In one of our previous articles, we've already mentioned that personalization is the key to modern marketing. As time goes on it will only become more and more necessary to personalize your marketing content. In this regard, web stories are quite useful as they have various elements that you can personalize according to customer needs. But seeing how often people are confused as to how to properly personalize their content, we're here to help. In this article, we will cover the must-know details of how to personalize your web stories.
How to approach personalization
Personalization in marketing simply means catering your content to the viewer. With standard marketing content, you simply incorporate your brand into it and promote it to anyone that wishes to see it. Such content is effective to a degree. But, seeing that modern viewers are bombarded with marketing content left and right, it is only to become less and less effective (just think of ad blockers).
Personalization, on the other hand, entails that you at least have a clue as to who is viewing your content. By knowing what the customer is like you can try to predict what they would like to see. Therefore, you can create content suitable for them, and not simply hope that generic marketing content will right the right bell.
Understand your customer base
Every good personalization starts by having a good understanding of your customer base. If you are a B2B company and you only have a couple of clients, you can look to personalize your contract for each client. But, if you are a B2C company, you will likely personalize according to segments. Segmentation is when to separate your customer base into different groups. You do so according to a certain factor that is important for marketing. For example, you can segment your group according to age, gender, education, marital status, prior engagement with your brand, etc. You'll have a hard time finding a company that deals with only one type of client. In most cases, companies have different types of people looking for their products and/or services. So, you need to outline yours before you start to personalize your web stories.
Outline the type of content you wish to make
Web stories, by design, can contain anything. Videos, animations, written content, images, photos, comics, interactive elements... These all can, and arguably should be a part of your content creation. But, before you spread yourself too thin, we would advise you that you first outline what kind of web stories you would like to make.
Doing so benefits you in different ways. Firstly, you will learn what creating web stories are like, and what elements constitute them. Secondly, you will learn how to personalize those elements, and track their effectiveness of it. Keep in mind that besides visual factors, you can also personalize the timing, duration, frequency of posting, the context of your web stories. So, don't start by going off the rails and opting to create different types of web stories. Instead, focus on one that seems easiest to connect with your brand, and look to enhance it.
Consult with a professional content creator
While platforms like StorifyMe give you a ton of creative power, we would advise you to at least consult with a professional designer. Personalization is difficult enough on its own. But when it incorporates branding into it, it becomes almost impossible for an amateur to handle. Branding in personalization entails that, however you choose to personalize your content, you will have to weave your brand into it. Doing so properly is easier said than done, which is why consulting with a professional is a good idea.
A seasoned professional can help you create templates for each segment. With those, it will be far easier to create the right stories for a specific group and ensure that they are well received.
Personalize your web stories
Once you have a good idea of what your audience groups are, and you have created templates for them, you can look to properly personalize your web stories examples. To give you a practical understanding of how this is done, we will take an example of a clothing company. For ease of explanation, we will say that the company in question mostly sells elegant clothes to young professionals (men and women) and seasoned business people.
Using the dynamic nature of web stories
The first thing to remember is that personalization for web stories should be automatic. Your app or website should automatically try to put the viewer in a specific group, and then show them the personalized content that they wish to see. Every aspect of your web story can be dynamic, although for the purposes of personalization it doesn't have to be. What's important is to outline which aspects should be altered according to customer preference, and see that they are.
The most natural thing to make dynamic within your web stories is product placement. In the case of elegant clothing, you would push different product types to different customers:
- Young male professionals - modern business suits for men.
- Young female professionals - modern business suits for women.
- Older professionals - more traditional business suits.
Once a person shows interest in one of your products, you should dynamically recommend items that go well with it (shoes, ties, shirts, scarves, etc.) You can easily set all of this up in the context of a web store, where you will dynamically change the next page based on what the customer finds interesting.
Everything, from the colors that you use to the tone of the written content, can be dynamic. A clothing company should have a basic understanding of what colors make others pop out and use them for product promotion. When it comes to tone, you want to find what speaks to your customers. For example:
- Young male professionals - energetic tone outlining the need for efficiency.
- Young female professionals - empowering tone outlining the feeling of self-reliance.
- Older professionals - a traditional tone giving a feeling of stability.
What role your web stories are supposed to fill
Let's say that you don't wish to promote products with your web stories. Let's say that you wish to inform your customers about an upcoming sale. Or that you wish to create an app for your company, and you want people to download it. You need to understand the role that the web story is supposed to play. Only then can you personalize it accordingly. In the case of an app, a web story can serve for onboarding, as it can explain the basics of what your app is supposed to do.
Monitor the effectiveness of personalization
In order to properly personalize your web stories it is paramount that you set up the necessary KPIs (key performance indicators). If you know what a web story is supposed to do, you can try to see whether it is effective or not. For instance, in the case of app promotion, the KPIs you can follow include:
- The number of people that download your app.
- The time they spend on it.
- Whether they stay on it or return to your website.
By following such KPIs you can look to improve your personalization efforts. Furthermore, you can see whether a web story is the best tool for the job. The fewer factors you have to track, the easier it will be to make valuable deductions about your customer base
When you decide to personalize your web stories it is important to remember that this is not a one-and-done task. There are plenty of mistakes you are likely to make when creating web stories. And correcting them will take. Personalization, by nature, requires you to keep track of your audience. You need to see how they respond to your content. And you need to improve, alter and repurpose it if need be. What's also important is that you find an elegant way to incorporate your brand into personalization. And that you experiment as much as possible before you decide on a long-term strategy.