Audience Insights for Personalized Journeys

All brands want to connect their products with the right customer. But without knowing who those customers are, brands are bound to lose out to digitally savvy competition. Why? Because winning marketing strategies make expert use of targeted data points, which accelerate audience insights and analysis.

With targeted data points, you can gain critical knowledge about who your audience is, what they’re interested in and which messages resonate best. The more detailed these insights are, the more you can target your audience and nurture better data.

The Basics of Audience Insights

Audience insights are based on preferences, demographics, location, interests and other metrics among a targeted group. Often, third-party platforms are used to analyze these insights to understand consumer behavior metrics and help brands craft usable personas for different buyers.

Marketers can also create composite profiles by measuring what works and what doesn’t for buyers at various stages of the purchasing process. As prospects and clients interact with products and services, insights will continue to grow, inform and improve upon a brand’s decision and interaction.

Audience Personas

Marketers use audience personas, abstract fictional characters that represent an ideal lead, prospect or customer, for each point of the marketing funnel. As tools, personas help marketers understand the need for distinct timing and content — not one-size-fits-all messaging.

Good data and insights are critical for both building good personas and understanding your cost of conversion. You’ll also understand what kind of content appeals to which audiences and when it makes sense to approach them.

Using Audience Insights to Inform Top-of-Funnel Marketing

Top-of-funnel marketing, where anonymous and casual leads first engage with a brand, is often costly. Money and energy are wasted when marketers attempt to draw too wide of an audience, and marketing resources are drained when irrelevant content is created.

Top of the funnel marketing can be effective, however, when combined with audience insights. With specific data points, you can increase brand awareness among niche audiences you may not even be aware of, without casting an indiscriminately wide net.

Audience insights ultimately allow marketers to understand which of your customers are ready to buy and which may require more time to learn about your company’s brand. Strong marketing analysis lets you tailor SEO and social media outreach according to where buyers are in their purchasing journeys. Because when consumers are presented with authentic, personalized messaging, they develop trust and loyalty in what your brand delivers.

To learn more about how you can develop and leverage audience insights, check out our new ebook, The Accelerated Buyer: How Personalized Content Journeys Impact the Buying Process.

How Integrated Content Creates Better Customer Experiences

According to an old marketing axiom, it takes seven touches before a prospect responds to a call to action. So, it’s no surprise most marketers are focused on simply generating those seven clicks.

The problem, though, is that a simple interaction — or a single piece of content — doesn’t tell a story. It doesn’t nurture a prospect or turn them into a consumer. A prospect can make that seventh click and return to browsing the web, never to visit your company website again.

To generate those quality touches, and to convert prospects into customers, organizations need to nurture visitors with a stream of curated content and keep them engaged over a period of time.

Check out The Accelerated Buyer: How Personalized Content Journeys Impact the Buying Process to learn how you can create digital experiences with a personal touch.

How Content Fuels Conversion

Webinerd funnel

Content creation fuels the conversion process, but it’s the customer experience that causes prospects to convert. But what makes for a great content experience that converts?

At its core, a good content experience has two distinct features. First, it’s markedly different from typical content touches — the random clicks generated by organic social posts, for example. Second, content pieces within an experience must work together to build a narrative arc; one piece flows to the next and pushes the prospect further along in their buyer’s journey.

Content’s Cumulative Effect

Webinerd in a green jacket adjusts data to reduce churn for her company.

 

With a solid experience in place, prospects will begin to engage with your content. These engagements will have a cumulative effect, where interactions in, say, a webinar, informs the next piece of content served up or the content experience presented to the prospect.

But before a cumulative effect can take place, marketing teams need to break content — videos, blogs, webinars, e-books, etc. — out of their silos. Content must address a specific problem for a general audience or be repackage-able for a targeted account.

One way of approaching content for scale is to think of multimedia content as packaged experiences. By creating content in tandem, you can craft a dynamic and informative experience that can be repurposed and tailored as needed and reach audiences at each point of the buyer journey.

