The ongoing search for reader engagement has led many companies to create more personalized content. Creating this type of content is great because it ensures you are writing something that is relevant to your audience. It uses visitor data in order to determine exactly what a reader wants to read, and, although it may take a bit of time to analyze this data, the product is well worth the effort because you are not wasting your time playing the guessing game.
Unfortunately, companies take this idea of personalized content and stop there. While companies are certainly on the right track when it comes to the importance of personalization, there is more to the idea of personalized content many companies are missing. While it’s great you have the content your readers want to read, it won’t mean much if they aren’t seeing that content when and how they want to see it. In other words, personalizing your delivery is just as important as personalizing your content.
How to Get Started With Personalized Delivery
Personalized delivery uses the same visitor data, but looks for ways to deliver content as opposed to potential topics to create the content. This philosophy is particularly successful if you’re a company that deals with many different audiences and demographics because (if done correctly) it allows each of your visitors to find the content they want, how they want it, and when they want it.
Delivery is the second step under the personalized content umbrella, and getting started is easy. There are a few different approaches you can take to determine how you should deliver this content:
- Homepage Delivery. Some companies like to take the approach of asking visitors how they’d like to receive their personalized content. The best example of this is the research firm Forrester as explained by the Content Marketing Institute. This company takes visitors through a set of three pages asking what it is that interests them. Once they have made their selection, every time they visit the homepage it will be filled with content completely relevant to their interests, and so delivery is quick and right there on the homepage.
- Profile Information. A great way to figure out how a user wants his/her content delivered is by having him/her set up a profile on your site. Here, you can ask your visitor how you should deliver the personalized content, and then segment your audiences based on 1) Type of content, and 2) Way to deliver the content.
- Gather Data. If you don’t want to ask your visitors directly how they prefer to have your content delivered, you can make assumptions based on data that you gather. Using SEO tools will help give you insights as to where each visitor is clicking. If he or she always clicks content in your email messages but rarely visits the homepage, you can infer what is best for that person and start segmenting and grouping. (You can learn about some great SEO tools here.)
- Testing. If you can’t seem to gather enough data or get answers from your visitors, start testing. Send out email marketing messages and social media messages and allow users to opt-out. If a visitor opts-out, you know you haven’t found the right mode of delivery just yet and need to continue testing different options.
Companies have been testing different ways to deliver content for years, so why is personalized content any different? The truth is it doesn’t matter what kind of content you are delivering, as long as you’re personalizing the delivery method. However, getting started with personalized content helps a company get the delivery right as the two often utilize the same data.
Do you have a good way of personalizing your delivery? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Amanda DiSilvestro is a graduate of Illinois State University. Although she graduated with an English Education degree, she found herself working as a full-time blogger in the SEO/social media department at HigherVisibility SEO, a leading franchise SEO company.
photo credit: Brandon Christopher Warren