The other evening, I had the privilege of enjoying a fabulous meal with a client at one of Denver’s best restaurants. We were discussing a social media and digital marketing strategy targeting young professional chefs. During the conversation, my client suggested that I speak with two of the chefs that were in the process of creating our delectable dinner. While the two chefs were close in age and general demographics, I was struck by how very different they were. One was a well-groomed, outdoor enthusiast with a passion for the finer things in life. The other a Bohemian homebody with a zest for simple yet beautiful things. As you can imagine, the two chefs had completely different needs and wants. The conversation, while fascinating, was also a reminder of the importance of personalization and customization in content marketing. While personalization is generally associated with email marketing, it is equally important in developing and executing a successful content strategy.
Like it or not, we live in a selfie-centered world. Customers expect you to know them, and your content marketing needs to confirm that understanding. That expectation applies whether you’re creating original content or curating content. Perhaps more than ever, potential customers view content in the context of how does this apply, impact or relate to me. To put it more bluntly, why should I stop, look, listen to or care about your message? In truth, if the content doesn’t feel personal and relevant to their specific wants, needs and who they are, then they’re not interested.
Based on this, there is little wonder why marketers look at personalization as yet another pain point or area that they can’t quite tackle from a resource standpoint. Crafting and implementing a content personalization strategy can be extremely challenging because individualized customization is difficult at best. As such, it is important to start small. Begin with a target customer that you thoroughly understand and narrow your focus. It is not enough to know what they want and need. You also need to know what they care most about. While the audience may be minor, it provides the ideal testing ground and ability to get it right without substantial risk.
Tapering your concentration further allows you to pay attention to the vernacular of your audience. Effective content marketing needs to be communicated using their lexicon. For instance, communicating the attributes of the latest high-end luxury items in lavish language to the Bohemian chef would not only be ignored, he may even feel insulted by the exposure. Therefore, it is crucial that you speak your audience’s language.
While content personalization takes additional research, time, data and effort, the payoff is clear. It equates to communicating the right message to the right person. Plus, no one ever said that marketing in today’s environment was a piece of cake. Rather than delay the inevitable, jump in and enjoy the fruits of truly knowing and interacting with your customers while your competition sits on the sidelines claiming it can’t be done.
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