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The Power of Personalization in B2B Content Marketing

The Power of Personalization in B2B Content Marketing

Key Points

Did you know you can instantly increase your revenue by creating personalized content? A recent study by McKinsey & Company found that the fastest-growing companies drive 40% more of their revenue from personalization strategies to their target market than their slower-growing counterparts.

That’s good news for you because b2b marketing is, was, and always will be about personalization. But if you want to be at the forefront of other businesses in this competitive space today and generate more qualified leads, and maximize revenue you have to combine what you know as a marketer with what is possible technologically and with the right tools.

That is to say, there are a lot more ways to customize personalized content and leverage customer data. Access to technology and how the way content is created today is greater than ever before. Advances in AI are rapid. And there is so much data we hardly know what to do with it all.

Ah, data.

It all provides a lot of opportunities to fuel your sales funnel, but there are also a lot of ways to mess it up. Ever get served an ad that makes no sense to you? Have you ever seen an ad so much it started to annoy you? Ever feel creeped out by brand marketing?

Much is at stake, so let’s take a look at everything you need to know to take your personalized marketing strategy to the next level.

Content Personalization: Why Now?

marketing personalization Why Now

Content marketing personalization is when you serve your target audiences personalized campaigns and relevant content based on individual customer data. To put it simply it is just as it sounds personalizing content.

It can be an excellent way to reach your target market and reach various points of customer segmentation regardless of company size from local to enterprise companies. It’s a chatbot that can answer a customer’s specific questions. It’s sending one automated email written for 40 different audiences. It’s a website that feels like a personal concierge.

These are the table stakes. The expectation that you will create custom content is high because it is everywhere (Hello Netflix and Amazon). This sentiment is supported by customers themselves according to the latest Salesforce research, the 2022 State of the Connected Customer Report.

  • More and more customers expect the use of AI, 62% today vs 58% in 2018

  • 62% of customers expect companies to adapt based on their behavior

  • 74% of customers expect businesses to use existing technology to create better and more personalized experiences.

Research by marketing agency Considered Content found that a little more than half of all b2b decision makers would be happy to purchase your product without ever speaking to a salesperson. Two-thirds of these high-level players are doing their own research, long before they come knocking on your door. A lot of the buying process happens without you there to guide the customer journey.

But customers say a lot of things. A recent study by software platform Turtl.co, examines how they actually behave when you personalize content.

  • Bounce rates nosedived from between 49% and 62%

  • Engagement rates rocket from between 34% and 43%

  • Interactions jumped from between 32% and 42%

Potential customers want personalized communication, and when you create personalized content, it works. Doing nothing comes with a cost.

Simple Steps To Create Personalized Content

Simple Steps To Create Personalized Content

Here’s a high-level overview of how you create marketing personalization.

  1. Identify the key decision-makers and influencers involved in your target accounts and create segmented lists.

  2. Research engaging content ideas such as personalized emails or lead-nurturing landing pages that will ignite and enhance customer relationships with your brand

  3. Choose a different customer segment for a personalized experience and to make each piece of content relevant. Diversify groups of marketing channels such as email, website and landing pages, digital ads, etc, so that you will be able to create personalized content for high-value prospects

  4. Combine efforts with your sales teams to create customized offers designed to increase your conversion rate

  5. Create and Share content created

You're Only As Good As Your Data

The Power of Personalization in B2B Content Marketing

In today’s digital landscape, businesses are utilizing advanced technology and customer insights to craft an individualized experience throughout the customer journey. This includes utilizing targeted strategies and personalization across various channels to enhance the overall user experience. To become great at personalization and reach potential clients, you should have a deep understanding of your target audience, from their specific pain points, and customer experiences to previous interactions between your brands. Data.

There are many data analysis tools, but they only make business sense if you have the right information and implement them into your personalization tactics.

Data Collection

Data and especially data privacy are hot topics these days and if you want to create content that connects, you should understand personalization data, where you can get it, and how you can use it.

Adding tags to websites and pixels to social media allows you to track user behavior.

Data levels

Use first-party data to create hyper-targeted campaigns. Use the remaining behavioral data to help draw buyer personas so you can calibrate an authentic personalized experience.

