When we set out to draft this new “special edition” of The Scoop focusing on one topic – personalization – we quickly saw first-hand how varied and complex this topic can be for digital and social media marketers and strategists. A few spirited conversations and Teams chats later, we all came back to one definition of personalization: creating and delivering a digital and social experience tailored to a specific audience segment.
We like to say “gone are the days of one size fits all” when it comes to posts/ads because, now, data and technologies allow us to not only discover the variety among our audience segments, but also create content that resonates more deeply with those audiences. Personalization ultimately drives a more unique and relevant experience for a user, making them feel valued.
How did personalization start?
This idea popped up a few years ago and quickly became mainstream. Social platforms were already delivering “personalized” experiences for users directly in the platform, constantly evolving their algorithms to serve people in-app content that matched their interests. Newsfeed changes and additions such as Instagram Explore helped shape this trend. But data, technologies and paid really took it to the next level.
It all comes back to segmentation
People are busy. Especially healthcare professionals (HCPs), especially now. Being able to reach this audience in that exact window when they have a moment to relax isn’t new – but reaching them with precise messaging that resonates with them, based on their specific attributes (specialty, interests outside of work, location, etc.) is where we should be moving toward. This, of course, goes for patients and caregivers, too. Casting a wide net is not the way to go. Data can give us the insight to deliver messages to reach each specific HCP, patient or caregiver audience segment in their journey.
Social platforms embrace personalization in new ways
We already know social is leading the way in personalized content – both in feeds and through advertisements. Recent updates show how these platforms are taking personalization to the next level:
- TikTok will no longer let users opt out of personalized ads starting April 15, so users will see ads based on the content they engage with (whether they like it or not!).
- Facebook is taking a different approach. They are going right to small businesses with their tips and tricks for developing their own personalized ads – with the end goal of getting more people to discover small business based on their likes.
Thinking beyond social
This isn’t just happening on social media. Digital has been personalizing content for years – as seen with SMS, email marketing and the continued push toward omnichannel personalization.
- Email marketing was a “success story” of 2020 according to eMarketer. Newsletter subscriptions are exploding as writers build deeper relationships with their readers through personalized content.
- Then comes texting: SMS open rates are over 90%, and SMS marketing will continue to grow in 2021, as 56% of U.S. retailers plan to increase their investment in messaging.
- Faced with the challenge of reaching customers at home during the pandemic, TGIFridays invested in its SMS platform and grew its database to over 300,000 subscribers after only four months, with a 4.5% conversion rate.
- Online retailer Mack Weldon used sales data to focus its marketing on comfort and kept customers apprised of new product drops and restocks via SMS.
- And when looking at retail, 62% of consumers surveyed say it’s important for online retail experiences to be personalized. Who can blame them. We all know how annoying it is to receive generic messaging that isn’t relevant to our shopping patterns.
Let technology help you
Shifting to a personalization-first strategy may seem intimidating, but technologies such as Flashtalking, Spirable and Salesforce can help create efficiencies for your content teams.
- Flashtalking – a software that helps maximize content distribution for personalization for digital and soon on social – recently announced a new integration with Comcast.
- This partnership demonstrates how even the most traditional media avenues, such as linear television, are being disrupted to more efficiently “deliver on the promise of personalization” through technology and tools.
- And don’t forget about data! Leverage unique insights about your audiences to help guide the development of personalized content across platforms.
…And in Other News
Nerf targets TikTok success by seeking a Chief TikTok Officer responsible for creating 10 to 12 approved TikToks a month.
Pinterest is now in talks to acquire the photo app VSCO after adding 100 million monthly active users last year.
W2O’s The Scoop is brought to you by an editorial collective, featuring industry updates and insights from subject matter experts across social media, digital and influencer activation teams.
Get the latest marcom news directly to your inbox! Sign up to receive The Scoop updates here.