What is dynamic content? Also called adaptive content, dynamic content represents personalized, changing copy or visuals that respond to users’ behaviors or needs. Successful integration of dynamic content into websites, emails, and social media platforms requires understanding users’ actions and pain points.
When the internet emerged from its research and science ARPANET beginnings in 1993 and became available for everyday use, the earliest web pages offered “static content.”
Static content meant web page verbiage and visuals remained the same until manually changed. No matter who visited the websites or for what purpose, those messages didn’t change unless the webmasters uploaded different scripts.
Over time, the scripting supporting web pages became more sophisticated and flexible, while the late 1990s saw the rise of social sites on the World Wide Web. This, in turn, prompted the field of data-driven analytics to help determine why users engaged with certain pages and sites.
As more people flocked to the internet to buy, sell and learn, businesses and corporations experimented with ways in which they could stand out from the competition. One competitive advantage involved automatically changing web messages based on market segmentation, consumer pain points, and visitor behaviors.
This, in turn, led to the dynamic content concept. In its most basic form, dynamic content provides specific, targeted messages to web users based on their needs, behaviors, and other factors.
What makes the content “dynamic?”
Understanding dynamic content starts with understanding the purpose of why people visit certain websites and why websites are created in the first place.
Websites go live for two reasons: to build audiences and to sell to those audiences. “Selling” doesn’t necessarily mean products or services, either. Many organizational websites sell information to benefit visitors.
Those who are savvy when it comes to web development recognize that when a website goes live, it doesn’t guarantee visitors will automatically flock to it.
Additional tools, such as social media platforms, emails, and newsletters, help increase website visitors.
Dynamic content within these media helps organizations successfully build and sell websites by incorporating scripts and language to continually change copy and visuals, driving different messages to diverse audiences.
Also known as “adaptive content,” the messages change, based on the audiences’ needs and behaviors.
Dynamic content can also provide the following advantages for internet activities.
A more user-friendly, personal experience
Take a moment to put yourself in your users’ shoes.
When you receive a generic email message, your first reaction might be annoyance, followed by a quick click of the “delete” button. If that generic message pops up on a website, you might not want to come back to those pages.
Now, think about your reaction to highly personalized messages or targeted commentary when you visit a website. You might be more inclined to trust the organization behind those messages because that organization knows your behavior and pain points.
In short, the more personalized your message, the more your audience trusts you. The higher the trust level, the higher potential revenues and/or return website visits.
Increased product/service/information relevancy
Let’s face it. Your audiences have a lot of things vying for their attention, both online and offline. Using dynamic content to present relevant offers or topics can help educate and inform your visitors while underlining why they might want to continue maintaining a relationship with you.
For example, a carefully timed virtual coupon with a personalized message to purchase online holiday gifts does two things. It reminds your audience that the holidays are upon them while offering a gentle reminder that using the coupon can provide added benefits. That coupon, in turn, offers an incentive for conversions.
Ease of change
There’s no doubt that static content is very easy to prepare and upload. The good news is that dynamic content can also be easier to prepare and upload.
Today’s lightning-speed technology is capable of uploading adaptive content seamlessly and quickly, resulting in faster downloads and automatically generated and customized emails.
A good example of this is an email you receive after placing an order. Through dynamic content, that email thanks you for buying the product, lets you know what the product will be delivered, and even gives you a FedEx, UPS, or USPS number to track your item as it moves from origin to your shopping destination.
Successfully using dynamic content
Another great benefit of dynamic content is that it’s useful across all areas of the World Wide Web. Some examples are as follows.
- Hero banners. Hero banners, hero images, or hero spots are large or oversized web banner images pinned to web page header sections, which often extend across the entire web page. Because of their position and size, these bright and colorful visuals are typically the first thing visitors see when they log onto a website. Thanks to the dynamic content script, those rotating messages can be highly personalized based on the user’s previous engagement with the website.
- Location-specific and other information. Sometimes known as widgets, this type of dynamic content provides highly geographic-targeted market intelligence based on data collected from previous visits and behavior. Topics offered can include weather, news, or other interesting, reports of interest to your visitors.
