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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.

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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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Be specific in your content wherever possible. Use exact numbers instead of generalizations to help build trust and engage.
  6. 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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Feel free to post your comment below. An email address is required but it will not be shared with anyone, put on any list, or used for any kind of marketing, just to alert you if there are any replies. Thanks and happy hunting!



This Post Has 21 Comments

  1. Jack

    This is a great page. I found the article content very valuable and interesting. The length, as well as the use of images, made it very easy to read. And most importantly, it followed a similar format to what you advise in the article.

    I plan to follow your guidance myself.

    I wish you much success.


    1. Steven Mann

      Thanks Jack. I am glad you said it follows its own advice, if it didn’t, that would be embarrassing!

  2. Eimhier

    Hi Steven, those are great tips! I like this structured guidance. To summarize the article, in a catching way, in the first paragraph and to use the best headlines can really make a difference for people, whether they stay or go. You also mention “Use a call to action for God’s sake!” I assume that your call to action is: “Feel free to post your comment below”
    Well, here it is 😉

    Kind regards, Loes

    1. Steven Mann

      Thanks Loes. I like articles that sum up the information somewhere myself. Many articles, some complex, don’t and it makes the message harder to digest.

      I was surprised to learn people have such a short attention span these days, I guess technology has spoiled us to the point we can’t wait for much.

      Thanks for the comment!

  3. Loes

    Thanks for your quick reply, I am from the old guard, but I can see it. My children and grandchildren are much more interested in video content than books and articles. So, it’s really important to catch their attention in a split second:)

  4. Jamie Clay

    These tips are so helpful.

    Helps me to recognize where I can improve to get more conversions.

    I have been intentional about my call to action lately so I know I’m on track with that. I will take your tips and apply them where needed.

    Like your title Content Marketing And Conversions A Match from hell. It really is. You can’t just write content and not be specific in what it is you are trying to convey.

    We are humans and need the structure of instructions. The call to action is very important.Thanks for the info.

    1. Steven Mann

      Content and conversion often fight each other. Writing with intent is tougher than it seems in my experience.

      Thanks for the input Jamie.

  5. JohnB

    You writing about to create valuable content is exactly that: valuable content. I am a content writer myself, I am sure that I am doing a good job and others tell me that too but I still have not made any conversions. The problem with headlines is that they must be specified according to the traffic they generate. Personally, I am using Jaaxy to find good keywords which I use as headlines. Many times, I also use questions as headlines. My call to action is basically telling someone to click here in order to buy something or go to another page where I review a product or a series of products.

    1. Steven

      As long as the headlines make grammatical sense it sounds like you are doing it correctly. If you aren’t making conversions maybe take a look at your content. Is it written with intent?

      You might try split testing both content and call to action text to see what works best. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

      Thanks for the comment John!

      P.S. Check out these articles, hope they help.

  6. Wayne

    Steven enjoyed your article/blog tremendously. You are 100% on the money about people’s attention span being 8 seconds. You grabbed my attention fast with the way you started out.

    Your other point about asking questions is also right on, keeps the reader thinking and engaged, as you say.

    Do you recommend writing your article first, then thinking of a captivating title, or the other way around?

    Enjoyed reading your blog, very informative. THX Wayne

    1. Steven

      I came up with the title before I wrote the article in this case, but that isn’t always how it goes. Sometimes I start with a title that changes after the article is written. But normally, I start with a title of some kind to focus my writing and solidify keywords for the topic. There is no hard and fast rule though, do what works for you.

      Thanks for the comment Wayne!

  7. Ray Martinez

    I am new as on online affiliate. The information you provided and how you broke it down is awesome. I appreciate the list as I can use it as a check list when creating new content. Can I ask how long you have been putting out content and how quickly you began to see feed back using your method? As I gather as much information as possible to learn what to avoid in my journey, it seems important to also filter out scams. Your help is appreciated!

    1. Steven

      I have been researching online marketing for a long time but just recently been putting in into writing on this site. Expressing everything in writing really helps to put things into context. Creating content for this site has been a learning experience in itself.

      Do your research before spending money on anything. It is effortless to search Google to see other’s experience with almost any product or service you might consider to further your online business.

      Glad you liked the article and thanks for the input Ray!

  8. Netta

    Hey Steven:

    Rats! I’ve been comparing some of my articles with the points you’ve brought up in your graceful post and it’s kind of a reality check for me.

    I am getting the idea that I’m putting out great content with no calls to action. Hmmm…. Gotta go re-think my strategy again, maybe.

    1. Steven

      A call to action is important. Just state what you want the reader to do in a clear way. It really is that simple.

      Thanks for the comment Netta!

  9. Jerry

    A very interesting article on content marketing and conversion. Lately I found myself struggling with headlines and keywords, I was confusing the two. Now I understand that they are not the same. We need to build an engaging headline around the keyword. By the way, there are some websites that help you create these headlines. It was very good to be reminded of the points you mentioned. Thanks!

    1. Steven

      Good to hear the article helped you out.

      Thanks for the input Jerry!

  10. Fleur Allen

    Thanks so much Steven, a great article with some great reminders. I completely agree with you about including a call to action, oh so important. I would be curious to hear you or read an article on what you regard to be the top 3 or 5 ways to ‘call to action’, if you do please reply and let me know. I think would be a great topic. You have motivated me to go and check how good my opening 2 paragraphs are too! Thanking you

    1. Steven

      The basics when it comes to ‘call to action’ is to be clear and concise. If you simply say to your user what you want them to do, there is a better chance they will.

      Thanks for the comment Fleur.

  11. Silvano

    Thank you for sharing really great advice on how to convert your traffic. By creating engaging content, the reader will have a perfect vision of what your trying to say. I also agree you must be very direct with your words to convert well. What ever keyword you target is like a question you must solve for your audience

    1. Steven

      Yep. Just be clear what you want your visitor to do and there is a better chance they will.

      Thanks for the comment Silvano!

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