Writing useful text or designing an appealing image isn’t enough to consider your content marketing successful. Conversions are what matter. Perfectly crafted content has no tangible value if it doesn’t engage the audience and convert page visitors into buyers.
However, creating materials that attract and sell doesn’t happen as if by magic. It’s real science. We’ve invented a proven formula that allows you to create materials for your blog and social media pages that will leave your readers craving more. And we’re glad to share this secret weapon with you.
Tip #1. Define your buyer personas
The target customer you aim to attract is crucial when trying to create high-quality content. Identifying the right buyer persona will help you tailor your content to the needs of a specific group, personalize your marketing campaigns, and build a stronger customer-company bond.
So what do you need to look for when defining your buyer personas?
- Demographics characteristics – age, gender, education, location, etc.
- Interests – what do your clients like and dislike
- Purchasing motivations – why the customer would want to buy your product or services or interact with your content
- Purchasing deterrents – what can hold your potential customers back from interacting with you
To identify the accurate characteristics of your buyer personas, you can apply these simple tricks:
- Check your website analytics – this will help you see who is visiting your website (demographics and interests) and where they are coming from (traffic sources).
- Analyze social media data – you can carry out surveys, polls, Q&A, monitor comments, and likes on your social media profiles to find what people within your target audience are interested in.
- Reach out to potential clients – if you’re just starting and don’t have a solid base of clients, you can talk to your prospects to find out what areas of your content they like and what they’d improve.
- Contact your subscribers – if people subscribed to your newsletter, that means they like your content, and it’s valuable to them. So you can send them a questionnaire about their experience with your brand or suggest conducting interviews.
Tip #2. Perform a complex content marketing analysis
86% of B2B marketers claim their organizations use content marketing.
And that doesn’t even come as a surprise. Since content marketing is a universal tool for increasing sales, saving costs, building brand awareness, driving conversions, and generating new leads, companies are actively investing in the production of fresh, unique, and original content.
DemandMetrics states that content marketing costs 62% less and generates more leads than traditional marketing.
So how do you make the most of your content marketing strategy and define the most efficient tactics? Start with a complex analysis.
A content marketing analysis should include:
- SEO analysis – To make search engine optimization work for you, you have to pay special attention to keyword research that will help your content rank higher on Google. Use a Keyword Research tool to select quick-win keywords with low competition but high search volume.
Another part of efficient SEO is conducting a technical site audit that allows you to define crucial website’s internal issues and fix them to meet the standards of search engines.
- Competitive analysis – You can always turn to your competitors’ social media pages and sites to find insights on the content that works. Analyze everything that brings them conversions, from different topics to SEO copywriting. Discover rivals’ SEO and social media results, and most fruitful sources of traffic.
- UX/UI design analysis – A poor UX/UI design can cause low user satisfaction, and therefore, low content conversion. So put special attention to your website’s navigation, typography, layouts, prototypes, color scheme, and other visual elements to define weak and winning solutions.
- Content distribution channels – how are you going to promote your content to the target audience? Analyze which of these channels will help you reach the audience in the best way:
- Email marketing
- Social media
Tip #3. Come up with a kick-ass headline
Exciting to know, the statistics say that from 80% of people who read your headline, only 40% will read the rest of your content. So if your headline doesn’t kick, then your blog post, advertising, or a social media post will get no further attention.
And here’s why.
The headline is the first thing visitors notice when they see your content. Without a sensational, intriguing, fun, or rebellious title, everything else may as well not exist.
- Use numbers. People are subconsciously attracted to numbers. Our brains hate uncertainty and love predictability. So when you see specific numbers, you instantly get a signal that the content will be easy to digest.
Interestingly, odd numbers have a 20% higher click-through rate than even numbers.
- Be bold. Shocking factors always generate high click-through rates. And making a controversial headline is the surefire way to do it.
- Ask a question. A funny or interesting question is another way to grab attention and leave visitors wanting more. This creates a curiosity gap. The thing is, our instincts want us to uncover the answer, and that’s impossible unless you read further.
- Insert a relevant keyword. Adding a specific keyword will not only optimize the headline for search engines but will also prove that people will find the exact info they’re looking for in your post.
