Fantastic content, whether it is insightful, helpful, inspiring or entertaining, is only worth so much to your brand if it isn’t converting.
Good content will almost always yield increasing website traffic and social media engagement. However, these metrics can be distracting. With content marketing, too often we lose track of the end game goals in favor of the more easy-to-acquire vanity metrics. The real revenue-driving, meaty goals of your marketing strategy are customer acquisition and retention, not your bounce rate and Facebook likes.
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michael brenner and liz bedor
How can you frame your content so your leads are more likely to become customers? What is the secret to not just quality content but content that converts leads?
Here are the actual steps you can apply to your content marketing right now to transform your content into a motivational force your target audience can’t resist.
1. Hone in on Your Qualified Leads
The fact is, only a fraction of your leads are going to ever become your customers. When you look at the statistics on lead conversion, it’s only reasonable to expect between 25 percent and 50 percent of your leads to ever convert – with some studies demonstrating only 1 in every 5 leads being qualified.
Of those that are qualified, only a segment of that group is ready to buy now. The rest will need time and varying degrees of warming up in order to convert.
Knowing this, you know you have an important task if you want to create conversion-worthy content. You need to know the questions, interests, needs and concerns of your qualified leads, focusing on solving their problems rather than catering to all your leads or your entire customer base.
This is where you’ll have to do sophisticated research to craft more effective buyer personas – investigating your market, leveraging your social media, web traffic and email marketing analytics, using customer feedback surveys and simply talking more to your customers and warm leads about what matters to them.
2. Create – or Refine – Your Lead Scoring System
Lead scoring allows you to identify your best qualified leads. When done well, it’s a neverending process of scoring the best leads as they change over time. You want to know, not only who your marketing qualified leads are, but when those engaged leads transition to being marketing qualified and vice versa.
If you’re not getting adequate clarity from your lead scoring then consider giving your qualifiers a refresh. A lot of marketers set up a lead scoring system and then let it sit for years, even though their content marketing strategy has been continually evolving. For example, you may have a new eBook series that only highly motivated leads are downloading, that didn’t exist when you created the lead scoring system you are working with. So, you need to give more weight to your eBook downloads.
3. Make Your Unique Value Proposition More Unique
One simple step that may help you convert more leads is to rewrite your business’s UVP. The problem with a lot of value propositions is they are too generic. Your UVP should concisely explain how your brand solves your customers’ problems but it also needs to demonstrate why your business is different than every other provider out there.
To give your UVP a makeover, there are different approaches you can take, depending on the personality of your brand and of your target audience:
- Include statistics in your UVP
- Use more power words
- Pair it down to a simpler message
- Ask a question
- Use active verbs when mentioning your product or services
Here’s an excellent example from CrazyEgg. It’s engaging, clean, and fun.
And – this same messaging reverberates throughout their content on their website. CrazyEgg uses the heat map concept to present their analytical services.
When you have redone your unique value proposition, use it to tailor your content offerings. Now you aren’t just a brand that offers “quality services”, but one that offers “quality services that are easy to use and quickly deliver xx% better results.” This should be felt throughout your content.
4. Content Begins, Not Ends, at Your Blog
In order to convert, you need a dynamic content marketing strategy that seamlessly compels your audience down the sales funnel. The content on your blog can be an excellent starting point for increasing interest, educating your audience – an essential in B2B industries, and establishing your brand as a thought leader. However, the nature of a brand blog is more suitable for lead generation, not lead conversion.
You’ll need to excel at the other content channels that are more likely to motivate your potential buyers further along, such as:
- White papers
- How-to videos
- Industry cheat sheets
- Insightful guides and eBooks
Develop a well thought-out strategy with these types of content. Craft them as follow-ups or more in-depth versions of your blogs and infographics. Design them to build off one another, giving your qualified leads an experience that is an ongoing journey, from one guide post (your white papers, eBooks, and instructional videos) to the next.
5. Make Your Content More Visually Appealing
You may be using photos in your content, the occasional video or infographic, but if you aren’t being strategic with your visual content, you’re missing out on the power of high-quality, relevant visuals.
- Be consistent. Establish the color palette, image size and design style that best express your brand.
- Use more visuals. This isn’t a matter of throwing more visual content in your blog posts, but rather finding ways to rely more on the visual medium to tell the story of your brand.
- Stick with high-quality images and videos. This can be a struggle for small business marketers who don’t have a huge budget to pay for an in-house video production and graphic design team. However, the more you put into the quality of the visuals, the better you are presenting your brand on every landing page video, social post graphic, photograph and infographic. Use the free and affordable resources that are available to you, such as free image editing software like SumoPaint, or budget-friendly subscription services, with the intent that your revenue and content marketing budget will eventually grow.
6. Track Your Content
And, the final step to creating content that converts is to pay attention. What blog formats or video topics are leading to more sales? How much of a difference does it make when you post a how-to video on your landing page? Or when you change the personality of your promotional video – for example from professional to casual?
Pay attention to what motivates your leads the most and you’ll have a wealth of feedback to help you always publish fantastic conversion material.