Ashburn HUGS Q4 Recap: Using Personalization & Smart Content to Drive Engagement

Today’s buyers are inundated with digital content. They’ve become extremely selective about what they consume and, as a result, competition for attention is at an all-time high. But with so much content being created, how can you ensure that your brand doesn’t get lost in all the digital noise? 

The Ashburn HubSpot User Group (HUG) was also looking for answers. Here’s what we learned at the December Ashburn HUG event.

Why Personalization?

Personalized content uses data created about users to provide them with a more personalized experience. By creating a unique and targeted experience for new and repeat visitors, you’re more likely to attract and retain the prospects’ attention, increasing engagement and opportunities for growth. 

A recent survey released by Adobe revealed that consumers are seeking a personalized experience now more than ever. It also revealed that while most marketers understand the importance of personalization, they often fail to properly execute it. 

Additionally, 29% of those surveyed, said that they feel frustrated when content isn’t optimized for each individual device. This is especially important as 82% are engaging with your brand via their smartphone! The consequences of neglecting to provide personalization can be extreme, and can ultimately affect click-through rates, time spent on-page, and conversions.

But how do you create a personalized experience? If you’re a HubSpot user, it’s through Smart Content. 

HubSpot and Smart Content

By incorporating Smart Content into your website, you have the ability to change what your visitor sees based on the following specific characteristics:

  • Device type
  • Referral source
  • Country
  • Preferred language
  • Lifecycle stage
  • List membership

Each viewer characteristic will allow you to engage with your prospects on a more personal level, provide relevant content at each stage of the buyer’s journey, and create a more targeted user experience. 

Smart Rules can be applied to several areas of your website:

  • CTA’s
  • Rich Text Modules
  • Forms
  • Website Pages
  • Landing Pages
  • Emails
  • Blog Posts

Creating Smart Content for Known Visitors

Known visitors have been to your website and have converted on a form. This can be anyone from a blog subscriber, a current customer, or anyone that has downloaded an offer. These tend to be more complicated and labor-intensive, however, this is where the big opportunities lie for smart content. You can personalize their content based on their: 

  • Lifecycle stage – The stages that your prospect goes through as they move through their Buyer’s Journey.
  • List membership – An organized list of contacts based on similar traits.

In order to be successful and to effectively use these smart content rules on your site, you must have the following:

  1. A highly organized and well-managed CRM
  2. Segmented lists.
  3. A clear understanding of your buyer personas.
  4. Content created for each stage of the buyer’s journey. 

Smart Content for Anonymous Visitors

For people visiting your website for the first time or those that have not filled out a form, you can customize what they see based on their: 

  • Device type – Desktop, mobile, or tablet.
  • Referral source – Where they found you, such as email marketing, social media platforms, or pay per click.
  • Country – Defined by the visitor’s IP address. 
  • Preferred language – This is generally more accurate at determining the language your content should be delivered in. Consider this option before using country.

For example, HubSpot users can create a Smart Rule, on a landing page to greet a visitor by their first name. When the known visitor lands on your site, they would see the smart content created:

 “Hi Ben, Welcome Back to Personalize!”

Alternatively, an anonymous visitor or any user that doesn’t fit into your selected characteristic would be greeted with default content:

“Welcome to Personalize! Let’s get started!” 

Note: Default content must be created in addition to your Smart Content. Default content is presented to anyone that does not fit into your Smart Rule. Keep the default content broad enough so that it will speak to the majority of visitors on your site. 

Incorporating Personalized Content into Your Website

Now that you know the importance of smart content and capabilities surrounding it, here are a few tips to help you get started.

  1. Define your audience. Who are you personalizing for? Where are they in the buyer’s journey and what messaging speaks to them?
  2. Perform a mini-audit of your website. Identify opportunities to incorporate personalized content. What areas of your site could benefit?
  3. If you’re just starting out, try adding personalization to just one area of your site. Keep it simple, you can always add later. 
  4. Review the data. Check how your personalization is performing and look for areas for improvement. Area to review includes CTA metrics, page views, conversion rates, etc. 

Start engaging with your prospects on a more personal level. Incorporate smart content and personalization on your site and get the edge you need to stand out from the digital crowd. 

If you’re interested in learning more about inbound marketing or if you’d like to attend the next Ashburn HUG event in your area, get in touch!