A Practical Introduction to HubSpot’s Smart Content Tool

blog author
Sam Swiech
Content Marketing Manager

Great marketers know they need to define their ideal customers before engaging them. In the inbound world, these are called buyer personas. And while personas are central to creating inbound content, serving real prospects valuable information in the right place at the right time can be tough work without the right tools.

If you’re using HubSpot, you’re in luck. You already have just such a tool waiting for you in your portal: smart content.

Smart content allows you to intelligently serve up particular messages and offers exactly where prospects need it in the sales cycle without interrupting their experience.

Watch for our free webinar ⟶ 5 Things Every Marketer Using HubSpot Should Know (That You Can’t Learn From HubSpot Academy) and start making simple wins with HubSpot smart content.

How does HubSpot’s smart content work?

Smart content uses cookies and other browser data to recognize where a user has been and what stage of the buying cycle they’re likely in––letting you strategically customize the content they see when they browse your site or open an email.

You can deliver different messages and offers depending on where a prospect or lead is within in the funnel or choose from a variety of other criteria. It’s an intuitive way to naturally guide them to the decision stage by pre-planning ahead of time and letting automation take over.

Going a step further, smart content can also be used to tailor content by country, device, referral source, and list. For example, if someone who’s converted on a top-of-funnel offer returns to your site on a mobile device, you can use smart content to show them middle-of-funnel content specifically optimized for the mobile experience.

Does smart content actually make a difference?

Yes––if you use it well, that is. HubSpot analyzed over 93,000 calls-to-action and found that those targeted to individuals perform 42% better than those built for everyone. Another report by DemandGen found that leads nurtured with targeted content produce a 20% increase in sales opportunities.

There’s no shortage of statistics out there to confirm the advantages of personalization and smart content is one of the easiest ways HubSpot marketers can establish a powerful baseline of personalization throughout their marketing communications.

The idea behind smart content is a human one. Customers like to feel valued, and if a company can tune their website to provide exactly what prospects are looking for (without getting creepy), it can create the genuine delight by giving them a level of personalization they’re likely not used to and haven’t come to expect.

Taking the first step in using smart content

Most HubSpotters know what smart content does, but pass by it each time they work in HubSpot’s content tools.

If this is your first foray into smart content, it’s typically best to start small. Rather than overhaul your entire website with complex personalization, a smartly segmented email is a much more manageable first step.

In general, this means deciding on your segmentation criteria and using that criteria to segment the list you’re sending to.

Once you have your lists in place, you can dig into the smart content tool to craft variant messaging and offers that reflect the segmentation you decided on.

It would be rude of me not to elaborate on how you actually do this, but a blog post isn’t the best way to show you. That’s why we’ve laid it out in a free recorded webinar to walk you through the steps in-person.

Need help with HubSpot? Drop us a line.


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