What’s the ultimate goal of content marketing? To drive conversions. In this post, I’ve got three suggestions for how to help increase the odds that the content you create successfully drives the conversions that you are after. There are certainly many others, but the three listed below are an easy and effective place to start:
1. Grab Your Audience’s Attention with Engaging Headlines and Images
We live in an information age and are bombarded with content every day. As a result, we have become adept at quickly assessing — often just in the blink of an eye — which pieces of content we are going to consume and which pieces we will ignore.
Your job as a content marketer is to give your target audience plenty of reasons to consume your content, starting with two of the things they use most often to make these rapid decisions: headlines and images. Pay close attention to both and you will dramatically increase the chances of people clicking on your links, opening your e-mails, and downloading your eBooks and reports. Let’s start by taking a look at headlines and their e-mail equivalents, subject lines.
To be effective, always make sure that they are:
- Timely: Headlines and subject lines can be particularly effective when they are tied back to news or current events. Be cautious when using this tactic, however, and only select news that cannot in any way be construed as offensive.
- Informative: With just a few words you have to convey to your audience what your content is all about. Vague headlines are easy to ignore and, even if they do convert someone, can frustrate audiences who expected to find something different than what your content actually delivers.
Many of the same rules apply to the images you use with your content. You want an image that’s visually engaging and that directly ties back to your content, thus further reinforcing what the audience can expect after clicking through. Stock photos tend to feel like stock photos, so take care to pick images that are unique, stand out, and that you would respond to if you were the target audience.
Most important, make sure that you are using images wherever you can to help capture people’s attention. Include them in your blog posts and on your land- ing pages, and incorporate them in your reports, case studies, and white papers. Create attractive covers for your eBooks and use thumbnails of the covers to help advertise them. A great image can go a long way toward piquing your target audi- ence’s interest and getting them to take the time to consume your content.
2. Incentivize Your Audience
Never underestimate the power of incentivizing your target audience. Small rewards, such as a free trial of your service or a free sample of your product, can go a long way toward motivating people to convert. You can even take things a step further by offering gifts such as a free T-shirt (which can be incredibly effective, particularly if you are targeting a tech community) or a gift card. While there is an expense associated with this approach, smart campaigns can be created that drive conversions and make the investment well worth it. Also consider running contests or raffles, both of which can be extremely effective.
3. Create Landing Pages that Promote Specific Conversions
Another important tactic that will help you maximize conversions is developing targeted landing pages that draw people in and get them to convert. The advantage of driving traffic to specific landing pages, rather than just your homepage, is that it allows you to focus visitors’ attention on one specific piece of content and corresponding conversion goal, rather than the many that may live on your homepage.
To make your landing pages effective, always make sure that they:
- Have clear and concise headlines
- Align with the messaging you used elsewhere to drive people to the page
- Incorporate testimonials or other validation from third parties
- Have a single call to action that stands out prominently above the fold so people don’t have to scroll to find it
Experiment with different landing pages to see what your target audience responds to and optimize based on your findings. Even small adjustments can make a big difference.
- Aren’t cluttered with other links or with too much text
- Contain relevant images
- Are highly focused so that the sole objective is to get one conversion
- Ask for the data you are most interested in collecting in exchange for a piece of content
How do you ensure that your content drives the conversion you’re after?