Your customers not only understand that you collect information about them, but they expect a customized experience based on that data. You, the digital marketer, have tested your website, adjusted based on the results and segmented your audience accordingly.
But what's the most effective way to use this information? As Tony Haile, CEO of Chartbeat told Time, you only have about 15 seconds to grab a reader’s attention.
One way to give your customers what they want is by recommending content and offers personalized to their tastes and interests.
Recommended articles, stories and products are nothing new but the keys to success are accuracy and automation. Providing your audience segments with relevant, recommended content extends the personalized experience and is a win-win for both your customers and your business. However, recommending content that isn’t personalized and appropriate for your audience can drive them away.
Why Accuracy is Important
According to a 2013 study released by Janrain, 74 percent of online consumers get frustrated when they are presented with content that is not relevant to them or their interests.
For example, you don’t want to recommend an article on say, The 5 Best Ways to Spend a Snow Day to someone living in San Diego, California. To avoid customer frustration and to ensure truly deliver relevant suggestions, it is not enough to just recommend content. You need to recommend the right content.
Amazon is a great example of a company that understands recommendations. Products are their content and their “library” is quite vast – maybe limitless. When you’re a one-stop shop for various product categories, personalized recommendations and offers are even more important. Just because you bought your nephew a football for Christmas, doesn’t mean you want to be inundated with sporting goods
The image is above is from my Amazon account. Amazon knows I like comic books and Batman, as I just purchased a Batman symbol cookie cutter and I recently searched for Batman: The Long Halloween. Looking at my history, it has recommended the Batman: Arkham Asylum. When it comes to comics, I usually buy trade paperbacks (and usually at my local shop), but I’ve been downloading a lot of eBooks to my Kindle lately (as you can see from the Outlander series) so it is recommending the digital version based on my recent behavior.
Further scrolling reveals other comic book recommendations like The Walking Dead, Saga and Watchmen. These are not just based directly on book purchases, but toys I’ve bought and shows I’ve watched. So, they’re making recommendations that don’t annoy or frustrate me, and in fact are offers that I appreciate. Amazon is getting it right.
Why Automation is Important
As a content marketer, the goal is to have whatever you produce -- articles, blog posts, photos, videos, etc. -- engage your customers. You want people to read what you wrote, to share it, to comment on it. You want it to help increase conversion on your site. In order to get your desired results, your content needs to be served up to the people who are most interested in the subject matter.