If there's one social media marketing strategy you need to leverage this year, it's personalized marketing. Reaching your target audience with individualized messages can work wonders for your business - that is, if you know how to get it right. Here's how to successfully add personalization to your social media marketing efforts:
What is personalized marketing?
Put into simple terms, this means that businesses collect and process information on their audiences' interests, demographics, and behaviors to create more relevant content that provides more value.
As an Internet user, you have been served with personalized content multiple times. Think Netflix and their "Recommendations for you" section. The recommended shows are curated based on the previous content you watched, which enables Netflix to display other shows you're most likely to enjoy.
Your customers want more personalized content
Personalized content and tailored recommendations are no longer "nice-to-have," but an absolute "must-have" for a large number of consumers. Today's customers want brands to view them as distinct individuals with unique characteristics and preferences, as opposed to a faceless consumer. Customers' desires to be recognized by brands on an individual level largely impact their purchase decisions:
The numbers speak for themselves - customers demand individualized experiences, and brands that fail to provide these might lose a big share of their clientele.
Personalized marketing will benefit your business
- Boost your social media engagement - personalized content is more meaningful, which is why more users interact with it. eMarketer's research revealed that 56% of CMOs experienced higher response and engagement rates on personalized content, while 47% declared the interactions they gained were more timely and relevant. A high volume of interactions is critical to surfacing in the news feed organically, especially on Facebook.
- Improve your Facebook relevance score and ad costs - tailored messages are relevant to your target audience. That's why they can generate more positive feedback and receive a better Facebook relevance score grade, which can decrease the cost of your Facebook advertising activities.
- Generate more leads and conversions - more people will interact with your content if it's personalized, meaning there's a bigger chance to convert them. This can greatly increase your social media ROI and help you achieve your marketing objectives.
- Strengthen customer loyalty and brand affinity - an audience served with personalized messages feels recognized and cared for by a brand. As a result, they become more loyal and approving of a business.
- Increase brand awareness - once users develop a connection to your brand, they will be more eager to spread the word about you among their personal networks. And with 92% of consumers believing recommendations from friends and family over advertising, you can't underestimate the power of word-of-mouth marketing!
Personalizing your marketing starts with audience analysis
The answer is simple - learn about your target audience. Getting to know your followers is critical to understanding how to best personalize your content to make it more effective.
Start off by running a thorough audience analysis on each social channel you're present on, and map out your buyer personas. To do that, study your followers in terms of:
- Social media likes and interests
- Social media activities
- Page affinities
- Followed influencers
- Customer journey stage
To give you a hint on what you need to define your personas - here's an example:
Finally, bring together your social and digital data to track how users are moving between the social channels and your website. This will allow you to better understand their behaviors (including purchasing choices), see how they are different, and decide where to use personalized content to increase conversions.
3 proven tactics to personalize your social media marketing
Create content tailored to your personas
To choose the best content format, look at your personas' engagement behaviors - are they interacting most with images, videos, links, or articles? Use this information to pick the format that will resonate with your audience.
Of course, this doesn't mean you should be sticking to one format only. Diversity is great, but the core of your content strategy should be the format your audience feels most passionate about.
Sounds challenging? A creative brainstorming session or content library will help you to find ideas for personalized content that combines your followers' interests with your brand messaging.
After you tailor the content formats and topics to each of your buyer personas, it's time to think about how you want to distribute your tailored posts. There are two ways to do that, depending on whether you are relying on paid or organic reach.
- Paid - in the case of paid reach, you can leverage social media platforms' advanced targeting options based on interests and behaviors to get your content in front of different audience groups simultaneously.
- Organic - if you rely on organic reach, focus on your largest persona group, and publish posts tailored to this segment more frequently. Alternate them with content aimed at the smaller persona groups to appeal to a cross-section of your audience. You can also use Facebook's organic post targeting option to deliver content to specific audience segments based on their interests.
Align your content with the customer journey
Typically, customer journey consists of three stages: awareness, consideration, and conversion. Each of these stages is different in terms of how familiar users are with your brand and how ready they are to buy - which is why you need to create diverse personalized content.
At this point, you can target your buyer persona lookalikes with personalized content. Remember that your posts should be engaging and help you establish a relationship with your followers.
The consideration stage is where users have likely already interacted with your social media posts. It's a great moment to do audience analysis and use data to create personalized content. You can also see how the new audience you're pulling in compares to your previously defined buyer personas and publish tailored content explaining how your brand can solve their problems.
Because purchases usually take place on a website, you can leverage a whole range of individualized messages - from pop-up coupons with your followers' names to personalized thank-you pages.
Focus on one-to-one interactions
One-to-one interactions with your followers should be a key point on any social media marketer's agenda. And we don't mean social customer care only! Answering your customers' questions (or complaints) surely is important, but you also need to engage your audience in meaningful conversations, through both direct messaging and public comments.
Examples of great personalized marketing on social media
A different version of the video were shown to Facebook users, depending on their demographics, location, likes, and interests. For instance, a user interested in music would see a regular pair of headphones, followed by a pair of high-end designer headphones.
The highly relevant, targeted ads enabled Lexus to reach over 11M unique Facebook users and increase engagement by a whopping 1678%. Talk about the power of personalization!
The videos would be generated automatically and accessible to users on the Cadbury Glow landing page. The idea hit the mark with Cadbury's customers - as much as 90% watched their personalized videos until the very end! In addition, the campaign helped Cadbury achieve a 65% Click through Rate.
Cadbury's results show that personalized content is definitely the way to go when looking to improve your social media engagement and conversions.
KLM wanted to make travelling a much more pleasant experience for its passengers. But instead of resorting to clichéd discount coupons or free coffee, the company decided to surprise travellers with personalized gifts.
To do that, KLM leveraged publicly available data from the Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and FourSquare profiles of those travelling with the airline. They used that data to come up with gifts tailored to their passengers' interests.
What did that look in practice? If you were a woman keen on jogging, you received a sports watch prior to your departure. Nothing short of impressive!
Although there were limits to how many gifts KLM could distribute, the passengers that received one have surely spread the positive word on the KLM brand. Add an extra layer of the earned media exposure the campaign received, and there’s little that can challenge its success.
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