What is smart content and why does my business need it?

April 3, 2019
By Tom

Still asking everyone you can find, what is smart content? Do I need it? Where can I find it?

Let me put it this way. Smart content has the ability to change its messaging dependent on what you have seen already, where you are in the buyer’s journey or what you have already bought.

Confused? Okay, so rather than trying to explain it again, I'll give you some examples, and demonstrate why they are smart, who they are helping, and how you can use something similar. GET YOUR INBOUND MARKETING STRATEGY GUIDE

The hand that feeds

You’ve found a company whose blog you love reading. They talk about nutrition, and at the side and bottom of each blog post there's a call to action (CTA) to download a free nutrition template.

After reading the blog for a couple of more weeks, you decide to download the plan. It’s a great read, you implement some of the advice, and it starts you thinking about cooking your meals in batches and planning for the week. You are cooking for yourself more, but you're not convinced you know enough to ensure your meals are actually healthy.

You go back to the blog for more advice and guidance, and notice that the CTA has changed to a cook eBook full of ideas on how to make tasty, healthy and affordable meals. Perfect, it’s like they knew exactly what you would need next.

After a couple of more weeks cooking these meals, the hassle of spending hours in the kitchen is wearing thin. You want the better food, but would rather pay someone else to do all the work and get your time back. Plus, never having to do a big shop ever again would be heaven sent.

Your return to the blog for a browse, and low and behold the CTA has changed to 'Free trial: Try our healthy meal delivery service'. You look over each shoulder, how do they know what I need?

Simple, it’s smart content. The website knows who you are by using cookies and tracking the email address you used to download the very first template. Now it wants to make your journey as easy as possible, and it's serving up smart content to ensure this happens.


What is smart content and why does my business need it? 

Is that you?

Continuing with the nutritional vibe, let's say that same company puts on an expo. You're all over it, a huge event with loads of top athletes, sporting stalls, gym stalls, nutrition brands and more. What could be better! You go and it’s amazing, with loads of freebies, product testers and discount codes. What a day.

When you next go to the site, the little chat bot pops up in the bottom right hand corner and says: “Hmm do I recognise you, have we met before?”

Again, you nearly give yourself whiplash turning around so quick, but low and behold it’s smart content all over again. The website ChatBot has been programmed to recognise a static IP address and address you accordingly.

Once you've got over the initial shock (I may be exaggerating how shocked you're going to be) and interact with the friendly ChatBot, you enjoy how you are being engaged with, keep up the conversation and are more inclined to continue business with the brand. At worst, you would most likely appreciate the effort gone to, to make your visit as pleasant as possible.

Either way, this small step of being more personal to the customer goes a long way.


Applying the theory to eCommerce

You will most probably have seen smart content work on an online shopping platform. It has the power to remember what you have bought, recommend what others with similar taste went on to buy, and what products go well with your previous order. In a nutshell, smart content reacts to your actions to increase sales (always the end goal) but also to make your life easier. 

For instance, if you're buying some nails from a hardware store, the website might suggest adding a hammer to your online basket. 

Perhaps you’ve bought some new trainers and running socks from an online sports shop. It might suggest adding a sports bra to your bag! You think yeah go on then, new gear new me vibes. 

You’ve just started looking into AI and order a couple of books online to learn more. The website might tell you what else people who read this book have read. One takes your fancy, and you add it to your cart to add to your research.


The smart journey

The reason smart content is so powerful is because it makes the buyer journey so much easier and more fluid without the individual having to do much. With static content, you are giving the customer a map and hoping they have the motivation to get from point A to point B to point C. With smart content, you're the customer's personal chauffeur, taking them wherever they need to go.

The above examples are obviously pretty specific, but they can be applied to pretty much any sector, company or buyer journey stage. If you want to know more about how smart content works for us, and how it could work for your business too, book a time in my diary to talk more!


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