First-party data

  • collected directly from your customers and audiences on channels you own like your website or sales information

  • email, phone number, purchase history, job title, product preferences, customized account settings, support history, loyalty program info

  • Most valuable to content personalization, but most challenging to collect across systems

Second-party data

  • collected from a partner in compliance with GDPR and CCPA privacy regulations so you know you have permission to use the data

  • website activity, social media profiles, customer feedback, company size

  • similar to first-party data but coming from a partner company, it can help you improve predictive models and helps you to scale but has limited applications to personalized marketing

Third-party data

  • collected from a data aggregator such as a DSP (demand side platform) or a DMP (data management platform)

  • income, education, websites visited, search history, survey responses

  • useful in targeting digital ads and is not used in personalized marketing

Data types account-based marketing teams should consider:

  1. Filmographic–data about a company

  2. Demographic–data about a person’s identity

  3. Psychographic–data about an individual’s behavior

  4. Contextual–data about how qualified leads found you

Lead mining software for b2b marketers:

Visitor Queue

LeadIQ

AeroLeads

Adapt

Data Strategy

Once you’ve got the data, you need a strategy for how to organize it so you can use it.

Create Buyer Personas: What makes your h prospective customers think? Who are your buyers beyond the numbers? Your buyer persona should focus on the details of the decision-makers at your target companies
Identify Stages in the buyer journey: At what point can you serve content that answers each of your customer personas’ needs? Target the right customers at the right time. Content that speaks to the customer at the right point in time during the buying process
Segment your community: Needs across your target audiences vary by industry, even for the same product, and can sometimes even vary within. Think as granularly as possible about what defines your prospective customer.
Get Lead-specific: Old-fashioned one-person specific marketing, always the ideal customer profile

Last Bite

In late 2024, Google plans on phasing out third-party cookies, which monitor websites visited by each user and is the main technology used to display products a customer previously searched for but on a different website.

Avoiding the Creep Factor

While consumers have come to expect personalized ads, they are often turned off by them. Concerns range from data privacy to the feeling of being listened to.

Researchers have even created a “creepiness ditch” to help describe this new phenomenon.

So, how to avoid those Rockwell “Somebody’s Watching Me” moments? Here are some tips.

  1. Make sure the content is relevant and helpful, otherwise, it will just be annoying

  2. Avoid third-party data, only use data your customers would reasonably expect you to have

  3. Don’t overdo it, not everything needs a documented personalization strategy

  4. Does the ad or content improve the customer’s experience? Avoid being a nag

  5. Make sure customers can opt-out of personalized offers

B2B Personalization: Amp Up the Possibilities

B2B Personalization strategy: Amp Up the Possibilities

Where to start? It helps to approach your content personalization efforts by a medium. The following are the most essential.

Website personalization strategy

A useful approach for initiating website personalization is by experimenting with headlines and calls-to-action (CTAs). This approach can serve as an effective starting point for those looking to incorporate personalization into their website strategy.

Even in the age of social media and generic content, a website or landing page is still your digital storefront and customers expect a certain level of customization. Here are a few cornerstones to building custom content:

  • Home pages, landing pages, and a blog post

    Much like newspapers and streaming services, b2b brands can create personalized content by audience segment like b2b company, Outback Team Building, which created a homepage using dynamic text replacement, a feature that lets you add keywords based on audience, to insert location-specific language.

  • Lead magnets

    You can offer specialized content based on a website visitor’s prior behavior such as BizBase and HubSpot.

  • Case studies and testimonials

    Instead of asking customers to find the testimonial that is right for them, serve it up automatically like Optimizely, which displays two different case studies on their home page based on who is visiting.

  • Images and video

    Show hero images and video content to segmented audiences who are more likely to relate, for example, Hospitality Hub, which changes its hero image according to where you’ve explored traveling to.

  • Calls to action

    One page often has to do it all, but highlighting too many CTAs leads to decision fatigue, but you can change the CTA to match specific customer behaviors, like e-commerce pet store Chewy, which shows different CTAs to members vs non-members.

  • Recommended products and services

    Tracking your customer’s behavior can help you serve website visitors with highly targeted content and product suggestions, ie Amazon.

Attack of the Chatbots

Wary of chatbots? It’s understandable. If you’ve used one recently, you know they’ve come a long way, but are still limited, especially when it comes to the complexities of account-based marketing. But, that is changing. In December 2022, ChatGPT, the most humanlike A.I. chatbot ever created, sent early adapters into a frenzy when it was opened to the general public.

Aaron Levie, the CEO of Box tweeted: Chat GPT is one of those rare moments in technology where you see a glimmer of how everything is going to be different going forward.

Some say it will make Google obsolete–why search through search engine results for an answer when the search engine can just tell you the answer?

B2b personalization tools for website content:

Markettailor

Unless

Proof

Mutiny

Personalized video marketing campaigns

Video is one of the strongest mediums to reach potential customers, and it pays to produce customized content.

It’s also where you can really impress. The possibilities are endless.

  • Dynamic content and image selection

    Show different versions of the video based on data like age, location, demographics, or device. American Airlines shows video clips of searchers’ most popular destinations.

