We all know that creating great content that will attract leads to our website and channel them along the conversion path with the right message tailored to the right persona at the right time is essential to a successful digital marketing strategy. However, the task is getting increasingly difficult as the sheer volume of content out there for an evolving consumer market means it is harder than ever to stand out, to get noticed, and to convert those visitors into qualified leads who can be nurtured until they are ready to make a purchasing decision.
We also know that once a visitor does enter our sales funnel, or the buyer’s journey, or whatever you want to call it, generic content offering useful downloads and nurturing messages just doesn’t cut it anymore. If I download an eBook on optimising my website, I don’t want to receive content offering me the same thing again next time I visit the site or look to download something. Instead, I want to be offered the next logical step in the process, like a ‘how to’ guide to integrating my website with my social media platforms. It’s all about personalisation, engaging with the consumer in a meaningful way to create a positive user experience.
Ok, so the image above may mean more to people of a certain vintage like me who loved the TV programme Get Smart (I refuse to acknowledge the 2008 film remake starring Steve Carell), but the message should appeal to anybody currently using the HubSpot platform to create their digital marketing strategy. In order to engage with your target market with personalised, tailored content, you need to not just think smart, but act smart, and that is where smart content comes in.
Smart content: the definition
‘What is smart content?’ I hear you ask. Well, the concise definition from HubSpot is as follows:
Smart content (aka dynamic content) is compelling website content that changes based on the interests or past behaviour of the viewer, designed to offer a more relevant and personalised experience to website visitors.
It uses data from your CRM, or the COS, to customise web pages for every type of visitor, enabling you to segment each according to the status of the visitor – a first-timer, a lead, a customer, etc – so you can deliver the most personalised and relevant experience possible to each visitor to your website.
As this blog explains, using smart lists, you can tailor the user experience based on previous behaviour, enabling you to make your content more specific, more actionable, and therefore leading to a better chance of engagement.
If you’re serious about creating a great inbound digital marketing strategy, you need to be using the HubSpot platform, which is one of the best paid-for tools out there for digital marketing, and those with a Professional or Enterprise account can tailor their website’s content to suit each visitor’s needs and characteristics. So, if a certain section of visitors go to your Services page, you can then follow up with personalised content specifically for them highlighting what you have to offer and how it can help their individual needs.
How do you do this?
You set up specific criteria within your rich text website content, forms, your CTA and custom HTML modules that allows it to be altered depending on who the visitor is and what actions they have previously performed. So if someone has had a look at your services page and downloaded an offer detailing what you can do, you can use the ‘here’s one I prepared earlier’ approach and automatically nurture them with an offer to download information on your pricing.
This gives them a logical progression through your site, enabling their buyer journey without being faced with the same generic information they would ordinarily find with static content.
Does smart content work?
Yes it does. HubSpot looked at data for 93,000 CTAs created over the course of a year and found that targeted CTAs saw a 42% better result than generic ones. It stands to reason that visitors who are recognised as having engaged at one stage of the buyer journey are more likely to react positively if you show appreciation for what they have already done and don’t waste their time by asking or expecting them to do it again. It also shows that you are proactive in reaching out to them, which is a good indicator of your ability to get the job done for them, should they decide to go with your product or service.
What kind of targeted marketing can I use?
Currently, you can target website visitors by country (IP address), device type, source (how they got to your website), preferred language (handy if you operate on a global, multilingual scale), contact list status, and stage in the sales cycle.
If you want to engage with visitors who have come to your site through a referral site or directory, you can offer content that specifically acknowledges that referral and offers valuable and relevant information related to topics found on that site.
If you want to further engage with returning visitors, you can set up smart CTAs that recognise what they have already downloaded and where they are in the buyer journey, replacing the Top of the Funnel offers you would ordinarily provide with more qualified downloads such as a case study, a webinar or any other content piece that offers further value regarding the type of information they have shown an interest in.
For those contacts already in your database that have been segmented or categorised according to the properties you want to assess them on, you can tailor messages according to industry, buyer persona, or the topic or content type they have shown an interest in.
How do you turn content into smart content?
It requires no sorcery or magic potions. On the contrary, it is actually quite straightforward and can be done using the assets you already have.
Having found the contacts you want to target based on segmented criteria, you can easily do the following:
- go to the edit function in your web pages or email content
- locate the module you want to personalise
- click the smart icon
- set up your rules (here’s a handy guide)
- road test it
Remember that in order to find out how successful your smart content is, you need to monitor it and analyse what is working and what is not, and keep fine-tuning until you get the results you were looking for. If you do this, you are likely to see an increase in your lead conversion and sales, and that is where the smart money lies.
If you need to improve your inbound marketing strategy but don’t know where to start, book some time with us and we can help you on the path towards success.
You can also Download our Lead Generation Survival Kit eBook to get more great tips and advice.