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Smart content: What is it and how your business can use it

Guest contributor

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Smart content: What is it and how your business can use it

Content is at the heart of every digital marketing strategy. But what kind of content has bigger chances of having a powerful impact? In this article, we will discuss smart content and the benefits it can bring to your business.

What is smart content?

Essentially, smart content is personalised content that follows similar display rules to online ads. You probably know that site visitors are shown different ads based on their browsing history, preferences, or demographics.

Imagine if you could do the same with website content. Well, with smart content, now you can. This strategy makes it possible to show different site versions to different users.

The goal is to display personalised content, so that site visitors feel they are enjoying a tailor-made user experience.

How does smart content work?

There are different techniques available, but in most cases, you will need the following to start creating smart content:

  • Smart rules or criteria: These are pieces of information about your audience, like the type of device they are using (smartphone or desktop PC), their location, which content they like to read, whether they have visited your website before, how they found your site, and so on.

  • Different content variations for each element you want to make smart: For example, it might be worth having two different sign-up forms - one for visitors using a smartphone and another version for visitors using the desktop or a tablet.

You will also need a system to keep cookies stored in your users’ browsers. Once you have this information, you can configure smart content via your CMS or using a plugin.

After that is done, every time a visitor meets specific rules or criteria hits your site, they will be shown the smart content elements that best suit their profile.

Where on your website can you use smart content?

You can use smart content in any element that impacts your conversion rates. This could include anything from call-to-action buttons to forms, emails, push notifications, text blocks, landing pages, above-the-fold headers, and so on.

Where in your website should you NOT use smart content?

Because of its customised nature, smart content can attract the right customers to your site and improve your conversion rates. However, that does not mean that using smart content is always a good idea. There are certain parts of a website where using smart content could be counterproductive. These include:
  • Blog posts: Creating smart content is not recommended here because the lack of consistency could make it harder for your posts to rank high. In other words, if you have two versions of the same blog post, you could be harming your SEO efforts as search engines would not know which one to list. Tip: How to write SEO-friendly content.

  • Thank you pages: It is best to avoid smart content here, mainly because of how these pages work. When someone completes a form, makes a purchase, or converts in any other way, they are often redirected to a Thank You page. In most cases, there simply is not enough time to accurately determine if the user meets any of the smart rules or criteria.

The benefits of using smart content

Now that we know what smart content is, how it works, and where to use it, it is time to explore the benefits of this content strategy.

1. Better engagement

Personalisation is not a new trend in the digital world, and it does not seem it is going away any time soon. Statistics show that customers increasingly expect a customised online experience.

For example, 80% of consumers say they are more likely to buy from brands that deliver personalised experiences. And irrelevant messages or content is one of the top sources of frustration among website users.

If you get smart content right, you can position yourself ahead of the competition and create an engaging online experience that your audience will love.

2. Supports testing

In the world of digital marketing, nothing is set in stone. You can never assume that something will work, that something will keep working, or that you risk being out of date. The needs of your audience change over time, and knowing how to meet new expectations is crucial to business success.

Testing is an effective way of gauging how your website is performing in this respect. With smart content, you are no longer limited to testing technical aspects of your site. You can use this strategy to see which content generates better conversion rates, traffic, or inquiries. Once you know that, you can adjust your content marketing strategy accordingly.

3. Granular targeting

Targeting allows you to narrow down your audience to improve the quality of your interactions, the impact of your messages, and the overall online experience.

You can still target specific groups using static content or conventional marketing techniques. However, these strategies can only target a few segments at a time since creating multiple versions and tracking their results consumes a lot of time and resources.

On the other hand, smart content can help expand your reach and target a potentially infinite number of target audiences. You can achieve this with minimal effort since smart content relies on automated technology. In other words, smart content allows for granular targeting and can save precious time.

4. Better local results

With smart content, you can capitalise on the importance of local searches by creating content tailored to local customers. “Near me” searches increased by 900% in just two years, and these searches have a 28% conversion rate.

The bottom line? Better ROI. If your website consistently delivers high value and keeps users engaged, it is only a matter of time before you start seeing ROI growth. Any effort to build value-driven relationships with website visitors will pay off – and that includes incorporating smart content into your digital marketing strategy.


Smart content is the way to go if you want to create the opposite of a bland, generic website experience. Dynamically adjusting your content to visitor needs can bring better engagement, improve testing and targeting, help create a loyal local audience, and boost your ROI. Are you ready to implement smart content and start reaping the benefits?

About the author

Greg Tuohy is the Managing Director of Docutec, a business printer and office automation software provider. Greg was appointed Managing Director in June 2011 and is the driving force behind the team at the Cantec Group. Immediately after completing a Science degree at UCC in 1995, Greg joined the family copier/printer business. Docutec also provides printers for family homes, such as multifunction printers.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Think Little Big Marketing.

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