There's a common misconception that B2B marketers can't personalize content to the same extent that B2C marketers can.
Well, that's simply not true.
B2B marketers who personalize their content can see big rewards. 61% of marketers say they're already working on their content personalization efforts.
It's not easy to effectively personalize content, and there are no shortcuts or quick hacks you can use.
You need to understand the motivations, questions, and desires that your leads and future customers have. Then, you can personalize your content to satisfy their expectations and position your brand as the best option for them.
In this guide, we're going to show you:
- What content personalization is
- Six frameworks you can use to personalize content
- The benefits of content personalization
- Tools you can use to personalize your content
If you're ready to start improving your conversions, campaign engagement, and gain a deeper understanding of your buyer persona, this is for you.
Without further ado, let's jump into the guide.
What is Content Personalization?
Content personalization is the method of creating content that is unique, relevant, and customized for the target audience. B2B marketers can use content personalization to help improve campaigns, increase conversion rates, and grow engagement from within target accounts.
Despite content personalization often being seen as a B2C strategy rather than B2B, we're going to show you how it can be put to use in a B2B environment.
Frameworks for Content Personalization
Demand Metric put together a report on content personalization, and within it, they outlined five types of content personalization. They outline the different ways that content can be personalized to resonate with your audience.
In this section, we'll look at what those are, and we'll also show you another framework that can be powerful in a B2B environment.
1. Segment-specific: personalized by industry vertical or segment criteria
This type of content personalization is based on an industry vertical or segment criteria.
In practice, it could manifest itself as a detailed report on the state of an industry or specific function.
A few examples of segment-specific content would be:
- "The State of B2B" Survey by B2B International
- "The State of Inbound" by HubSpot
Reports like these are popular. They're highly specific to a defined segment of people who will fit within the business' ideal customer type. For example, HubSpot's main audience are marketers, and their report is pitched as the "go-to business report for marketing and sales research".
Segment-specific content can be highly shareable as they're relevant to a a large audience. If you want to grow your brand authority then you should consider creating segment-specific content to catch your market's attention.
It's worth noting that segment-specific content may not be specific enough to send to individual leads, but they can work well as content that brings new visitors and leads to your site.
2. Persona-specific: personalized for specific buyer types
Persona-specific content is when your content is personalized enough to be very relevant to your specific buyer persona. This isn't a new concept, and many firms already take a persona-based approach to their entire marketing strategy.
You'll need to know exactly who your buyer is, what problems they have, what motivates them, and then ensure that your content resonates with them in a meaningful way.
3. Stage-specific: personalized for a stage of the buying process
Stage-specific content is created to help your buyer when they're at a specific stage of the buying process.
This content will relate to your audience's pain points that relate to where they are in the buying process.
All brands will have different versions of content at this stage, but we'd recommend things like:
- Email nurturing campaigns triggered by a specific action
- Technical information to help answer questions on your product
- Case Studies
- Competitor comparison articles
4. Account-specific: personalized for a specific prospect organization
If you're running an account-based marketing campaign then you'll be familiar with the idea of account-specific content.
This is when you create content personalized to an account or organization that you're targeting.
An example of account-specific content would be a presentation that you send to key-decision makers within an organization, that will show them why you're the best vendor to go with.
Another popular example of account-specific content would be a custom landing page.
5. Lead-specific: personalized for an individual lead
Lead-specific content is designed to be as specific as possible.
It's time-consuming to create but can have big payoffs. Once you identify a unique problem that your lead has, you can create custom content to help them in their decision-making process.
Due to the time-intensive work involved in creating this type of personalized content, we would recommend creating lead-specific content once someone has already engaged with your campaigns and brand.
6. Intent-Specific: personalized based on purchase intent
In the Demand Metric report, there are 5 types of content personalization models outlined and we've covered those above.
We'd like to propose a 6th.
Why does this warrant being called a framework for personalized content? Well, when you're using intent data to help guide marketing decisions you can target leads as soon as they start to consider a purchase.
You'll have the ability to discover opportunities that would otherwise be hidden until prospects reach out to you. When you make decisions using intent data you'll have a clear competitive advantage over your competitors, as you can be the first vendor to engage with leads.
What does this mean for content? Well, you'll be able to create customized content that closely matches the type of content they're looking for.
Whether your leads are:
- In the early research stages
- Comparing competitor solutions
- Looking for answers to technical questions
Intent data will show you.
From there, you can deliver your content to them using email marketing, telemarketing, or within your ABM campaigns.
You can produce intent-specific content in numerous ways.
It could be an ROI calculator, it could be a case study showing how effective your solution is, or it could even be an article that shows your value vs. your competitors.
