First let’s talk about what smart content is. If you're like most companies, your customers can be segmented into a few different personas, industries or segments. Using HubSpot's marketing platform, you can automatically adjust the content on your website to reflect the specific needs of the visitors to your site. That content that you’re adjusting is called smart content because it’s smart enough to change based on who is actually visiting your site.
Business owners love customization because they know their clients and customers do too. Would you rather walk into a business and have someone say “Hey, you! Want me to do something for you?” Or would you rather walk in and have them say “Hey, Joe, nice to see you again. Will it be the regular?”
HubSpot explains it this way: “smart content lets you target content based on anything you know about your contacts, and serve up relevant context.” Still kind of vague, right? Let's look at some concrete examples.
Website and Email Modules
The first type of smart content, and my personal favorite, is smart modules. Theoretically you could customize your website so every single lead coming to it sees something different. Of course, for most of us, that is just not practical.
By default a visitor who is not a current contact or lead comes to a site they will see a generic version of the website. Once they convert to a lead, which means you know more about them, you can customize the website based on who they are.
In order for this to work, the first step is to separate your leads into groups based on how you’d want to change your site. You can do this by any type of system you want- lifecycle stage (how close they are to making a buying decision), where they are located geographically, which of your personas they fall under, etc.
For this example, let’s segment by persona. This requires a little set up. Let’s say you’re a B2C site selling tutoring services. You have 3 audiences- students, parents, and teachers. Set up ALL of your forms on the site to identify your leads by persona by asking the question “Who are you?” Without this question, or one similar to this, you cannot set up smart content.
Now that we have that form field set up, you’re going to put that form field on all the forms. Once that is done, you’re going to create a list based on each persona. One for parents, one for teachers, and one for students.
Once those three lists are created you can start creating smart modules. All you have to do is find the page you want to implement a smart module on, go into the editor, find the module, and click the “make smart” button in the top right corner. If you don’t see this on your screen, you don’t have the correct HubSpot package to do this.
Once you click that button, this pop up should be on your screen:
For this example, we’re going to choose list membership. But like I said, you can create smart content for any of these types of categories. Once you choose “Contact List Membership” you’ll choose one of the lists we created.
Once you choose your list, the following screen will pop up. Here is where you will input the content for each persona. If they are a lead that labeled themselves as a “Parent” they will see the content you put in the top box. If they are a generic lead they will see what you put in the bottom box. You can see, there is a link to add smart rules. Keep clicking that link to add each persona the same way we just did.
So here are some examples of how your homepage could look using smart content.
This is how your website would look to any visitor that comes to your site.
If a visitor comes to your site, fills out a form that has a question on it asking who they are and they answer with “Parent” then they could see this slight change.
If a visitor comes to your site, fills out a form that has a question on it asking who they are and they answer with “student” then they could see this extreme change.
The best part of smart content is that you’re giving your leads the information they need and getting rid of all the distractions, fluff, and info they don’t need. This will ensure that they travel down the path that will lead to a sale in a way that is ultimately faster and easier for both you and your leads.
Keep an eye out for more blog posts on how to create smart content for the other options (location, device, referral, or lifecycle stage). If you have any questions, please leave a comment below!