustrated when website content is not personalised, and 59% of consumers who have had a website personalisation experience, believe it has a noticeable influence on purchasing (Infosys report).
That’s a large part of the market, wouldn’t you agree?
In an age where most B2B relationships are sparked, nurtured and maintained primarily through digital channels, a company delivering a tailored online experience will stand out as one being genuinely understanding of the person on the other side of the screen. And when you are the person on the other side of the screen, you're more likely to connect to a brand that values you as an individual.
Up Close and Personal – What Makes a Personalised Experience?
Think about the last time you visited Amazon. Amazon is regularly cited as a great example of effective website personalisation and with good reason. No two visitors to the site will see the same offer or recommendations. That is because Amazon, and others using dynamic content, use what they know about you - your demograhics, topics of interest, historical behaviour or transactions - to tailor the content to your preferences.
What You Need to Deliver a Tailored Online Experience
There are a few technical bits that will need to be addressed in order to be able to serve dynamic content to your visitors. We're a HubSpot Diamond Partner and use all the HubSpot tools to easily implement personalisation. We've added our recommend HubSpot tool below, but there are plenty of options out there.
1. Centralised Contacts Database
Your marketing database houses all the important information about your contacts that allow you to deliver dynamic content based on certain attributes. Check out HubSpot's free CRM.
2. Marketing-owned CMS
To be able to make changes quickly and easily, it is recommended that marketing take responsibility of the updating of content on the site. It helps if the site is easy to edit and not overly technical. The newly launched HubSpot CMS Hub takes care of that problem. The Pro tier features a responsive drag-and-drop editor and website themes, which gives marketers full control over the website content and your technical team full control of the branding.
3. A ‘Smart Content’ Generator
Smart content is blocks of images or text that can be either shown or hidden based on certain rules set up. A smart generator is the mechanism that manages the smart content in terms of delivering what is required for the contact. Again - HubSpot's Smart Content Generator is built into the CMS Hub, and is in the same place as your HubSpot CRM. It cannot get any easier.
4. Integrated Email System
If you are looking to include unique visitor email personalisation (which you should totally do, by the way) you will need your email system connected to the same contacts database and smart content generator. Email marketing and Marketing Automation are components of the HubSpot Marketing Hub.
So What’s The Secret?
The secret is that it isn’t as difficult as what you imagine to be. The integrated nature of HubSpot’s CMS Hub pulls all the bits and pieces needed to deliver this 'Wow, they know exactly what I need' journey, building and maintaining trust with your potential and existing clients alike.
3 Ways to use Dynamic Content in Your Marketing Efforts
We get that this is very exciting news for marketers. While you wouldn’t be blamed for wanting to go forth and personalise every little element on your site with wild abandon, we must warn against that. There is a time and a place for most things in life, and dynamic content is no different. People are still wary of the ‘big brother’ scenario and may be skeptical if your personalisation efforts are blatantly overt. Remember that the point of dynamic content is to provide your visitor with the best, personal experience. If it’s not adding to that experience, rather steer clear of it. Here are 3 popular ways to use dynamic content effectively.
Encourage Reconversion with Tailored Offers
Considering you know which of your offers your lead has already accessed, you are able to use smart rules to offer them something new to them. For example, we will offer our 115 Ways to Grow your Business as our homepage personalisation to first-time visitors as this is an eBook we compiled to address today’s business challenges at a high level. On the next visit we can show the offer to the slightly more niche eBook called Creating Great Content, that broadens on some of the concepts highlighted in the introductory eBook and starts getting into the ‘meaty, practical bits’. By being able to present different offers based on historical interaction, you can keep visits to your site interesting for the viewer and, from a marketing perspective, help boost your re-conversions.
Provide Content Relevant to Lead Lifecycle Stage
All leads go through a set of phases in their buying decision process - hopefully concluding in a sale to you! It’s a delicate path and selling in too quickly in the research stage may send them running for the hills. Equally bad is not reacting to certain buying signals and asking for the close if they are ready. If you’ve gone through the content mapping process, you will know what content is relevant to which lifecycle stage and you will be able to present the most suitable offer based on their stage in the buying cycle. While the most applied method is to enroll leads in an email nurturing campaign, bringing in smart call-to-action buttons on your website and landing pages can extend your efforts beyond the inbox.
Streamline Actions for Regular Visitors
Sure, forms help marketers gather information about their website leads in exchange for a content piece, but there is a limit as to how many times someone will tolerate completing the same form on the same site without getting frustrated, irrespective of how appealing that content is! Smart form fields eliminate repetition by requiring new information from the visitor each time, thus building their contact profile in the database. For existing customers, it may even be worthwhile skipping the whole form bit entirely and giving them a direct link to download the material.
In short, personalised content ensures that you are checking all the boxes about delivering the right content, to the right person, at the right time.