I’ve been hearing a lot of talk about “Context” recently. Yes, it’s yet another marketing buzzword (yawn), but don’t go to sleep just yet!
At this point I was hoping to link to an article which explained it all simply and concisely for you – but I could only find long, complex and, frankly, tedious explanations. Here’s the contribution from Social Media Today:
“Context marketing is a set of best practices designed to amplify the value of your content to your prospects and customers. More specifically it’s about using known qualities of your prospect to either present your content in a frame of reference so that its presence makes it natural, noteworthy and useful or to juxtapose your content so that it creates dissonance….” (You can read the full article here).
Confused? Me too.
My understanding of Context Marketing
Basically, all it really means is varying the content of your website or other online communications according to what you know about the reader/visitor.
Amazon is a great example with their personalised recommendations. The website recognises the visitor and customises the information it displays for the individual. We’ve come to expect this from Amazon – which is why my husband gets so irate if I log into my Amazon account on His laptop – suddenly he sees recommendations for marketing and craft books instead of Game of Thrones and action DVDs.
Context Marketing for small business
Assuming you don’t have the IT budget of Amazon, there are still ways small businesses can use context in their marketing.
For example, many ecommerce solutions have options to:
- display visitor’s “recently viewed items” while they are browsing
- create a wish list
- save basket for later
all pretty standard functionality these days and examples of how you can personalise each website visit – i.e. put the visit into context
And it’s not just ecommerce software which is allowing you to add context quickly and easily.
I’m currently looking at a WordPress plugin which allows you to vary the Call to Action (CTA) at the foot of each blog post. You create a number of CTAs and then just choose which one to use whenever you add a post. For example, my default call to action might be “Arrange a free 30 minute consultation” but I could also have one to download my “7 ways to spice up your online sales” to use when I’m blogging about ecommerce and another which promotes my social media training if I’m talking about that. Of course, I could write a new CTA every week, but this plugin will save me lots of time, and if I vary my offer, I only need to change it once.
How to get started with context marketing
Perhaps the simplest place to start is to segment your email contacts and send out different versions of your newsletter. You can do this by client interests, so an accountant could have one version for sole trader clients and another for limited companies. Or by relationship, with clients receiving one version and prospects another.
For your website, ask yourself what you know about your visitor and then think how you can use that information to personalise the message they see. It may be a simple as the fact they are reading an article on a particular subject.
But if your message is tailored to the audience it will be much more effective.