What is Smart Content?

Last updated: February 21, 2017

Applies to:

Marketing Hub: Pro, Enterprise

HubSpot’s new Content Optimization System helps you deliver “Smart Content," or content that is intelligently personalized to your customer’s needs. With Smart Content you can deliver content specifically tailored to where a prospect is in the buying process, or content targeted to people the very first time they visit. Smart Content lets you target content based on anything you know about your contacts.

As you learn more about your visitors and develop your marketing personas further, you’ll be able to adjust the content of your website to be increasingly more personalized and relevant to your visitor’s interests each time they come back. You can use a mix of personalization and smart content to accomplish this.

How does Smart Content work?

Smart Content alters the content displayed within rich text, form, custom HTML, and/or CTA modules depending on viewer characteristics. Much like HubSpot’s Smart Calls-to-Action (CTAs), Smart Content is powered by Smart Lists and Lifecycle Stages. By creating Smart Lists that recognize your different lifecycle stages, you can customize the content that people in each lifecycle stage will see. When a visitor comes to your website, they bring some context with them for that session, including any cookie that was attached to them from a previous session on your website.

Smart content can also be catered around anonymous visitors based on their country, device type, or referral source. So if a visitor comes to your website who has never been there before, you can still cater your content to them based on one of the three anonymous options. One of the main ways this is captured is via "user agent" so that even though they are anonymous, some information on them can still be seen.

So, what does this actually look like?

When you have first time visitors to your website, they view what is called the “default” content: a statement that could apply to any visitor viewing HubSpot.com. Until they become recognized in HubSpot as a contact, they will continue to see the default content.
HubSpot Help article screenshot

If the visitor has previously visited HubSpot and filled out a form, or is a customer, HubSpot will recognize them and be able to generate a personalized message for them. In this case, you can see that the content is personalized with a first name and the text actually welcomes back the visitor.

HubSpot Help article screenshot

Why should I use smart content?

Data shows that personalized content drastically improves the performance of your website and the engagement of your visitors. HubSpot looked at the data for more than 93,000 calls to action created using HubSpot over a 12 month period and discovered that calls-to-action targeted to the user performed 42% better than calls-to-action that were generic. Investing time in setting up and utilizing smart content in your website has certainly shown to be worth the effort.

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