Content personalization does not have to be a chore. People often consider it one, thinking that it is far more difficult than it actually is. When it comes to personalizing your website and content, you have to start small and work your way through all the necessary steps. But how exactly do you do this? In this article we’ll share the nine most efficient steps towards content personalization according to our friends over at Sitecore.
1.Start with your objectives
It might sound obvious but first think about what you want to achieve. Do you want to optimize for conversion or awareness? What are your company’s goals and your marketing goals? By setting clear goals from the start, you can make sure that you don’t start personalizing for the sake of personalizing.
2.Identify each PIE segment
Segmenting your visitors into clear groups makes personalizing far easier. That way you can personalize towards the segments, rather than each individual visitor. Usually these will correspond to your buyer personas. PIE segmentation is an effective way of segmenting your visitors. PIE stands for:
- P: Potential: How big of an impact will personalization have on the segment? Is it worth putting in the effort?
- I: Importance: How big are they? If a segment represents half of your entire customer base, they are definitely worth catering to.
- E: Ease: How easy is it to differentiate them from other segments? Can you get the segmentation right after a few page views or do you need several visits to have the information you need?
3.Connect the segments to your personalization goals
As with every campaign, you now connect your chosen segments to your predefined goals with your key metrics in mind. Do you notice an obvious mismatch between the two? Then it’s time to start over.
4.Examine the data you already have
And by this we mean all the data you have on your customer and his or her behavior. Scour all your analytics tools and databases and gather everything. Now try to filter your data based on your segments. What can the data tell you about your segment? This can give you valuable insights about the behavior of that segment. Once you are done, adjust your filters and move on to the next segment.
5.Look for insights that can help you personalize your content
In the previous step you’ve learned a lot about the way your segments behave and think. Now it’s time to start filtering through the insights and keep the ones that will help is out with this specific project. Ask yourself questions like:
- Is there a specific source tied to a certain segment?
- Which content does this segment interact with most?
- Which paths lead to conversion for this segment and which don’t?
6.Know how the customer uses your website
Before you know how and where you need to personalize, you need to know how users navigate your website. Look for paths that have a lot of traffic, but low conversion rates. Those are the paths that are in dire need of improvement.
7.Target page components for personalization
You’re almost finished with the planning now. In this step, think about which elements of the pages you want to personalize? Keep your previous insights in mind. If a segment interacts a lot with your image carousel, personalize there. If they prefer going through your featured blogposts, that’s a great way to start.
8.Start defining your personalization rules
This step might be different if you do not use Sitecore. In a Sitecore solution you can set parameters that will determine how the personalization takes effect. If the system notices the visitor is part of a segment, the content for that segment will be shown. Think of them as simple IF statements: when a certain condition is met, a certain function is performed.
Now it’s time to start creating content tailored to your segments. By utilizing personas and all the data from the previous steps, you should have plenty of data to make content that fits the bill. Keep your funnel in mind as well. Provide content that meets their needs on every level. From simple informative topics to conversion and conversation-focused content, you’ll need it all.
You have a plan, what’s next?
By following these nine steps, your content personalization strategy should be up and running. But what do you do now? That’s a tough one to answer. Setting up the personalization campaign depends on the platform you decide to use, as each platform has its own restrictions and way of handling personalization.
Are you curious how Sitecore handles personalization? Or do you simply want to learn ten simple ways to apply personalization? Then download the whitepaper “10 personalization tactics” by Sitecore here.