Are You Spending Too Much Time on B2B Content Personalization?

B2B content personalization

Personalized content is critical for grabbing attention, earning engagement, and winning B2B leads.

85% of buyers say they will bounce if a company doesn’t personalize the very first touchpoint along the journey.

But are you spending too much time researching, developing, and delivering your B2B content personalization strategy? Probably!

Let’s go over the different strategies you can use to personalize your B2B content marketing and how they work.

B2B content personalization

Does More Time = Better B2B Content Personalization?

You hear all the time about how important it is to research your leads and provide them with hyper-personalized content. It makes sense that 58% of B2B marketers believe the more effort they exert in their personalization strategy, the more effective it is.

But there’s a limit, isn’t there? Yes, spending time on your personalization strategy is important but it also needs to deliver results.

Spending hours studying what your leads binge on Netflix isn’t worth anything if it doesn’t earn their trust and improve their experience. Ideally, your results should either outweigh your effort or at least break even, right?

Corporate Visions ran their own personalization study to see if spending more time resulted in better results. They picked 7,000 ice-cold prospects and spent as much time and effort as they could researching every little thing about each one:

  • Industry
  • Company
  • Personal details
  • Competitor information

Next, they sent each prospect a personalized email. Corporate Visions found that emails with personal details AND company information in the subject line delivered the highest open rates.

Personalization-Open-Rates

Corporate Visions

However, open rates only tell you how interesting your subject line is – not whether your content personalization strategy is effective and engaging.

When Corporate Visions looked at the click rate, the stats told a completely different story: Content personalized for the recipient’s industry delivered the highest click rates.  

Personalization-Click-Through-Rates

Corporate Visions

The results completely switched from that of the open rates.

Personal information certainly grabs attention because it seems like the email is coming from someone you know.

However, once the recipient opens the email, they probably feel duped when they realize it’s a marketing campaign. They might feel unsettled too and think, “how does this random company know what I ate for lunch?”

In conclusion, spending hours researching details about every lead means you’re missing the point. Hyper-personalization should equate to creating a holistic personalized experience and not necessarily sending emails with personal details to every prospect.

Inbound Vs. Outbound B2B Content Personalization Strategy

There’s another caveat to Corporate Vision’s research: It used outbound marketing tactics.

While outbound marketing certainly has its place in B2B content personalization, sending cold emails is a waste of time. You’re much better putting your energy into inbound tactics or well-placed PPC adverts.

Inbound marketing is 10x more effective for converting leads and generates 54% more leads than traditional outbound tactics. Plus, after investing in inbound marketing for five months, your cost per lead drops by 80%.

Focus on using that same research and energy to create highly relevant, valuable, and interesting content marketing assets such as:

  • In-dept blogs
  • eBooks
  • Podcasts
  • Videos
  • Infographics

How to Win at B2B Content Personalization in Less Time

Corporate Vision’s research focused on creating a hyper-personalized experience for every prospect using outbound marketing tactics. Now, individual B2B content personalization is still the goal with inbound marketing – your delivery just looks different.

No, you aren’t creating hyper-personalized blog posts for a specific person at each company. That would feel intrusive. However, you could use account-based marketing to create content for

  • End users at your target company
  • CEOs of your target company
  • Marketers at your target company

The content is still personalized on an industry and company level but it’s not intrusive because it’s helpful and relevant.

How you deliver your content is also the catalyst for creating a hyper-personalized experience. Let’s say you spent weeks developing content for prospects who work for non-profits. You might have organized all this content in one menu item titled “non-profit resources.”

If someone arrives at your blog from a social media link or landing page, you must rely on the visitor seeing this menu item if you want them to discover all your amazing personalized content.

That’s not effective either. It puts the burden on your visitor to find your relevant content.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning do the opposite: They create a hyper-personalized experience with data you’re already collecting and content you already have.

Just like Netflix or Spotify, AI tools for B2B content personalization study the behavior of each visitor on your site and use it to provide personalized content recommendations. As more visitors browse your site, the AI learns what they like and improves its content recommendations.

That’s why your YouTube music recommendations are often much more relevant than Spotify despite Spotify being a dedicated music app: YouTube simply has a much larger amount of data to work with and improve its suggestions.

What Tools Can Help You Deliver Personalized Content?

Adding an AI engine to your website might sound complicated but it’s really not. All the tedious coding work is already done and the engine works behind the scenes. You just plug it and play!

You can add artificial intelligence to your website through many tools to improve your B2B content personalization:

  • Adaptive Content Hubs: You still organize your content by broad categories but when someone starts reading, the AI engine takes over and offers an endless stream of personalized content recommendations.
  • Self-Nurturing Landing Pages: Instead of letting leads drop off, AI offers the best piece of content to continue guiding them down the sales funnel in an endless stream.
  • Exit Intent Popups: Instead of confronting your visitors with lead forms as they try to exit your page, AI-driven popups use their on-site behavior to offer personalized content recommendations that lure them back onto the page.

