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How will big data and AI machine learning effect content personalisation?

Content personalisation is a strategy for promoting relevant, targeted content based on your target audience’s interests and engagement.

As big data and AI machine learning continue to develop and refine, content personalisation will become ever more accurate and relevant to web users in the near future until every user effectively sees their own unique version of a website.

In this article, we’ll explore what content personalisation can mean for your brand today and propose the direction content personalisation is moving towards.

What are the benefits of content personalisation?

  • Increased conversions
  • Relevant recommendations (products, articles)
  • Improved customer retention and loyalty
  • Understanding of customer segments
  • Efficient marketing spend through boosted ROI
  • No wasted sales and marketing time

How your brand can use content personalisation to boost conversions

The ultimate aim of content personalisation is to actively engage your audiences, promoting higher conversion levels on your products and services. 

It achieves this through accurate content recommendations developed through AI machine learning and the analysis of big data. 

Big data information sets are far too big and complex to be processed by traditional software, so machine learning determines patterns in the data, allowing customer preferences to be clearly determined. 

Content personalisation can be used by brands in a number of industries to boost their marketing efficiencies. 

Through the use of targeted marketing and communications content, personalisation offers your customers more of what they are interested in, precisely when they are looking for it. 

Native Marketing 

Native marketing is a form of content personalisation, where the look and feel of advertising matches the editorial tone of the platform it’s hosted on. 

Native marketing makes use of paid ads that match the purpose of the media channel in which they appear. For example, it makes sense to the reader to have an environmentally friendly reusable water bottle promoted on a news site dedicated to sustainability. 

Native ads are often part of social media feeds or can take the form of recommended content at the end or in the sidebar of an article or platform you’re browsing. 

What is unique about native advertising is that native adverts don’t really look like other types of adverts. In terms of other forms of digital advertising, native adverts are vastly different to banner or video advertising. 

Native advertising to the untrained eye can be indistinguishable from the editorial content on the page. 

Naturally, this leads to higher engagement levels, the more so when a user strongly identifies with a specific brand.

To create useful and engaging native advertising, the ads need to feel like they’re part of the editorial flow of the content, rather than being intrusive, an accusation often thrown at pop-up adverts in the recent past. 

A method of making native advertising more relevant and effective is the user information and signals gathered from the implementation of chatbots

Chatbots can ask users questions based on the page they’ve landed on.

For example, on an article about Native Advertising from Outbrain (the native advertising experts) – the chatbot could prompt users – who send the correct signals – to make an enquiry. 

The end result is the nurturing and development of a new lead, a potential new customer that Outbrain knows for a fact is interested in its services. 

Content personalisation for ecommerce

Content personalisation can be used as part of a marketing strategy for media and publishing brands as seen with native advertising methods. At the same time, it’s also a valuable strategy for ecommerce businesses. 

An example of ecommerce content personalisation is Amazon’s recommended products feed. 

Every user account receives personalised product recommendations based on items they previously purchased or browsed. This strategy has been very successful for Amazon in encouraging its users to spend more money on online transactions.

It’s always tempting to spot something associated with your regular shopping habits and add it to the basket, just as you prepare to make payment, Amazon appeals to this mindset with great effect.

Using cookies, ecommerce brands can offer a highly personalised experience based on browsing behaviour, purchase history, demographics and audience personas.

Content personalisation is capable of a lot – imagine a joined-up marketing campaign which feeds into personalised data, enabling marketers to launch highly targeted, automated omnichannel campaigns for just one specific user or group of users who display similar characteristics.

In this way, your brand will be able to totally streamline your marketing approach, due to the fact that your website user experience and marketing communications are totally coordinated with your customer’s needs.

For example by looking at metrics such as browsing history, user demographics and previous purchases an ecommerce department store could intelligently and accurately speculate which special offers would boost the engagement levels of individual users.

Content personalisation on WordPress

The good news is that personalisation plugins are available on WordPress. There are a number of plugins developed and regularly updated, created by the community which allow your brand to easily display targeted and segmented content to different customer groups. 

The If>So Dynamic Content plugin allows brands to change their website content depending on the user. The concept behind this plugin allows web admins and content creators to dynamically add or remove content based on user signals. Admins simply select a condition that must be met for relevant and targeted content to be set. 

This method is all very well for small organisations with a relatively limited number of audience segments. However, growing and scaling companies with diverse audiences, sometimes utilising multiple platforms, will benefit from more bespoke solutions. 

Our bespoke WordPress plugin development service offers brands an opportunity to boost conversions by pushing timely messages to audiences when they are most likely to be receptive to them. 

Powered By Coffee can develop highly bespoke plugins from scratch, designed entirely around your brand’s needs.

One of the projects we’re most proud of involved a challenging brief from business news and investments publisher Bonhill. 

Their project required us to develop an easy to manage, centralised WordPress backend for their network of sites, while at the same time boosting engagement levels across all their websites.  

We implemented a custom widget to allow to Bonhill to increase engagement and boost sales. The widget gave Bonhill the capability to pull related products from their WooCommerce store into each editorial page view. Learn more about our WooCommerce Development Integrations.

We also integrated widgets which allowed Bonhill to promote editorial content, with the option of highlighting editorial picks and other featured content.

Finally, we gave Bonhill all the tools they needed to feature personalised ads on their website.

The future of content personalisation

As developers and marketers we like to stay at the forefront of developments in our industry, so we thought it would be useful to imagine how we see content personalisation developing in the near future.

  • Ultimately some form of content itself will become automated
  • Simplified ecommerce content feeds will filter out unwanted items and reduce customer choice fatigue
  • Personalised website navigation journeys will become the norm
  • AI will drive smarter website searches based on hundreds of user selected preferences

Get started today 

Needless to say, your brand won’t be at the forefront of personalisation tomorrow if it isn’t today. 

So, if you’re convinced that your brand can reap the benefits of content personalisation, whether you are a media publishing brand or an ecommerce platform, get in touch with us today and we’ll have a chat over a cup of coffee. 

Jim Kersey

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