Today’s buyers and consumers are fully in control of their customer journey and online experiences.
With the proliferation of content marketing and branded content platforms, the challenge for marketers has shifted from how to create the content their audience actually wants to read and share, to how to break through the digital and social noise. And reach customers where they consume content, in the way they want, and targeted directly to their needs.
Companies like Amazon present us with personalized content experiences “related to,” and “Inspired by” the items you viewed. And “Recommended for you” based on your shopping history.
Netflix recommends shows you might like based on your previous viewing habits. Google “auto-fills” suggestions based on searches you’ve previously made. Facebook tailors your news feed based on the items you’ve engaged with.
Maybe you have even landed on a corporate website that tells you the current forecast for your location, or presents a content suggestion based on the IP address of your company.
These examples have served to increase the expectations from consumers and buyers who block online ads, fast-forward TV commercials, or “cut the cord” completely on their cable subscription.
Attention has become the currency of the digital, social, and mobile web. And the only way to attract a customer’s attention today is through the production of high-quality content that is relevant and personalized to the reader.
Marketers have fully embraced the goal of content marketing: to attract an audience with quality content vs. buying or interrupting them with ads and offers that are not relevant to them. Now, more than ever before, marketers are tackling the challenge of personalizing the content experience.
Quality and relevance are the goals of the online content consumer. Personalization is the only way to achieve this goal and gain the attention of your potential customers.
Personalizing the Content Experience
As you’ll see in our exclusive research report sponsored by Marketing Insider Group and my good friends at Onespot, nearly half of consumers won’t engage with a brand that doesn’t provide content mapped to their interests and needs.
And more than three-quarter of consumers see personally relevant content as the key to engaging more deeply with a brand and considering the products and services they provide.
With the average consumer engaging in multiple content touch points, personalized content is not the goal. But rather the goal for marketers is to deliver personalized content experiences.
Email, search and social continue to dominate the content landscape, as a majority of consumers cited these channels as the ones they use most to discover the content that is relevant to them.
Marketers must create the right content, for the right person, on the right channel, at the right time, in order to deliver a truly personalized content experience.
So if you are still spending the majority of your marketing dollars on ad campaigns or promotional messages, and not on creating personally relevant content experiences, you are missing out on the large majority of content being consumed and shared online.
And you are missing the opportunity to build your brand’s awareness and your product’s purchase intent.
Your audience has many choices today. They choose the topics that are interesting to them, the types of content they want to consume, the formats they prefer, and the channels they use.
As our research demonstrates, marketers need to move beyond just creating quality content. They need to build personalized content experiences across the customer journey.
This marketing mandate has enormous implications on the way we build and evolve brand-owned digital websites, and how we distribute content across email and social platforms, on the technology we use, on the content we create, and on the data we aggregate in order to build the kind of customer insights required to deliver on the dream of personalization.
So what are you waiting for?