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Contextual marketing is a more personalized approach to marketing; it is a strategy that centers around the users coming to your website and what they are looking for. Essentially, it helps ensure that the content you are delivering is relevant to a user based on their stage in the buyer’s journey and any pain points they have. When working alongside personalization, contextual marketing is an effective strategy to meet a user’s needs, habits, and goals. In this post, we will be further defining contextual marketing and what a proper strategy looks like.
Contextual marketing is highly personalized and targeted
Personalization can come in many different ways, and it’s an essential part of contextual marketing. Whether you simply mention a contact’s name in an email addressed to them or customize your landing page forms for existing leads, these are all examples of personalization. The primary purpose of using personalization is to strengthen engagement and communicate specifics to a user.
In a platform such as HubSpot, you have several options with personalization tokens, such as personalizing by a contact’s name, company name or industry, and even geographic location. For example, you may have a landing page that features a downloadable eBook around the “Top 5 Web Design Best Practices for Your Business.” The default title may mention “your business,” but if you were to take a contextual marketing approach, you can personalize the messaging based on a lead’s industry.
Let’s say you have a group of contacts in the digital marketing industry; you can add a personalization token that will recognize if the person coming to the landing page has information about their industry in your contact database. Then, when they visit that landing page, the personalization token you set up can alter the text on the page to “Top 5 Web Design Best Practices for Your Digital Marketing Business.” Likewise, you may also set up an alternate version of the landing page for leads whose information you’ve already gathered. This way, they won’t need to fill out the same personal information into a form twice.
Contextual marketing is grown across all stages of the buyer’s journey
Regardless of which stage of the buyer’s journey a user is in, a contextual marketing strategy can fit their needs. This is part of the beauty behind building a personalized strategy that can cater to all kinds of unique users. When developing content for your contextual marketing strategy, each content piece should be properly mapped out to the buyer’s journey. For a quick recap, here is a breakdown of the 3 stages of the buyer’s journey along with content suggestions for each:
- Awareness Stage: this is when a prospect recognizes an issue that needs to be resolved. In this stage, they will be spending their time researching to clearly define what issue they are experiencing. Your content should focus on educating your audience. This can include blog posts, eBooks, white papers, and even posts you share on social media.
- Consideration Stage: the prospect has now defined their problem and is looking for options to resolve it. The content you create in this stage will be more high-level pieces such as case studies or videos.
- Decision Stage: the prospect has evaluated several different solutions and must now make a selection. This is where you will want to showcase your company’s value and how it compares to competitors. Share key testimonials and reviews from existing customers, or, if you provide SaaS solutions, offer a demo or free trial.
User experience is a priority in contextual marketing
Your marketing website is the first place prospects are likely to interact with your company and brand. For a contextual marketing strategy to be truly effective, it needs a strong user experience to back it up. To start, you will want to evaluate your current website performance and level of engagement. This includes assessing areas like session duration, bounce rate, conversions, page load times, and navigation.
For your website’s navigation, there are two styles you can choose from: flat or deep. Flat, horizontal web architecture allows the user to reach multiple pages branching out from the home page. Deep, vertical style, as the name implies, has deeper levels with fewer top-level categories and subcategories; it requires more clicks to reach a specific page. In the grand scheme of contextual marketing, simplicity is always key—regardless of which style you choose.
At thinkdm2, we prefer to use simple, clean design for our website architecture and navigation. Not only is this beneficial for SEO—given that search engines tend to prefer websites with simpler navigation—it’s also more straightforward and easier for the average user to follow.
These are just a few of the components that make up a strong contextual marketing strategy. For more insights into personalization, content development, and enhancing your website’s user experience, check out more blog posts from thinkdm2. Thinkdm2 is a digital marketing and branding agency located in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey—just outside of New York City! We specialize in branding, web design, and marketing strategies for companies both big and small.