The Hushly AI engine can help you harness the power of AI to drive your B2B content personalization strategy. Check out the benefits of self-nurturing landing pages and learn how they work!

B2B content personalization

7 Steps to Create an Effective B2B Web Personalization Strategy

web personalization strategy

Run a Google search for “web personalization strategy” and you’ll find plenty of long and drawn-out articles explaining every piece of personalization in case-by-case detail.

This is not one of those articles.

Data and personalization don’t have to be complicated or go over your head.

Here’s a simple, matter-of-fact plan in seven steps about how to get started with your B2B personalization strategy.

“But B2B isn’t simple. Personalization isn’t simple!” No, it’s not – but we don’t need to make it more complicated than it needs to be either.

1. Decide on Concrete Goals for Your Web Personalization Strategy

First things first. Look at your current numbers and get some goals in order. Of course, every B2B wants to convert more leads into buyers and boost revenue, but how?

  • Conversion rate optimization: How? More web traffic? Improving PPC landing pages?
  • Lead nurturing: Where are your leads dropping off?
  • Account-based marketing: In which accounts/industries/companies would you like to engage?
  • Abandonment: How can you encourage visitors to stay on your site?
  • Post-purchase: How can you improve relationships and boost loyalty with your current buyers?
  • Web design: How can you make your website more user-friendly?
  • Retargeting: What are the best methods to connect with your leads? Social media? Email?

2. Ditch Forms for Accurate Data and Personalization for Mobile Visitors

70% of all B2B Google searches happen on mobile devices. If a form pops up on your blog or landing page and your visitor is browsing from a smartphone, they’re not going to fill it out.

No one likes forms – not on browser, not on mobile. When you put your content behind a form, you’re pushing away tons of qualified leads.

Getting rid of forms is critical for creating a mobile-friendly website in 2020.

Not only that, but forms are screwing up your data. If your content is gated and visitors need to fill out a form to access it, how many people do you think will give fake information?

Hint: A lot more than you think.

3. Vet All Your Leads and Clean Up Databases

Now it’s time to make sure you’re starting your B2B web personalization strategy with clean and accurate data.

Did you know that 62% of businesses are working with data that’s up to 40% incorrect and 25% of B2B databases contain critical errors?

Database flaws are dangerous and lead to the failure of 40% of all objectives.

 Use human lead verification for all of your current database and any future leads. Luckily, since B2Bs tend to have fewer leads in their system than B2C, it shouldn’t be too hard to clean up what you have.

For every lead you collect, cross-reference the business email address and country location with publicly available information on LinkedIn.

4. Segment Your Audience for Firmographics

As you pull data from LinkedIn to verify your leads, you’ll also be able to grab other vital pieces of information. Break up your audience as you do this based on firmographic information such as

  • Company name
  • Job role
  • Company size
  • Geolocation
  • Department
  • Industry
  • Business phone number and email

5. Segment Your Audience Again for Personalized Content Planning

Firmographics are important but you also need to figure out what type of content your leads like to consume. Content is a critical part of the buying process for B2Bs and you need to make sure you’re investing your time and effort wisely.

Blog posts aren’t enough. 49% of buyers like to consume video during the buying process while 65% listen to podcasts. You need to create personalized content for each segment of your audience.

  • eBooks
  • Webinars
  • Podcasts
  • Case studies
  • Video
  • Tutorials
  • Whitepapers

6. Leverage Behavioral Data for a Hyper-Relevant Personalized Content

Using special software like Hushly, you can track behavior on your website and use the information to create a personalized lead nurturing strategy on your website and off.

Which blog posts did your lead read? What piece of content enticed them to give you their email address and stay in touch? Do they follow anyone in your company on LinkedIn?

These pieces of information can help tremendously when you start creating email and social media retargeting campaigns because your content is more likely to be relevant.

7. Use Referral Data and Personalization for Retargeting Campaigns

Now it’s time to look at a few ways you can put your web personalization strategy into action.

Keep in mind that buyers complete anywhere from 57% to 90% of the sales process before they ever connect with someone from your company. Give your leads the tools to self-nurture and keep them on your website with tactics like those below.

Adaptive Content Hub Web Personalization Strategy

An adaptive content hub organizes and categorizes your best pieces of content based on type (ex: eBooks, case studies, etc.). As your visitors browse, an algorithm will continue showing them similar pieces of content – just like Spotify or Amazon.

Use Exit Intent Popups with Personalized Content

You need an abandonment strategy but bombarding your visitors with exit intent forms isn’t the answer. Instead, use an exit intent popup that gives them more relevant pieces of content based on the blogs or URLs they already consumed on your website.

Start Creating the Web Personalization Strategy Your Leads Expect

The truth is, your leads expect real-time personalized content on your website and landing pages.

