Are you publishing one-size-fits-all content?
By Berulv Tondel
Many companies are still publishing website content that is created with a one-size-fits-all philosophy. But, the world has changed and this is no longer acceptable. However, this needn’t be a problem as you can easily tailor content to your audience. What’s more, your audience will expect that you do so.
Those days of accepting irrelevant communications are gone. We no longer have the tolerance for digital communication which is not intended for us. In the blink of an eye, we will ruthlessly abandon a web page and continue our search because we didn't find the content immediately relevant.
One-size-fits-all ends here
Imagine if you could figure out exactly what content each of your audiences wished to see. Imagine if you could predict what you ought to tell them. Imagine if you could keep the dialogue going with them just a little longer. Digital communication that is tailored to the visitor’s unique situation, will clearly resonate more and keep their interest. And then you would be able to fully help the visitor with whatever it is they are looking for or need help solving, perhaps even without any obvious ‘interference’.
Imagine you are looking for the best talent for your business. But all you have on your start page is content about your latest annual report. What if your website data actually knew where the visitor had come from: maybe from LinkedIn or maybe it's the second or third time the visitor has entered your career’s section. If so, then you have the obligation to serve something that is highly relevant to that particular visitor on the start page. Why not a blog post from one of your employees expounding the benefits of working at your company, thereby allowing the job seeker to strengthen his or her perception of you as an attractive employer - without having to actively seek out this information for themselves.
And if the visitor has previously been viewing your sustainability reports, and has been there multiple times in the past month, you should then highlight multiple sustainability matters on the start page for that particular visitor, allowing the visitor to easily access detailed information - that might be less relevant for others - and strengthen his or hers perception of your efforts towards sustainability. Tailored communication does not have to be difficult. Consumer businesses do it all the time. And it's not only for e-commerce companies to apply automated, trigger-based and tailored messages - corporate communications can do it too. The technology, in most cases, is already in place.
How to do it
With today's technology, it is quite easy to get hold of behavioural data that can trigger versions of content that you tailor to each type of behaviour. One easy example of a trigger is the past pages or sections that a visitor has gone to - from this, you can determine what special interest(s) the visitor has and from this, you can target them with tailormade content.
Another example of a trigger is whether he/ she is a new or returning visitor. You can also trigger on the frequency of visits and time since the last visit. From this, you will have a good indication of how familiar the visitor is to your brand as well as their level of engagement - and so you have the opportunity to push more detailed information.
All of these triggers can then trigger tailored messages to appear elsewhere on your website, for example on your start page, or as a Call to Action on related content down the side of a page, or in the footer. There could be dedicated blocks with personalised content (these blocks will show content that is triggered as you set them up).
Personalisation that is automated is not only for e-commerce and consumer communication. It's also very useful for corporate communications. This is what we have chosen to call Communication Automation.
How to start with Communication Automation
A common and effective approach is to start small and expand the scope as you go, based on the data and insights you collect.
- Get started by selecting one of your priority target groups.
- Define the most important user flow and focus on optimising this particular journey.
- Create variants of personalised messages and develop automatically triggered communication flows.
- Monitor your web and email analytics and iterate by tweaking and optimising your content based on user behaviour.
You don't always need additional systems or tools. Companies often have the tools of communication automation at their disposal already. Website personalisation can be triggered in different ways, but most major content management systems (CMSs) on the market today, such as EpiServer, have such functionality integrated, ready to use. Email marketing software nowadays, such as MailChimp or Apsis, often offer automation functionality.
How we can help
We believe Communication Automation can play a critical role in engaging audiences in a conversation about why your company matters. We can support you no matter what stage you are at and can work with you to map the behaviour of your audiences, make recommendations on content and technology configurations as well as track performance. We can also set up and project manage pilots - a simple pilot with a few configurations and different versions of your content can be launched in just a couple of weeks.
Please get in touch if you would like to discuss ideas or find out how you can get started. See also our article How to enhance corporate communication with personalised content.