How to get started with smart content

Last updated: March 19, 2018

Available For:

Marketing: Pro, Enterprise
Sales: N/A

Before creating smart content, there are a few vital steps to consider before jumping directly into creating smart content.

It’s recommended you first set up segments in HubSpot, decide where you want to place your smart content, and then ensure that you continue to optimize default content for both first-time visitors and search engines.

Please note: smart content is available to all Marketing Professional and Enterprise customers.

Set up your segments

First, decide who will benefit from your smart (targeted) content. Segmenting your audience into groups that are familiar to your business will help bring focus to your smart content. For example, you could segment your audience by lifecycle stage or persona.

Smart content will now also let you target an anonymous audience, not just the contacts you know that already exist in your HubSpot contacts database. If you wanted to segment on your anonymous audience, you can create smart content based around the country your visitor is viewing your website from, what device type they’re viewing your website on, and even based on what website or source may have referred them to your website.

Decide where to place smart content

Once you’ve decided how you want to segment your audience, decide where you want to place your smart content so it will be relevant and make the biggest impact. The following module types support smart content:

  • Rich text 
  • Form  
  • Custom HTML

Website pages are a great place to begin. When including smart content on a website page, consider the page visitors are viewing in conjunction with their lifecycle stage. For example, someone visiting your product pricing page may be further along the buying process than someone visiting your “about us” page or even your home page.

You can also place smart content within your email. This can be helpful if you're sending a newsletter to multiple lists. You can create one email that shows different content in the main email body to a contact depending on what list they're on.

Optimize default content for both first-time visitors and search engines

Don’t forget that, underneath all the smart content you create, there will always be default content. If a visitor to your website is totally unknown and they don’t meet any of the criteria you set with smart content, the default content you set will be shown. That’s why it’s important to get your default content right. Focus on making your default content perform for a broad audience.

Default content is the only content search engines can see. Smart content won’t hurt your SEO, but it also won’t affect it, so make sure you’re optimizing your default content for what you want to rank for.

How you can target your content

There are five different criteria to target your visitors using smart content:

  • Country (only available on website/landing pages): show content to your viewer based on their country. The country is determined by the IP address of the visitor.
  • Device Type (only available on website/landing pages): specify which device this smart content is centered around (mobile, tablet, or desktop).
  • Referral Source (only available on website/landing pages): show visitors your smart content based on how they found your website.

  • Preferred Language (only available on website/landing pages): Personalize your content based on the language set within the user's web browser.

  • Contact List Membership: show a contact in your HubSpot database certain content dependent on whether or not they're a member of one of your HubSpot lists.

  • Lifecycle Stage: This will look at the lifecycle stage property of a contact in your HubSpot database and display the relevant content based on the value of this field.

Once you have segmented your contacts but before you begin creating smart content, you’ll be given your options on what type of smart content you can create. Keep in mind that you can only pick one option for each module that has smart content.

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