Preferential Treatment: How to Use Personalization in Content Marketing
Here’s a question for you, dear readers, how would you define yourself? If someone were to pass you on the street and ask you how you identify yourself, what would your answer be? Would you define yourself by your gender and sexuality? By your social and political views? By your race and nationality? Or by any other characteristics that you feel best describe you? I’m asking you this because the issue of identity itself has probably never been more prominent than it is now.
Look around the world and you’ll start to see how certain figures have tapped into this issue for their own benefit. Donald Trump and figures from the Euroskeptic movement for example used the issue national identity in the face of rampant immigration to gain their seat at the table so to speak. It might sound slightly crude, but for brands and marketers, it is actually possible to make use of this issue of identity for a personalized content marketing strategy.
Personalization and targeted marketing
It sounds pretty fancy and all but in practice, the concept of personalized marketing boils down to brands and marketers knowing who their customers are and appealing to their own needs and values. It’s a simple yet very effective strategy, so much so than even a businessman who’s failed for bankruptcy numerous times was elected to the highest office of the biggest economy in the world even though he’s never held public office before. I mean once you look past the facade, running for presidency is essentially just one big marketing campaign.
No matter how much they claim to be objective, people are an emotional creature. Facts and logic can only do so much but it’s how you can appeal to their emotional core that would take you to the finish line. This is where the issue of personalized marketing comes in. When you’re selling or promoting a product or a service, you should make it a point to first understand who your target markets are. To help you get started, here are some things you have to keep in mind when it comes to personalized marketing.
Create user or customer profiles
While it’s true that people are way too complex to be divided into simple descriptions such as Australians are a group of rambunctious, jovial people with an affinity for utes, stereotypes exist for a reason. You can create several distinct customer profiles based on their similarities. A family man would have drastically different needs and wants compared to the perpetual bachelor for example and the same thing applies to those living in the outback when compared to those living in the Sydney metropolitan area.
This is called profiling and while it’s not bulletproof and the fact that it carries a certain stigma, it can be an effective tool when used correctly and responsibly. The data and profiles you’ve gathered at this stage will inform every marketing decision from this point forward so make sure to conduct your research seriously.
Write specific contents based on those profiles
The common refrain among marketers is that content quality is king. While that isn’t technically wrong, it’s also not the whole truth. Good content is relative to begin with, one’s man trash is another’s treasure and all that and as such, you should focus first on creating contents that you think will appeal to the customer profiles you’ve crafted before. This is the crux of personalized marketing, creating contents around topics that would appeal to the market you’re trying to attract.
Send personalized e-mails
Trust me when I say that generic marketing e-mails, those that was clearly written from a template, is simply the worst. Instead of sending out these generic e-mails everyday, try to space them out and personalize them in the meantime. You can for example craft e-mails based on what contents or products they’ve enjoyed and recommend similar items based on items they’ve enjoyed before. Spotify practically ruled the streaming game by leveraging user’s data and recommending similar music based on their history.
It’s no joke when I say that Spotify knows me so well at this point that if they’d proposed to me, I wouldn’t hesitate to say yes.
Data, data and more data
Companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon holds so much power over the public because they’ve got troves of data that they could use on the public. Google News knows could figure out news items that are relevant to me based on my browsing history for example, which underlines just how powerful a single piece of data can be in the right hands. If you feel that your marketing efforts haven’t paid enough dividends so far, consider collecting more data and employ personalization within your marketing strategy.