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Content that Converts Like Crazy

When it comes to converting site visitors to loyal, repeat customers, you’ve got to have dynamic content. You want to hook them with headlines that promise to inform, and you want your customers to experience the payoff when they dive into your well-crafted insights.

Content can position you as an industry thought leader, provide the “carrot” for contact form submissions and inspire your audience to share your expertise with their own business networks and social media followers.

Your investment in a comprehensive content-based digital marketing strategy will reward you with measurable results within a surprisingly short amount of time.

Quote: Content marketing generates more than three times as many leads and costs 62% less than outbound marketing, according to data compiled by the Content Marketing Institute.

When businesses need convincing about the power of quality website content, there are a million examples and case studies at hand to bring it home for them… so they can knock it out of the ballpark when it’s time to launch their own digital marketing campaigns.

What’s Content, and What Can It Do for You?

“Isn’t content just the copy on our company website’s existing pages?” you ask.

Content is more than an overview of your services or your staff’s biographical data. It’s valuable information that solves–or helps them identify–a particular problem, or satisfies a need.

Quote: Your customers might be impressed with photos of your architectural firm’s office building, but it’s only useful to them if they need to double-check their mapping app when they show up for a consultation.

An image of a building with visual callouts identifying potential structure failures, or an infographic with statistical information supporting the value of incorporating sustainable design elements is something they can use early in their project development process. In effect, you’re becoming a strategic partner before you even meet.

Content in Action: Case Studies

When your website includes a blog packed with industry information, grab-and-go infographics, or videos showing them how to use your products, your client will come away with heightened confidence in your brand and a sense that they’re making the right decision to obtain your products or services.

Quote: Content marketing rakes in conversion rates six times higher than other methods. — Content Marketing Institute

Content is evidence of your authority, reputation, and company culture. It provides a framework for search engine optimization (SEO) and context for your carefully-selected keywords. Quality content guides your audience through the purchasing funnel and onto your list of satisfied customers.

Content as a Lead Magnet

Remember the carrot mentioned earlier? In this case, the “carrot” is the lead magnet; subscriber-only “exclusive” content that lures your audience through a data-gathering “gate”.

Let’s say a real estate firm is trying to book new listings in a certain neighborhood. They’ve tried every type of advertising typical with their industry: Door hangers, expensive mailing lists and postcard campaigns, even ads on bus-stop backrests.

When the firm invested in a digital marketing strategy, their content generated more leads in a month than previous campaigns had in a year. Here’s what they did:

• Developed PDF single-page downloads informing residents in the target neighborhood of recent sales statistics for their area, recommendations for quality contractors, or pre-listing “to-do” checklists

• Produced video tours demonstrating easy “before” and “after” staging techniques and affordable curb appeal enhancement tips.

• Posted blog topics that both relieved a potential seller’s anxiety about moving, and provided actionable advice for residents getting ready to list a home

• Incorporated links to their website content within their e-mail newsletters

Why give all this valuable information away for free? Well, they didn’t.

The firm constantly added fresh content to its public blog, but required visitors to fill out web forms to gain access to “members only” content. It’s win-win; the firm received qualifying data from their new leads, and the potential clients received accurate and hard-to-find information about the home selling process from a local agent’s perspective. As a bonus, whenever the customer revisited the content, they became more psychologically invested in the firm’s brand.

Leveraging Social Media and Link Sharing with Engaging Content

You don’t have to buy advertising time on your local cable network to get your name in front of your audience or inoculate your demographic with a viral catchphrase. Nor do you have to have a budget that rivals GEICO’s.

If you and your digital marketing team develop a short video that appeals to your market on an emotional and inclusive level, it has a good chance of spreading like wildfire through link-sharing on Facebook and Twitter.

Zola the Gorilla: The Accidental Marketing Hero

Take a look at Dallas Zoo Primate Supervisor Ashley Orr’s viral video of Zola, one of the zoo’s resident gorillas. In the smartphone video, Zola’s having a ball in a plastic wading pool, splashing water and gleefully spinning around in circles.

