4 strategic ways to turn regular readers into conversions that count

It used to be that the easiest way to gauge a blog’s success was to check its traffic stats. More visits meant that a blog was popular, which could then be used to build revenue from ads. But blogs have evolved over time. Organizations now use them not only for building traffic, but also to generate social shares, leads from newsletter signups and sales.
And so, conversions became the primary goal in content marketing. This required a shift in mindset when it came to content creation. It is no longer enough to just churn out informative content and wait for results. Great content converts through a combination of specific attributes.
In this guide, we walk you through the four components found in high-converting content, showing you how to incorporate these qualities into your own content marketing campaign.

Create a strong and compelling headline

A great headline invites people to read your content, but more important, a powerful headline primes readers for conversion.
Below are three sample strategies for creating strong headlines:

  • Offer a solution to a problem. Headlines have a higher likelihood of converting readers if they describe a solution to a problem. For example, the title “5 Simple Ways to Create Attention-Grabbing Headlines” offers a solution on how to create compelling article titles.
  • Create a sense of urgency. Titles like “Avoid These Mistakes Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Efforts Now” or “Use These Blog Hacks to Boost Traffic Before It’s Too Late” create a sense of urgency and compel readers to click on the article and act on the advice they read.
  • Use “power” keywords. These words are basically strong adjectives that convey emotions. These include powerful, surprising, unknown, best, simple and most effective, among others. Take it easy with the superlatives though, because they can make content look like clickbait.

Focus on a strong opening line and paragraph

While the inverted-pyramid style of writing content is not new, it is still relevant because of the short attention spans of online users. A 2015 Microsoft study found that online attention spans have fallen to an average of eight seconds, after which users begin to lose interest and move on to the next piece of online content.
The inverted-pyramid writing style circumvents this problem by providing the meat and potatoes of your content in the first few paragraphs or “above the fold.” Some online news sites (like the Guardian.com) have taken it further by placing key takeaways directly under the headline to boost engagement and conversion rates.

Use calls to action

Again, the goal behind any content asset is to encourage readers to take a desirable action. As simple as it sounds, one of the easiest ways to do that is to tell readers what to do. A call to action can be an image or a string of words that “call” on people to take “action.” It is either a like, share or purchase.
There are many ways to use CTAs to boost conversions:

  • Add a line at the end of your blog post prompting the reader to check out your products or contact your business.
  • Use a visually striking button to encourage readers to click on an offer or share your content on social media.
  • Use a simple and easy-to-use online form to capture leads: the simpler, the better.
  • Offer a free, no-obligation trial of your services.

Make content clear and easy to digest

Online readers do not like fluff (short attention spans, remember?), so it is important to make sure your copy is clear and direct. While building brand awareness is important, do not do it at the expense of conversions. Your content should focus on providing value to readers.

  • Focus on writing content that offers real benefits to the reader.
  • Use easy-to-understand language appropriate to your target audience.
  • Explain recommendations using checklists or bullet points.

Besides clarity, high-converting content should be easy to remember. There is a reason why listicles (articles with lists made popular by BuzzFeed) are so popular. They are easy to skim, organized by subtopic and subheading, and let readers know what to expect.

Include testimonials

Many readers who aren’t yet customers are apprehensive to take the next step in the buyer journey. You haven’t created enough trust with them yet. One of the best ways to do that is to share testimonials of real people just like them who are pleased with your products or services.
In fact, written testimonials can increase your conversion rate by 34%. By sharing testimonials, you increase credibility, and your prospects now have a realistic example of what their experience with your company would be like.
Of course, it’s important to include testimonials that are authentic and relatable to your audience. If they can’t connect with the testimonial’s problem, this content type is useless. Additionally, don’t just add testimonials randomly. Find a way to incorporate them organically on landing pages or create a blog article dedicated to that story.

Conclusion

The primary goal of any content marketing campaign is to generate conversions (e.g., social shares, leads, sales). This means engaging your audience, nurturing them with high-value information and making an offer when they are primed for conversion. These four components are a good place to start, but there several other strategies you can use to experiment. Content marketing is as much a process of trial-and-error as any marketing method. Don’t be afraid to discover what works for your circumstances.

Need help?

If you have a content marketing program or are planning one, download our e-book “100 Mistakes Businesses Make When Starting, Optimizing and Scaling Content Marketing Programs.”
This e-book will walk you through the mistakes of hundreds of other companies and the challenges they faced in implementing their content marketing programs. To learn more about how Tempesta Media can help you streamline your content creation process and deliver quality content at scale, contact us today.

