The Basics of Content That Converts
In order to really know what you are doing with content marketing, let's define it: content marketing is a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.
If we are not promoting this content, then what are we doing? We are either educating, entertaining, connecting, or doing a combination of all three. I’ll dive into that topic in a bit.
If you are creating content, it really needs to serve a purpose. Don’t just create content just to create it and have something there. You really need to ask yourself, what is the purpose of this piece of content that I’m creating? If the content serves no purpose, then don’t create it. At the end of the day, we are all looking for some sort of action to take place, otherwise known as a conversion. Let’s look at the basics of creating content that converts.
7 basic tips for creating content that converts:
1. Have a plan.
As simple as that sounds, you’d be surprised how many business owners I talk to who do not have a content plan. There are a couple of questions you need to ask yourself, once you’ve got these questions answered, it’s a lot easier to flesh out that plan.
- Who is consuming your content? Who is your target customer?
- What kind of content formats are popular with the target? Video, written, audio?
- Which channels/devices do they typically use to consume content? Phone, iPad, laptop?
- Which content topics are trending and may be of value to your target? Checkout BuzzSumo or Answer The Public to see what people are searching for related to your industry
- What are the key drivers to convert your content consumers to potential buyers? What is the pain that will trigger them to take action?
We’ve all heard this quote before, “failing to plan is planning to fail” – make sure you build out your plan and know what it is you are trying to achieve.
Remember when I said, “We are either educating, entertaining, or connecting or doing a combination of all three. ” with our content? Well, the reason that anyone first engages with anything you publish is because it falls into one of those three categories.
Emotionally – we are pulling at their hearts (this is why babies and puppies sell!)
Intellectually – we want to be educated and learn
Connected – is there a community that has a common interest, we want to be a part of that. This is why tip number 2 is so important.
2. Craft a compelling headline.
People make decisions on what they consume content-wise based on either an emotional or intellectual level. The headline of whatever you produce needs to connect to that individual in one of these two ways.
If you think about this, the first thing that someone reads can be the:
- The subject line of your email
- Title of your blog post
- Text on a Google Ads link
- Text on your Facebook Ads
- Title of your YouTube Video
- Title of a book
- Title of a podcast episode
- Title of your webinar
- Text on your direct mail postcard
- Title of your white paper or ebook
Google “Headline Analyzer” and you’ll find a ton of tools that can help you craft better headlines. Also, check out this article on Emotional and Intellectual Headlines.
3. Write conversationally.
Author and marketing master, Seth Godin is an advocate for “writing like you talk”.
Creating content this way is easier for you and is easy to read by the person digesting the information. Two important rules for taking this approach: 1) you still need to abide by the standard writing rules, and 2) you should not just talk about yourself, but focus on the problem (remember, educate, or entertain).
This next area I often find is overlooked, especially on landing pages.
4. Answer the objection.
If you are creating content that is driving to a conversion page, step one is to get them to interact with whatever content takes visitors to that conversion page, step two is to get them to convert. Oftentimes, these pages are heavy on the sales language. But what’s important is to make it easy for site visitors to feel comfortable taking that next step. The way you do this is to identify and answer any objection that visitors may potentially have. For example, if price is an issue, speak to the value of the product or service and really showcase what they are getting. Another objection could be related to the specific product or service offering, that visitor might be thinking, “This isn’t going to help my business.” Answering the objections can help fast-track the conversions.
5. Make it easy to read.
In any sales engagement or opportunity, the easier it is for the reader, viewer, or listener to understand what is happening, the easier it is for them to make a decision related to the conversion. Simplicity and clarity should be a huge focus in your content creation. Keep the bells and whistles and shiny objects out of the way. Get to the point, and make it easy to understand. If it’s written content, use bullets, lists, bold, graphics, and headings. With videos, make sure to use captions in your videos as not all viewers have the volume on. For podcasts, transcribe the conversation.
6. Have a Call To Action.
Tell me what you want me to do next. This goes back to the simplicity. If you want me to sign up for your workshop, you need to tell me to do that. If you want me to subscribe to your podcast, you need to tell me to do that. Make sure you have a strong call-to-action, not too many, keep it simple and repeat it a couple of times in different forms on that page, like text link, pop-up, image/button.
7. Promote it.
“If you build it, they will come.” only works in the movies. In the real world, you need to let your audience know what it is that you are offering. Send it to your email list, connect with influencers, share it on social media, and invest in paid advertising.
These basics of creating content that converts will help you to increase your opportunities. Please reach out if you have any questions or would like to discuss how Keystone Click can help you maximize your content marketing strategy.