If you go to visitsanantonio.com, you’ll see a large area right under the pulldown menu that displays some message. What does your message say? Mine says “Remember the Alamo” with a picture of the Alamo and the city’s Riverwalk. Yours may say something entirely different. Why? What each of us sees is determined by factors like what city we’re in and what website we’re coming from.
A customer of ours, GetSmartContent, is behind this clever use of web real estate. Their tool feeds different folks different content in the same space on a site. Not only is the individualized targeting very cool, they’re also starting to integrate video into their optimization process. Let’s take a closer look.
An online magic mirror
GetSmartContent can change spaces within websites into something like an internet magic mirror - they reflect back at you only what you’re looking for. With websites, first impressions are often last impressions. If a viewer doesn’t immediately see something useful or joyful to them on a site, they will often navigate away.
For example, pretend I ran an online clothing store. Say someone googled “rain boots” and ended up at my store. Without GetSmartContent, my page would feature bestselling clothing, not rain boots. My potential customer would probably navigate away from my page. But, with GetSmartContent, I could show pictures of rain boots to everyone who used rain as a search engine keyword to find my site. Then, they’d all see the great boots I sell. By always showing viewers content that applies to their specific interests and desires, GetSmartContent can dramatically increase clickthrough and conversion rates.
How it works and what you can do
GetSmartContent’s customers choose blocks of space on their page where they want tailored content. Then they can choose how they want to they will define what viewers’ see in that area. So, on my hypothetical store, I could set a content rule dependant on search engine keyword, as in the example above.
I could also set rules based on a viewers’ geographical locations, referral URLs, visited URLs, number of visits to my site (so they get new content every time), or previous activity on my site. I could also set my content to change automatically on a certain calendar dates and times. I could even set several different types of rules and prioritize them. To top it all off, GetSmartContent can show me analytics and help me split test content to see what content is effective and what isn’t.
How they use Wistia
GetSmartContent allows you to embed any type of media, including video, into a page. They use Wistia as their video host. To combine Wistia and GetSmartContent is to create a delicious pot full of analytics with extra optimization on top.
On a site that uses video inside GetSmartContent, Wistia provides a second layer of analytics beneath GetSmartContent’s analytics. We can show how a customer interacts with the content on the video with our video heatmaps and aggregate analytics. But this is a two-way analytics street - GetSmartContent can show us the individual factors that determine whether someone watches a video or not. For example, if someone navigates to a site from IMDB, will they be willing to watch a longer video?
We can also test, together, whether video is the best tool for optimizing online business. GetSmartContent can test video versus other media, and we can see how people reacted to the video.
What GetSmartContent has seen
GetSmartContent has run many split tests of video versus static media like photos and text. I asked them whether they think it’s a good idea to show some groups of people video and others different media. I was a little bit surprised by their answer - a resounding no.
So far, based on the analytics that they’ve seen, GetSmartContent has found that videos are always the most effective media for any audience. As they put it, “We always find that video wins the battle.” Moreover, they like using Wistia so they can know if a viewer is engaging at a high level with the video. They’ve found that usually, the answer is yes.
Conclusion - where to go from here
GetSmartContent has a goal. Working with Wistia, they want to prove what they’ve seen: that video always leads to higher conversion rates than a still image. They want to show that videos simply engage people more, and are the best media choice for most content. Then, GetSmartContent customers will make different videos for different viewers, not different headlines for different users.
On the Wistia side of the fence, we can apply GetSmartContent logic and their easy split tests to Wistia videos. And this is all just the beginning.
Check back for GetSmartContent & Wistia Blog Part 2 - a case study of a customer who uses our combined tools.