In our current day and age, we are consuming more information on a daily basis than ever before. As a result, content creators are constantly pumping out information in an attempt to take advantage of the infinite demand for the same.

Get this… as of April 2020, Domo found that the internet reaches 59% of the world population. Every minute, Instagram users post 347,222 stories, YouTube users upload 500 hours of video, and WhatsApp and Facebook users share 41, 666, 667 messages and 150,000 messages respectively.

It becomes important for creators to remember that consumers are bombarded with content any time they open their social media apps. Hence, audiences need to be able to identify with your content in order to engage with it specifically instead of someone else’s. 

Personalization of content is an effective way to generate mass appeal because:

  • Personalization is a way of fostering an intimate connection with your audience by making them feel special amongst a hoard of online consumers. 
  • It is a way for your consumer to feel personally invested in your content. If your content can make a reader feel like it was written keeping them in mind, as opposed to a general audience, they are more likely to interact with it. 
  • When consumers can find a trace of themselves in your content, they are more likely to offer up their opinions and feedback as the engagement will feel two-sided.

#BuildingCommunities: Hashtag Campaigns
Hashtags are a unique way to create online communities. They allow people to feel like they are a part of something unique and to participate in a shared experience. This is why online advertising is incomplete without a hashtag. Coke’s #ShareACoke campaign encourages people to share a picture of a bottle of coke with their name on it. The hashtag added to the mass appeal as it allowed people to collate their experiences and come together all centred around Coke’s product. 

Cultivate Collaboration: User Generated Content
With the rise of social media personalities like YouTubers and influencers, relatability has become a key aspect of most online content. Social media personalities offer the promise of glamorized mundane experiences. Hence, it is the glamour which gets them eyes, yet it is the relatability aspect of the mundane that builds them a following as people like to see themselves in the content. 

The photoblog Humans of New York (HONY) is centred around telling the stories of normal New Yorkers. Its conversation story-telling style coupled with strategic use of personal images has garnered it a massive following and even inspired another blog in a different city called Humans of Bombay. HONY offers a beautified, edited version of a regular New Yorkers life which is why it has mass appeal. 

Sharing is Caring
Shareability is a key aspect of online content. When a user is sharing your content, they are aligning themselves with it as well. Hence, personalization increases the shareability of content. Facebook makes compilations of photos and videos on your account for special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, etc. These induce nostalgia in their viewers whilst also allowing them to associate these memories with Facebook. Hence, Facebook is also able to cement its own importance in your life by being the one to store and provide you with these memories.

A Helping Hand: Customization and Recommendations
Browsing for content online can be slightly tricky if you do not know exactly what you are looking for. With plenty of choices and an abundance of platforms to consume it on, personalizing a user’s experience with your content is essential to get them to stay with you. Amazon’s recommended products section is an instance of customization done right. Through their algorithm, the website makes suggestions based on what you have previously bought, hence taking into account your history with the organization. Netflix and Spotify are also examples of how customization allows users to have a uniquely tailored experience that is made just for them.

Personalization allows customers to integrate themselves within the content they are consuming. The key is for your content to easily assimilate into the daily activities of your consumer so that interacting with it does not require an extra effort on their part. The consumer must be able to find their content requirements with your resources; however, they must also be motivated to use your resources in particular. In the jungle of online content, a consumer is likely to participate only when one can identify their own experiences being represented.