Tip #4. Fulfill your headline’s promise
Click-bait headlines are great; however, it’s only half of the equation. You also need to ensure your content lives up to the promise of your headline. If you fool your visitors, they will abandon your website and, who knows, may not trust you again.
In the end, content that converts isn’t about the number of clicks but about creating content that is truly valuable and engaging for the audience.
For example, Becky Mansfield’s article “How To Hit 1,000,000 Visitors in a Year of Blogging” went viral as it excited the readers with a huge promise. At the same time, the article fulfilled the promise by providing practical examples and real recommendations to achieve the goal set in the headline.
Tip #5. Intrigue readers from the first lines
Now that you’ve attracted your readers with a title, you need to keep that intrigue down the intro so your customers don’t run away that fast. Your headline is only the bain, but the real hook is your introduction.
If you’re writing a social media post or an article, the first four sentences are the most important. For landing pages, the subhead is that intro we’re aiming for. Although the intro may be located in different parts of the website, the goal is always the same – to highlight the benefits of your content and provide a brief overview of what this page is about.
Tip #6. Make your content easily scannable
People are impatient. Whether it’s a lack of time, laziness to read the whole text, or simply a reluctance to do so – your job is to satisfy their concern.
Jakob Nielsen’s study proved that 79% of web users scan, not read.
For people to finish scanning your content and move on to a specific action, you need to make sure your content is correctly structured. So don’t put unnecessary information – readers need to find necessary information as fast as possible.
Make sure your content is user-friendly with these quick tactics:
- Use bullet points to highlight the key elements
- Break up the text into short paragraphs
- Add visuals to enhance your point
- Include headers
Tip #7. Appeal to emotions
A recent study has proven that emotional impact produces a greater purchase intent purchase.
The thing is, appealing to the customer’s emotions builds a connection. And here are the ways you can use it to your advantage:
- Revive memories
Memories are the most precious moments of our lives – whether it’s a graduation, marriage, having kids, or a break-up. These experiences evoke emotions. And to further boost these emotions, you can associate your content with a customer’s memorable life events.
For instance, the 2015 Coca Cola’s “Choose Happiness” promotion encouraged people to share happy emotions and memories that summer.
- Create visual storytelling
However, you can tell your story not necessarily in the video format. Custom infographics and HD photos are also acceptable for storytelling.
Example: Nike’s Basketball campaign “Just Do It” perfectly represents great visual storytelling that shows the emotional trigger of cultural leadership.
- Insert psychological triggers
Emotions determine our everyday decision-making process – we buy when we’re happy, and we also buy when we’re sad. And developing this emotional link with your visitors will automatically prompt them to respond to your content, share it, or purchase it.
The P&G’s “Thank You, Mom” campaign went viral as it boosted a lot of emotions, especially joy when celebrating our moms’ strength.
Tip #8. Use the LIFT model
According to Nielsen Norman Group, clients only read approximately 20% of your content.
What does that mean for you?
You need to make sure your content is scannable. Don’t bore people with tons of unnecessary information; make sure the most important points of your content stand out easily. This is where the LIFT model comes in handy.
The LIFT model is a technique designed to optimize the conversion of your content. While usually this model is associated with landing pages, it is an effective tool to use with any content.
The LIFT model consists of six elements: value proposition, relevance, clarity, urgency, distraction, and anxiety.
Now let’s take a look at each of these elements:
- Value proposition
Poor value proposition is a reason new products underperform. Vice versa, if you manage to define a problem and offer a practical solution, your conversion will skyrocket.
Thus, a great value proposition can not only create a positive first impression and get your readers hooked but also increase your customer lifetime value.
Make your value proposition clear to any reader. If your visitors need to read a bunch of text before understanding your offer, then you’re doing it wrong.
Make sure not to use any corporate language or too bold and vague terms; instead, you can turn to industry statistics in one of the most effective persuasion methods.
Additionally, you can include your clear-cut benefits and how easily your client can achieve the results.
Here are a couple of examples of powerful value propositions:
- Zoom “Flawless video. Clear audio. Instant sharing.” – clear headline, booster with a “Visit website” button.
- Evernote “Tame your work, organize your life” – relevant image, great benefits description with explanation, a vivid CTA button.
When making content for your product or service, make sure it is relevant to the readers. Only when your content appeals to your customers’ concerns, issues, and needs will it end up convertible.
