Is personalisation an entry point into the world of dark social?

Providing personalised content has never been more important than before.

The latest Forbes Insights and PwC Content Survey in 2016 had highlighted that marketers are seeing personalisation as one of the vital instruments to drive growth. Coupled with the use of analytics, marketers can target specific content to the right people at the right time, engaging audience to resonate with the content, kicking start an enhanced customer journey.

In this post-modernist paradigm, brands need to realise that within a mass market lay multiple personalities which are always in a flux. Being able to understand the different context of each single individual gives brands leverage over their competitors to get desired responses – which could mean conversion and leads for the sales team.

Resonating with report on the growing importance of personalisation in content marketing is Hedvig Lyche, general manager of King Content Singapore. She believes that personalisation will play a defining role in content marketing in the future.

“Consumers today demand instant relevance and gratification, and this only happens if you truly understand your audience, their needs and challenges, and how you can add real value here in a credible and authentic manner," she said. She added real value comes by showing your audience you know what they want and what they care about.

"Personalisation allows brands to gather rich data to keep building and improving personas for retargeting with highly tailored and impactful content,” she said.

Lyche added that content overload and ever-changing algorithms on rented properties meant that brands who are not investing in nurturing an audience will need to buy every interaction and majority will be one-stops and not turn into valuable consumers.

With the personalisation of content, brands are able to cultivate, nurture and engage audience of subscribers by providing value based on data and insights gathered over time. This will be key in effectively growing and optimising marketing and thus business. She added:

With majority of conversations also happening increasingly on dark social or in closed networks, it is more important than ever for brands to earn their access to these groups as this is where true impacts occur and the valuable decisions to act are made.

Being accepted into these groups requires offering a value beyond product and services, to offer inspiration, insights or incentives authentic and immediately relevant.

"Personalisation of content tailored to specific personas and audiences on social can provide brands easier access into closed groups, again allowing for continuous gathering of data and evolution of personas which will help nurture organic relationships and build ambassadors and brand affinity,” she added.

However, things are not done that easily.

Time, manpower, money and effort have to be put in to make sure the infrastructure is sufficient and sustainable to effectively develop and target the audiences with the right personalised messaging. Lyche has also pointed out on the quality and effectiveness of the personalising content marketing.

“If you get it wrong the audiences are unforgiving, so it's critical to truly understand the space where you can add real value to their lives and effectively help them solve a problem," she said. It is not something you can do halfway, you need to be invested to the strategy and follow it through for it to succeed, understanding that it will take time and is a long term process. It requires dedication, and not many marketers today are ready for that level of long term investment.

"Those who manage to effectively build and implement a nurture strategy through personalisation will come out the winners of the content marketing game,” she added.

Lyche said that it is critical to recognise that personalisation is not the answer to all aspects of content marketing, but works as a nurture strategy only once brands have built up on their subscriber base through acquisition. With a strong subscriber base, it is definitely worth the investment as it will ensure organic growth and ultimately turn your customers into your ambassadors and your subscribers into your converters.

It has become inevitable that content marketing needs to be incorporated into marketing strategies for a sound and cost-effective infrastructure ensuring demand could be supplied. While there are resources in the market that could help with marketers in their journey for content marketing, do remember that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution.

To hear more from Hedvig and on how other leading brands are making their content revolution, join them in the discussion at the Content 360 Conference, held in Four Seasons Hotel Singapore on 6 – 7 April 2017.

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