Web content is typically composed of written content like blogs, web pages, and email newsletters. All of this content is somewhat generalized and strategically key-worded for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). While SEO is an important need to consider, it is also important to remember that actual humans are processing this written information for more than just a word match. Therefore whenever possible the content should be appealing, easy to read, and accurate enough that they think it actually applies to them.
Which brings up the question, does a one size fits all approach work in today’s business world? Are we just adding to the noise, by broadcasting a message mostly for search engine robots to crawl hoping they serve us up to their users? Perhaps there is a better way, to provide a tailored message, at least in subtle parts that makes them feel like they are being spoken to directly. This blog post is focused on learning and testing smart content through the HubSpot marketing platform.
HubSpot has created a clever way to tailor content so that certain people see different things. For example, a person new to a site who is broadcasting with an unknown IP address might see a large green graphic that says “Welcome to this website”. Contrast this with a person who has visited the site multiple times already. The recognized IP address would be shown a different graphic that would say “Welcome Back to this website”. For this example, the marketing message would not achieve much, but it illustrates the basics of the tool and logic of how the software works. Creative and effective ways can be developed to manipulate this tool. This could be the ticket to provide fresh content on pages that typically do not change much for a couple years. What a difference it could make for visitors to consistently see new ideas and fresh offerings related to their shopping experience. Much like going to the same buffet for a week straight. The first day it was exciting, but by the end of the week, there was no excitement to go back.
HubSpot smart content is the way that marketers at can effectively and efficiently develop different messages for different customers. Setting up for HubSpot smart content is a little tricky, but the really hard part is coming up with a strategy for what you would say and to who. To experiment with this tool I chose a contact page that was frequently viewed by people around the country. The goal was to create a different graphic, advertising training events in different states. This graphic would change, based on the viewer’s IP address. Should someone from an IP address outside of California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, or Colorado visit the pages with this smart content, they will see nothing. But each person inside those 9 states, should see the respective graphic that matches their location. This method has a greater chance of success in comparison to marketing training events at random to every visitor. A person in Utah would be unlikely to click on an event for another state.
After establishing contact lists so that the people of each state were divided up into groups, I was ready to construct the graphics. Similar graphics were designed to show a message inviting them to find out more about training. The left side of the graphic was altered to show different state names. Then I positioned the smart marketing module into the page I wanted to test on. Since then, two weeks have passed and we have the results of HubSpot smart content. California, due to it’s size and population, is the forefront winner of the most views and clicks. All states have shown up in the analytics and there is proof that people in Utah are seeing the Utah advertisement as well as other states seeing theirs. This is an exciting tool that should give us more options for other types of marketing in the future.