Putting It All Together

Webinerd working on a webinar

You have the building blocks. All that’s left is to put it all together. Remember: content experiences must address pain points and queries while providing interesting and meaningful impressions of your product or service. As a marketer, you need to convey your understanding of your buyer’s concerns and what they are interested in long before they make a purchase.

The right tools and technologies can help you deliver your integrated customer strategy across diverse channels, platforms, and devices, creating an overall seamless experience.

To learn more about how you can create integrated customer experiences, check out our new e-book, The Accelerated Buyer: How Personalized Content Journeys Impact the Buying Process.

How Personalized Marketing Goes Beyond Inbound and Outbound

Modern marketers face a lot of binary choices when it comes to strategies and tactics. Do you focus on demand gen or brand? Field marketing or virtual events? Outbound or inbound marketing?

The truth is that focusing on one tactic or strategy over another is often a false choice. With the tools given to marketers today, teams can piece together the best aspects of a strategy or tactic without compromising on quality. Inbound and outbound marketing provides a great example.

Check out The Accelerated Buyer: How Personalized Content Journeys Impact the Buying Process to learn how you can create digital experiences with a personal touch.

The Outbound v. Inbound Dilemma

Outbound marketing, where marketers reach out to audiences in the hopes of engaging potential customers, has drastically changed since the days of cold calls and commercials. Today’s digital era has inspired the rise of banner ads and media buys, changing how marketers reach audiences. But outbound marketing is still largely the same in three ways: it’s expensive, uncertain and typically not as profitable as other methods.

By contrast, inbound marketing, where marketers provide content relevant to niche audiences, has turned marketing organizations into hubs of information. Combined with digital marketing tactics, such as SEO, social media marketing, and blogging, inbound marketing is a powerful tool pulling relevant, interested audiences to an organization’s website and its products.

But, where inbound marketing strategies are more effective at generating leads and engaging with audiences, they lack the element of a human, personal and emotional touch.

How Personalization Revamps the Marketing Funnel

Enter personalization. By catering to prospects and client’s individual needs, personalization has become a secret tool marketers use to achieve high conversion rates and customer satisfaction. And it does so by combining the best elements of outbound marketing with inbound marketing.

Personalization takes inbound marketing one step further by recognizing the individual preferences of audiences and using that data to inform content creation. Each buyer is met with content suited to their consumption styles, from white papers and blogs to video content and webinars. Content can also be arranged the order that is best suited to the viewer, effectively curating content by incorporating ongoing feedback and following the prospect with relevant content throughout their buyer’s journey.

It’s Time to Deliver Better Digital Experiences

Consumers, including B2B buyers, are becoming more accustomed to targeted marketing. And that trend is having a positive impact on both digital marketing and consumer perceptions of digital. In fact, according to a Harvard Business Review study, when online shoppers were told an advertisement was shown to them based on their on-site behavior, click-through rates increased by 11%, time spent viewing the advertised product rose by 34% and revenue grew by 38%.

Organizations that get ahead on providing personalized experiences are much more likely to find success by winning over buyers. This doesn’t mean scrapping existing marketing and starting from scratch. Rather, all it takes is a concentrated effort to understand the performance of your existing content and the different personas it resonates with.

To learn more about how you can go beyond traditional inbound/outbound marketing, check out our new e-book: The Accelerated Buyer: How Personalized Content Journeys Impact the Buying Process.

Make the Right Impression With Personalized Experiences

Every day, audiences are bombarded by advertisements. The average person online is faced with more than 1,700 video and banner ads each month. These ads are ineffectual, and often end up annoying customers and driving them away.

In fact, a study last year from Kantar found that 54% of buyers objected to online ads and 55% were apathetic towards seeing advertising content. Another 70% said they see the same ads repeatedly and only 11% actually enjoyed viewing them.

With all this oversaturation, how are marketers supposed to create the right impression with the right audience at the right time? The answer lies in personalization.