Tips to improve your web conversion rate

Updated:  September 3, 2020

In the world of sales and marketing, conversion means having a prospective customer take a specific action. Increasing your conversion rates is critical to sales success and, ultimately, your bottom line.

Here are some tips for improving conversion rates on your business website.

Establish your conversion point

Before you can begin efforts to increase conversion, you must be clear on what you consider a conversion. What metric or data point are you measuring? Note that this should align with your overall marketing strategy to be most successful.
Are you measuring purchases and final sales? Or are you simply hoping to get an email address from a new website visitor? Maybe you want prospects to sign up for your newsletter or download a whitepaper. Whatever you decide the action item to be, that is what you should measure and what you will eventually optimize. Make note of your starting point. 
Remember that you can’t improve something you cannot measure. Take note of your current metrics and then track rates on a daily and monthly basis. Looking at daily statistics allows you to immediately see if you are having a problem. For example, if numbers suddenly drop, maybe a form is not working or a page is delivering an error message. Over a number of weeks, you should be able to see your progress and recognize trends.

The basics your website needs

It’s important that you have at least some (if not all) of these basic elements on your website:

  • Sign-up form.
  • Optimized landing pages.
  • Call-to-action button or buttons.
  • Updated content.
  • A product page.
  • Check-out page (for e-commerce).

Test your content

In order to determine which tactics work better than others, you need to perform split or A/B testing. (A/B testing is one of the most effective forms of improving website conversion rates.) 
Companies that consistently measure their conversion points are twice as likely to have increased sales, but 61% of companies perform less than five conversion tests a month. 
Use testing software to deliver one page to half of your audience and a different page to the other half. See how differently they perform. There are many elements you can test. Consider trying out different:

  • Page layouts and navigation.
  • Headlines.
  • Landing pages.
  • Web pages with a call to action.
  • Call to action wording.
  • Sizes of the button for the call to action.

 Other improvements that see higher ROIs include shortening forms and writing clearer CTAs. 

Create strong CTAs

Having a call to action (CTA) is imperative in conversion. Whatever you create, make sure your visitors can see it right away. Do this by keeping it above the fold or scroll. This doesn’t mean you have to delete any CTA that is lower on the page. It just means that you must have one above it. Remember, it’s not a bad thing to have more than one CTA on a page. Just be sure you don’t confuse the visitor. Make the CTA the same action and purpose if there is more than one per page.
A/B test your call to action. If it isn’t already big, make it bigger. Consider Fitts’s Law: The closer and larger a target, the faster it is to click on that target. Digital marketing expert Neil Patel says, “Many companies I’ve worked with have simply made their call to action button a bit bigger, and watched their conversion rates grow by 10 percent to 25 percent.”

Offers

If your CTA is an offer, take a close look at what you are offering. Then research what your competition is offering. Is it the same thing? Are you offering a free trial or free consultation just as they are? To increase your conversion, offer something different and more compelling. Focus on solving the problem for your target audience. Then, create something that makes them want to take you up on your offer because you have the solution.

Forms

If your CTA includes a form, make it shorter. Most forms are too long. They include too much information or require too many fields to be filled in. Is your conversion to acquire email addresses? Then don’t create a form that asks for names, addresses or other information. Just get the email address. Focus on your conversion goal and delete other fields that will distract the visitor or make the process too cumbersome to complete.
Don’t be afraid to have multiple forms on multiple sites either. The more landing pages that your company has, the larger pool of leads you’ll have. 

Design

To keep your visitor focused, make your web page designs as simple as possible. Make sure your navigation is trimmed down and easy to use. Users want to find things within two seconds of landing on a page. Review your pages to see if, in fact, the item you want a visitor to see is within a two-second scan.
Additionally, don’t waste space with clutter. Most people recognize that businesses will have social media accounts, so remove your social media feeds. They will happily click an icon if one is included on the page. Don’t attract attention away from your focal point by putting ever-changing feeds on the page. Many people are like goldfish that dart to the shiny thing that’s flashing instead of going directly toward the goal you set.
Make your “contact us” easy to find. Remember, 96% of visitors who come to your website are ready to buy, but they may not if it’s too hard to get in touch with you. You want to convert them by being there for them. Make it easy for them to connect with you. 
If you create a form, include only the essential requirements for you to answer appropriately. Most businesses can get away with three fields: name, email address and reason for inquiry.
Ensure your site loads quickly. Even a one-second delay can result in a 7% reduction in your potential conversions. 
Finally, make sure that your website includes media and video. Simple product videos can increase product purchases by 144% and increase your on-site visitors. 

