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Rakuten Marketing Blog

7 Strategies to Create Personalization in Content

Posted on Mon, Feb 27, 2017 @ 18:02 PM by Daniel James

Learn seven strategies to making your content feel more personalized to your followers in this blog post.

7 Strategies to Create Personalization in Content

Personalization is rapidly growing in importance, and more marketers are looking to take advantage of this concept by the day. Content publishers can use a number of different resources to collect insights on their visitors, but the question is 'what then?' How do content creators use data from social media, publishing platforms, and other sources to give their content a more personalized feel?

This blog post aims to help with just that. We look beyond analytics and sources and give you seven different strategies on how you can focus on creating more personalized content.

1. First and Foremost: Focus on Audience

When it comes to creating more personalized content, the very first place you need to start is with your audience. This can be done in two steps: first, you’ll want to think about the likes and dislikes of your audience. Consider what they want to learn, what they like to hear, and what they’re not interested in. Second, you’ll want to divide your audience into groups. What percentage of your visitors are interested in hearing about X, what percentage are interested in Y, and how many are interested in Z? Create holistic profiles of the different audiences you have by things like content types (list articles, news updates, opinions, podcasts, videos, etc.), and various topic categories. Your goal is to understand who your different visitors are so that you can create specific, personalized content for these groups.

2. Leverage Social Media for One-on-One Conversations

By now it’s nothing new that social media is a fantastic way to engage followers at a 1:1 level, but the expectation is shifting from “wow it’s nice that the creator of the site I love responded to me!” to “I expect an answer to my question more often than not.” Users want engagement from social media, be it from big brands, fictional characters from TV shows/movies, or their favorite content creator (you). Taking the extra time to answer a question your follower asks you, or simply going out of your way to reply to a tweet you’re not mentioned in but have a response to, can resonate very positively with the user and build your reputation as a content creator that makes the extra, more personal effort.

3. Use Engagement as a Content Opportunity

There’s a cyclical benefit to going personal and engaging with followers on social media: it can lead to some amazing content that can be highly effective and well received. By answering questions having conversations on social media, you have the opportunity to flex your expertise as a content creator – and then turn around, take the topics you just discussed (and demonstrated your expertise on), flesh it out a bit more, and create compelling content that you know some readers will care about because they were just discussing it. You also have the added bonus of having some personalization aspects integrated right into the content: you’re answering questions at a very specific level, providing very precise feedback, and you have a focused audience in mind. As far as creating more personalized content goes, this is a golden gateway to achieving that goal.

4. Revisit and Repurpose Past Content

Take a look at the content you’ve produced in the past and ask yourself “why was this content so successful, who enjoyed it, and what did they enjoy about it?” If you can look at your back catalogue and identify what it was that resonated with your audience, as well as who your audience was that enjoyed it so much, you can start to piece together a pattern on how to build new content with a more personal feel based on who your audience is and what they’ve shown to value. Some key things to focus on could be comments on the article itself or on social media, where the audience engaged with the content (what links they clicked on,etc.), or what search terms they used to find your content. The goal here is digging deep – deeper than you may have expected to dig – in order to achieve a true understanding of the who, what, and why of your audience. That will become your beacon to creating more personal content.

5. Change Your Formats and Content Mediums

Want to make things feel more personal? Change the way you try to connect with your visitors! If you’re a content creator who focuses on the written word, consider trying a podcast or getting in front of the camera for a video. If you make recorded videos, try going live and streaming a bit on a topic instead. Not only do changing the mediums add layers of authenticity, they can also feel much more personal to the reader by conveying tone, expression, and emotion across a much wider spectrum. Of course, that’s not to say that changing the medium is the only solution. If you love your content medium but want to try something new, consider changing the format. Create a different style of video, try a different podcast format, or do something different with your blog – the choice is yours, and there’s countless avenues you can explore, but the goal is the same: do what connects with your visitors!

6. Don’t think Personal and Sponsored are Mutually Exclusive

With the rise in importance of disclosure and FTC regulations in digital content, there seems to be a misplaced concern that some content creators have: that if they disclose the fact that their content is sponsored then their visitors won't think of it as sincere. This is false. Your visitors won't be offended that the content is sponsored as long as your personality in your content. In fact, influencers who post sponsored content have said that 80% of the time they never receive a negative comment on the content, and 70% didn't see any change in engagement. The reasoning is straightforward: visitors aren't bothered by sponsored content as long as the content creator stays true to themselves. So don't think you'll be losing anything personal by being honest about the content being sponsored.

7. Create and Leverage Emotional Connections (AKA 'Make it Personal to You')

You can't trick your content into feeling more personalized. You need to be authentic and passionate about the things you focus on, and a great way to achieve that passion and authenticity is to draw personal connections between yourself, what you discuss in your content, and your visitors. There are many ways you can accomplish this - you can talk about what something means to you personally and tell personal stories within your content, you can tell personal experiences, or you can share personal interactions with your followers. Draw from your past, share your experiences, and talk about others - you'll be building more personal content in no time!

Tags: personalization, Content Marketing, Affiliate Marketing, Publishers

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