Last year 75% of marketers reported an increased investment in content marketing and 76% reported that they created more content than the year before. Clearly organizations have fully embraced content marketing as a strategy to attract audiences with relevant, high-quality content.

But the influx of branded content has created an overwhelming amount of content for consumers to choose from. This presents a new challenge for marketers to overcome, and one that is proving to be even more critical for organizations that are using content marketing to impact the bottom line—content personalization.

Consumers are already accustomed to being served up dynamically personalized content experiences. Amazon presents relevant home pages with content “related to” and “inspired by” the items you viewed, and Netflix recommends shows you might like based on your previous viewing habits. What’s more, Google “auto-fills” search suggestions and Facebook tailors your news feed based on content you’ve liked or shared. It’s experiences like these that drive consumer expectations for personally relevant content from brands on a regular basis.

But are marketers delivering on these expectations? And if not, what’s at stake for their content marketing programs in 2017? To find out, we surveyed 1,500 consumers to understand how they value branded content and how personalization impacts their perceptions of and actions toward brands. Here’s what we learned:

Personalization positively influences how people feel about your brand
The data supports the notion that if you take the time to get to know someone and make the conversation relevant, it’s very likely that person is going to have a favorable impression of you. The same can be said for content marketing. 87% of consumers surveyed say that personally relevant branded content positively influences how they feel about a brand. Consumers want and expect content that’s specific to their individual preferences, especially when there’s enough consumer-specific data available to tailor the experience.

personalization-study-feelings-toward-the-brandSource: OneSpot/Marketing Insider Group

Additionally, when brands do a great job delivering personally relevant content, consumers (72%) are more likely to believe the brand itself is relevant, thereby driving positive perceptions of the brand. 60% of consumers feel a stronger connection with the brand as a result of content relevance.

consumer-preferenceSource: OneSpot/Marketing Insider Group

But where personalization really impacts the bottom line is in driving consumer interest in your products and services. 86% reported that if a brand does a good job of providing personally relevant content, it makes them more interested in that brand’s products and services.

Personalization makes consumers more likely to buy from and recommend your brand
The study indicates consumers are more inclined to purchase and pay more for products from brands that personalize content marketing. 78% report that if a brand does a good job of providing personally relevant content, it somewhat or significantly increases their intent to purchase that brand’s products or services. 50% say that they would pay more for those products and services when the content experience is individually personalized. What’s more, 64% are more likely to recommend a brand if it does a great job of delivering personally relevant content.

The research suggests the only way to attract a customer’s attention today is by producing not only quality content but also content that is relevant and personalized to the reader. This imperative influences every aspect of content marketing—from how you build a brand-owned content hub, to how you distribute content across digital channels, to the technology you use to build and measure your content marketing programs.

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