Why and How you should Infuse Personalization into your PR
By Jennifer Jones-Mitchell
Apps, geotargeting and customized content are the trends to ride. Also, keep your SEO conversational, and don’t forget to take a stand in today’s values-conscious landscape.
If personalization isn’t driving your PR strategy, revisit your goals, metrics and customer data.
Consumers today expect brand experiences to be designed just for them, and the real-time data available today helps PR professionals deliver unique messages to a micro-targeted audience. Here are a few ways you can bring personalization to your PR programs:
Apps. Chatbots and branded apps certainly create personalized engagement, delivering the convenience and custom content that drives deep connections. Yet good PR is also about amplifying a brand’s message, so you tap into partner apps. Younger consumers are moving away from large, public-facing social media platforms and turning to interest-driven apps. For example, instead of joining a Facebook group for runners or diabetics, today’s consumers prefer the personalized experience of Nike’s Running Club app or Diabetes Pal. These kinds of apps desperately need expert content. Identifying the right partners to share your clients’ content will be crucial to creating personalized connections, amplifying brand reach and, ultimately, driving calls to action.
Customized content. Livestreaming is a terrific way to create personalized brand moments, especially for organizations serving disparate communities. Hosting livestreaming events with local experts can strengthen your clients’ community relationships and drive specific calls to action. Dynamic adaptive content will also become more valuable, especially for a brand for which location plays a large role in consumer engagement. Enabling web content to change based on individual demographics, behaviors and preferences ensures you deliver content that is personalized, valuable and meaningful to each consumer.
Conversational speech. As more people use voice search, personalized, conversational queries will kick off the customer journey. After stubbing his toe, a guy isn’t going to find his phone, open Google and type “broken toe.” Instead, he will shout, “Alexa, how do I know if my toe is broken?” For this example, a local health care provider should ensure all content is tagged and titled for conversational search—e.g., a video titled “How to know if my toe is broken.” Notice the use of “my.” It’s not how to know if “your” toe is broken. Your search optimization must be conversational. This is true for locational search as well. People are likely to ask, “Hey. Siri, where can I get a flu shot?” By optimizing content for geo-tagged conversational search, you can ensure your content is found and ultimately you can deliver customers directly to your clients. Early adopters will be the winners here.
Personalization and media selection. Influencers with just a few thousand relevant followers who can authentically speak to customers’ experiences will have a greater impact than a celebrity with 50 million followers. Online media outlets are using dynamic adaptive content to serve up the stories to individual tastes. In other words, what you see on CNN’s homepage is different from what I see, based on my recent clicks. So, it’s imperative that PR pros understand not just where target consumers get their news, but also the types of stories they want to see and are most likely to click on.
Shared values and shared experiences. Personalization means sharing the values of your customers. Some 85% of consumers seek out brands that support the causes they care about. This can be tricky terrain given how polarized we are today. Identifying a universal cause or isolating values that speak to all consumers will be crucial for brands that don’t want to take a clear stand. Still, it will be even more important to see that your cause marketing programs are promoted in a personal way that is customized to each community and customer.