If you create any type of content, you need to take content personalization seriously.
After all, it's one of the best ways to improve content performance...
That's because personalized content gives consumers exactly what they want, when they want it.
Which is what today's consumers demand as they increasingly engage with brands on their terms and on their time.
There's just one problem:
Most companies fail to do content personalization well.
Either they don't do it at all or don't what it is...
Or they fail to do it intelligently.
In both scenarios, the result is the same.
Companies waste tons of money on ineffective content—because it's not personalized well to individual consumer needs.
That's the bad news.
The good news is that this problem has never been easier to fix.
Thanks to AI in content marketing, content personalization at scale is now possible.
Smart machines exist today that any marketer can use to create highly personalized content journeys—even if you have zero technical skills.
In fact, savvy marketers are already using AI to increase revenue and reduce costs in content marketing.
This all a long way of saying...
If you want to do better content personalization, you came to the right article.
In it, we cover everything you need to know about content personalization, including:
- What content personalization is and why it's important...
- How content personalization works...
- What AI tools to use for content personalization...
- And examples of effective content personalization.
It's all here.
So sit back and relax...
Once you're done reading, you have everything you need to start doing content personalization well.
What is content personalization?
Content personalization is when you serve site visitors with content personalized to their preferences.
You determine their preferences by collecting data on them, either by asking for it through forms or learning it from their behavior on your site.
With effective content personalization, site visitors don't all receive the same generic content.
Instead, they receive a piece of content tailored to them: their needs, their concerns, their pain points, and their identity.
Here's a fictitious example to illustrate:
You run a dog walking company. Your website has a blog that provides useful content for dog owners.
When a new visitor comes to the site, a pop-up asks them what type of dog they own. From there, you serve each user content specific to their dog breed.
So, instead of suggesting a post on "7 No-Fuss Ways to Groom Your Dog," a Great Dane owner sees the piece of content you created on "Great Dane Grooming Tips."
The content is personalized to their needs thanks to the data you collected on them.
Because it's personalized, the visitor is much more likely to read and engage with the content.
The content can even come with a personalized CTA at the end...
Book a free dog walking session with one of our Great Dane loving walkers!
Of course, this is a simple example.
There are hundreds of data points you can collect on consumers to then personalize content, like:
- Job title
- Pain points
- Site engagement
- Email engagement
- App downloads
- Past purchases
- Past content consumed
- And much, much more.
It's like Netflix. Based on what you do and like, you get served content tailored to you.
Why is content personalization important?
Why does this matter? Can't you just create one great piece of content for everyone?
You can. Nobody is stopping you...
But don't expect consumers to play ball.
A full 45% of consumers surveyed by Twilio said they would take their business elsewhere if a company failed to provide a personalized experience.
And 60% of consumers said they were likely to become repeat buyers if a brand experience was personalized.
Despite what you may think, consumers aren't weirded out by data collection either.
Twilio found the majority of consumers are fine with data being used for personalization—as long as it's collected and not bought.
Content represents the tip of the spear when it comes to personalization efforts.
It's the first brand experience consumers have with you after hitting your homepage. Consumers expect it to be personalized to their needs—just like everything else you offer.
The data makes it clear:
If you do content personalization right, your company wins. You get happier customers that buy more often.
Who wouldn't want that?
How does content personalization work?
Up until recently, content personalization was entirely manual.
You collected data on consumers through a form and stored it in your marketing automation system.
Then, you created manual rules to serve different pieces of content to users when their data matched certain criteria.
For example, you asked users for their job title on a form. If it was "CEO," you served them content tagged for CEOs on your site.
Problem is, that isn't very effective. And it takes a lot of time and bandwidth to set up and maintain.
That's why the best content personalization today uses artificial intelligence.
AI content personalization tools process all of your content and its metadata. They then identify what the content is about, its length, and its format.
Your content is then classified and labeled by a combination of AI and humans to standardize labeling.
Once that's done, the AI content personalization tool determines what content to recommend to each site visitor by studying the data you have on each user and each piece of content.
AI can even model how content topics relate to one another for even better recommendations.
Once it starts recommending personalized content, AI learns to get better over time by monitoring each user's engagement with your content.
Once set up, AI content personalization happens automatically and at scale.
The results can be impressive.
Customers of PathFactory, an AI content personalization tool, have used AI personalized content to increase content engagement, increase funnel velocity, and boost customer adoption.
Content personalization tools
There are hundreds of content personalization tools out there, but one thing is clear...
Today, the best content personalization tools use AI.
There's a reason for that...
Most marketers have no idea what people actually want when it comes to content. Most content strategies rely on limited data and gut feeling to recommend and personalize content.
This is where AI comes in.
AI can extract insights on every single visitor that comes to your site, then predict what type of content to serve them.
Not to mention, AI learns to improve its recommendations as it collects more data.
It does all of this in at scale in real-time.
There are a few top content personalization tools that use AI that you should check out.
PathFactory uses AI on your B2B website to create a truly personalized experience—which is what buyers demand.
Using rasa.io, you can create a email newsletter that automatically serves up personalized content to each user. This content is tailored to each individual's content consumption habits within the newsletter. And the content itself can come from your site or others in your industry.
Persado uses AI to deliver personalized content at scale. It does that by customizing each message you put in front of consumers with the right language to convert them.
Frase offers another creative way to personalize content with AI. The tool lets you create an AI "answer bot" on your site. Users type in questions and the bot answers them. But here's the kicker...
The bot answers by serving up content that answers user questions. So if a user asked "What is AI?", Frase's bot could serve up an article about the basics of AI.
Qubit uses AI to serve up product and content recommendations, as well as product discovery. It also uses AI to make predictions about your customers based on their behavior.
Content personalization examples
What does this look like in action?
Here are a few compelling examples to show you the power of AI content personalization.
Dell increases conversions by 45%
Computer company Dell used AI from Persado to personalize content across marketing copy, emails, ads, and even radio to drive conversions.
Instead of serving the same content to each prospect, Dell was able to deliver the right message at the right time, boosting conversions across channels by 45%.
Indochino makes $1 million in incremental revenue
Suit manufacturer Indochino used AI from Qubit for content personalization across their entire site.
The company serves up a personalized version of the site to different customer segments, which drives tons of additional sales—to the tune of $1 million in incremental revenue!
Cisco boosts customer adoption by 3.5X
Technology company Cisco used AI from PathFactory to personalize self-service content for customers after they bought. Customers now receive totally personalized content based on the solutions they purchased, which helps them self-educate faster.
In turn, that gets customers to adopt 3.5X more often, which raises their chance of renewing with Cisco.
As Chief Content Officer, Mike Kaput uses content marketing, marketing strategy, and marketing technology to grow and scale traffic, leads, and revenue for Marketing AI Institute. Mike is the co-author of Marketing Artificial Intelligence: AI, Marketing and the Future of Business (Matt Holt Books, 2022). See Mike's full bio.