Companies like Amazon and Netflix have set the new standard for consumer expectations. Your buyers don’t suddenly forget everything the second they sit down to work.

Personalization is so critical that 85% of buyers say they’ll dismiss a company that doesn’t personalize the very first interaction.

Hushly can help. With mobile-friendly adaptive content hubs, lead verification, and engaging exit intent software, Hushly can help you boost lead conversions by 51%. We guarantee it!

See how Hushly works and put your web personalization strategy into action now! You ONLY pay for real leads – not for using the software – and we can get it running on your site in just 30 minutes. (No need to get a developer involved.)

5 Reasons You Need a B2B Adaptive Content Hub to Nurture Leads

Adaptive Content Hub

You spend a lot of time and energy developing high-quality content to educate, inform, and guide your leads towards conversion.

The B2B buying process is notoriously long and requires a lot of time and effort — shouldn’t your website do most of the work?

Sure, emails and following up are both relevant, but an adaptive content hub can literally educate visitors and make money by letting leads self-nurture while you sleep.

What Is an Adaptive Content Hub?

Think about all the in-depth content you create to deploy throughout your lead nurturing process: eBooks, whitepapers, tutorials, case studies, industry news, authority blog posts, podcasts, videos, social posts.

Now, imagine you have all of that information in one convenient, well-organized, and user-friendly location on your website where visitors and leads can educate themselves and binge on personalized content.

Amazon’s Alexa, for example, offers a marketing resource center filled with valuable information about content marketing, SEO, and other relevant topics.

How Can an Adaptive Content Hub Help You Nurture Leads?

When you use an adaptive content hub to its full potential, your leads can nurture themselves with personalized content streams and personalized content tracks.

1. It Provides Social Proof

Your adaptive content hub is a great place to highlight detailed case studies. After all, 41% of businesses say that evaluating case studies is an integral part of their buying process.

With so much at stake, buyers need to know they’re making the right choice. They need to see other people – just like them – using your product and seeing a benefit.

With personalization you can increase that engagement and content consumption by offering relevant content to those visitors based on their intent signal, industry, vertical, size of company, etc. Leave the guess work of hunting around for content they like and start offering what they want.

Even if you don’t have a detailed case study with all the bells and whistles typed out for each example, you can still provide a list of brands that work with you and offer some quick stats, features, benefits or graphs.

2. An Adaptive Content Hub Can Help You Connect with Leads

If you have a sizable audience and client base, your content hub could include a forum or message board for leads and current clients to connect.

WordPress is an excellent example. Their comprehensive support forums make it easy to contact plugin or theme developers and communicate with other end-users to solve problems in the most convenient way possible. Plus, everything is extremely well-organized by topic.

You can also use a content hub to connect with leads who ask questions or have problems. Include a live chat or a single field for a business email where visitors can submit request for demos, etc.

3. It Offers an Incentive for Leads to Convert

An adaptive content hub is a valuable asset to potential buyers in itself.

First, it provides a solution. Leads can get relevant information up front at every stage whether they are doing research or at the point of making a decision. More often than not they want to get this information without having to talk to someone or send an email. Your adaptive content hub can solve most of their problems.

However, it also shows leads that you understand who they are by providing personalized content results. Keeping not only your brand and products more relevant to them but showing that you understand them.

Look at Sage Intacct, for example. The Sage Intacct Adaptive Content Hub provides templates and how to guides for small business, enterprise companies and has personalized content streams that offer personalized content based on where a visitor is coming from such as a non-profit, software company, etc. Everything from ebooks, guides, video’s are all there and can be dynamically rendered based on who you are.

4. It Demonstrates Your Brand’s Authority

A resource center takes time, energy, and knowledge to create. Today’s web visitors don’t want a static resource center they want adaptive content hubs that can adapt to who they are and what they care about. When you start presenting value to your visitors it shows that you’re genuinely invested in an industry as well as your lead’s success.

With eBooks, PDF files, and other in-depth content, you can really start to throw your knowledge and thought leadership potential around.

Taking the time to develop a user-friendly adaptive content hubs sends a message that you’re highly educated and capable of solving your lead’s problems.

5. An Adaptive Content Hub Keeps Visitors on Your Website

When you stumble across a brand’s content hub that interests you, it’s pretty exciting. You could literally spend hours reading and bingeing on content if the subject interests you enough.

Providing a wide-range of highly-personalized content will keep visitors on your website. Not only that, but it will encourage leads to return to your website for more information.

Connect with Your Leads on a New Level

To develop an adaptive content hub, you’ll want to gain a comprehensive understanding of your audience segments and personas. Start compiling resources based on data you’ve collected like problems your clients face, unique features of your service, and anything else you think people would find useful.

Personalization is the key behind all content marketing – including your adaptive content hub – learn how Hushly can help skyrocket your conversions by 51% with the power of personalization.