What Buyers Are Looking For

Your on-demand webinar audience awaits

Buyers are looking for a sense of connection in a digital world. People want to be recognized as individuals with unique preferences and tastes — not as usernames and account numbers. Personalization signals to buyers that they are heard, and that their needs are valued.

In the B2C space, customers are accustomed to ads matching searches and clicks. B2B customers are often left out of this online trend, but they, too, crave a more connected experience during their buyer journeys.

How Personalization Shapes B2B Buyers

A webinerd and her coworkers discuss optimization

An Epsilon survey found the appeal for personalized content is so high that out of 1,000 buyers, 80% of respondents said they were more likely to do business with a company if it offered tailored experiences and 90% said they found personalization highly appealing.

When it came to actual purchasing behavior, transactional analysis showed buyers were 10 times more likely to become a valuable customer — making more than 15 transactions in a year — when presented with personalized messaging. These buyers who rated companies high for personalized experiences also made purchases three times more frequently.

Drive Personalization with Targeted Messaging

Personalized — or one-to-one marketing — combines data and analytics to deliver targeted brand messages to individual clients. Today’s digital engagement tools are so sophisticated that marketers can create online experiences completely customized to the interests of individual buyers, and they can evolve those experiences with ongoing feedback.

ON24 equips marketers with the tools to create compelling experiences and leverage audience insights to provide leads with a personalized journey. Learn how to curate highly successful campaigns by downloading the e-book, The Accelerated Buyer: How Personalized Content Journeys Impact the Buying Process where you will find out:

  • Why personalization is taking over B2B marketing
  • Streamlined approaches to creating non-linear content journeys
  • How to build curated experiences with data-powered insights

Make Your Digital Campaign a Work of Art

As marketers, we spend a lot of time crafting creative content. But often, these incredible pieces we poured our time and energy into remain in a silo and don’t get integrated into bigger campaigns (like this blog – which we wrote just to hop on a meme bandwagon).

Content produced in isolation is never going to get as much attention as it deserves… it is destined to have a short shelf-life and fade away into the archives of the Internet.

Art, But Make It Modern

Luckily, we don’t have to rely solely on a creative genius to design campaigns that resonate. Today, we can use the digital tools available to us to develop a deep understanding of our audiences and their interests. We can tap into data on both content performance and lead intelligence before packaging up our best performing content to create long-lasting campaign experiences.

Collection Worthy Content

Here are five quick steps you can take to channel a modern Leonardo da Vinci or, more appropriate for the occasion, a Maurizio Cattelan:

  1. Identify an audience segment you want to inspire and look into the content you have that resonates with that audience.
  2. Select a mix of that content to support different consumption preferences and time commitments (If you lack content for a specific audience or a stage of the buyer’s journey, don’t panic: you’ve just found a great new content idea).
  3. Using a digital tool (as basic as a WordPress page or as functional as an ON24 Target page) craft an always-on content experience curated to your audience’s tastes — consider it your art gallery.
  4. After you share your composition, look at your data and critique your performance — emphasize content and lead quality.
  5. Finally, adjust your campaign experience to satisfy your toughest critics.

If Art Basel taught us anything this week, it’s that making art is easy if you have the right tools to do it. And, like bananas and duct tape, sometimes all it takes is using the materials already at your disposal and putting them together in a new, avant-garde way.

See how we made our campaign into a work of art, and learn how ON24 can help you strike the balance of using data insights and creating campaign experiences.

How to Time Customer Content to Their Journey

Customer marketing doesn’t stop when the deal closes. It’s important to increase your company’s value throughout your customer’s lifetime with meaningful engagement —- from onboarding, to renewal, to advocacy.

Yet for customer success, account management or customer marketing teams, it can be challenging to scale personalized engagement for each account and customer. That’s why it’s important to create a strategy for the customer journey and map out the content that is needed at each stage.

