The single largest audience who interact with your business is anonymous. Typically 97% or 98% (1) of website visitors are anonymous. For most companies, only 2%-3% of visitors ends up sharing their email address or otherwise identify themselves.
This anonymous audience is what generate all of your future leads and business – they are your single source of income. So if you can improve the experience you deliver to them – your business goals will improve as a result.
This audience prefer to be unknown while learning more about your business, visiting your website, blogs and landing pages. They research and shortlist their options by consuming ungated content on your site as well as your competitors.
According to CEB/Gartner (2), 57%-70% of the purchase decision is complete before a potential customer is known to the business. These anonymous site visitors may be far in the purchase process and by the time a sales lead is generated the decision may already have been made.
Most businesses are neglecting this audience – and that’s a huge opportunity.
Mismatch of resources and audience size
In spite of these numbers, today’s marketers spend almost all of their time on engaging the tiny 2%-3% of known prospects.
Most online marketing teams are spending most of their budget on the top of funnel – targeting ads and content to attract the right audience and most of their time on the bottom of the funnel maximizing revenue from the known buyer’s/leads through optimization, on-boarding programs and marketing automation.
This anonymous audience have only one thing in common: the are all different. They have different interests, needs, value and are at different stages in their purchase process. Today on average 98% of these visitors leave your site and you never see them again.
Profile data is the foundation of relevant customer experience
Anonymous profile data plays the central role when it comes to building personalized contextual marketing experiences, not only enabling more relevant experiences for visitors in an anonymous state, but also known ones. By providing greater context about the prior interactions, interests, preferences and customer life-cycle stage – user profiles are ultimately much richer and accurate than ones based solely on other data like email lists or login profiles.
It’s counter-intuitive, but an “anonymous” visitor or user profile can be far more detailed than a “known” one. Anonymous visitors share a lot of data about their interests and intent through their browsing behavior – what they click on and download, how long they spend on certain pages (or how little they spend on others), how often they return to the site, whether they start and abandon the payment process, etc. In sum, theses hundreds of micro-actions can accurately portray details like product preference, funnel stage, and propensity to convert.
Browser, device, location and behavioral details, category and product interest, engagement level, intent to purchase, and literally countless of other data points can be collected, all while a profile remains technically “anonymous.”
On the other hand, a profile that includes an email address qualifies as “known,” yet might include little other information. In short, “known” does not equate to better or more complete.
Typically anonymous website visitors are treated the same, even though they are innately diverse. Rather than seeing what is most relevant to them, they all see the same content. Recent studies (3) show that while consumers across categories are researching and browsing products before purchase, less than 10 percent are clicking on advertisements, subscribing to emails, or engaging with a brand on social media. So engaging anonymous visitors in real time with a personalized experience tailored to their context and profile will reach the full scope of your audience while all other channels will only reach a small subset.
With the right technology, marketers can understand, segment, and engage their anonymous audiences, build personalized, progressive customer experiences that adapt to the individual site visitor. This enables them to grow more leads from the same audience, increase conversions and decrease churn.
From Content Marketing to Clever Content
88% (4) of businesses invest in Content Marketing to generate traffic and get the audience to educate themselves on the brand and its offerings. But conventional content marketing typically neglects the time between when your audience finds you and the time they become known to you – the entire mid-funnel. This is exactly where the 97%-98% of your audience are lost.
Clever content is data driven personalized context aware content. Content that knows who the visitor is – even if anonymous, what interests the visitor has and what brought the visitor to this point in the conversion process.
Clever content use a rich visitor profile and dynamic conditional content to render a personalized version of the content to each visitor. Rather than serving the same article to all visitors, the article is rendered individually to each visitor based on what is know about the visitor in that exact moment.
Content personalization is the future of Content Marketing as it solves a lot of the fundamental challenges traditional Content Marketing is facing. And the good news – it is likely you already have all the content you need. Clever content can be built using variations of existing messaging from existing content. Variations that address specific information from the reader. Answers to form questions or behavioral information like previous visits, goals, experiences, interests, purchases, PPC keywords, searches, stages in sales process etc are all part of the scope of parameters your content team can use when writing variations inside the clever content.
For starters a single piece of clever content can replace a huge number of traditional static content pieces – resulting in fewer more focused paid campaigns to attract the target audience.
Clever content has a much stronger impact on the audience consuming it compared to static content – simply because it is aligning the messaging directly with the visitors profile. 88% said interactive content is somewhat or very effective at differentiating from competitors, versus just 55% for static content (5).
Get more leads from the same audience
By delivering a context aware site experience that is aligned with whatever brought the visitor to the site and what interactions preceded the visit, you get higher conversion rates and make better use of your resources. This is a much more cost effective way to get more leads than simply driving more traffic.
By building Clever Content that is rendering based on visitor profile as well as domain specific questions that is part of the content itself you deliver a better visitor experience for the majority of visitors. This way you not only customize the content to the visitor – but you capture information about the visitor that would typically only be captured when the visitor identified himself though a registration or reaching sales. Clever Content is not only delivering better experiences, it also delivers more and better data. Using Clever Content you get much deeper information compared to typical registration forms and you get it from a much larger audience. Keeping the dialogue anonymous until the point where it is in the interest of the visitor to get in contact with you generates not only more, but better qualified leads.
There are multiple platforms out there to get you started building anonymous visitor profiles and clever content.
We have one which is free for smaller websites – check it out on monoloop.com
- Act-On, Website Visitor Tracking Datasheet, Marketo, ‘Unmask Inbound Visitors 2014.’
- Nielsen, ‘Global Connected Commerce Survey.’
- B2B Content Marketing, 2016 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America
- Demand Metric’s Lead Generation Benchmark Report for 2014