Today, relevant content is worth every penny. Its demand is almost insatiable. It might have been harder to fetch it online some years back but not anymore.
However, irrelevant content also abounds. Whether you experience it as you scroll down your Twitter news feed, or on Google search results, there is even greater share of it online.
Despite where you may have come across irrelevant content, one thing is constant and sure – it is absolutely annoying. By default, you tend to block it or swipe right past it.
As a content marketer, this means you must continuously create good consumable content to get considerable eyeballs on your content. And one great characteristic of this kind of content is relevance.
What is Relevant Content?
In the world of content marketing, relevance takes on different meanings in different contexts.
- Search intent
When people engage and interact with your content, it needs to meet their search intent.
For example, if someone is looking for fast food restaurants around them they will most likely come across a list of different websites with information on the query.
The user will immediately look through the topics on each listing and read the description that the search engine generates.
It is very likely that they will settle click the link that appears to offer more details on the subject and is more up to date.
This means that the website of preference put in work to understand what a user querying for such a phrase would be looking for. They then went ahead to find the relevant data and compiled it into useful consumable info.
- Web page ranking
In a previous article, we talked about content informing some of the crucial Google ranking factors. We cited relevance being one of the most important factors.
In an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) context, relevance refers to content matching the search terms or topics that users key in.
- Brand relevance
The content that you produce and share also needs to be consistent with your brand and its messaging.
Information about fast food restaurants should come from a brand that deals with listings on places to visit, eat, or a food business.
- Regional relevance
If your content is intended for audiences in different regions, you need to ensure that it is relevant for everyone.
The examples that you use, for instance, need to suit a more general audience to avoid geographical barriers.
On the other hand, if the content is targeted at a region-specific audience, then tailor your examples to suit them.
- Relevance to current events
Your content needs to ‘respect’ current events. If there is a major event, then your content needs to align with it.
If it is during Christmas, for example, you are better off creating content that centers around the Christmas season.
According to these content personalization stats by Instapage:
- 74% of customers feel frustrated when website content is not personalized.
- 87% of surveyed customers said that personally relevant branded content positively influenced how they felt about a brand.
This image from a SmarterHQ report probably summarizes it all:
Image source: https://smarterhq.com/privacy-report
If the above stats are anything to go by, one thing is obvious – for content to be relevant, it needs to be personalized.
How to Create Relevant Content and Personalize it
There are several ways to go about creating relevant and personalized content. Let’s explore them below:
Collect and study data about your customer
There are different ways that you can approach collecting data about your customers/audience:
- Asking customers via surveys,
- Studying existing data about customer purchases or interaction with your content/brand,
- Using data from sources like Google Analytics, and
- Using cookies that anonymously track user activity on sites.
After collecting data, you can then start gleaning insights from it. Look for trends that can help you better understand your customers and their needs.
Determine what content to personalize
The next thing that you need to do is to closely look at your brand’s content. Can you classify it into different categories?
An example would be to categorize it based on your customer segments and the ‘customer purchase level’ on the sales funnel.
Test, test, test
After categorizing your content, you then need to test what content performs better when personalized.
For example, does content produced and shared with customers who are further down the funnel need more personalization than content that targets customers who are the top of the funnel?
Win your customers’ trust
To achieve content personalization, you need to win your customers’ trust in order for them to share their data. One way to do this is to ensure that you use the shared data responsibly.
You also need to avoid creating content that suggests that you have been prying into their private lives (brands have been accused of listening in on their consumers’ conversations).
The SmarterHQ personalization and privacy report showed that despite 79% of consumers feeling that brands know too much about them, 90% were willing to share their data in order to get more personalized experiences.
Examples of Brands Engaging Personalized Relevant Content
What better way to learn how to personalize content than from people who are actually doing it right?
Target gives each new customer an ID when they first shop at any of their stores. They then use it to store all the data about the customer’s purchases.
Over time, they begin to see a trend, and can easily predict your next shopping behavior. It has been said to be so accurate, that it can tell when their clients’ are expecting a baby (from the changes in buying behavior).
Graze encourages its customers to share what they like and dislike about the brand’s snacks, and even their allergies, in exchange for a box of their favorite snacks.
As we have seen, relevant content and personalization, go hand in hand. It is no mean feat to finally arrive at what content will be relevant for your audience while remaining true to your brand.
However, all the work is worth it, as it will finally pay off in the end as a more engaged audience, happy customers and increased revenue.