“Adaptive content” picked up steam as a buzzword a couple years ago. It’s one of those phrases that’s a little vague and hard-to-define, but once you pin it down, the concept is important to consider.
Content specialist Noz Urbina defines adaptive content as “a content strategy technique designed to support meaningful, personalized interactions across all channels. It is content that is conceived, planned and developed around the customers: their context, their mood, their goals.”
Basically, it’s personalization—but adaptive content must go far beyond just slapping a customer’s name on an email or letter. It has the specific aim of making brand experiences interactive.
Urbina provides a great example of adaptive content’s potential in an article for the Content Marketing Institute. He attended a wine-tasting event where the winery provided tablets which allowed attendees to view products on their website. Cool, right?
Right, but Urbina said the winery could have also:
- Allowed check-ins by social media
- Displayed a personalized welcome screen on the tablet
- Used the tablet to suggest wine lists and pairings, such as cheeses
- Adapted the micro-copy and tone of the website based on the user’s visit
Most importantly, he said, they should have allowed tasters to select wine on the website and then had it ready to purchase at the register when they left. In neglecting to do so, they missed an incredible opportunity for increased sales and a streamlined, interactive experience. Thinking above and beyond like this is one of the core tenets of adaptive content.
Using adaptive content is a complex endeavor and can be a challenge. Many companies simply don’t have the technology and the scope of content to fully implement an adaptive content-based business model. Here are just some of the factors that can affect the content you choose to create:
- Device (operating system, mobile, tablet, desktop, screen resolution)
- Context (time, location, velocity, humidity, temperature)
- Person (age, gender, stage of life, language, relationships)
Additionally, Urbina warns, it’s easy to accidentally take “personalized” into the realm of “creepy.” However, he maintains that the benefits of adaptive content outweigh the costs:
- According to a Google Smartphone User study, 88 percent of users who look for local information on their smartphones take action within a day—mobile users are action-oriented, making the platform ideal for conversions.
- According to McKinley, adaptive content converts three to 10 times more viewers than average.
- And according to a survey of 17,000 people (Gen X, Y and Z) by Time Inc.:
- 90 percent like the idea of custom content
- 89 percent see it as an effective way to break through the clutter of brands online
- 92 percent think brands have expertise on certain topics
- Two out of three consumers trust custom content more than traditional advertising
While adaptive content may not be feasible for everyone, it’s never a bad idea to consider how you can personalize your customer’s experience. Check out these sites for suggestions on how to get started:
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