Digital marketing in 2021 has piggybacked off the most unpredictable year in history, with the persistence of more dramatic industry changes. In particular, Google recently pledged to remove cookies off its platform entirely, as well as Facebook and Apple’s iOS 14 privacy updates come into full effect.

Such gigantic industry updates suggest that digital marketers are losing targeting tools and third-party data. As a result, advertisers and the entire digital industry alike must use new avenues to source consumer data.

The primary solution to a third-party free internet is to gather and utilise first-party data. First-party data is consumer information obtained exclusively from the site a person is directly accessing. First-party data can be collected from a company’s website, apps, social media platforms, advertising analytics and the information aggregated into CRM platforms.

For first-party data collection to be a commercially valuable commodity for a business, customers must be comfortable to hand over their personal details. However, as data breaches and privacy issues have been overly publicised in recent years, this data isn’t an easy task to obtain successfully.

In this article, I’ll go over a few strategies’ RGC Digital Marketers have started adopting in order to gather user data on our own. Although none of the following suggestions are quick fixes, instead, they make the most financial and strategic sense long-term.

Brand Building and Incentives

While brand building and incentives do not directly collect first-party data, the first step to building a first-party database is encouraging your potential customers to give you personal information willingly.

A business must be able to give tangible incentives to visitors as a return for sharing personal data. This incentive might be access to premium content, unique resources, exclusive deals, discounts, or anything else that could benefit your audience.

Although no value exchange can work without trust since users are more likely to share personal information with brands they know and have confidence in. So, if we want users to supply their data, we need to convince users they can trust us.

An excellent way to make users feel comfortable is to provide fresh and engaging content which your target audience wants to see. It may take some time and testing to determine the customer’s ideal content. Even so, if your company lacks brand recognition, you must invest some time into content marketing which can transform your brand into a trusted name that people appreciate.

Lead Gen Forms

A lead generation form is a web form that encourages prospective customers to enter their personal details such as their email address, home address, age, gender, etc. Contact forms, registration forms, and basic newsletter signup forms are the most popular types of lead generation forms.

Using lead generation forms in advertisements is one of the simplest ways for paid media advertisers to collect user information.

Lead generation is available across various platforms; LinkedIn and Facebook are the most popular, but don’t forget about Google – available for Search, YouTube, and Discovery campaigns – and Quora. Depending on the industry, you can use lead generation forms to gather as much or as little data as you need to improve your marketing strategies.

User Registrations

User logins and registrations influence potential customers to exchange their email address to gain access to a website’s content.

This process of asking users to register an account on a site is now standard industry practice. For example, shopping and e-commerce websites require visitors to create an account before purchasing. Real estate agencies require users to create an account before they are allowed to view property details and photos. At the same time, some websites selectively lock their entire site until the user makes an account, which is typical for news outlet sites.

Initially, user registrations should gather the bare minimum of personal information and then gradually incorporate additional data collection during their web use. To begin, email registration will suffice. Then, later you can gather additional details as they interact further with your content and offers, such as age, company, address, spending habits, etc., which further enriches the user’s profile.

Paid Media Channels

To exponentially reach more consumers, I suggest trying out new media platforms, as each advertising platform has its own set of targeting options and predominant audience. Digital marketers can use various targeting options to identify new users who are willing to visit our websites and provide us with their details.

Your target audience visits more platforms than just Google and Facebook, so it makes sense to explore what other paid media platforms have to offer in terms of targeting. Even this simple strategy will give you more options for attracting users to your site and getting them to provide you with details.

All you have to do now is invest the time to study which paid media targeting options could work best for your business.

Interactive Content and Gamification

Interactive content and engaging games such as infographics, landing pages, videos, calculators, quizzes and challenges can be opportunities to collect personal information from users to enrich their profiles.

The market leader for this type of first-party data collection is BuzzFeed who has international recognition for their interactive quizzes. The users don’t realise, but BuzzFeed uses their responses to develop individual user profiles.

In fact, according to AdExchanger, over 65% of BuzzFeed’s ad deals already use first-party data to tailor advertising, indicating that the company is more than ahead of the competition when third-party data will be removed entirely from the internet.

Quizzes are excellent interactive forms that collect information about the maturity of the user and which phase of the funnel they are in. Quizzes may include questions that help businesses determine user location, purchasing preferences, age, career, etc.

When using interactive and fun content on your site, the user will gain a personalised experience, gain trust with your brand and also receive something in return. As a result, using this type of content reduces the website bounce rate, improves interest retention and can result in extremely loyal customers.

Ready to Start Optimising Your Website to Collect First-Party Data?

Generating first-party user data through the above strategies will help you deliver truly personalised experiences to your potential audiences, allowing your business to grow in brand awareness, company loyalty and ultimately increase profits.

Regardless of the solutions you use, it is critical to focus on what your ideal customer wants; this makes successful campaign implementation much more achievable.

The entire digital marketing industry anticipates changes in targeting and policies of advertisement platforms in the coming year. The way we advertise to consumers through these platforms may differ, but digital marketing has always been about adjusting to change. The quicker we accept change and adapt our policies to comply, the better off our accounts will be when policy changes are implemented.

If you want to get ahead of your competition by making your website more interactive for users and easily collect first-party data, RGC Advertising can help! With our teams of expert Web Designers, UX professionals, SEO Strategists and tailored Digital Marketing Campaigns, RGC clients are in good hands. To see how RGC can help you, please contact Richard on 1300 770 985 or email richard@rgcadvertising.com.au.