The goal of content marketing has always been to engage an audience in such a way that the content results in conversions (sales). In the past, content was static, engaging an audience after a search or after following a back link. Contextual content marketing is different because it uses dynamic content.
What Is Contextual Content and How Does it Work?
Contextual content is content that changes based on information about the individual accessing the content. For example, a website might display different content based on the location information provided by the user.
How dynamic content is presented to the audience depends on the platform it is being displayed on. For example, a web page may show the same universal information about a business while the section for local businesses changes based on the location of the reader. On the other hand, two different people might receive entirely different e-mails based on whether they have previously purchased from the business before.
All of these decisions are made in real time by algorithms that are designed to present the most engaging content possible to each individual.
Why is Contextual Content Important?
The main reason that contextual content is important is because it reduces the need for the audience to search for information. When a text message or e-mail arrives, unsolicited, that provides useful information before the person actually searches for it, that person is more likely to act on that information. Similarly, if the first information that a person sees upon clicking on a website is the exact information they were searching for, they are less likely to engage in further searches on other websites.
Contextual content essentially performs the search for the audience. The predictive algorithms use context clues derived from user information to determine what content will best fulfill the needs of the audience. This paradigm greatly reduces the number of links that a potential customer needs to click on in order to get to the desired information. This is important because research shows that the likelihood of conversion decreases dramatically with every link that a potential customer needs to click on before reaching the information they seek.
How Do Landing Pages Provide Contextual Content?
Landing pages primarily adjust content for individuals by using macros. Macros allow for specific content to be displayed based on the data provided by a specific source. For example, a sidebar on a landing page could include a title bar that includes this: "Store locations closest to ." The macro would display the five digit postal code of wherever the device accessing the page is located. Since most people are interested in finding the nearest store to where they are currently located, this information would be useful to the site visitor in a majority of cases and would prevent the need to follow links to find the nearest store.
Plenty of other macros exist, allowing the page to adjust content based on country, state, city, street address, or even the phone number of the site visitor. Moreover, macro programming can be relatively complicated. For example, a complex use of a macro could use location information to find local weather data and then display product information appropriate to the current weather report in the area. The versatility of contextual content is only limited by the programming skill of the page creator and the amount of potential content that has been created for the page.