Today, everything in the consumer world is moving toward personalization. Instead of watching whatever is on TV at the time, you can sign into a streaming service to watch whatever you want and even get personalized recommendations for shows you might like. Instead of reading whatever is in the local newspaper, people curate through social media a feed of information tailored to their personal interests. People can even order customized products like shoes, apparel, beauty products and more from numerous companies’ websites.
Publishers and marketers are taking advantage of this trend toward personalization as well by offering their customers content that is personalized for each individual or audience segment. Rather than showing everyone the same content, they can use data to customize their content and make it more appealing for users. How do they do this? Through the use of a data management platform or DMP.
What is content personalization? It’s a process by which you choose the content and messaging you show users to maximize the likelihood that it will appeal to that specific user or segment of users. It takes profile data from your content management system, or CMS, and data management platform and uses it to choose relevant content for a given user.
When you use content personalization, instead of every user getting the same content, each site visitor sees content that is tailored to their interests, which increases the likelihood that they will engage with the content and increases the amount of time they remain on your site.
A DMP like Lotame can help you personalize the content experiences of your users through the collection, management and activation of data. Here’s a basic overview of how it works.
First, your DMP will pull in data about your audience from various sources such as websites, apps, social media, transaction history, customer relationship management systems (CRM) and more. This data can cover the demographic information of your customers and site visitors as well as information on customer behavior, interests and preferences. You may be able to gather data about your audience’s location, age, gender, household income, interests, spending habits, hobbies and more.
In addition to the data that you collect from your own website, apps and other properties, you can also obtain data from second and third parties. You can get second-party data directly from another company that has collected data. Third-party data is aggregated from numerous sources and accessed through data exchanges. Adding this data to your DMP can help you gain deeper insights and grow your audience.
This data contains lots of useful insights, but they’re hard to get to when the data is unstructured. In addition to collecting data, a DMP can help you organize that data to make it more easily accessible. You can divide your audience up into segments of users with similar characteristics. You can categorize your data in countless different ways. You might choose to arrange it, for instance, based on what sites they visited, the number of times they visited a site, what their interests are or the state in which they live. Different DMP users choose to organize their data in various ways based on the information they have available and their editorial or advertising goals. Once your data is classified, you can analyze it to uncover trends and patterns in customer behavior.
Finally, you can activate your data by integrating it with other platforms including demand-side platforms, supply-side platforms and many others. In regards to content personalization, you can combine the customer data in your DMP with your CMS to help you personalize your content for your site visitors.
Using a DMP for content personalization can be beneficial for publishers. It increases the relevancy of the content that site visitors see, which encourages them to spend more time on your site, increasing potential ad earnings. It can also help you increase user engagement, build brand loyalty and improve your overall editorial strategy.
Integrating With a DMP for Content Customization
The process starts with using your DMP to understand your audience better. Once you know more about your audience, you can start creating content that’s more likely to appeal to them.
A DMP gives you access to information about who your audience is and how they behave on your site. You can reveal how different audience segments, or even different users, act. For example, you might discover that 60 percent of your audience is male, and 40 percent is female. You might find out that the videos on your site are two times more popular than the blog posts. You might discover that the vast majority of your users live in rural areas, while relatively few reside in urban or suburban areas. You can take these insights further by analyzing who typically looks at which types of content. For example, you might find that those with a higher household income are more likely to spend time on the golf section of your sports website.
You can use this information to help create your editorial strategy. If you know, for example, that your audience engages more with video content, you can start focusing more heavily on creating videos. If you know many of your users enjoy content related to healthy cooking, you can create more articles on that topic and promote your existing healthy cooking articles more. Creating content that you know will appeal to your audience will help encourage people to come back to your site, stay longer and be more engaged while on your site.
You can also determine which types of content and users are most likely to help you accomplish other business goals, such as increasing revenue. Perhaps, you found that the users who spend time on the golf section of your website are also more likely to purchase premium content or click on ads. You might choose to create more golf-related content or promote your golf content more on social media to attract more of these high-value users.
DMP for Content Personalization
You can also use your DMP to go beyond the level of your overall editorial strategy and drill down into your various audience segments and even into the preferences of individual site visitors. Every time someone visits your site, you can use your DMP to analyze their profile to determine their interests, media type preferences and other qualities. If the user has visited your site before, you may have more in-depth knowledge about them including how they’ve interacted with your site in the past. If they are a first-time visitor, you may be able to use second-party and third-party data to determine what type of content they will probably appreciate. Now that you know what kind of materials they usually enjoy, you can choose what you show them in a more informed way.