ON24 Target lets you quickly stand up customized pages of related content to make it easier to train and educate your customers. Simply select a layout and drag and drop all of your digital assets including videos, PDFs, blog posts and on-demand and upcoming webinars.

Just as you might segment your database, you can also segment your customers into user types. Easily customize messages and CTAs for select groups to create unique content experiences curated for their needs.

Enable seamless access by uploading your customer list for an ungated experience, then track their individual engagement across every lifecycle stage and piece of content. ON24’s robust analytics allows you to better understand how your content is performing and how your audience is engaging.

To learn more about creating value and educating customers throughout their lifecycle, watch this quick demo.

Driving Higher Results with Digital Events

Trade shows and in-person events used to be one of the most important programs a marketing department could produce. But ever since we as marketers shifted to digital marketing strategies, their relevance has been overshadowed by new lead generation tactics. But because of their unparalleled ability to create in-person connections, it’s a channel we can’t seem to get away from.

Two of the greatest values that live events offer are the impressive brand impact they have and the powerful content they create. Many event marketers are reimagining their strategies to get the most out of live events and are looking for ways to share their in-person experiences in the digital world.

More people are turning to online resources for information, making it difficult to drive attendance to live-events. And, with high costs and travel constraints limiting the reach of content, event marketers are finding it more difficult to justify their programs.

ON24 Target helps you to scale in-person events and digital experiences. You can easily include video recordings of live-speaker sessions, pre-recorded panel webinars and any related content that will further educate your audience and effectively bring your in-person event to an online audience.

Much like an in-person event, attendees only need to register for the sessions once. The big difference here is that you get insights into every session an attendee joins, how long they stay and what sessions are the most attended overall. You can tap into reporting analytics to share with your broader marketing team, or enable your sales representatives to have a well-informed follow-up.

You can include additional engagement opportunities that are relevant to the entire audience or design special tracks relevant to a specific audience. Create a digital event strategy to extend the value of your content and reach a broader audience.

To learn more about activating brand experiences, visit ON24.com.

Supporting Personalized Sales Outreach

Today’s sales reps have to keep leads engaged from first touch to purchase if they want to shorten sales cycles. But to close a deal faster, having the information on a lead’s interests and the right content to drive effective outreach is essential.

ON24 Target can help sales provide a personalized content journey and close more deals. Reps can use Target pages to drive personalized campaigns to engage leads or provide follow-up content from previous discussions. Regardless, sales reps are put in control of the experience they’re delivering.

To deliver personalized experiences, all sales reps need to do is simply log into Target, select a layout then drag and drop in the resources they want to use. They can select resources from all your shared digital assets, including videos, PDFs, blog posts and webinars, or they can upload their own content like proposals or recorded meeting calls.

Reps can add their digital business card to the experience, creating a simple way for prospects to follow up with questions or next steps.

For sales enablement and marketing teams who want to standardize the experiences reps share, they can create templates with all the right content and creative. Then the only thing a rep needs to do is clone and share with for a particular account, and watch the engagement roll in.

Once Target pages are in use, ON24 will capture robust engagement data so you can track content performance and audience interactivity so reps can track lead interests and continually optimize information that drives successful buyer journeys.

To learn more about building personalized content experiences that empower your sales team, watch this quick demo.

The ABCs of Engaging ABM Experiences

Admittedly, this isn’t our first go at ABM. We actually tried it four years ago and it didn’t catch on because the technology wasn’t there and the plays we ran weren’t targeted enough to gain any real traction. But now we’re back with a (polite) vengeance and achieving everything we hoped the first time because a lot of important things have fallen into place. We’ve got some serious top-down executive support. We’ve got a full-funnel strategy. And we’ve got the tools to expand within a diversity of accounts that wouldn’t have been possible before.

This article was originally published on abmleadershipalliance.com. Shared with author’s permission.

In this article, I’ll explain why our ABM program is working and some tips for making the most of it—particularly with webinars.