- Social media ads. Google and Facebook ads both offer ways to dynamically respond to social media users with useful and relevant ads. You’ve no doubt experienced this yourself. When you visit a website to buy a product or service, you might find an organization “following” you onto your social media accounts or Google through a process known as retargeting. This dynamic content strategy can change based on the websites you visit and your perceived needs and overall behavior.
- Calls to action. Yes, even the trusty CTA can house dynamic content based on how users find your website. For example, if you’re selling widgets, and a user hops on to your site based on a friend’s recommendation, the targeted CTA might read: “For more information on our great widgets, contact us.” If, however, your visitor comes from a Google search term such as “where to find high-quality widgets,” you might personalize the CTA with those SEO terms to read: “learn why our widgets outperform everyone else’s. Contact us today!”
- Emails or newsletters. Both emails and newsletters operate effectively under a dynamic content strategy. Well-crafted, personalized emails not only let your visitors know about the new stuff you’re offering on your websites, but they can also focus on the following.
- Reminders to take action. Let’s say you hop on to a Yankee Candle or Craftsman Tools website and start adding products to your virtual shopping cart. Then maybe you’re distracted by an email or phone call. A couple of hours later, you might receive an email reminding you that there are still items in your cart that are ready for checkout. This is an abandoned cart email strategy used by marketers to re-engage and encourage interested customers to take the next step and buy.
- Shipping/receipt updates. As mentioned above, dynamic content works well when it comes to letting visitors track shipments. Follow-ups also ask visitors to rate their product or service and the experience of online ordering.
- Visitor enticements. If you’ve been away from a website for a while, you might receive a “we’ve missed you!” email. This email might offer you various products or services to pique your interest based on your previous behavior. You also might receive a discount code to encourage you to buy or, at least, to visit.
More than technology
Certainly, one important aspect leading to dynamic content success is audience segmentation. Market segmentation isn’t anything new. Most experts understand various ways of targeting, through geography, psychographics, demographics, and personas, just to name a few.
However, the success of your dynamic content strategy is only as strong as the content you produce. In other words, verbiage and visuals must be developed to tap into audience emotions which, in turn, leads to action (such as visiting a website or writing a review).
To coin a cliché, content is king when it comes to dynamic content, whether the repository of words and images is on a hero banner, part of an email, or the basis of a personalized Facebook ad.
- Obtain in-depth customer insights. Any kind of successful content — dynamic or otherwise — must rest on the customer’s needs and pain points and how a particular product, service, or information can alleviate the pain or meet the needs. Learning those needs requires interaction with visitors and customers, which requires data-collection strategies. When used correctly, such data can help you understand what resonates with your customers or visitors, leading to highly targeted dynamic content.
- Test, test, and test again. Though it’s nice to think so, not all strategies are going to work. The same holds true with dynamic content. The best results come from consistent research and tweaking. Be willing to test visuals against words, hero banners versus CTAs, or short-form emails with longer-form newsletters.
- Focus on tone. You already know that content involves more than words and images. Success with content also involves how you say or show your message. Based on your data-collection strategies, you can determine whether your dynamic content should be laid back or action-oriented.
- Keep it small. Sometimes swapping out huge blocks of copy or visuals might be the key to successful dynamic content that generates a great response. Other times, simply revamping a headline or subhead or switching your photo from a cat to a dog might do the trick. While continually changing up dynamic content “can be a headache,” according to Fitzgerald, it can also lead to useful results.
- Continue optimizing. Any kind of content development — static or dynamic — requires ongoing change for effectiveness. Keep an eye on the metrics and KPIs to determine what is working and what isn’t, and be prepared to change when necessary.
Putting your content to work
While great copy and visuals can go a long way toward generating interest in your product, service, or information, tacking on a dynamic component to your content can help provide the boost that your web strategies need to spur your visitors to action.
When successfully implemented and monitored, dynamic content offers a highly personalized experience for your visitors and users. This, in turn, can help build higher levels of trust between yourself and your visitors while brushing up your brand. This relationship-building can then help lead to more unique visitors to your website and, ultimately, a higher level of prospect-to-customer conversions.
Need help creating a dynamic content strategy for your brand? Talk to a content specialist at ClearVoice today about your needs.