One of the hot marketing buzzwords you’ve likely heard bandied about these days is “adaptive content.” What does that mean, exactly? Nailing down a definitive definition is difficult, but, generally, adaptive content uses numerous versions of the same content for different contexts. In the old days, a magazine publisher would only publish articles in their magazine, and that was it. However, the way people absorb content has since changed. It’s no longer one-size-fits-all. Today, that same magazine publisher needs to produce content that looks good in print, on a smartphone, and on a desktop computer. The publisher can’t limit the magazine’s content to print articles. They also need to incorporate blogs, social media posts, mobile apps, emails, and more into an overall content strategy. A successful publisher will take it one step further and make their content personal by anticipating what story will be of the most interest to a particular audience. Whether you’re a publisher or a marketer, adaptive content looks like it’s here to stay. People are demanding a personal touch and expect content to be tailored to their immediate needs across multiple channels.
Content needs to look good across all channels.
Sixty-four percent of American adults have smartphones, according to Pew Research Center. The growing popularity of mobile phones has altered how people consume content. These days, people access content from a variety of devices: smartphones, tablets, laptops, even watches! They expect what they pull up on these devices to look good and be relevant. Responsive web design, which ensures an optimal viewing experience across different devices, is an essential component of adaptive content. You want to make sure your content looks good across all platforms; therefore, you need to take into account that a large, beautiful picture on your website may not work so well on a tiny smartphone screen. People aren’t willing to wait around for something painfully slow to load on their cell phones. They also don’t have the patience to scroll side-to-side to see your content. Both of these issues will cause them to move on. A study found that 57% of users won’t recommend companies with poor mobile sites. You’d hate to lose out on such a valuable chunk of potential customers just because your website doesn’t load properly on a mobile device.
Know your audience, and make it personal.
Adaptive content is more sophisticated than just figuring out what device your content is being accessed on. It’s also about the individuals who are looking at your content. This is where personalization comes into play. According to a survey by Econsultancy and Monetate, 94% of businesses stated that personalization ‘is critical to current and future success.’ Econsultancy also points out that businesses that use personalization have been enjoying, on average, a 19% increase in sales. Not too shabby! These personalization efforts are not going unnoticed by consumers. They appreciate personal touches. A study found that 56% of consumers would be more inclined to make a purchase from a company that offered a decent personalization experience. To make your content personal and give your customers (or potential customers) the best user experience, you must understand your audience. You can do this by answering a few questions and then tailoring your content to your audience’s needs:
- What device is your customer using?
- How did your customer find your site? Who referred them? Was it a search engine or other site?
- Where are they? What’s their physical location? It would be helpful to know if they are in your store or nearby.
- Have they made any recent purchases from your company?
- Where are they in the buying cycle?
What’s in the future?
We can’t predict what technology the future will bring. Just a few short years ago no one had a smartphone, but they’ve since transformed the digital landscape. How it’s delivered may change, but adaptive content seems timeless, since the focus is on the overall experience of the customer. By offering a choice of content channels and personalization, adaptive content strives to give the customer what they want. And that will never go out of style.