Bringing good copy to life can be one of the most frustrating parts of being a marketer. Not only must your content be authoritative and informative, it must also advertise your product without being an overt sales pitch.
Ranking well in search engines (while incredibly important) is one thing, but making sure your content results in a customer making a purchase is entirely another.
- Must Read – 8 Content Marketing Realities You Need to Know
Whatever conversion you measure, be it email signups, purchases or completing a signup form, we are here to help you. In this article, we will show you how to identify what type of content your audience responds to, what keywords they use to discover said content, and how you can craft your content to drive conversions.
Put a Plan in Place
It’s relatively easy to pick a topic and start writing and hope that your content resonates with your audience. A better plan is to figure out what resonates with your audience ahead of time, so you aren’t wasting time creating content that won’t be seen. So, put a plan in place before you put a pen to paper (metaphorically speaking).
Follow the Dialogue
Search your industry in Ahrefs or BuzzSumo and see what people are talking about. People tend to share content they find engaging and useful, so learning what type of content is being linked to in your industry is super valuable when crafting your own copy.
Shares are just one piece of the puzzle, though. It’s also crucial that you listen to the conversations people are having on other platforms. Twitter is a great place to research this. You can customize feeds on your dashboard to follow mentions of relevant keywords, phrases or hashtags.
WooRank, an SEO audit tool, could tailor its Twitter feed to track mentions of SEO and marketing tool needs and subsequently craft content to match the conversation.
You should also consider setting up a Google Alert for your company. That way, you will be notified any time an article or page mentions you (which can also help you manage your reputation).
After you decide what you need to write, you need to decide how to write it in a way that puts it in front of your desired audience. We all know what that means! Keyword Research.
If you haven’t started keyword research yet, you can do so by gathering information from Google Search Console. Here, you can discover which keywords are ranking well and sending the most clicks your way.
It’s worth doing some additional research on search volume so you can decide if it’s even worth trying to rank for certain keywords.
Get To Know Your Audience
As the saying goes, “different strokes for different folks.” It’s highly unlikely that every single person in your audience will react the same way to your content. That’s why it’s important to segment your audience and create content that sends varied messages.
You must first determine your buyer personas, which are broad characterizations of your diverse audience. Your buyer personas should illustrate who is interested in your business and the different ways they can use your product.
If you aren’t sure how to generalize your audience into buyer personas, take a look at your sales data and analytics. First segment your audience with age and gender; you can go more granular with segmentation of interest categories.
You can also try to solicit information from the customers themselves to help you build your buyer personas. With interviews or forms on your website, you can collect information about your audience’s job titles, location, industry, household size, etc.
Once your buyer personas are established, you can craft your content to highlight benefits, uses or features that align with each description.
Put Your Plan in Action
#1. Keep Your Content Short and Sweet
If you want your users to convert, you need to keep them engaged. Let’s look at the facts:
- 79% of people don’t fully read content online, they scan.
- A reader’s attention starts to fade after seven minutes.
So how can we draw our readers in with content and simultaneously help them through the sales funnel?
One strategy that has been proven again and again to work well and resonate with audiences is a well-executed listicle. A listicle, though chastised for being akin to clickbait, help your users digest information in a fun and engaging way.
Lists take the work out of reading comprehension. Not to underestimate the mental faculties of your audience, but it is far more likely to convince a user to make a purchase if they don’t have to think.
In terms of SEO, listicles are very helpful. The content is simple for search engines to interpret because of the structure. Keywords can be optimized and used consistently in headings, and a gripping headline (‘10 Signs Your Cat is Plotting World Domination’) will result in a high click through rate.
#2. Appearances Matter
It should come as no surprise that design is as important an element in content marketing as the content itself. Your audience will form their opinions about your page less than one second after visiting. Nearly 100% of these opinions are derived from the page’s visual appearance.
Don’t be afraid to use color – colorful visual elements are more likely to engage website visitors, one study shows. Images are also key – they help your retention rate and give you an opportunity to showcase your product or service.
#3. Play on their Emotions
That sounds a bit sociopathic, but it’s really a fundamental part of content marketing. You have to establish an emotional connection with your customers to entice them to buy your product.
Truly effective content makes the consumer feel something, and they will (theoretically) attach that feeling to your product or service. Think back to the buyer personas you defined. What problems do they face that your company can solve? Can your product help them achieve a goal?
If you can show your audience how your brand will enhance their lives, they will attach a positive feeling toward you and be far more likely to make a purchase.
Effective emotional content marketing is the key to making your content go viral and is proven to sway buyers. Think back to some of a campaign that made you feel something. For instance, the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty. Talk about resonating with your target audience!
The last element to hitting on your audience’s emotions is to create a sense of urgency. You don’t want your buyer to panic, but relaxed shoppers are far less likely to make a purchase. Emphasizing why your potential customer needs your product right away is a good strategy. Really explain to them why their life would be so much better with your product in it.
Another way to cultivate a sense of urgency is with limited-time offers and deals. Special offers that expire quickly will all but eliminate your audience’s desire to compare your product with your competitor’s. They won’t have the time to vacillate between purchasing or not purchasing.
#4. Make Them Trust You
It’s not easy to build trust with your audience, but you can help them have faith with public reviews and other social proof. The majority of consumers look up product reviews before making a purchase; this is especially important if you are running an ecommerce site. It has been shown that having even one review on your site can boost your sales by 10%.
If you don’t have a tangible product that can be reviewed, reach out to existing customers for testimonials about your service.
#5. Don’t Get Lazy
As a digital marketer, you know that the final step of this content marketing restructuring is to test, optimize and test again. Your content strategy should be well-defined, but it should also shift according to your customer’s needs.
Marketers should think of themselves as data scientists – keep track of what messages are resonating with your audience, and what type of content is driving conversions. Are there certain words you are using, certain features you are highlighting? Keep track of those variations.
Restructure your content to best reach your audience and you will see results. Just remember to always pay attention to what your users are reacting to, and you can further refine your content marketing to drive even more conversions.