Personalisation is a new route to gaining cut-through. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 56 per cent of marketers believe personalised content produces better results.
At the same time, there seems to be a question over what personalised content actually entails. Is it simply putting somebody’s name at the top of the article and giving them content based on their needs? Or does it go further than that and consist of artificially-generated articles via AI?
At the moment there is no technical solution. Some brands have gone to the extent of creating modular content that can be used to produce larger documents. A good example is Dell, which uses smaller pieces of content to patch together a whole brochure based on what products the consumer is interested in and where they are in the buying cycle.
Keep it to a minimum
But there’s no need to go as far as Dell. In fact, keeping it to a minimum can be better. Often it’s more about the ability to create options. If you have a newsletter, for example, break it down into smaller chunks that are more targeted and allow the customer to go through and choose what they want.
You don’t necessarily need machine learning and artificial intelligence to create personalised content. Often, it comes down to presenting options and allowing the customer choice.
Try to collect as much data as you can on what they purchase and what they need. But you must make sure this is secure. And don’t be creepy – despite the fact that customer information allows you to target their needs. Too much evidence of this can scare people.
Don’t get overwhelmed
Creating personalised content is harder than ever with so much data available. The best solution is to group together different types of people based on their needs and how you can solve them. Trying to create individual pieces of content for every single person will overwhelm you.
Sometimes the skill is in keeping things simple. Personalisation is undoubtedly a good thing. If done correctly it can focus on a customer’s particular requirements. But like so many things, it is a twin-edged sword. If you appear to know too much detail about somebody it can put them on the defensive. While there is so much data out there you can almost produce too much content.
At the same time, as things move forward the trend for personalisation is undoubtedly going to grow. The question will be how it mixes with quality editorial-led content.
Personalisation: the new pretender to the content marketing throne is part of Content24, the blog for London content marketing agency FirstWord.