Content Marketing And Conversion – A Match From Hell?
Content marketing and conversion must go hand in hand if you are to be successful. If they fight each other, as they often do, your efforts will bear little fruit. If you are a solo operation, you have an advantage over the big guys, because all of your content comes from a single mind as opposed to two departments or teams with opposing goals.
Keep both of these important concepts in mind whenever creating content and your success will increase. Create quality content with conversion in mind. Your content has a goal, to create leads, fans and ultimately, sales. By creating quality content that converts readers into customers, your efforts will build a successful website with grateful customers.
Content Creation That Grabs Attention Fast
The Internet has changed the human condition… If your content page takes more than 3 seconds to load, you will lose 40% of your traffic! Yikes! Our ability to pay attention to anything has diminished greatly, the average attention span is about 8 seconds, that’s how long you have to get someone’s attention before they hit the back button on their browser.
Your first 2 paragraphs have to be dynamite and grab the reader’s attention or you’ll lose them to the next article in the SERP’s. It’s a fact that we have a lot of choice and there is always another article that uses this idea to get the reader’s attention fast. Your content should engage quickly to avoid bounce and lost leads.
Create your first 2 paragraphs to practically give away the entire article. If the reader finds it interesting they will continue reading to get the details. If they don’t find it interesting, they will leave for something that has more of what they think they’re looking for. Go for the throat and highlight the interesting stuff early.
Demonstrate Value When Possible
Even before you consider a call to action, write your content to demonstrate the value of your offer. Do this subtly, not in the form of sales copy, but integrated into the information. Give your reader a reason to find what your offer has (or will have) that provide’s them value and improves their life or situation.
This can also be done through imagery. The overall presentation can be crafted through a combination of words and pictures to give the reader what they don’t even know their looking for, your offer. As an example, you could say “Sign Up For My Free Course Today!”, or, “Increase Your Sales By 45% With My Free Course!”, which do you think is better?
Create your content with this concept in mind, but, don’t over do it, that will make your content look like sales copy. You are still creating useful, valuable information, not a landing page. The idea is to subtly blend them together to create content that converts.
Do Questions Help Conversion?
Questions get attention and engage readers to… keep reading. They also help with conversions. Use questions to forefront your value statements in your content and generate curiosity. This is a powerful weapon in any writer’s tool bag to engage readers and keep them hooked.
When you ask questions, your readers will feel more involved and immersed in your article’s content. It helps them see the value you are trying to express and they remember this value when you ultimately present your call to action. This tactic will increase the response to your call to action at the end of the article.
Use questions that lead into answers that demonstrate value, the value your offer might provide. Matching these concepts up will both keep readers engaged and demonstrate what your offer has that they need. It’s a powerful combination and an idea you should try to keep in mind when creating your content.
Write Interesting Headlines
This seems obvious but many fail to create headlines that demand a click. Your headline is what gets readers to your page to begin with so it is some of the most important writing you’ll do in your content. Headlines that form a question can get 5 – 6 times more clicks than one in the form of a statement.
They don’t all have to be in the form of a question, of course, but ones that generate curiosity will help get readers to your content. Headlines that engage, create controversy and curiosity will get the reader to at least your first 2 paragraphs.
Be careful here, you don’t have the luxury of constantly changing your headline for testing purposes. Your rank in the search engines will tank for the page if your headline changes. Think your headline through before publishing content and keep it once public.
Be Specific In Your Content
Write your content to be specific, with numbers, dollar figures and percentages and avoid generalizations. Specific numbers are much more engaging than a general range. Don’t use this to exaggerate anything or be too overt about earnings and such, it tends to create suspicion. Just be specific.
It’s better to say, “Increase traffic by 113%”, then to say, “Double your traffic”. The numbers are more engaging. Be precise especially in your call to action. Spell out what your offer is and you will get better response. A vague call to action, or content, hurts conversion. If you are honest and upfront you create more trust.
Trust is the overall goal of content marketing so use every opportunity to build it up with your readers. Give them confidence you are steering them in the right direction by avoiding generalization. Don’t leave room for doubt, be specific and clear in your communication.
And Finally… A Call To Action
It’s amazing how many content creators simply fail to include a call to action. This is critical to conversions. Without a call to action, it is unlikely you’ll ever get many conversions, so, include one! As mentioned already, there should be one at the end of your article but it’s also okay to include 1 – 2 before the end.
Where to place the additional call to action, text or banners or whatever, is up to you but they should have some space between them. You can always re-position or remove/add a call to action to test conversion rates. Your call to action should spell out exactly what you want your read is to do so there is no confusion.
Be specific, display a lack of commitment on the reader’s part so they understand that clicking your call to action doesn’t obligate them to anything. By now, your reader should feel they have received good information with value they could act upon. This is your opportunity to give them the choice to act if they wish.
The Key Takeaways Are…
Here is a quick summary for you to keep in mind when creating content marketing that converts:
- Craft your content so the first 2 paragraphs summarize the entire article and project the most interesting concepts. You have 8 seconds to get your readers attention.
- Demonstrate the value of your offer in your content without overtly selling. Be subtle but don’t miss opportunities to show your readers how you might solve their problems or add value to their life.
- Use questions to engage and create curiosity to keep readers reading. Questions can also be used to demonstrate value by properly answering those questions in ways that foreshadow your offer.
- Write headlines that generate curiosity or ask questions the reader wants answered. You pretty much get one shot at a headline once your content is published, so, think it through ahead of time.
- Be specific in your content wherever possible. Use exact numbers instead of generalizations to help build trust and engage.
- Use a call to action for God’s sake! If you fail to ask your readers to take action, your chance of a conversion plummets.
This isn’t all you can do to increase conversions, but it’s a really good start. If you follow these basic guidelines, your conversions should go up with your content marketing efforts. You should also experiment with your content to see what works best for your audience. Don’t be afraid to try something, if it works for your situation, you might end up ahead of everyone else!
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