Personalization is the process of targeting your content to the individual who is consuming it, based on factors like who they are, where they’re located, when or how they accessed your content, or what content they may have consumed previously -- either on your website or elsewhere. Surveys have found that 94% of companies include personalization as a key component of their success, while 56% of consumers would prefer to purchase from companies who provide a “good” (not even great) personalization experience. These numbers aren’t only impressive, they’re driving a new form of content development: adaptive content. 

Adaptive content is a combination of:

  • Using personalization to enhance the customer experience; and,
  • Preparing content for delivery across multiple platforms.

We first explored web personalization strategies for higher education websites on our blog in 2015, and in our increasingly multi-channel world, it will continue to be one of the leading trends in the digital space through 2017. Adaptive content takes personalization, and your inbound marketing strategy, to the next level.

Next Level Marketing

Adaptive content is the next logical extension of content marketing. Your inbound marketing strategy will already have content marketing as its foundation, and adaptive content brings it to its next level. It is especially important in B2B initiatives because it builds loyal relationships with your audience, which helps you direct the conversation towards retention or referral.

Businesses that include adaptive content in their inbound marketing strategies see huge returns on the investment. “Website visitors who see content based on what the business already knows about them convert three to 10 times more than average. Those are the kinds of numbers of which all marketers dream.”

Some of the immediate benefits of including adaptive content in your inbound marketing strategy include:

Improved Sales Forecasts

With B2B sales cycles having the potential of spanning several months or more, adaptive content can help you to assess the interest of your prospects in your products or services earlier and more frequently. This helps to improve your forecasts and enables you to connect with your prospects more strategically.

Continually Improve Your Marketing Initiatives

Adaptive content allows you to track and respond to your prospects in as close to real-time as possible, based on their behaviours. This increases your opportunities for targeted messaging and follow-ups, which significantly improves sales and loyalty.

Data-Driven Customization

The more information that you collect at every touchpoint, the more information you’re armed with to enhance the experience of your prospects and clients. Data-driven businesses can collect critical information that gives greater insight, thereby strengthening the circle of adaptive content.

Be a Leader

Thought leaders are generally better at driving a two-way conversation with their audience, which further establishes them as leaders in their industry. Adaptive content gives you insight into your audience’s pain points, moods, perceptions, and biases so you can proactively drive the conversation and be a valuable and trusted resource for them.

Getting Started

The Content Marketing Institute suggests these three steps to get started with adaptive content:

  1. Choose your context factors by prioritizing one or two that you want your content types to adapt to. What kind of personalization will your audience most value?
  2. Choose your content variations starting at the highest level and refining as time and budget allow. For example, you might require a long and short description for every product or device-specific terms like “click”, “tap”, or “say select”.
  3. Choose your business rules to determine when and how your content should change.

And once you have your goals in place, you can begin the actual execution of the process:

  1. Identify your personas. The most important part of any content marketing strategy, including personalization, is content creation. And creating the right content means knowing who you’re creating it for and why. Building a profile of your typical customer(s), both prospective and active, will help you to focus your content to better target your specific audience. These profiles are called personas.
  2. Inventory and audit your existing content. With your personas created, you can take stock of the content you already have to see what content can be targeted to them and how. And with your existing content inventoried and categorized, you can identify what gaps you need to fill.
  3. Create your taxonomy. “At its core, taxonomy is simply the practice of classifying content. In a similar way to how you associate categories or tags with your blog posts, taxonomy categorizes and tags your site’s content. Taxonomy is the association between your personas and the personalized content you’ve created, so your personalization tool you use knows what content to serve to whom.” Drupal is well-equipped to help you design and build your website’s taxonomy and offers helpful documentation here.
  4. When a user visits your website, they’re relatively anonymous. But with each interaction, a picture of who they are will begin to form. And each of these data points will more closely align them with one of the personas you identified in step one. As they click around and engage with your website, you can identify what content they’re interested in, what their likely goal is, and begin to tailor the content they’re served accordingly. For example, a user who visits a music website and views a bio of a particular artist could have similar artists recommended to them elsewhere on the page.

Website Personalization with Drupal

To deliver a truly personalized experience, adaptive content is a must-have. Not only is it built to be personalized, but for delivery across multiple channels as well. There are several tools and modules available that allow you to personalize your Drupal-based website. They include:

  • Personalization: Provides configuration to add implicit and explicit personalization to Drupal websites based upon geolocation and taxonomies;
  • SharpSpring and SharpSpring Personalize: These modules can be used to add SharpSpring tracking to website pages. They can also personalize content on the website using data returned from SharpSpring on page visits, or information about the user/lead visiting the page; and,
  • Acquia Lift: An Acquia solution that unifies content and customer data from multiple sources to deliver data-driven, personalized experiences across any channel or device.

Are you ready to elevate your content marketing strategy to the next level with adaptive content? Connect with us to discuss how.