Attention marketers! A recent survey found that 70% of people would rather learn about a company through articles than an advertisement. All those ad campaigns that are costing your brand a fortune are more of a nuisance than a service to your customer base. People don’t trust ads as much as they used to. Brands need to rely on new(ish) methods of driving consumer action. The top contender: higher performing content marketing.
As far as buzzwords go, “Content is King!” has got to be in the top five, right between “growth-hacking” and “low-hanging fruit”. Ever since this phrase was first uttered, brands have devoted more and more resources to creating this “content.”
Creating content is great, but that’s not the end goal – literally, anything can be considered content. We could replace every single one of our blog posts with GIFs of adorable kittens playing, but that isn’t going to help us meet our marketing goals or drive an impact to our bottom line.
Brands need to focus on creating content that drives customer action. But how?
Content Marketing That Drives Conversions
Identify the Goal of Your Content Efforts
Too many marketers create content for the sake of creating content. The result? A bloated website that confuses consumers more than it helps. Decide what your overarching goals are before you create any content. Consider your goal. Do you want to:
- Build a list of more qualified leads to pass to your sales team?
- Increase in-store or online sales?
- Add more emails to your marketing lists?
- Drive donations or nonprofit awareness?
- Schedule more product demos?
Whatever the desired result, every piece of content you create should in some way support this mission.
Create the Right Content to Support Your Goal
We’ve talked before about the need to produce high-quality content, but that’s just one piece of it. If you want to drive conversions, be sure to focus on content that supports your overarching goal. Sure, you can produce the occasional fluff piece of content to entertain your audience, but the majority or your content budget should go to conversion-focused content pieces. Some best practices include:
Create Useful Content
Support your conversion goal by making content that your target audience finds useful! Remember, most consumers research their purchase online before buying; this holds true for offline purchases as well. If you want your content to drive conversions, make sure it includes information that helps the potential customer with their buying decision. A couple of examples of useful content are:
- Product videos that show the product in action
- Filmed testimonials
- Comparison graphics between your product and a competitor
- Instructions on how best to use your product
- Information about the market space to better inform and educate your customer base
Be Sure the Content Is Easily Digestible
43% of people admit to skimming blog posts, and the other 57% are liars. Content that isn’t engaged with is not going to drive conversions. Make sure your potential customers can easily hit the highlights of your content pieces:
- Use bullet points to communicate complex ideas
- Keep paragraphs succinct
- Use headings and subheadings to break up content into appropriate sections
- Remember people skim in F-patterns, so organize content that follows the “F” flow
- If your content is a video or podcast, provide the transcript so that your audience can engage with the content without having to watch/listen in real-time
- Include imagery and video in the blog post to “interrupt” the skimming and communicate key information
Create More (Good) Content
Companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got about 4.5X more leads than companies that published 0-4 monthly posts. The more blog posts you have, the larger your digital footprint. Just remember to keep point 1 in mind. You can never have too much useful content, but avoid creating copious amounts of fluff and bloat.
Give Your Content Longer Titles
Content titles with 6 – 13 words attract the highest and most consistent amount of traffic. A longer title gives the customer more information on the usefulness of the content piece. It also gives the content more potential long tail keywords to rank for on search engines.
Consciously Push Content Marketing Engagers Through the Funnel
Don’t just assume a potential consumer will convert on their own after engaging with a piece of your content. They won’t. Ever. Instead, make sure every piece of content includes a clear call-to-action (CTA) to guide a consumer through your sales funnel. Make it easy on your customer to take their next step by including a CTA that:
- Encourages them to view additional related content pieces (47% of buyers view 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep)
- Download a piece of gated content to collect their email address and start marketing to them via email
- Make the purchase right then by linking directly to the product in the store
- Showcase product reviews and testimonials
Build Awareness and Consumption of Your Content
The best piece of content in the world is useless if no one sees it. Most brands turn to advertising to get the word out about new content, but as digital prices continue to rise (11x the cost of inflation), brands need to look at additional awareness driving methods:
Tap Your Brand Advocates
Ask your brand advocates and Superfans to share your content with their friends and family. 83% of consumers surveyed by Nielsen report that they trust friend and family recommendations. Each time your advocates share a piece of your content, they’re giving it their stamp of approval, which gives the content more clout when compared to an advertisement featuring that same piece of content. (Don’t have an advocacy marketing program? Let SocialToaster help you launch one today!)
Lean on Your Employees
People trust a company employee more than they do a company’s PR team, CEO or founder. If you don’t have one already, consider starting an employee advocacy program to mobilize and encourage habitual sharing of your brand’s latest content pieces.
Partner with Influencers
Though this typically comes with a price tag of its own, recommendations from a respected influencer carry almost as much weight as a potential customer’s own friends and family. Additionally, influencers are found to have significantly more buying conversions (222x) than the average person during a given week. When choosing an influencer to partner with, be sure to consider their:
- Audience size
- Audience make-up and psychographics (is their audience aligned to your content)
- Audience engagement rate
- Influencer cost
Pro Tip: Don’t go with the influencer with the largest audience size, only because they have the largest audience size. Go with the one that strikes the perfect balance between size, makeup, engagement and cost.
Oldies but Goodies
In addition to the above, be sure to keep these classic tips in mind:
- Publish your content to your own social media pages
- Make sure the content is indexable by Google and set up to properly appear in search rankings
- Include a link to your content pieces in your email signatures
- Send new content pieces to your email list
Don’t waste your resources producing content that doesn’t drive conversions. Your content marketing department should be a profit center, not a cost center.
Want to increase your content marketing ROI? Get in touch with SocialToaster today!