This is a little story of how content that converts wins in a world where content is king.
How to Write Content that Converts
A lot of times, you’ll hear “experts” giving tips about writing content; but there are those who’ll advise you on how to write awesome content. So the question is, is simply writing content enough?
I hear many stories about how small businesses wanting to make it big online had been promised a bed of roses by their agencies, who claim that if they have a lot of contents, they will make it big time. Wrong. Merely making your website bulging in content will not get you anywhere. You should have content that converts.
Let’s start with some considerations:
The 4 Roles of Content
To be able to create awesome content, it is important to know what it is for. Content has four main roles:
- To give a consistent and rich positive user experience
It is not the content’s only role to make your site rank in the search engines. They are primarily tasked to provide a rich and positive user experience in a consistent manner. Consider why magazines sell. These publications are being patronized because of the user experience they give to their readers.
- To engage the visitor
The power of engagement is very critical to your content. You need people to get involved in what you’re saying, and not just on how you said or wrote it. They should feel the urgency to acquire what they have to learn or get from the content that you provide.
- To inform and educate
This is where the visitor gets really hooked. This is the stage where they feel your content adds value to their life and brings solution to their pains.
- To convert visitors
A content that doesn’t convert is useless. Conversion is achieved through your strong call to action. A strong call to action does not mean you have to hard sell. It is in the sense of urgency of what they have to do after reading your content.
Conversion does not have to be immediate. It is usual for people to sleep on things before making a decision. The key is to have an effective call to action. If you have content that will make people think about your proposal and ultimately heed your call to action, then you have content that converts.
Is it enough to be viral?
We always hear that we need to have viral content whether they are in video, article, whitepaper or podcast form.
No, it’s not enough to have viral content. But yes, there’s a good chance to get conversions when your content goes viral. However, in most cases, this can only get you traffic and impressions, not conversions.
Being viral does not always mean sales. You still need to think relevant marketing—one that cuts out the fat and goes lean to get the meatiest part in the funnel.
Understanding the Human Behavior
When you have viral content, you also need to understand human behavior to make sure you have optimized conversions. Have you experienced seeing a crowd looking at a funny mascot doing strange things in a street corner for a brand? It grabs your attention and make you curious enough to stop and check the show, right? The performance might impress you enough to make you take out your camera and take some snaps. When you’ve had your fill of the stunt, you’ll probably walk away and forget about it.
Why? Nobody asked you to taste their new menu and be part of the experience. Content must not only have viral effect; it should also be conversion optimized. You must be able to hook up your readers by making them become part of that experience. That’s engagement.
Is it enough to be relevant?
No, it’s not enough to be relevant. You can be very relevant but without a call to action, your site will just become another wannabe Wikipedia. It just informs without inspiring readers to make a move. It is short in itself.
Understanding the Pain
Understand the pain of your buyer persona. Go beyond your demographic data and dig deeper into their emotional pains because that’s how people buy: they decide to buy through their emotions.
Relationship is vital to consumers. Your content should not only engage them but also build relationships with them. A wise man said, charisma will let you into people’s hearts, but character will let you stay. The same goes for your content: consistency will let your brand stay in your consumers’ heart. Consistent content quality will solidify trust and connection between you and your audience.
Not Just the Message but How You Deliver It
You may have the best information in the world but if you deliver it poorly, people wouldn’t want to consume it. It is very noticeable how people enjoy infographics or videos because they love how the content is being delivered. Delivering a piece of information through a story is also very powerful! Take a look at this video how Hans Rosling turns a super complex information into a very understandable and interesting story:
How to Deliver Information with a Story
Marketing is not only about USP. It has to be combined with a story that your audience can relate with and put themselves in. Telling stories is a time-tested way to awe the audience, so why not use it to awe your target market?
The Power of Words
How we craft our content defines the success or failure of your campaign. If content is king, then words rule. George Gordon Byron once said: “A drop of ink can make a million think.”
I would like you to watch this video on how the power of words can increase conversion:
Call to Action
Writing content that engages your readers wins half of the battle for conversion. Add with it content that provides solutions to your visitor’s problem, and your conversion is assured. Having a clear and strong call to action will make your conversion complete.
Taking the thoughts above into consideration , we got into bi-monthly meeting on the content strategies for his website. After all the backend infrastructure tests, onpage optimization and UX optimization, here are what we did in summary:
- Understand the unique selling proposition of the service product
- Conduct keyword discovery and concept research for best content. Use AIDA method.
- Listen to conversations in social media and industry news mostly in Topsy.
- Check the most viewed Ezine.com articles about those topics (Almost everybody forgot this feature but it works.)
- Identify the influential persona in the industry through Followerwonk.
- Create the buyer persona to fit the delivery and tone of voice for the target audience using Hubspot’s Buyer Persona Template.
- Write optimized content that has the elements of principles mentioned above
- Share them in social media and outreach.
There are scenarios wherein the client’s expertise is needed for more technical types of content. So what you can you do is frame questions and give it to your client, and let them answer the questions on a recorder. Afterwards, you can transcribe it and transform it into a converting content that really works.
Below is the quick result of a content that is not just optimized but performs.
It’s amazing that this simple and unlikely method works. The traffic may be low but it’s so targeted that it starts to convert right away. This is not a big success story, but it’s a great start for startup businesses wanting to have websites that work for them.
Please take time to check this presentation from Ian Laurie of Portent.com. His insight on content marketing shows that it’s the marketable content that converts and attract links not artificial linkbuilding if you want to build a serious long term business.