Testimonials

Potential customers may not know much about you when they first visit your website. Help them by providing information, not simply from your content, but from actual customers. This shows visitors that there are others in the target audience who are just like them, and they are pleased with what you are offering. These testimonials create trust, and prospects will convert when they can trust you.
While you can offer a forum for feedback, providing a testimonial page that includes names and images of real people makes the page more authentic. If possible, consider creating very short video testimonials.

Need help?

If you have a content marketing program or are planning one, download our e-book 100 Mistakes Businesses Make When Starting, Optimizing and Scaling Content Marketing Programs.This e-book will walk you through the mistakes of hundreds of other companies and the challenges they faced in implementing their content marketing programs. To learn more about how Tempesta Media can help you streamline your content creation process and deliver quality content at scale, contact us today.

How to drive performance with content marketing

For agencies looking for ways to optimize strategic investments in content marketing, one key to success is to reveal the value of content creation. The problem is that measuring content marketing ROI is not as easy as it seems because traditional digital marketing metrics only go so far. Driving performance in content marketing requires a closer look at the inner workings of how prospects and loyal customers consume and share engaging, targeted media.

What is the relationship between content production and performance?

A recent article by Andy Betts “3 steps to solve the production vs. performance conundrum” gives a concise breakdown of why content marketing is different from the standpoint of measuring ROI. The question is: How can agencies develop content at scale while strengthening their ability to measure success?

Betts points to a three-pronged approach to address the difficulties that a large number of businesses encounter when developing custom content. Specifically, Betts’ article delves into the relationship between measurement, attribution and scale when looking for the right key performance indicators. In short, what works for one company may not necessarily work for another.

Measurement

 That said, it is important for agencies to understand the imperative to go beyond what Betts calls “comfort statistics,” which are essentially topical, basic Web metrics of successful content. Content marketing for trend-setters must take into account more than unique page views, social media “likes” and shares. Simply put, the missing element is context to the organization.

Who are the people that are sharing and “liking” blog content? Why do news commentaries seem to perform better than long-from content? Basic SEO campaigns can yield very misleading metrics since a deeper understanding of a brand’s core audience is necessary to add value to custom content creation. Content must come first, not SEO tactics.

Of course, SEO has a role to play, too, but agencies should beware of putting the cart before the horse.  It is better to apply a light touch of SEO to content that works than it is to leverage SEO to propagate poorly performing content, which inherently inflates the value proposition of poor content.

Betts argues that increasing audience engagement leads to a more thorough understanding of how core audiences respond to content, which has the potential to unlock a veritable treasure trove of intelligence. By taking this approach, agencies can choose which metrics matter most to different parts of an organization to paint a holistic picture of content performance.

Attribution

From Betts’ perspective, “content attribution involves tracking the types of content and the individuals or organizational teams responsible for the content against the content’s performance.” This expert take on content attribution sheds light on the idea that performance of digital channels is only one piece of the puzzle. To unlock the value of custom content, agencies also need to include what it takes to create content.

One way to view content attribution is to adapt the idea of the “sales funnel” to content marketing. Betts argues that by using this model companies can pinpoint touch points that lead to conversions or calls to action, which for many is the end-game of all content marketing. Are blogs more efficient at driving conversions? What about white papers? These questions need to take into account attribution to be answered well enough to measure the value of custom content.

Scale

Scale is arguably the most difficult variable in the content marketing equation. For example, even if an agency develops a concerted content creation strategy, applying the strategy at scale as content demands increase exponentially can create more problems than it solves.

If a single person is responsible for content creation, is this individual able to scale efforts efficiently? Often, creating engaging content is more than any one person can do within reason once scale is taken into account. Demand alone can derail even the most in-depth content marketing strategies when a single person is responsible.

Along those lines, one way to address the issue of scale is to outsource content creation. A firm focused on developing content has the ability to create top-quality content faster and at a lower cost. Creating content internally at scale may require the creation of an editorial department simply to check the quality of content messaging before publishing.

Too many businesses take a “spray-and-pray” approach to content development, creating as much as possible and waiting to see which content shows results after the fact. When considering ROI, it is easy to see that agencies require a different model to create custom content that is measurable, attributable and scalable.

At the end of the day, Betts’ article is a great starting point. To drive content marketing performance, agencies need a better solution to content creation.

If you have a content marketing program, or are planning one, download our ebook:  100 mistakes businesses make when starting, optimizing and scaling content marketing programs.  Learn from the mistakes of hundreds of other companies.  100 mistakes walks you through common and uncommon challenges that they faced with their content marketing programs.

Send this to a friend