Have you ever come across a product or service that seemed like the perfect solution to a problem you were having? So perfect that, at every stage, the company anticipated your questions and concerns and provided answers and resources?
That wasn't kismet, that was excellent content marketing. Moreover, that company may have known exactly where you were in your buyer's journey and tailored the site content to you as an individual, using data about your site visit.
That's context marketing.
Broadly, context marketing means planning your content to reach the right person at the right point in their buyer's journey. To that end, marketers use a number of tools to build contact/lead records, track visits and conversions, and display the right content to the right people. That's a lot of data to manage and utilize, which is why a closed-loop marketing software like HubSpot is more or less essential.
Perhaps the most useful tool in context marketing is "smart content," or web elements that deliver different content depending on who's looking at them. In the HubSpot CMS, marketers can add smart content fields that deliver different text, calls to action, form fields, and personalization elements to visitors based on data about their prior interactions with your brand.
For example, a new visitor could see a very top-of-the-funnel message about what your company does; the next time they visit, they might see a message about your unique value proposition instead. Contextual marketing is all about creating an outstanding, memorable user experience that, above all else, anticipates and meets your visitors' needs.
According to the data, it's worth the effort; companies using smart content are seeing, on average, a 19% increase in sales, and smart CTAs result in a 42% increase in form submissions.
Right Person. Right Content. Right Time.
To visitors, your website should feel intuitive. Context marketing creates that feeling by presenting something relevant to their needs every time they visit your site, but it relies on other elements of inbound marketing to achieve that goal.
At the strategy level, you need clear and accurate buyer personas, strong content marketing skills, and a firm grasp of the inbound methodology. Database segmentation is also necessary because it allows you to divide leads and deliver content not only based on website activity, but by life cycle stage, buyer persona, location, device type, referral source, and more.
To be effective and natural, smart content should only be used where it will be most impactful; overdoing it not only boosts your creep factor (or stalker-quotient, if you prefer), but can become a logistical nightmare. Important site pages are a great place to start, along with landing pages, sidebar elements, and marketing emails. Smart CTAs can be used in blog posts to convert new and returning visitors with premium content offers.
According to HubSpot's data, conversion rates on pages with smart content are 20% higher than on pages without it. Why? Because you're able to appeal to people at the right stage in their buyer's journey, shortening the conversion path.