Content is great, and frequently updated content is even better. But do any of your content marketing efforts matter if they don’t intentionally convert visitors into leads and leads into customers?
Whether you’re an experienced digital marketer, or just dipping your toes into the process for the first time, it’s very likely you’ve started to wonder about how you can help your content convert more leads. And while this is a specialized process -- in fact, many copywriters and marketing firms specialize in CRO, or conversion rate optimization -- there are a few things you can do today to help your company write web content that converts.
Aligning the Moving Parts of Website Content
When we talk about content, it’s important to note that we aren’t simply talking about the words you use as you write your website, blog or whitepapers. We’re talking about how your content marketing blueprint (the big picture plan of the content) and your content marketing assets (the format of the content) combine to create web content that converts. It's putting the pieces together that matters.
Each of these moving parts is important to itself and requires thoughtful planning. And while it may seem like the content development process is a large undertaking, investing time and attention in your overall strategy leads directly to higher conversion rates.
Approach Every Content Campaign With These Rules
With a content marketing blueprint in place that identifies the copy titles and formats that will most resonate with your prospective customers, you can bring your focus back to developing web content that converts.
For every asset you develop, make sure you follow the following three conversion-focused content rules:
1. Freely share your knowledge.
Carefully controlling who can learn what about how your company functions is an outdated business practice. While you should still protect proprietary information, just about everything else is fair game for attracting customers.
Collectively, your company has a lot of experience to share. Your people has stories to share. Don't be afraid to open up and share this experience with customers who are hungry for authentic connection with a prospective partner.
2. Target each asset to a persona.
When you sit down to commission a blog article or white paper to support your content marketing efforts, it can be tempting to focus the project on as many people as possible in order to expand its reach. However, untargeted copy is bad copy, and targeting everyone actually ends up targeting no one.
For every asset you develop, pretend you're answering a specific question asked by a specific person. Using this focused approach for all of your copy -- whether you’re writing blog articles, white papers, case studies, or emails -- will allow you to form a personal connection with each reader that your audience would otherwise opt out of.
I occasionally speak at different industry events, and like to put myself on the "hot seat" during Q&A time. That's the same mindset I have during writing -- to answer a direct question in hopes that others will overhear and take something away from the conversation.
3. Be conversational.
Different content formats require different tones of voice. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that formal is always better. For example, consider the impact of a polished article on The Harvard Business Review compared to a new blog post from marketing thought leader Seth Godin. These two types of content couldn’t be more different, and yet they’re equally effective for different people in different ways.
The web content you develop for your company doesn't need to be scholarly or intricately polished to be effective (unless you're selling to an academician). For many audiences, it can often be more effective if it is conversational and personal.
Consider each of these three steps and then click over to review your company's website.
- Are you freely sharing knowledge, or alluding to the secretive benefits that arise from working with you?
- Are your blog posts targeted to one persona and one specific topic, or do they try to please everyone (and appeal to no one in the process)?
- Are you striking an informal and welcoming tone, or are you unconsciously reverting to stiff corporate-speak?
- Conversion copywriting is its own science, but these beginner tips can help you plan a website or marketing content project that delivers web content that converts.