The demand for web content that is personalized is fierce. Consumers have come to expect it. If you’re not customizing your buyer’s experiences you are behind the curve. This can be overwhelming for content marketers. It’s easy to feel like there is an endless need for fresh original content. Automated marketing processes have made it a bit easier to avoid presenting “one-size-fits-all” communications. But there is an additional element that’s often overlooked. Designing personalized experiences must also take into consideration the buyer journey. You don’t always want to present the same content to someone who’s just looking for information as you would to someone who’s ready to buy.
There are three primary stages in the buyer journey. Below are three ideas for creating a personalized experience for each stage.
Awareness: At this stage in the buyer journey the potential customer has become aware that they have a problem and are in need of a solution. Many times they haven't quite named the problem or the solution. So, these visitors land on your site through non-branded search terms and advertisements that are relative to their issue. When they begin searching for a solution, it is your job to make sure your product or solution is what’s found. Personalization at this stage should be minimal but presented in a way that is helpful and educational. Buyers who are in the awareness stage are really looking for more information. They are simply trying to learn about their need and potential solve.
How to Personalize: 50% of buyers have made a purchase based on a social media recommendation and in the US, Facebook shares have the greatest influence on Google search rankings. Personalize your social media post by asking and answering common questions. Whenever you see a new follower, a retweet or like respond individually to each one.
Consideration: Visitors in the consideration stage typically are return visitors to your website. You should continue to education them because they are still collecting information on the solution for their problem. The difference is they have the problem and the solution more heavily defined. You now have the opportunity to offer a longer form of content with a more direct call to action.
How To Personalize: At this point you should have created buyer personas based on your ideal customer and value proposition. Use this information to set up discovery paths on your website. Check out this example.
Decision: Leads that have made it to this portion of the buying cycle are particularly exciting because you have made it to the list (whether short or long) of options. Now you can get very personal. The more personal the better. Customer stories, competitor analysis and product or solution white papers are all in order.
How To Personalize: You should have collected behavioral data on these leads. So, start composing emails to send to them based on what blog post or other content they have viewed on your site. If your prospect has viewed a blog post on crop tops for the summer and the sale section for tops, it’s a good idea to send them an email about free shipping on tops for the 4th.
Let us know if you’ve used any of these personalization ideas and how they’ve worked for you. Do you have any unique challenges specific to your buyer’s journey? We’d like to know about them. Comment below and we will help you find a personalization solution.