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How you can create a customer experience like Netflix

Dynamic content, also known as smart or adaptive content, is a marketing technique used to boost conversions and customer engagement. You can use the power of dynamic content to display text and images on your website that are personalised to your different visitors’ needs, buyer journeys or site usage.

Not all customers and visitors to your website are the same. A B2B customer will look at different content from a B2C customer. A partner will look at different content from a customer. Someone looking for a job will be primarily interested in your job listings. A supplier will be interested in your product pages.

The Netflix Effect

Think back to the last time you used Netflix. Your account showcases TV shows, movies and documentaries based on your previous viewing session, and the sessions before that.

Based on what you have previously watched, Netflix makes recommendations that are personalised to you. The next time you log in, the tailored content will adapt to your viewing preference from the previous recommendation. Every time you access it, the content is personalised to you.

If you think about this from a macro perspective, Netflix can aggregate the viewing criteria and content choices of all New Zealanders watching their programmes, and make decisions about the wider trends of each market. It’s the same principle for your website.

How does this work?

Despite what you may think, there isn’t someone controlling what content you will see next. Instead, there are marketing techniques setup on the website itself.

Netflix isn’t just a video streaming service, it’s actually a Big Data player. There are over 100 million Netflix subscribers who watch an average of 1 billion hours of content each week. This type of engagement on such a large scale presents obvious opportunities for insights to be gleaned.

By analysing the viewing habits of its users, Netflix can recommend content for you, whether it’s the video selections displayed on a page, the selection of banners on each page, or even the words or links displayed on the web page – it’s all based on your previous visits.

It has also used this data to create hit shows including House of Cards. When viewer data indicated that people who watched the original UK series of House of Cards, also watched movies starring Kevin Spacey and movies directed by David Fincher, Netflix put these elements together to engineer their own show. They bankrolled two seasons immediately without even shooting a pilot episode, such was their confidence in the data. And this data-driven creation has gone on to become both a critical and financial success for Netflix.

Personalised shopping

Browsers also store history. Certain product websites, like Amazon, personalise content based on their customers' browser history.

For instance, you may be in the market for new shoes, but you can only afford them on pay day. When you revisit the website, titles such as ‘customers with your search history also bought…’ or ‘based on your browsing history’ will appear. If you’ve purchased something from the website in the past, you may also see similar shoe styles to your previous purchase, shoes in the same colour, or even shoe polish or laces that will compliment your last buy. This is dynamic content, and it is based on your browser history. It offers a way to personalise content for your customers so they come to your website for a tailored digital experience.

Where can you use dynamic content?

Emails

Not all of your customers want to buy the same thing. That’s why it’s important to tailor specific content to customers that are looking for specific product categories, or to customers who live in a particular region or country. For instance, you could send an event email to all of your clients in Australia, and have the email only show events that are in Australia. The same email could be sent to clients in the USA, but that would only show events in America.

Dynamic content also lets you personalise the email’s content down to the individual level. Adding information about the buyer, such as their first name, the number of loyalty points or air miles they have earned, or their last purchase makes your email more engaging and will build user involvement.

Websites

Use dynamic content to show returning visitors things that are relevant to them. If you know their industry, show them partner logos from their industry, rather than a random assortment.

As we’ve already stated, there is a whole range of content that can be personalised once we’ve understood a customer’s buying criteria, or the reasons they are visiting your site. Like in the Netflix example, by examining each buyer and slowly zooming back to look at a selection of your buyers, trends will start to appear. These can be demographic, geographic or psychographic. They can relate to the different buyer personas that you have established for the types of people who purchase your product. Once you know that 15% of your buyers are after shoes, 30% are looking at ride-on lawnmowers and 55% are hunting for calculators, you can start to tailor the content of your website to bring up visual and written cues to direct digital buyer behaviour in certain directions. This can be tracked on your site and is an essential aspect of lead scoring – to see if the trail you leave is being followed and leading to a sale.

Landing pages

In our recent blog on creating landing pages, we talked about using what you know about your customers to enhance and tailor your landing pages. The landing page can also display dynamic content, such as the person’s name, most recent purchases, or customer number. Dynamic content that displays products and content relevant to the buyer, based on their search history, should drive the person to the appropriate page of your site so you can learn more about them.

Why use dynamic content?

A lot of online purchasing is based on searching and comparing different products. It’s so easy to do this that basic consumer behaviour has been revolutionised in the digital age. People look for references and ratings from others who have purchased. They watch videos, read blogs and look at photos before they choose a hotel. Aggregators help us compare the price of an airline ticket from 30 websites in one place but the search for information can be an arduous journey. This is one of the reasons why consumers are looking for more personalised content, especially in the digital space.

Dynamic content can give you the power to produce tailored experiences, without the headache. Dynamic content has the potential to boost conversions, increase customer engagement and grow customer retention, as long as your digital content correctly serves the products or services your customers are looking for!

Dynamic content is also interactive in the sense that it’s a two-way street. On one side, it allows customers to have a personalised experience and also it feeds data back into your marketing automation, increasing what you know about each customer.

How do you start adding dynamic content to your web site? Marketing automation is something Aamplify can help you with. Speak to us today if you would like more information.

Eugene Rayner

Eugene matches the knowledge of beautiful design with the technical know-how to create lasting results for clients