What’s different now

The ON24 ABM program is the brainchild of our CMO Joe Hyland. He saw a way to appeal more deeply to our broad-ranging customer base in every vertical from manufacturing to life sciences. Our CEO is also a big proponent because ABM helps us gather feedback and design products that appeal more specifically to customers in each of those verticals, like compliance-heavy financial services. And our Director of Demand Generation has led the charge on expanding within the existing customer base, which has completely changed how we partner with sales—in a very positive way.

Everyone is united around the same set of questions: How do we get into new units of demand and speak their language? How do we get our foot in the door with a customer and provide such a great experience they not only stay but grow? Asking these questions has both helped us drive more demand and made our customer journey more cohesive. It forces us to widen our scope and treat each vertical differently, rather than applying the common denominator of outreach to everyone.

It should come as no surprise that our ABM approach uses webinars and digital content experiences. If you provide high-value content to target accounts, you produce actionable data. And the best part about webinars and their landing pages (what we call target pages) is that they have a long shelf life, enabling you to repurpose and scale. But even more important than having engaging channels that you excel at is having a strategy that surrounds it. You have to personalize your campaign before, during, and after—especially when they include webinars.

Personalizing before

First impressions are critical. And oftentimes, the effectiveness of early engagement comes down to the relevance of the content. So when we strategize on creating digital engagements with ABM accounts, we take the time to stop and really think of each customer individually. What do we already know about them? If they come from our core vertical ICP’s, can we specialize the topics to their industry needs? What topics have customers like them responded to in the past? How can we surround core campaign experiences (like workshops, webinars, and events) with other meaningful content?

High-touch personalization might sound daunting at first but it isn’t if you stay organized. Map out the new campaigns and their associated content, and you’ll start to see very interesting trends arise in what’s needed, and this will help you repurpose elements to scale things.

Personalizing webinars

What about personalizing a webinar? The most impactful webinars I see are held for the pure intention of helping the audience do their job better. It’s an “I want to serve” mindset, not “I want leads,” that draws a crowd.

The thing about webinars is that people don’t attend them by accident. Nobody sits through a 30 or 90-minute program just for fun. They do it because they think you’re going to help them do their job, get promoted, or seriously shorten their evaluation. The challenge is delivering on your promise to provide value while ensuring the session is engaging and leaves a strong brand presence.

You also have to engage them during the webinar in lots of ways beyond sharing slides. Incorporate case studies, data sheets, or other content into your online events. You’ll help the attendee, but also collect additional data insights on their interests. It’s the same for interactive elements like polls or surveys. Polls are fun for your audience—people are often intensely curious what others think—and they produce immensely valuable data. If you survey viewers about where they are in their evaluation, they’ll tell you right then—no more guessing. Plus, you can feed that information right along to sales.

One of our most successful land-and-expand webinar strategies is personalizing a webinar to just one existing customer. We’ll invite a customer advocate within that account to co-host the session with us and explain to their colleagues how they use ON24. It’s relevant, credible, and as personal as it gets. Plus, it’s a cool way for our advocates to show off their work.

Making your content experiences continuous

With ABM, quality content and scale mean everything to your success. Make sure those nuggets of successful content get the visibility they deserve. For example, 66% of people tend to view webinars on-demand. If you aren’t hosting your webinars for all to see or driving additional promotions, you’re missing over half of your engagement opportunities. Plus, depending on your platform, you can repeat the live event, maintaining interactive elements like pop-ups and polls and achieve the same effect.

As you build a library of quality content, gate it, combine it with other content, and distribute in an externally available digital experience. Zendesk, for instance, pairs its Gartner Magic Quadrant reports with existing webinars to target specific key accounts, and Infor packages product videos, webinars, and customer stories together for target industries. There are endless uses for high-value, interactive, personalized content.

My actionable takeaway: Challenge yourself to deliver so much value with your marketing that buyers want to sign up and watch an entire webinar on it.