If you have been doing online marketing for a bit, you will know the value of creating fresh, helpful content on a consistent basis. It is good for search engines (it makes them feel like you care about your website); it is good for your visitors as it keeps them coming back to read what you have to say and it is good for your business as it gives leads new opportunities to find you and raise their hand. But here is the catch: the content itself is not enough anymore!
Because there is so much of it. Because your competitors are doing the same thing. And because your visitors are not willing to sift through all you have got to offer to find the piece of content that is right for them.
In 2016, you will need to bring it to the next level. How? Simple. Your content needs context! Your content needs to be smart.
Smart Content Will Create A Significant Competitive Advantage in 2016
According to Shawn Fitzgerald, the Vice President of THOMASNET’s Digital Marketing group, personalization is the name of the game in 2016: ”Inbound Marketers will have more opportunities than ever to deliver the exact content that personas want when they want it. By staying helpful, these new tools will yield results and foster more engagement.”
I agree with Shawn. However, I believe it goes much further than just personalizing. I am convinced that websites that act in the context of the user who is viewing them and associated smart content will take off in 2016.
Companies who will translate this opportunity into intelligent and creative lead generation efforts will see an enormous competitive advantage as their conversation rates will go through the roof compared to their competition.
When Would You Use Smart Content?
If you think this is just an enterprise play, then think again. Smart content is relevant for businesses of all sizes and industries - however, there are a few questions you should ask yourself before jumping on smart content:
- Do you have very distinct buyer personas with different needs? For example, if you are marketing to physicians, patients, and hospital administrators at the same time, you will need to use modified terminology, address diverse pain points, and offer different solutions.
- How have you engaged with your visitors in the past? To be able to move your leads through your sales funnel you need to be aware what lifecycle stage they are currently are in and then be able to act on it. A first-time visitor will look for different information on your website that a lead who has been engaging with you for the past two months.
- What materials have they downloaded? It is important, to know which offers your prospects have downloaded or interacted with. This will not only give you clues about the kind of problems they are trying to solve and what solutions you might be able to offer them, but also help you to improve your conversion rates as you can swap out a call to action that they already have acted upon for the next logical step in their buyer's journey.
- Do you have any content or premium offers that are device specific? Do you know what devices are your visitors are viewing your website from? Most likely, they will use smartphones, tablets as well as computers to see your content. But if you have offers that require your visitor to be on a computer or a mobile device, you need to tailor your content accordingly. (For an excellent example of why this matter, read out blog post here: NovaVision Uses The Power Of Contextual Marketing To Help Stroke Patients With Vision Deficits)
- Do you can regional content that other regions should not see? Sometimes, it is necessary to tailor your website pages to the area that the visitor is coming from. A great example is a contact page. If you have international customers, why not display their local contact information first, followed by all other option.
These are just five examples to show you the power of smart content - but you can see that the possibilities are only limited by your imagination and time to put them into action.