Personalizing the User Experience Quickly with Sitefinity

Personalizing the User Experience Quickly with Sitefinity

November 27, 2018 0 Comments
Personalizing the User Experience Quickly with Sitefinity_870x450

Personalizing content can have a large impact on how engaged your users are. Learn how to personalize quickly with Sitefinity and keep your users interested.

User experience is often associated with design and look and feel, or how something functions. What is often overlooked is how much content can impact the experience. It can influence whether a user leaves your site or engages further. One of the most common ways to increase user engagement is through personalization.

What is Personalization?

Personalization is the act of modifying the experience to deliver one that is unique and filled with relevant content based on a visitors’ needs and wants.  Sure, we all know what personalization is, but when it comes to business and personalizing the experience it gets a to be a little fuzzy.

What most of us are familiar with is personalization in the context of ecommerce, especially when it comes to the consumer space. Think about the last time you purchased something online, e.g. Amazon. You were most likely were shown one or two products that could be sold or bundled with the product you were interested in. Additionally, you were probably shown products like the one you were looking to purchase, or even products that were purchased by others when considering your product.  I don’t know about you, but I am often clicking on these suggestions, just to see if I will find something that is a better fit for what I am looking for. Why? This content draws me in because it is relevant, and it relates to what I am doing in the moment.

When this is applied to the B2B space, it may not appear to be as simple or direct as recommending like products. But rather, we may take a subtler approach, such as showing content based on a visitor’s role/profile or based on a previous behavior that a user performed. For example, if you know the role of the user is from a specific industry, such as healthcare, we may show images that represent the medical industry, or provide content that showcases our product in the context of their industry, such as HIPAA-compliance, or you may want to provide more detailed industry-specific content such as a technical whitepaper or a how-to document.  Depending what we know about someone, we may even want to serve them up a promotional discount if they clicked on the pricing page.

Getting Started with Personalization

No matter the situation, we are modifying the experience to deliver a unique experience, one that is more relevant to the visitor. To get started, there are a few things you need to think about. 

  1. Audience Segmentation: How are you going to separate your target audience from the rest of the field. Is there a key attribute or behavior that you can leverage to segment this audience from everyone else? This could be data within the visitor’s profile, or based on an action that they performed, or page visited.
  2. Content: Do you have specific content that is relevant to this segment? The content must be something that the visitor can relate to within the context of their needs and wants in that moment.As they say, “Content is King.” This can truly influence whether a visitor stays to further engage or leaves.

Some example of personalization that we have used Sitefinity and DEC for include:

  • Targeting users who are a part of a particular marketing campaign. We always show these users the next piece of content relevant in their journey. This way, we are constantly offering them fresh new content relative to where they are in their journey when researching our product.
  • Showcasing customized messages to customers who are on a specific version of the product.
  • Highlighting technical content targeting our developer persona on a page that serves both a marketer and a developer (and doing the opposite when targeting our marketing persona)

Once you have your pieces, now you are ready to start building your experience.

How Sitefinity Delivers Fast Personalization

Personalization and User SegmentsIf you have a system like Sitefinity, personalizing the experience can be quite easy.

In line with the steps above, you first need to define your audience / user segment. The key to this step is understanding your segment enough to identify that characteristic that will separate them from the rest of the audience. Sitefinity gives you several options to assist in your segmentation ranging from profile fields, URLs (landing page or just visited), personas, lead score, or even behavioral data within the Digital Experience Cloud (DEC). Some examples of behaviors could be as simple as visiting a page, downloading a PDF, or even watching a video. Other examples can be a little more complex, like submitting a form to download a product trial, or requesting information or a demo.

Add Personalized VersionOnce your segment is defined, navigate to the page in which you would like to personalize. Sitefinity gives you the option to personalize the entire page, or to personalize by widget. No matter which option you choose, personalizing the content is as easy as updating the content.  The only difference is creating that personalized version for you to edit.

  1. Select “Add a personalized view” at the top of the page or within the widget you are going to personalize.
  2. Select the user segment you just made from the list of active segments
  3. Add Personalized ContentEdit the content to add your personal touch and save
  4. Once the content has been previewed and approved, you can publish just as you do with any other page. The system will do the rest.

Iterations, not One and Done

Now remember, personalization is not an end state. You must iterate on it, to ensure you stay in tune with your visitors’ evolving behavior. To help you do this, Sitefinity has reports within DEC so that you can understand the engagement and conversion of personalization by segment.  So be sure to constantly monitor the success of your experiment and tweak if needed.  

As you can imagine, personalization can be quite a big undertaking. If you are starting off, pick a project or two in which to experiment with. You can learn from these experiments and quickly build upon your personalization strategy at your own pace.

Megan Gouveia

Megan Gouveia

Megan Gouveia is a Sr. Digital Marketing Manager at Progress Software. She has spent the past 10+ years managing large-scale website initiatives to improve the overall user experience and increase lead generation.  Recently, she has turned her focus to personalization and optimization, delivering data-driven custom experiences for each visitor to the website.

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