  • Make it interactive

    Data can be a sticking point to all this (don’t worry, we’ll get to that), but one workaround is to make your video (or website) interactive, so the potential customer can choose their own adventure. American Express shows users a preview of the next step so visitors can make more accurate decisions about their next steps.

  • Text

    You can populate your video with information relevant to your customer, such as Disney Vacations which sends visitors a 15-page book customized to their reservation. Music, language, and more can be given a personalized bent.

YouTube

YouTube has been quietly catching up to the likes of Netflix when it comes to implementing content personalization. In 2021, they launched the “New to you” tab creating personalized suggestions for new content and in late 2022 they dropped a sneak peek at new content personalization features that will soon be available to your visitors (meaning when they come to your YouTube page, the most relevant existing content will populate).

A few tools for video content personalization :

Imposium

Spirable

EngageOne Video

Mediawide

Personalizing email marketing

Sending emails can feel like a fruitless effort, but maybe that’s because 72% of consumers report only opening marketing emails that are personalized. Thus email marketing, in particular, is an effective way to personalize content to existing customers, keeping them in your sales pipeline.

Here are the most popular marketing personalization methods for emails.

  • Subject lines and signed by a human (not a generic company)

  • User-behavior-triggered email marketing campaigns

  • Personalized calls to action (subscriber tags)

  • Recommendations

  • As part of a landing page strategy

  • Timing (locations, time zones, and stage in the buyer journey)

  • Milestones (birthdays and anniversaries)

  • Images and video

  • Surveys and games

Create personalized email marketing with these tools:

Mailchimp

ActiveCampaign

Drip

Moosend

Digital Advertising with a personal touch

Paid ads offer a lot when it comes to personalization but tread lightly. They produce results, but consumers have mixed opinions of them. It’s a case where using your best judgment is your North Star.

Here are your three main options:

  • Dynamic Ads–also called dynamic banner ads, the personalization is based on user behavior

  • Retargeting–ads served to people who visited your website that lets you serve them ads or emails and can work with paid search, display, email, and social media marketing

  • Geotargeting–ads sent to people within a certain geographic boundary that fit a certain profile.

Implementing personalization: Linkedin

LinkedIn offers some of the best personalization tools around. LinkedIn Dynamic Ads features let you customize and personalize ads for your objectives, automate individualized campaigns, and create personalized content.

Wanna make some great personalized ads? Check out these platforms:

Promo

Wask

Creatopy

Offeo

Social Media on a personal scale

There are many benefits of personalized marketing on social:

  • A boost in engagement, lead generation, and conversions

  • A better ad ROI

  • Determine intent
  • Increase in lead generation and conversions

  • Brand affinity and awareness

Here are a few ways to get started:

  1. Retargeting ads – A popular tactic among e-commerce retailers and travel companies such as Expedia

  2. Direct messages – Salesflare used automated and personalized messages on Twitter to boost downloads by 50%

  3. Questionnaires – Energy supplier Enco was able to boost their email list by 5x with a survey

  4. Roll the diceAND CO from Fiverr sent customers personalized gifts based on comments from social media and it garnered even more social media attention.

  5. Videos – Non-profit Breast Cancer Now created personalized videos to congratulate donors

The Power of Personalization in B2B Content Marketing

Measure, rinse, and repeat

Once you’ve got everything in your sales process in place, see what works and adjust accordingly.

Major metrics to watch:

  • Website and landing page traffic

  • Acquired leads by channel

  • Changes in the number of new customers

  • Sales team numbers and feedback

Key Takeaways: The Future Is Personal

Marketing and customer acquisition are becoming more technology-driven, opening up opportunities never before thought possible. Customer data can be a lot. Take your time to learn the ins and outs but don’t be afraid to get started. Perfect your data acquisition and management and survey your creative teams for what is possible. New leads are just around the corner.

Kimberly Stricker

Founder / Social Media Storyteller
Kim Stricker is a social media strategist, social media marketer, and founder of Social Motto social media marketing agency in Detroit Michigan. Kim consults with brands and companies on how to use the digital space and Social Media tools in growing brands. She’s managed campaigns for Nonprofits, Fortune 500 Companies, and small businesses in how to effectively incorporate social media into an overall marketing mix, and excel in the medium by giving their brands a strong voice in the community. Kim offers strategic marketing insights that focus on brand building and communicating visions, products, and services through innovative social marketing campaigns. By becoming a brand advocate and expert, Kim can develop and optimize content for social media outreach including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, blogs, etc. In addition, she always maintains an awareness of new social media marketing techniques in the marketplace, as well as looking for opportunities to innovate in new territories.
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