Have you noticed when you’re on your various social media platforms that the sponsored messages you’re getting are more and more personal and relevant to you in particular? A few years ago, users were getting content that had little or nothing to do with their tastes or interests – stuff that could have been sent to anyone. But now, it’s laser-focused on individuals or (more accurately), segments of individuals, right down to the type of shoes they like and the way they prefer to spend their free time.
Personalized content is certainly no accident, and more and more, consumers are welcoming it rather than feeling like they’re being invaded by Big Brother. As we grow more comfortable with and accustomed to highly targeted content, we’re not only okay with it, we expect it.
The Psychology of Personalized Content
Instead of feeling intruded upon by digital content that has little or no relevance to us, consumers are feeling understood. What could be better than that? According to Psychology Today, feeling understood is even more important than feeling loved, because if people don’t get who we are or what we’re about, all other needs can feel pretty meaningless.
Knowing who we are and what we’re about. That’s the very heart and soul of successful marketing, isn’t it? Marketers who know their audience and what makes them tick are far more likely to create lasting relationships with their prospects than those who are taking stabs in the dark. In fact, a 2017 study showed that 79% of companies that exceeded their revenue goals had a personalized digital media strategy in place.
The Technology of Personalized Content
What is to credit for extremely personalized content and, more importantly, its ability to engage consumers in truly meaningful ways? In a word, technology. In two words, advancing technology. As we know, technology is constantly ushering us into the future, and content marketers are benefiting considerably from the move. Reaching the right people at the right time with the right approach on the right media channel is increasingly possible. As data-rich tools and platforms become more and more sophisticated, content marketers are poised to thrive in their ability to identify audiences, track and characterize their behavior, and purposefully analyze it to create galvanizing content.
The Internet of Things may seem like high-tech on steroids now, but in less than 10 years, it stands to be as routine as getting directions from your smart phone. In a nutshell, the Internet of Things will allow us to have real-time, interactive media experiences on more than just our electronic devices. By way of trillions of sensors providing data streams on everyday items and products, marketers will be able to reach people in more private, personal spaces.
Creepy? Not if content marketers provide messages and experiences that feel welcome instead of invasive. Think of it this way: the technology that affords such intensely keen knowledge of individual consumers will also be the blueprint for precisely how to effectively reach them.
Next week, we’ll examine how to bring psychology and technology together in methodology and ideology. In the meantime, contact our team of experts to find out how to reach your prospects on a new – and very personal – level.
IVY MARKETING GROUP. COME GROW WITH US.
If what scientists are saying about human adaptive evolution is true – that it’s accelerating – then perhaps the future of homosapien development means that people will be born with downward-bent necks due to our prolific use of mobile devices.
Okay, so maybe that’s a bit out there, but fading fast are the days of folks accessing the Internet predominantly from their desktop computers. Since 2014, the number of mobile-only Internet users in the U.S. has grown from 24.6 to 37.3 percent. That rate is expected to grow to 42 percent, or 279 million, by 2020.
Websites can no longer survive with design that does not fit consumers wherever they are – literally. Coined “responsive design” by Ethan Marcotte back in 2010, the ability for one website to quickly and automatically adapt to whatever device one is using (whether desktop/laptop, phone, tablet, watch) is paramount to successful online customer experiences.
Before the development of responsive design moved into the mainstream, mobile users had to pinch, scroll, swipe, pan, zoom, and all but jump through hoops to get the information they wanted from websites that weren’t built to respond to their online environment. They became frustrated and quickly moved on.
Websites without responsive design leave visitors frustrated and likely to move on to other sites.
To mitigate the problem, web designers created mobile templates, whereby a second website or subdomain was built in addition to the primary site to respond to mobile use. But, given the new generations of devices cropping up all the time, the time and cost involved in creating separate templates for each would be astronomical, and the effort impractical.
Responsive design is coded such that one website adapts seamlessly and expediently to all screen sizes, resolutions and platforms. The benefits of responsive design are many, and websites without it are undeniably suffering:
- Positive user experience – If visitors to your site can easily and quickly find what they’re looking for, they’re going to stay longer and engage more. Bounce rates will dramatically decrease.
- Competitive Edge – The absence of responsive design is glaringly apparent to anyone visiting your site. Implementing responsive design gives you an immense and immediate advantage over the competition.