Everything must be logical and relevant to your vision, theme, and goal.
Every client who visits your website or social media should have a clear understanding of what your content is about. Don’t bore your visitors with unnecessary words and explanations. Your customers should understand who you are and how you’re going to solve their problems within the first 5 minutes.
Aside from the texting components, you need to present visual content (images, branding elements, etc.). And they both should complement each other.
And, of course, CTA (call-to-action) is a must. You need to push your prospect to become a client. Every visitor who scans your content needs to do something after they’ve done it.
Should they follow you on social media, buy your product, or share their opinion with you? Make sure your clients clearly understand that.
No person wants to miss out on valuable opportunities in life, which also works with content. Add a limitation on availability, aka urgency, and people will respond to it.
Dr. Robert B. Cialdini says, “The joy is not in experiencing a scarce commodity but in possessing it.”
So how can you incorporate urgency into your content?
If you’re charging $100 for your services, make it free for the first 50 people who contact you. This action will instantly increase the value of your content. Those 50 people will hurry to get your service for free and will spread the word to their friends like wildfire.
Urgency is a perfect lead generation trick you can use in your social media campaigns.
This point echoes the point about clarity. The rule is simple: try to eliminate any distractions in your content and keep it as clear as possible.
Forget about unnecessary links, pictures, videos, or texts on your website. These distractions will lower your conversation rate.
If you’re writing a blog – be sure to focus on the headline, visual content, and bullet points. Your visitor should be able to stay focused on the valuable information you’re giving rather than on any other unnecessary thing.
According to the dictionary, anxiety is a “strong desire or concern to do something or for something to happen.” And the thing is, this feeling doesn’t necessarily have to be used negatively.
You can easily use anxiety, or even call it anticipation, to boost your conversion rate. If used properly, it will bring your customers closer to the purchase.
Tip #9. Perform the A/B testing
Unfortunately, or fortunately for you, only 17% of marketers use A/B tests to improve the conversion rates.
A/B testing (or split testing) is the process of comparing different versions of email, website, or any other asset to understand the difference in performance and the ways of improvement.
Basically, you’re trying to figure out which version is better: A or B?
For instance, an A/B test on 2,000-page visits showed that a red CTA button is better at 21% than a green one.
So if such a minor thing can make your conversion rate better or worse, you’ll definitely want to know what to change. Here are a couple of the most effective elements:
- subject lines for email marketing – average open rates are 25-47%, and simple A/B testing can increase that rate
- product description
- images, video, and audio
Tip #10. Make your content trustworthy
Safety has become a priority for everyone online – every person needs to feel safe while interacting with your content. And creating credible content attracts positive feedback, leads, and, what we’re aiming for, sales.
When people scan your content and think, “How trustworthy is this product or service?” you need to have an answer for them by reducing their anxiety.
If you start gaining trust from a couple of people, they will next spread information about you through word-of-mouth and social platforms, and you’ll potentially earn an even bigger client base.
The simplest way to boost your content credibility is to reinforce it with numerous valid statistics and research and share relevant examples from global market leaders.
Tip #11. Track your conversion metrics
Constant progress tracking, monitoring, and reporting will help you see where you have failed and where you need to improve.
However, once the report is done, your job doesn’t end there as you need to analyze those metrics, compare, and find ways to increase the content conversion rate.
Here’s an example of metrics you should monitor for every piece of content:
- Bounce rate – the percentage of users who visit a single website page and leave it without taking any action (going to another page, submitting a lead form, etc.)
- Time on page – the average time spent on a specific page.
- Click-through-rate (CTR) – the percentage of users who view and open your link in search engines.
- Efforts for content production – how much time your team spent on the content creation, how many people worked on it, and how much money the company invested into this work?
- Type of the content – what content formats brought the higher engagement and conversions? It can be blogs, videos, infographics.
- Social media stats for each piece of content – numbers of subscribers, likes, shares, and general engagement rate.
The power of content is immersive. The content – be it audio, video, or text – drives the web.
And yes, creating high-quality, original, and unique content that converts isn’t an easy task.
However, you can potentially succeed in no time with a great strategy, followed by the tips mentioned above. You only need to research, practice and have faith in your talent. We believe in you!