Orr shot and uploaded the clip on a whim and it was already gaining traction through social media sharing, but after Star-Telegram Video Producer Bob Hagh noticed the clip and enhanced the video by synching it with “Maniac” from the Flashdance soundtrack, the video spread with such velocity that the kiddie pool probably kept Zola from burning up as her stardom shot through the stratosphere.

Zola became an overnight sensation, attracting visitors–and revenue–to the zoo.

You don’t need a lowland mountain gorilla, a million bucks, or an oversized tub of water to gain exposure for your brand. You just need the right approach, shareable content and a little creativity.

15 Seconds to Success

When content is witty, informative, and easy for viewers to digest, it will keep them coming back for more, and keep your brand on their minds as they progress through the purchasing cycle.

Farmer’s Insurance used bite-sized video content for its acclaimed “15 Seconds of Smart” campaign. Hubspot’s digital marketing genius Andrew Raso raved, “These snackable bits of content were delightful, shareable, and educational all at once.”

And that quote pretty much sums up a successful content marketing strategy.

Some Good Things Really Do Come in Bigger Packages

Quote: “The most effective types of content in the evaluation stage are things like expert guides, webinars, live interactions, and whitepapers that compare your features and benefits with that of your competitors.” — Andrew Raso, Hubspot

For some companies, a more conservative “TED Talk”-style video or carefully-researched white paper might be more appropriate. If the content maintains a balance of engagement, information, and authority, your business peers and strategic partners might add links to your content within their own websites, e-mail campaigns, and social media channels, generating more inbound traffic to yours. And if your brand earns a reputation for high-quality “insider” information, your traffic is more likely to provide their information in exchange for yours.

You want your strategy market you as an industry thought leader. And guess what? That’s what your audience wants to believe too. If they’ve spent time accessing and absorbing your exclusive content, they’re already psychologically “locked in”.

Cross-Promotional Content Campaigns

A regional financial institution sought new clients for their business loans products. Rather than arrange with other businesses to swap counter space for brochures and business cards, they decided to join forces with non-competing businesses serving the same demographic or overlapping, similar markets.

Loan officers wrote “guest posts” for a local tax preparation firm’s blog, who in turn shared the production fees for and co-hosted an exclusive webinar on incorporation. Each firm’s markets overlapped with the other’s, and the trust earned each participating firm lent credibility to their marketing partner.

This approach is relevant to a variety of business networks, re-invigorating established alliances and forging new ones. Imagine what it could do for you and your strategic partners.

Keep It Fresh

Stale content does more than send a message that you’re not on the cutting edge of your industry; it kills your SEO strategy and tells Google that you’re yesterday’s news. Your content contains the keywords that connect you with your audience and keep you on the front page of their internet search results. You have to stay current.

• Frequent updates to your business blog, video archives, and exclusive content keep your website relevant in Google rankings and holds your market in thrall.

• Keep auditing your keywords and monitoring your traffic and conversion rates to make sure you’re reaching–and keeping–your target audience.

• Maintain a genuine “voice” throughout your campaign, and enlist the help of talented, industry-savvy ghostwriters for content copy and video scripts.

Yes, that’s right. You can focus on doing your job while letting marketing professionals handle the rest, from comparing your strategy to that of your competitors, to researching the browsings habits of your target market.

Keep It Portable

Is your website responsive? That is, does it operate on smartphones and tablets as beautifully and efficiently as it does on a notebook or desktop computer? Your audience is likely visiting your site on the fly, so it’s important that your blog content is “skimmable” with text broken up into appealing subheadings and bullet points to avoid “text fatigue”, and that your videos make an impact right off the bat so your viewers will stay hooked and eager for more.

Quote: According to Ooyala’s Jim O’Neill, more than 50% of videos are watched on mobile devices.

Leaders in content marketing have discovered a higher percentage of viewers are more willing to watch long-form videos if they’re accessible on their mobile device. If the page on which your video is embedded takes forever to load or doesn’t format correctly on their device, you’ve lost them.

Content Helps You Close the Deal

Effective content helps your customers better relate to your company and form a clearer understanding of their own needs. When they can identify you as being the obvious solution, and when your content compels them to invest in your brand on an emotional level, they’re more likely to follow through with a transaction.

Content That Converts Like Crazy
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