Mon, Feb 15 2016
Terms like ‘engagement’ and ‘brand awareness’ are constantly being thrown around your marketing department. Although they have an important place in your strategy, there’s danger in over-emphasising them. After all, your boss couldn’t care less if your Twitter followers increased or your latest blog post got 100 shares. You need to find ways of driving real business value.
Content is a powerful tool that delivers tangible results, converting visitors into paying customers, but your first step must be to define your main objectives. Of course your long-term goal will be to increase revenue, but if you’re just starting out with content you might want to think smaller. For example you could define an email subscriber as a conversion. Or maybe it’s somebody who downloads an offer, registers for a webinar or signs up for a free consultation. Once you’ve decided on your goals, here are four tips for using content to increase conversion rates:
SET UP A LEAD NURTURING PROGRAM
One of the most important principles of content marketing is to treat your audience as individuals. To drive conversions, you need to understand each prospect’s motivations, pain points and habits. Create an email or retargeting program designed to share the most relevant content with each individual lead, at the right point in their customer journey. This sounds like a lot of guesswork, but it actually comes down to strategy and planning. For example, when you sign people up to your email newsletter, why not ask them a question? Try ‘What’s your biggest marketing challenge?’, or ‘What topics are you most interested in’? Provide a dropdown of answers and then segment your email lists so that you’re sending relevant content to each subscriber based on their response. You can also track the customer journey in terms of actions – downloading a whitepaper or watching a product demonstration are both clear signs that somebody is a step closer to making a decision. Take note and target them with appropriate content.
FOCUS ON THE RIGHT CONTENT
Instead of churning out a ton of content that’s quickly forgotten, create less and focus on quality. If you find that a particular topic or format is contributing to conversions, concentrate on producing more of it. Some content might seem difficult to replicate – for instance, the ‘About Us’ page drives a high number of conversions for many businesses because people turn there just before making a decision. If that’s the case, look at what you’re doing well on this page. Do you have a great story about how your business developed? Turn it into a video or write an inspiring LinkedIn post about your experience. Do you have a great team page with interesting bios or quotes from each team member? Showcase your staff to give customers a sense of the people behind your business.
MEASURE YOUR RESULTS
This seems obvious but many brands get so caught up in creating content that they forget to actually measure results. Take a look at your past efforts to identify the content that’s driving conversions. You might find customers are reading particular blog posts just prior to signing up for your emails. Or maybe a particular piece of content is driving a high number of purchases because it has a strong call to action. Spend your time (and budget) driving traffic to these assets, or share them with likely prospects who haven’t converted yet using email or retargeting tools.
Find ways to prove your brand credibility. This can be a powerful means of driving conversions – nearly 63 per cent of consumers say they’re more likely to make a purchase from a brand if it has clearly visible product reviews and ratings. There are plenty of ways you can do this, from creating case studies to sharing media coverage. If you have a large email database, use it to your advantage: “Join 5000 other marketing professionals who have already signed up for regular industry insights.” For newer brands, or businesses with issues surrounding customer privacy, there are other ways to prove your credibility. If your blog engagement is high, include social sharing buttons that display how many people have shared a post. Guest blogging on a trusted site, or having industry experts post on your site, are both great ways to establish authority.
The benefits of content marketing are far more than just brand awareness or engagement. If you play your cards right you can drive conversions that will have a powerful impact on your business – whether you’re aiming small by building your email subscribers or trying to drive revenue growth. Ultimately, the content that performs best will be highly targeted to each individual lead. Narrowing in on your target audience and only delivering relevant, useful content will help boost your conversion rates and make better use of your time.
Author: Annie Peachman, Content Writer, Magnetic Content