Combining your DMP and CMS enables you to use our audience data to directly influence the type of content that you show each visitor. As soon as a visitor arrives on your site, your DMP can communicate with your content engine and provide it with a description of the user. Then the CMS determines what types of content to show the visitor. This all happens in real time. With each click, the system also learns more about each user, increasing its accuracy in the future.
When you show visitors content that interests them, whether they’re at your site for the first time or are loyal subscribers, you encourage them to stay on the site longer and be more engaged.
DMP for Content Recommendation
Combining your DMP with a content recommendation engine can make it even more helpful. You can purchase such tools from third-parties. Some companies also use proprietary recommendation engines. These engines suggest content to users based on numerous different factors. After someone reads an article, for instance, a content recommendation engine will recommend several similar pieces it thinks they may like as well to keep them reading. This same approach is used to recommend articles, movies and products.
Having a content recommendation platform helps ensure that you don’t show the same or the same type of content to a user repeatedly. The goal is to show the user the most relevant information to the user to encourage them to keep consuming content and to stay on the website.
Say, for example, that a site visitor reads an article on your website about finance. On its own, a recommendation engine might suggest other articles about finance. When used in combination with DMP technology, the engine has access to more information about the reader. The DMP might have data that shows the person is also interested in football. The tool could then suggest a football-related article in addition to finance content.
Want a real-world example of how publishers can use DMPs and content personalization to achieve their goals? Two years, Lotame started working with TownNews.com, a company which helps media companies better engage their online readers. TownNews.com began using the Lotame DMP to create content personalization programs to accomplish these goals and was able to decrease bounce rate by 854 percent.
Marketers, too, can use a DMP to personalize content for their audience. Doing so can help them achieve marketing goals such as enhanced brand recognition, improved customer loyalty and increased sales.
Like with content personalization for publishers, marketers must collect information about their customers, leads and other audience members through their DMP. They can then organize that data and build audience groups and, finally, activate that data by sending it to other platforms. If the marketers are using blog posts, videos or other types of content, they might connect their DMP to a CMS or content recommendation engine, as a publisher might. They can also connect it to ad servers and other marketing platforms.
Knowing customers’ interests, online shopping history and more can help marketers serve the audience ads that are more relevant to them, whether those ads are served via website banners, sponsored social media posts, emails or some other medium. If you sell multiple kinds of products and send the same ad to your whole audience, only a relatively small percentage will likely be interested in it. When you personalize the ads you serve, you increase the likelihood that those ads will be relevant to the customers who see them. This increased relevancy improves the chances that the ad will lead to a sale.
For example, say that you are a marketer for a company that sells musical instruments and accessories online. If your first-party data tells you that a given customer has purchased guitar strings and guitar picks from your site in the past, you know that they are a guitar player, and you can send them ads about guitars and products related to playing guitar. Without that information, you might send them ads about violin-related products, which would not be relevant to them. Say you’re trying to decide which ads to send a customer who has never bought anything from you before. You could use third-party data to determine which types of instruments they’re probably interested in. Your third-party data might tell you, for instance, that they frequent a blog about playing brass instruments. You would then know to send them ads about trumpets, trombones, tubas and other brass instruments.
You can also use the audience profiles in your DMP to suggest products to customers who visit your website. Rather than display a generic set of products, you can show a customer only products related to items they’ve purchased or viewed in the past. You could also send them personalized coupons and special deals about products they are likely to buy.
Approaching your marketing in a way that incorporates personalization has numerous benefits. If you show users content that is relevant to them, they are more likely to engage with it, giving them more time to form a relationship with your brand. Targeting ads more effectively can also increase sales because it enables you to show the right ads to the right customers at the right times. In addition, it can decrease ad spend because it reduces the number of ads that you send to customers who will not be interested in them and, therefore, not make a purchase.
Whether you’re a publisher or a marketer, using a DMP for content personalization can help you achieve your goals. Serving your customers and site visitors content that’s more relevant to them can increase engagement, brand loyalty, sales and other measures of business success.
The Lotame DMP can help you to collect, organize and activate your data and personalize your content to help you accomplish your goals. We also offer a Data Exchange where you can access data, an Audience Optimizer, Cross-Device technology and more.