You are up and running with great content and you are increasing the number of inbound leads each month. But what if there was a way to accelerate this and see even better results?
It may feel like a labor-intensive exercise, but adding context to your content will take it from good to great. You will be able to make better connections and will better attract, convert, close and delight your audience.
This post will highlight a few basic ways to implement context marketing into your marketing strategy. Once you begin adding context to your marketing it will take your content to the next level.
Why – Why you should use context marketing in your marketing strategy
Context marketing can take your content to the next level by having your content make better connections with your target audience. Being able to customize your message will make your content feel more relatable and make the reader more engaged. You will see that once you start making connections with your audience your metrics will begin to increase across the board.
Context marketing is becoming essential with the increased expectations of online personalization. With large companies like Amazon, Netflix, and Google providing highly personalized experiences, people are now expecting the same from every brand they interact with. You don't need the same level of personalization as the top companies, but you need to start taking the steps to create a more personalized experience.
Where – Where should you be including context into your marketing
Your goal shouldn't be to add personalization everywhere and it can be very difficult to figure out where to start. Take a step back and analyze where it makes the most sense for your company. Start small and don't start by swinging for the fences. Your goal shouldn't be to add personalization everywhere, only when it makes the experience better.
A good place to start are pages that already see a lot of traffic. Using high traffic pages will allow you to get enough data to test performance. A pillar page that is frequently visited could be a good place to start. Or you could try personalizing a section of a weekly email to analyze the impact on performance.
How – A few ways to add context
When you begin adding context to your content, view your changes like an A/B test for an email subject line. When you personalize content it isn't set it and forget it. You want to constantly analyze how it is performing and make changes based on your findings.
You may not see an immediate impact so keep trying new things and testing. But, once personalization starts working, try expanding to more audience attributes or personas. Keep in mind that when you are testing only add personalization where it adds value. The point of adding context is to support your larger goals.
If you aren’t adding context to support your goals you run the risk of disengaging your audience. For example, adding something very personal to the headline of your homepage may not be the best way to get a contact out of the awareness stage. They may think it is strange that you are using such a specific piece of personalization when they have barely interacted with you. A better use of personalization, might be adding a different CTA or linking to content that they have not seen. Adding context like this is less intrusive and can help you accomplish the goal of moving a contact out of the awareness stage.
It will take time to see what works with your audience but once you do your content will start out-performing your old numbers across the board.
Start small when you begin adding personalization. Don't try to add it throughout the page, start with a single spot that you think would add value. One example you frequently see is first name personalization. Below is an example of adding first name to an email that you are sending out to your qualified leads.
Hi, We think that you will enjoy our upcoming webinar
Hi Steve, We think that you will enjoy our upcoming webinar
This is a simple example but it works because you are creating a connection with your audience. By adding first name your message it creates the idea that you chose to recommend the webinar specifically for the contact.
The next step you can take into context marketing is swapping entire sections within a page. You can base your message personalization based on customer attributes. By doing this you can tailor your messaging to directly connect with that audience.
For example, a travel company may want to target their young professional buyer persona. By adding a dedicated section for that group, they would be able to focus the messaging and better connect with the group. Below is an example of how you can change out a generic paragraph to one that targets a specific group.
Choose us for your upcoming trip. We provide best in class service and will make your trip a breeze. We book everything that you need so you can focus on having a good time, and not on every little detail. We know that we will make your experience unforgettable.
Young professional contextualized message:
Escape your everyday life and take the trip you deserve. We know all the best bars and the most instagramable spots. We will show you the best spots only locals know about and that you won't find on tourist maps. Book with us today, we know you won't regret it.
When you swap out a paragraph with targeted content you better connect with the audience and make them feel like you understand them. Be cautious when you adjust messaging, you need to make sure that your data is accurate and up to date. If it isn't, you risk sending messaging that makes it seem like you have no idea who the customer is. If you populated the message above to a family of four it would turn them off and accomplish the opposite of what you were trying to do.
When you add context effectively, you show that you understand your audience, earn their trust, and make your connections stronger. Once you are up and running you will be able to convert more leads and will increase your content KPIs.
5 ideas of how to add context to your content
1. Buyer personas: Start on general pages, determine if sections would benefit from specific messaging.
2. Lifecycle stage: Create specific content that helps people move through their lifecycle stage. This can be a simple way to have a lead make the next step when they land on your website.
3. Location: Location targeting can be a great way to promote events or region-specific offerings. If you have a local event to promote you can target ads and content that only appear to people within the designated area.
4. Business size: If you are a b2b company you can make adjustments to better connect to your targets. Small changes such as calling a company an "enterprise" or "small business", can make a big difference.
5. Industry: Personalize your messaging when targeting multiple industries by using industry-specific jargon. Adding terms and phrases used by each industry will show that you are an expert and understand their challenges.
The future of contextual marketing
Contextual marketing is still in its infancy and will continue evolving as it becomes easier to put in place. Eventually, it will become possible to implement Amazon-level personalization without the need for complex algorithms, data scientists and world-class developers.
AI marketing will also play a big part in how you will be able to implement a better contextual experience in your content. AI can identify and understand trends faster and more efficiently than a human ever could.
AI needs a baseline of rules and parameters that you set so that it can return meaningful data. Once those are in place AI has the ability to analyze extremely granular data. It can dig deep into trends and leverage the findings to impact the performance of your content.
There is only so much that we can process as humans, we tend to try and find data that supports our expectations. AI doesn't have the same bias and can uncover trends that humans would never think to look for. Even if you are able to discover unique unbiased trends, it may take hours and be very labor-intensive. If you give AI the same set of data, it sorts through it within seconds and give you endless amounts of insight.
If you leverage AI correctly, your performance metrics will go up across the board. You will stop looking for marginal gains and will start seeing your metrics improve exponentially. One powerful way to start implementing AI is by using predictive analytics. By using predictive analytics you are able to use a predictive model's learnings and have it make changes in real-time. The more that the model learns, the better it performs. With each interaction, predictive analytics are able to provide a better user experience.
Many AI capabilities are becoming available in very basic ways and it will continue to develop over the next few years. Soon we will see AI implemented seamlessly into many of the tools we are using today.
Ready to start adding context?
Implementing context into your marketing may seem like a daunting task but if you start slow and constantly test you will soon see the value it can provide. Start with one of your high-traffic pages that has general messaging and add personalized context to the page. Give it a few weeks and see if by adding context you start to convert more visitors or move more people in the desired direction.
Keep in mind that when you begin, it is all about testing, learning and optimizing. What you will get in return will be a more efficient and higher-performing library of content.