The key is that you know what your lead has been researching and you can create intent-specific content to match the questions they have and the intent they're showing in their decision-making process.
Once the content has been created, you can reach out to prospects at exactly the right moment and send your content to them.
Benefits of Content Personalization for B2B Marketers
1. Increase the Likelihood to Buy
Content personalization will, unsurprisingly, improve your conversion rates.
If you regularly produce and send content that's unique and relevant to leads, it can lead to them being 40% more willing to buy from you, compared to competitors who don't personalize their content.
If your competitors aren't personalizing their content, you've just gained a huge advantage.
By taking time to personalize your content, you prove to leads that you're invested in helping them succeed, and aren't simply trying to get their credit card details as quickly as possible.
In B2B sales, showing that you're a trusted partner goes a long way.
2. Improve Your Brand In Your Customers' Eyes
Your content personalization efforts can have a strong and positive effect on brand lift.
If your leads have positive feelings for your brand, your campaigns will generate higher engagement and leads will convert more easily.
The data backs that up, too.
87% of consumers say that personally relevant branded content positively influences how they feel about a brand, and 63% of consumers say they think more positively of a brand if it gives them valuable, engaging, or relevant content.
No matter the framework your personalized content follows, creating and promoting it to your target audience will have benefits that apply to your brand and company as a whole.
3. Improve Engagement with Campaigns
If you want to see high levels of engagement with your sales and marketing campaigns, you need to be using personalized content.
If you don't personalize your marketing campaigns you'll generate 83% lower response rates than a personalized campaign does.
Now, it's one thing to tell you that you need to personalize your campaigns, but implementing it is another.
There are some easy ways to add personalization to your campaigns.
If you run paid ads, then you can use LinkedIn to target companies that you want to have as customers. Granular targeting will allow you to customize your ads to be highly relevant and to make your ads as account-specific or persona-specific as possible.
You can create lead-specific content by customizing your outreach email or even including a short video in your email. 68% of people say they’d most prefer to learn about a new product or service by watching a short video, so the effort to create a custom video for qualified leads is worth it.
4. Predict Purchase Intent
Content personalization will lead to a range of benefits, and one of the most impactful is that you can start accurately predicting purchase intent.
Intent-specific content will be ideal for nurturing leads. When you see them engaging with your content that has been specifically designed for their stage in the funnel you'll be able to reach out and engage with them or schedule a call.
Being able to accurately track and nurture a lead based on their intent is key to seeing success with B2B buyers. Even if they're engaging with other vendors and evaluating solutions you can be the brand that reaches out at the right time, with the right content and close more deals.
Software for B2B Content Personalization
If you want to implement content personalization into your B2B marketing campaigns, then some powerful tools can help.
Let's take a look at what they are, and how you can use them.
1. Adobe Target
Adobe Target is a high-end option for those looking to use a data-driven approach to personalization.
It has functionality including automatic A/B testing, AI-driven offer delivery to match site visitors with the best content for them, and you can personalize your site based on any profile data you have available on them.
You'll need to request pricing if you want to purchase it, and the price will be based on the use-cases you'll need it for.
Cxense is conversion rate optimization software that offers some of the same functionality as Adobe Target.
With Cxense you'll be able to target and personalize content based on user attributes such as location, device type, interests, or your data about their past purchases or engagement with your brand.
You'll be able to deliver personalized content in an automated way.
The third option we'll show you is Dynamic Yield.
You can implement welcome messages, countdown timers, email capture overlays, and more. You can set up your content to trigger based on behavioral and contextual data that you have captured from your site visitors or leads.
It also integrates with all of your favorite marketing tools like Salesforce, Adobe Analytics, Google Analytics, and many more.
How Internal Results Can Help With Content Personalization
If you want to implement content personalization into your B2B marketing, then Internal Results can help.
A significant challenge to content personalization is not knowing how or what your prospects have already consumed and how much knowledge of your solution they have.
With Internal Results, you'll have access to accurate intent data that you can use to learn what content you should be sent to your leads.
Once you have the data on what your leads want to learn, you can create highly personalized content that's genuinely useful to them.
As we mentioned before, showing that you're there as a trusted partner, rather than merely trying to get a quick win, is far more effective in B2B sales and marketing.
If you want to learn more about accessing intent data to fuel your content personalization efforts, then you can get in touch with us here. We look forward to talking!
When it comes to creating content, you can't afford to not personalize it.
It can be the difference between a potential customer choosing you or choosing your competitor.
Once you start personalizing your content you'll see benefits across your whole marketing function. Your conversions will increase, you'll see more engagement with your campaigns, and you'll be viewed in an even better light by your leads.
If you're ready to increase the success of your content with personalization, we'd love to help.