These days, tailoring user experiences (UX) according to individual needs and preferences has become paramount to digital marketing. In recent years, the staple approach has become the use of dynamic content — that is, content that changes based on user signals like past interactions, browsing history, and location.
Dynamic content has been found to increase conversions by providing more intuitive and relevant experiences. By providing personalized experiences, and reducing unnecessary and redundant information, users encounter less friction and are presented with the logical next steps in their discovery process. This leads to more engagement and more touch points that present opportunities for conversion.
This article discusses how dynamic content works, where you can implement them, and provides tips on how to make it work for your business.
How Dynamic Content Works
Dynamic content largely depends on information. And this is where building a customer relationship management (CRM) database comes in. This contains all the user data you have gathered from all past interactions.
For example, when users sign up for a content portals like Netflix or Spotify, they’re initially asked to tick off things they’re interested in. This allows these platforms to provide initial recommendations, which they can build on as users spend more time on it. The more time users spend on a site and the more interactions they have with it, the more information is gathered that can then be used to provide more personalized and relevant experiences.
Where You Can Use Dynamic Content
While recommender systems have become integral to providing better UX — Netflix at one point estimated their system to be worth $1 billion annually — there are other ways dynamic content can help boost UX.
- Improved Site Search
As search continues to become an increasingly prominent element of navigation, improving the quality of your site search can greatly impact conversion rates. Even simply optimizing autocomplete and autocorrect features in and around the search box can turn seasonal buyers into regular customers.
As you can see above, you can also implement recommendations directly to your search terms. This speeds up the discovery process as visitors don’t have to browse through your catalog to jump to an item that interests them. This is particularly helpful for platforms with large amounts of listings. Alibaba ups the ante on this, as when users hover over a recommended search term, a list of popularly used filter keywords are also displayed.
- Dynamic CTAs
Call to action buttons are incredibly important to boosting conversion. By ensuring that user data is kept consistent across all channels, you can present dynamic CTAs that can streamline the user journey from first interaction to conversion.
For example, you need to ensure that a user that’s already subscribed to your emails isn’t erroneously presented with another subscription form. Instead, they should be prompted for deeper interactions, like being offered a free trial or a free download.
How to Make Dynamic Content Work for You
Having all the data in the world doesn’t automatically ensure improved UX. Here are some tips on how making dynamic content work for your business.
#1. Take a multichannel approach
In this age of multiple communication channels and devices, it’s important to understand that a user will likely have multiple interactions with your brand before reaching conversion. This means that you need to ensure that users have pleasant experiences with every interaction.
There are a number of available tools you can use to provide customer profile-specific content in your off-site promotions. On BigCommerce, for example, you can use their direct integration with Facebook Dynamic Ads. This allows you to automate the personalization of retargeted ad creative according to users’ store browsing history.
Meanwhile, Google Analytics has its Multi-Channel Funnels and Top Conversion Paths reports. This can help you identify specific touchpoints and assets that have the most to gain from personalization. Using tools like these allows you to break down UX into smaller, channel-specific experiences — helping ensure customers get positive experiences at each stage of their journey.
#2. Improve engagement with dynamic content blocks
Email marketing automation platforms provide dynamic content blocks that enable you to add pieces of content to a larger email that are only visible to certain subscribers. Say you want to send out a newsletter with a section highlighting a promotion that takes place in a particular city. Instead of creating a new segment of users located where the promotion is being held, you can just use dynamic content blocks to make that section appear to specific subscribers.
These blocks can also come in the form of social media content inserted in your emails that are only visible to certain subscribers.
These dynamic content blocks add a personalized layer of engagement that can potentially lead to more clicks, and ultimately, more conversions.
#3. Make dynamic pages SEO-friendly
While dynamic pages are generally great for UX, not paying attention to your dynamic URLs might make it difficult for search engines to index it. To allow Google to more easily crawl your pages, here are some of the things you can do:
- Make URLs clean — For example, instead of yourcontent.com/index.php?=2017–01–11-news, rewrite it to yourwebsite.com/latest-news/. This makes it more search engine-friendly.
- Set filtered URLs with a canonical back to the main page — This is especially important for eCommerce stores. Set filtered pages as ‘noindex,follow’ — for example:
- Create sitemaps to help Google find your pages — This can be managed within the Google Search Console.
Having dynamic pages is great. Making them appear in search engine results is even better.
Best Examples of Dynamic Content
Netflix is currently the gold standard when it comes to keeping users engaged and on-site with its recommender system. If you have no clue what the trending pieces of content are, Netflix does a great job of using your past interactions to suggest content you’d like.
Similarly, Spotify does a great job of using users’ history to keep them on the platform. They do an even better job at curating playlists, enabling users to discover more of the content on the platform.
As you saw earlier above, HubSpot offered a free ebook download to qualified leads in exchange for basic contact info. After submission, users are then redirected to another page where they can request a custom demo of HubSpot’s software.
As you can see, all the info from the previous form submission is already filled in. This may be a small touch, but users appreciate it when you reduce any kind of friction.
Gender-based personalization is common with marketing emails, as you can see in the example from Adidas below.
Nordstrom takes this a step further, using subscribers’ locations to dynamically change content based on the associated weather in the users’ locations.
Users no longer just appreciate personalized content and experiences, they’ve come to expect it. And with the proliferation of tools and platforms that can help businesses deliver these types of experiences, there’s no reason not to leverage the power of dynamic content in increasing engagement and conversions. And because you can test the functionality of dynamic content, keeping at it will eventually lead to producing content that actually works.
Which parts of your digital marketing efforts can benefit from dynamic content? Sound off in the comments below.