The Ins and Outs of Personalized Content (And Why It Means More than Just Being Nice)

More and more companies are beginning to learn about what’s known as “personalized content.” It’s the idea that you provide different content to different people who visit your site or otherwise interact with your business.
On the surface, it seems as though personalized content would be easy to create—you write an article that has a personal touch, or a real voice. You want your readers to know you’re a real person, and so you make your content personal. However, the term has taken on a different meaning over the last few years and proven quite successful for those companies that have taken the time to use this new type of marketing tactic.
Essentially, personalized content now means creating different content specifically for your individuals readers. Now it isn’t realistic to assume you can write a different article for every one of your readers, but researching your visitors’ behavior and segmenting them into groups makes this easier. You will need to determine exactly what your readers click on when they visit your website and then cater your content to that data.
How to Get Started Creating Personalized Content
Getting started with personalized content is easy once you know the basics. Follow the following steps to get going in the right direction:
Step #1: Find good software to help you gather data.
You will need data and segmentation tools in order to really determine where your readers are clicking and where the interest lies. You can check out a few different software types here . I recommend Google Analytics, but it’s important to do a few tests. Most allow you to have a 30-day free trial, so take advantage.
Step #2: Analyze the data and create customized topics.
Once you can see what your readers are really doing, it’s time to create topics out of that information. You will want to make sure, however, that your topics are varied. Just because you have a general idea of what your readers want doesn’t mean that that is all they want. Try to step out of the box and look at topics in the news that coincide with the data you’ve found.
Step #3: Share your own thoughts and experiences and ask for others to do the same.
Personalized content isn’t all about the facts and the figures. As you would assume, it’s about being real. You want to draw in your audience by using a friendly tone in all of your content. Help your audience to see that you are real people with real experiences. Consider connecting your photo with the article in some way, and try to draw upon your experiences to add value to the content. It’s easier for people to trust you if they can relate.
Step #4: Teach your writers and employees to create personalized content.
Understanding how it works doesn’t mean much if your staff can’t write the content that you need. Giving assignments won’t be as effective as teaching your writers how it all works, so setting up a training schedule is important.
Eventually your strategy will change based upon the responses you get and the data you gather. You may begin to spend more time on one step or add in an extra component to help ensure success. Once you have your rhythm down the results should follow!
What about Personalized Delivery?
Creating your content is really just the first step. How this content is delivered to readers helps to personalize things even further, and you can learn the best way to deliver your message by using the same data you used to determine what to write about earlier.
One of the best examples of true personalized delivery that I have found was outlined by the Content Marketing Institute. The research firm Forrester actually asks readers how they’d like to receive their content by having them answer a few questions about their interests when they first visit the website. Then the firm uses this information and presents the content which best matches their answers right there on the homepage. Delivery is quick.
A few other ways you can personalize delivery include utilizing profile information, testing, and gather data using different tools. You can learn more about personalized delivery in my post found on the Kuno Creative Blog.
Do you have any tips when it comes to personalized content? Are you a reader who has benefited from a company’s personalized content efforts? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Amanda DiSilvestro gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from keyword density to recovering from algorithm updates. She writes for the , a nationally recognized as one of the best search engine optimization firms .