As marketers, our world revolves around the content that informs potential buyers – blog posts, data sheets, case studies, whitepapers, e-books, email campaigns, digital ads, landing pages, social media, web content. Recently, we’ve noticed an increase in marketers talking about another type of content – “Smart Content.”
Smart Content is more than just well written or well-executed content. There is another meaning of “Smart Content” – one that takes your marketing efforts to the next level, increasing ROI and driving more marketing qualified leads into your pipeline.
Since Smart Content is a core principal of our business (it’s even in our name!), we wanted to break down what Smart Content means and how you can you use it to maximize your marketing efforts.
The Definition of Smart Content
Smart Content is content that is personalized to the characteristics of the visitor consuming it. This can be done in a multitude of ways, but the core principal behind Smart Content is that personalized relevant content better engages visitors and leads them through your sales funnel much more quickly and efficiently than static, one-size-fits-all content.
Content marketing does a great job of educating potential buyers and driving brand awareness. Brand aware consumers often come back to your website directly to continue their research, but all to frequently, company websites tend to be self-focused, rather than customer-centric. Smart Content makes each visitor’s experience across your marketing channels relevant and speeds up purchase decision process by recommending the next best action for each visitor to take based on how they previously engaged with your marketing content.
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Here’s another way to think of Smart Content:
A grocery shopper heads to the produce department looking to buy apples. A clerk asks if he can assist her in finding anything. The shopper asks for granny smith apples and the clerk answers, “Sure, let me help you choose a cut of steak.” This may sound crazy, but marketers do this to website visitors all the time. Do you show the same content to all visitors regardless of what search term they used to find your site or what marketing content they’ve previously engaged with?
Rather than hoping visitors find the information they are looking for, Smart Content serves the most relevant content and call to action, improving the visitor experience.
How to Use Smart Content
You already have all the data you need to make your content smarter. Do a deep dive into your web analytics to look at the keywords, marketing campaigns, referring URLs, geolocations, web content, and conversion path your visitors utilize during their purchase decision journey.
Many marketing teams have already created audience personas, which help you better target all of your marketing content for your different audience types. (If you haven’t, it’s time to get started!) Add another layer to these personas by looking for patterns and trends in your web analytics data. This information will help form the foundation for creating Smart Content.
Review your existing marketing content to see what is best engaging and converting your different personas. With this information we can convert this normal marketing content into Smart Content by only serving the most relevant existing content to the different audience personas visiting your website.
During your data and content analysis, you’ve likely stumbled across a few holes in your content strategy where you may not have content that addresses the next best action for each visitor. This is a great opportunity to create Smart Content that helps visitors continue their journey with your brand.
Is your marketing team ready to implement Smart Content into your marketing strategy? Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.