When you hear people talking about Content Marketing they are usually focused on getting more traffic.
Sure, Content Marketing is great for building authority, getting backlinks and generally improving traffic. But that’s not all it’s good for.
Content Marketing is a powerful tool for improving conversion rates. And don’t think that conversion is a less glamorous option than traffic. Think about which you’d prefer – 10,000 unmotivated browsers or 1,000 engaged buyers reading your content?
I know which I’d prefer.
The simple fact is that if you can provide your potential clients with superior content to your competitors then you are in a powerful position. And the great news is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. There are a number of proven content frameworks that you can use to start improving conversions.
5 Types Of Content Proven To Increase Conversions
Your potential customers are busy. They don’t have time to research all of the options available to them. They really appreciate it when someone (you) takes the time to do all of the homework for them.
They have all sorts of questions. These are the types of questions you and your team hear day in, day out. This is the basis for your Conversion Content.
Even better, you probably have most of the raw materials you need somewhere on your hard drive, your outbox, in your team or just up in your head. You just need to repurpose it. And here are five ways you can do it:
- Authority Guides
- How To Guides
- Buyer’s Guides
- Case Studies
Let’s look at each in turn.
Nothing tells the world that you are an expert as well as an Authority Guide. They can be referred to as a ‘Definitive Guide’ or an ‘Ultimate Guide’ but one thing is certain – it has ‘Authority’ written all over it.
Anywhere from five to twenty thousand words in length it is your chance to stand out from a crowded market. The trick is not to go too wide (The Definitive Guide to Customer Service) but to narrow in on something that gives you the chance to express yourself fully (The Complete Guide to Self Service Materials).
Don’t feel that you need to limit yourself to just one guide. Look at the different sub-categories that may be of interest to your audience and cover these too.
Your Guides are not intended to sell. The focus is on establishing authority in your niche. The beauty of this type of content is that it has a foot in the traffic camp and one in the conversion camp. Over time you’ll find that you pick up backlinks and social shares as well as improving conversions.
The point is that someone needs to be the Authority figure in your field and this type of guide allows you to claim that. Someone has to do it so why not you?
In terms of creating your guide, you’re going to have to subscribe to plenty of industry blogs and pull together the key ideas but you’ll need to weave them together with your own narrative. Give credit to others too and link to the content of non-competing websites.
Your guide should be a standalone document and you can decide to either offer it for free in whole or in part with the remainder available in return for your prospect’s email address.
How To Guides
Similar in intent to an Authority Guide, a How To Guide focuses in on a narrow point of interest (or pain) for your prospects. Quick and easy to create they are perfect for targeting long tail keywords to attract prospects with intent as well as giving you the opportunity to present yourself as a knowledgeable expert.
They are also perfect for creating a more media rich content with the use of videos and downloadable pdfs or presentations.
The chances are that most of this stuff already exists somewhere in an FAQ section or Knowledgebase within your website. If not then you’ll usually find most of the content you need either on your hard drive, your outbox or in the canned responses you use in your helpdesk or Live Chat tool (you are using a helpdesk and Live Chat aren’t you?).
If not, then it’s up in your head. You know the types of questions your prospects and your clients ask. You just need to make a commitment to transfer that knowledge from ‘up there’ to ‘out there’.
This type of content is almost the opposite of the Authority Guide in terms of length and time to create. This is short form, helpful content that can appear either directly on product pages or in a dedicated resources section of your site (or both).
If you are completely new to Content Marketing then this is a perfect place to start. You’re just using what you have to hand and repurposing it and it will give you the confidence to move on to bigger and better things.
Buyer’s are busy. They want to buy but first they want to inform themselves about all of the options available. Enter the Buyer’s Guide. By pulling everything together in one handy place you create a degree of ‘stickiness’ to your brand that your competitors will find hard to match.
For those businesses that take the time to pull them together, Buyer’s Guides are a conversion goldmine. The principal reason for this is that suddenly you are setting the benchmarks against which your competitors are measured. You understand the benefits you offer and it is natural that you should bring these to the fore. This puts you in a strong position.
But don’t think that this type of content is difficult to create. Buyer’s Guides are so easy to pull together. Take any typical day in your business and think of the countless conversations that occur between you (or your staff) and your clients. Take the time to read sales email replies or check chat transcripts (you are using chat aren’t you?) and you’ll find most of the content is already written.
If you’re starting from scratch then just have an imaginary phone call with a prospect. Run through their needs before focusing in on the benefits and the merits of your service versus your competitors. Bring these points to their attention so that they understand that these are the criteria that they should be considering when weighing up the options.
Part of video’s attraction is its flexibility. It can drive significant traffic but if you’re looking for a dramatic increase in conversions then look no further than video.
Many businesses hesitate to use video but those that do can expect to see increased time on site, more conversions and for Ecommerce retailers, fewer returns.
Aside from pure product videos, it can be adapted to work alongside other forms of content you are creating. For example, if you’ve just created a Buyer’s Guide, why not compliment it with a short video which summarises the main findings.
Or if you’re doing How To Guides then video is the perfect accompaniment for them.
If you’re an Ecommerce store selling physical product and you’re still scratching your head then how about unboxing videos. It seems strange but they get a ton of traffic and they can be used for that as well as generating anticipation and creating a degree of urgency which will improve conversions.
But creating your video is just the first part. Next you can transcribe it and add it to your blog to make sure you get the most from your efforts.
Case Studies work because they are the genuine voice of satisfied customers. They are the social proof that you can deliver what you say you can deliver.
But a Case Study should not be confused with a testimonial. Testimonials are great but they are slightly one dimensional compared to a well crafted Case Study. The beauty of the Case Study is that they take the reader on a predefined journey which starts with the issue your customer faced, their frustrations, the reason they chose you, their experience during the setup period and the benefits they have experienced since using you.
It follows a classic copywriting formula of state the problem, stir it up, offer the solution and list the benefits.
The other advantage over testimonials is that you are in control of the process so you can ask the questions and choose the overall framework.
But ultimately they work so well for Conversion because they are spoken in the true language of the people who really matter – your customers. From that perspective they are pure sold gold.
Content Marketing isn’t just about getting more traffic. Content means better conversions too.
There are five proven types of content to improve conversions.
Authority Guides set you apart as the leader in your market and create a high level of confidence in the minds of your prospects. How To Guides focus on narrow areas of concern and provide step by step solutions to everyday issues.
Your prospects will thank you for creating handy Buyer’s Guides which pull everything together in one place and allow you to set the benchmark against which your competitors are measured.
Video is a flexible content format which adapts itself to a variety of situations. Finally, Case Studies prove that you can deliver what you say you can and are the genuine voice of the people that matter most – your satisfied clients.
So which of these formats are you using and are you planning to start implementing them in your business?