What will your marketing plan look like in 2017? Hopefully you’ve already begun to prepare your marketing strategy, but if you're still looking for ways to make it really shine, you're in luck! Over the next few months, we will highlight some of the biggest digital marketing trends for 2017 and beyond.
Personalization is at the top of our list of must-haves for the next year. Whether it be personalizing your blog posts for a specific audience or buyer persona, personalizing your advertising for a specific target customer base, or ensuring your email database is segmented so that each particular list gets the messages most appropriate and specific to them, personalization MUST be part of your strategy heading into 2017.
Want to get noticed by an increasingly distracted audience and stand out amidst a world full of data clutter? You have to match relevant content to your audience; this will successfully set you apart from the competition. Relevant content increases your website visitor’s time on your site or content pages and will effectively decrease bounce rates.
The goal of personalization is to provide people with an experience that reflects their past preferences and behaviors and that anticipates what they are going to want or need next. Take music streaming hubs like Pandora or Spotify as great personalization success stories. You create your own playlists or radio stations based on indicating your music and artist preferences and then interacting with the suggested songs favorably or unfavorably.
So, how do you create that same type of personal interaction with your visitors? How do you find relevant data and determine what content your visitors should see?
Know Your Audience
First, you need to know your audience. You can then target the content you display based on what you have discovered about your contacts and visitors. While it’s important to not jump at every new technology tool available, a few wisely-chosen (and often free) tools will cut a path through the maze of info available to you.
Some data can, of course, be gathered from the information you already have. (This bullet list would be best presented in an infographic)
- Contacts Database – How have previous customers found you and/or consumed your content?
- Website Forms – What important persona information can be gathered from form fields on your website forms?
- Related Forums – Where are people talking about your type of product or service?
- Sales Team Feedback – What generalizations can they make about the different types of leads and customers you handle?
- Previous Onsite Behavior – How often and in response to what “hook” did your visitors go to your website or content?
Other helpful data can be gathered by purposefully reaching out through online or offline surveys and interviews.Surveys
Conducting surveys online or off are a great way to start understanding your target audience. Framing 7-10 open-ended questions designed to gather info about their motivation, obstacles to purchasing, and perceived needs. The questions will vary depending on your business, but should be something along these examples:
- When did you realize you needed a product/service like ours?
- What problem does our product/service solve in your life?
- What doubts or hesitations did you have before buying?
Interviewing, simply talking to your existing customers either by phone or in-person, gains valuable information for you about your target audience. Find out their buying habits, what motivates them, and how they would describe your product or service. And then ask for some elaboration!
If you’re not already using technology tools like Google Analytics, what’s holding you back from this invaluable free tool?
With Google Analytics installed, you can track data within a variety of categories:
For example, the Acquisition tab will provide you with access to all types of traffic data. Take a look at your traffic-based on channels. You’ll see something like this:
(via Neil Patel)
Another technology tool solution to understanding your target audience, and considered by many as the cream of the crop, is HubSpot. With its 3 distinct formats, Sales Free, CRM, and Sales Professional you have the tools you need in one integrated suite. Why not get started with HubSpot Sales Free? Take back your inbox with tools that make communicating the smart way very doable. Know who opens your emails, when, how many times, and from where.
Know What to Deliver as Marketing Content
Knowing your target audience is key to serving up your marketing content in the most palatable way to each segment of your audience. It’s time to slice and dice! Refashion your marketing content. Have an eBook that is doing well? Repurpose it as a slide presentation. How about using it as a month’s worth of blog content. Turn a blog into an infographic or a video.
Know Where to Deliver Marketing Content
Using smart content, you can personalize your emails, your homepage, landing pages, site pages, forms, and calls-to-action. So start taking time to delve into each platform listed, for starters, using what you have learned about your target audience to create the most successful personalized experience for each one. The ROI will be well worth it!
One of the best tools around for getting personal and getting to know your audience is Facebook. Learn more about Facebook and ways it can help you achieve your maketing goals with our FREE in-depth guide.