- Increased social involvement – Nearly 80 percent of social media engagement happens on a mobile device. If your site is not easily seen or navigable from all platforms, audiences will be much less able to share and engage in the viral ways that are vital to your brand.
- Better conversions – A responsive website smoothly facilitates the actions you wish your visitors to take, whether it is to read a blog, respond to a CTA, make a comment…all the things that foster engagement with your brand and, ultimately, satisfy your ROI.
- Better SEO – Search engines rank websites with responsive design higher than those without. Responsive design is perceived as more relevant and more able to give searchers precisely what they’re looking for, whatever their online environment.
- Better branding – Because responsive design draws from one main website, as opposed to several templates or subdomains, displays across all devices are unified in look, style and brand identity.
- Speedier loads – Google PageSpeed standards recommend that pages designed for mobile users load in under two seconds. A website without responsive design rarely loads in a mobile environment in this amount of time. Waiting too long for a page to load often causes consumers to leave a site.
- Lower costs – Creating multiple templates and subdomains for all the many devices on the market costs time and money. Responsive design professionals can program one website to adapt to several platforms, resulting in considerable savings.
- Sustainability – Technically speaking, responsive design is based on screen size, not device. This has significant ramifications for the future, including the Internet of Things, because whether one’s field of view occupies an inch of space or a whole square block, your website will still look properly proportioned and attractive.
If your website is dying in the Digital Age, revitalize it with truly responsive design. Let our team of experts show you all that responsive design can do for your website, and your business as a whole.
Does your website have responsive design? Let us know how we can help improve or implement this technology on your company’s site.
IVY MARKETING GROUP. COME GROW WITH US.
Content marketing is king in today’s world of online communications. But what is it, exactly? While the term is ubiquitous across all of modern marketing, it is still rather mysterious, even to those in the business. In the spirit of the holiday season, let’s lay it out like a wish list—all that we want in successful content marketing, and how to get it
- Audience relationships – Notice it’s not audience purchases. That’s intentional, and it’s huge. Making relationships, not sales, is the essence of content marketing and the reason we do it.
- Engaging content – This is the principal component of developing and maintaining relationships with prospects and customers. Without it, there is no hope of a lasting relationship, or even a first hello. Engaging means interesting, informative, problem solving, thought-provoking, entertaining, delighting…and doing each of these things very well individually and sometimes all at once.
- Knowledge of audience – This one’s as old as the hills, right? Yet, with all the countless messages on the Internet, yours must not only capture attention, but keep it and bring it back time and again. It’s imperative to know whom you’re talking to. Data analytics, buyer personas, content audits and other targeting tools are invaluable to a successful content marketing strategy.
- Audience trust – We are not selling…we are not selling…we are not selling. This should be the mantra of every content marketer. Trust is built by providing content that is engaging, not sales-focused. (Hint: this trust then turns into sales.)
- Audience loyalty – This is the natural consequence of gaining audiences’ trust. Consumers will want to come back to those who engage them meaningfully and will share not only your media, but also their experiences with your brand. Word of mouth is still the most effective marketing strategy of all.
- Transparency – Consumers are anything but ignorant or gullible. They are smart, savvy, and they know what they want and how to get it. They are “prosumers,” and they can smell a sales ploy and false or exaggerated information from a mile away. Without transparency, there is no audience trust.
- Credibility – A close cousin of audience trust is credibility, demonstrating to consumers that you are uniquely qualified in your space and buttressing your expertise with links and references to other respected sources. Any awards, certifications and accreditations you have should also be conveyed.
- Multiple online media – Social media platforms, blogs, e-newsletters, post boosters, landing pages, interactive forms, visual media, press releases…the list goes on. Your brand needs original and curated content across multiple media to be truly effective in building meaningful customer relationships.
- SEO expertise – Fresh, regularly updated content not only engages your audiences, it influences the way search engines rank your site. Knowing how to employ SEO (search engine optimization) is key in driving traffic to your site and implementing a successful content marketing strategy.
- Responsive design – Audiences have more ways to engage with your brand than ever—desktop, laptop, phone, tablet, and the soon-to-come Internet of Things. Your content marketing must fit people where they are, not only metaphorically, but literally too—conforming to screen size, platform, orientation, and other electronic factors.
All any business or organization really wants is great content marketing. This holiday season and beyond, let our team of experts earn you the best gift of all: lasting consumer relationships.
IVY MARKETING GROUP. COME GROW WITH US.