January 22, 2016 | Katie Friedman

Landing Page Best Practices: When to Use Smart Content


According to a study conducted by Econsultancy and Monetate, 94% of businesses believe that personalization is the key to their success.

That shouldn't be a surprise to an inbound marketer; in general, our experience shows that people respond best to marketing that's tailored to them and their interests.

See, potential customers don't like outbound marketing strategies like cold calling, telemarketing, and purchased email lists that clog their inboxes with spam. More often than not, these methods seem intrusive, impersonal, and even outdated.

Inbound marketing is about knowing your audience from the get-goYour buyer personas should reflect your ideal clients, helping you produce relevant and informative content and provide thoughtful solutions to their problems.

That's why personalization is the key to success—and one effective way to implement it is through "smart content" on your landing pages. If you're a HubSpot user, it's easy to incorporate content personalized to each website visitor. You can do this in your online form fields, CTA images, and even the text on your website pages.

What Is Smart Content?

The term “smart content” refers to the elements of your website that change according to who’s looking at them.

For example, if you were to visit VIEO’s site for tips on how to use Twitter or Instagram for business, you might see an offer for social media image templates and choose to download it. The next time you visited that same blog post, though, you would see a call to action for our Ultimate Facebook Checklist—because you already downloaded the first offer. 

To maximize conversions, the offers you highlight (like any smart content element you include) must be suited not only to the viewer, but to where he or she is in the buyer's journey. The results can be significant—by tailoring your content to suit each viewer’s needs, smart content not only increases conversion rates, but also generally results in a 19% increase in sales.

Landing Page Best Practices for Smart Content

So when should you use smart content with landing pages? That’s pretty simple—whenever potential leads arriving there have different interests, goals, personas, or problems.

For example, smart content comes in handy when your leads are arriving on your landing page via different conversion paths. Perhaps they clicked CTAs on blog posts targeting different pain points, or maybe work in different industries. There are many ways to use smart content to make your landing pages more effective; here are a few best practices to keep in mind along the way.

  1. Leverage smart fields on your forms. One of the most useful ways to incorporate smart content on landing pages is in your forms. Visitors are more likely to complete shorter forms, but as a marketer you want as much information as you can get; smart form fields let you do both. Each time a contact fills out new a form, you can replace the fields you already have with ones you don't, painting a more accurate picture of that lead.
  2. Don't use smart content for novelty's sake. Sure, it's pretty slick to be able to have a website that greets the visitor by name à la Amazon, but if the personalization won't add value, it isn't helping. Think first about your visitor and what will improve their experience. Does your offer target both a CFO and a Sales VP? They may both care about sales, but they have different goals and challenges at work. This is a great opportunity to use smart text to make your offer's value more clear and relevant to each person.
  3. Avoid displaying personal details like name and location; these personalization elements work best when the contact will readily remember your prior interactions. You don't want to seem creepy, right? If I clicked on a CTA to download an ebook and the landing page said "Hi Rachel, I see you are in Knoxville!", I would have the urge to look around for hidden cameras.
  4. Use smart content sparingly at first; start with smart form fields and build from there. As you gain experience, start testing other types of smart content and analyzing the impact of each before adding more.
  5. Don't forget about SEO. Search engines can only "see" your default text, so when using smart text on a page don't hide your keywords in the alternate version.

And that’s that! If you want your business to succeed, know your audience and then use every tool at your disposal to deliver content that suits their interests. Even better, use HubSpot to personalize your landing pages and better engage your buyer personas.

Want to talk about using smart content on your site?

We'd be happy to take a look during an inbound marketing assessment.

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Katie Friedman

Katie Friedman

Though Katie is no longer with VIEO, in her time as a content marketing associate she was our grammar, spelling, and punctuation queen. She used her considerable skill to write and edit blog posts, premium content offers, and much more for both VIEO and our clients.

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