Creating content to personalize your brand’s digital experience for every customer can seem like a substantial undertaking. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be.
Personalization is predicted to become the prime driver of marketing success by 2024 with benefits including increased engagement, higher conversions, and improved customer loyalty for your brand. So before any panic sets in around content volume and how much of it you’re going to need to create, here are five key elements that will help you see the long view as a content creator, enabling you to effectively plan and deliver content that powers personalized digital experience.
1. Quick wins: Get off the ground fast
Personalization is a bit like physical exercise. You get out of it what you put into it. The key is to just get started, so you can begin to gain the insights you need to make adjustments and fine-tune your efforts.
One of the easiest ways to do that is implement a strategy that will net some quick wins when you’re kicking off content projects. For instance, if your full personalized experience strategy waterfalls into building new web elements, don’t let it be a roadblock. Build out timelines for both short-term and long-tail personalized content. Think about ways you can take those learnings and then roll them over into other upcoming content projects.
2. Personas: Start with your core audience
As personalization becomes a regular part of your strategic conversations around content, you’ll likely begin discussing how you’re “slicing and dicing” the way you’re serving it up. There are various opportunities to target regions, topics, segments, customers vs. first-time visitors, and more.
Your personas provide a clear place to plot your strategy. Often when we’re talking about personalizing an experience on Sitecore.com, we think about a persona first and expand content personalization by what’s most relevant to them based on where they are on their journey. Starting there helps create a template for content we can leverage as the personalization strategy expands.
3. Data: Validate and deliver value
Data is the key to developing the strong customer profiles required for taking your personalization to the 1-to-1 level. As customers or first-time visitors interact with the content you created, you can gather more data around their intentions and interests.
Use your personalization data to evolve and scale. As you deploy early versions of your personalized experiences, validate the content performance so you’re focusing your efforts on creating and serving up more content that is providing the most value to your target audiences. This will eliminate wasted effort by your content team.
4. Process: Streamline your content lifecycle
Content is still king in your personalization strategy. Over time, personalizing experiences will grow in complexity, so it’s important your teams have the tools and organizational processes in place that will enable them to quickly create content variations and pivot when necessary. The omnichannel digital experience should still feel individualized for each customer.
Having a platform that serves as your central hub for content planning, ideation, collaboration, and storage can be a big help in streamlining your end-to-end content lifecycle. It also helps eliminate silos and reduce costs.
Sitecore Content Hub™ allows content creators across our organization to have visibility into available assets. As an example, one of our teams was able to leverage an existing video and create a personalized version for a specific industry. It was a process that took less than a week to finish, as opposed to the possible several weeks it would have taken to build an entirely new video from scratch.
5. Mind set: Think big, start small
You’ve probably heard the saying “It’s not about volume, it’s about quality”. While that is definitely true, for the modern content marketer, there’s just no getting around the fact that you will need to create a lot of content to power your brand’s personalized experience strategy. But by having the right mindset, content teams can avoid overthinking the daunting need for fresh content and still meet the demands. Our motto is that it’s better to take your time to ensure you have the right content than serve up bad personalization that doesn’t meet your customers’ expectations. Start small, and scale content as you build on your personalized experience efforts.
Want to take your content strategy to the next stage? Explore where your brand might currently stand and tips on how to advance.
Monica Lara is Content Marketing Manager at Sitecore. Find her on LinkedIn and Twitter.