It’s no surprise then, that content marketing is actually downright hard to get right.
It requires your constant attention, analysis and input.
If you have a set-it and forget-it attitude towards your content strategy then you definitely won’t generate leads, drive traffic or see any ROI for your efforts.
In this blog post, we look at 5 (actually there are more) ways you can really begin driving conversions with your content.
1. Know your target market
Did you know that correctly targeting and testing methods can increase your conversion rate by up to 300%?
So it is no surprise that the first step to boosting the conversion rate of your content is to make sure you truly know and understand your target market or buyer persona.
After all, how are you going to create content if you don’t know who you’re speaking to?
We’ve gone into some depth about buyer persona’s before, so I’m not going to do that here.
If your content is going to be successful in converting relevant leads, it needs to address the very specific pain points of your target buyer.
But, how do you know what those pain points are?
Well...this can be quite a process. You can conduct surveys, interviews, telephone calls and collect data from LinkedIn and Facebook. Or create buyer personas such as this one using HubSpot’s Make My Persona tool.
These personas are a great way to humanise your ideal persona and identify where they find information, for instance, and what social media platforms they mostly use. This data can then be used in your planning.
Remember the more in-depth you go with your research, the more equipped you are to understand those pain points and how they can guide your content creation efforts.
Why don’t you download our content marketing strategy template, it will help guide you through the process of developing your persona in a way that aligns directly with your content strategy.
2. Analyse your funnel
What if you have a funnel that’s filling up from leads that have converted on your most recent awareness campaign...obviously we’re all chuffed about this.
But, you will need a closer analysis of those recently converted leads.
Jumping into your CRM to look at individual lead data can help you map some commonly taken lead paths. This process should highlight opportunities or gaps in your current strategy.
Image source: HubSpot
It should show you where your leads perhaps felt confused and converted in a less logical way than what you had assumed. These insights will allow you to adapt your strategy to help create a better conversion path and ultimately a better user experience.
For instance, if you discover that a large number of leads converted with a digital discount special, you could implement a strategy to email further discount codes to prospective leads who have added items to their cart but have not yet checked out.
Or if you find that many prospects log the same question with customer services before checking out, you could create content that addresses this question.
You could also look at introducing automated lead nurturing sequences to help that lead take another action.
A lead nurturing strategy is the process of engaging, supporting and building a relationship with prospective customers by providing them with relevant information and content at every stage of their buyer’s journey.
Image source: HubSpot
A good lead-nurturing strategy will not only generate more sales-ready leads by up to 50% but also reduce the cost per lead by 66%.
3. Optimise those conversion paths
What are they?
A/B tests are designed to compare two versions of a marketing asset, such as a landing page, CTA or an email with only one varying elements such as the colour or typography We only change up one element so as to prove or disprove one version over another.
Once you’ve designed your test, you would go on to present the one version to half of your visitors and the other version to the other half of your visitors. Once the test is complete you will be able to decisively say which one performed better and opt for the use of that asset going forward.
Remember your goal is to improve specific metrics for that marketing element, such as your conversion rate or improving time-on-page.
The following elements all require an A/B test at one point or another.
Updating your CTA’s is a great way to test assumptions about user behaviour. You can test many things when it comes to CTA’s, take a look at just a few of the elements we suggest:
Colour - it’s no secret that colour plays a very significant role in user behaviour. It has the ability to evoke feelings and emotions. You, therefore, need to make sure that the colour you select for your CTA stands out. It needs to be eye-catching enough to make sure it offers the perfect opportunity for a visitor to convert.
Copy - test a variation of your CTA message. The more specific you are to your product or service the more likely that user will convert. You don’t want your prospects to think too hard about what it is that you want them to do.
Placing - you need to place your CTA’s in a way that seems organic and like a natural progression in your user's buyer journey. It needs to be logical to the action you’re wanting them to take.
It’s time to analyse your form. We recommend looking at your form’s view to submission rates at least every quarter.
This will ensure that you have enough data to make assumptions about possible drop-off rates.
Here are a few elements that you can test:
Length - how easy is it to complete your form? What questions are you asking in relation to what you are offering your users? Perhaps test a shorter or longer version of your form.
Exit tests - where do your users drop off before completing your form? You can test form fields that are perhaps hindering your submission rate.
Your submit button - this speaks to the colour and copy of your button. Is this button adding value to the overall experience of the page?
It’s time to revisit your landing pages. Especially since this is where you’re asking users to convert. So revisiting them to boost conversion rates, will surely not hurt your efforts.
Much like CTA’s, your landing page has so many elements that you’re able to test. Best practice dictates that you shouldn’t change too much at once, especially if you’re trying to hypothesise around a particular element.
You can and should absolutely test the following:
Copy - the message you choose to convey in the final version of your landing page should highlight the value that you’re offering your visitors. It should speak to their pain points and how your product or service is able to overcome this problem for them.
CTA - I won’t say too much about this but ensure that your CTA copy is specific to your product or service. It also needs to be positioned well and have an eye-catching colour to entice your users to click through. Your CTA needs to add value to the experience of the page.
In fact, we’ve written a blog that looks at 8 different strategies to help improve your landing page conversion rates. Take a look 👉 here.
Did you know that the average person sends and receives 121 business emails a day?
It’s with that in mind that you need to make sure your email is the one that your leads open and convert on.
If you’re using marketing automation software like HubSpot, we recommend taking a look at the performance and conversion rates of your emails. Dissect and analyse them, come up with a list of different elements that you’d like to test and then implement just one of those things.
Some of the reports you will have access to in HubSpot include recipient engagement and delivery rates, as well as reports on performance by device.
Image source: HubSpot
Image source: HubSpot
Whether that be your subject line, a change in CTA, the use of imagery in your email or changing the tone of your copy. Also, keep in mind the time of the day a prospect will receive your email and their preferred device. This can all have an impact on whether your email is read or simply gets lost in the 3.4 billion fake emails sent every day.
For instance, stats show that people are most likely to open an email via a smartphone or tablet.
Images source: Finances Online
Why the focus on email you ask?
That’s because an email strategy has the ability to nurture your existing CRM into sales-qualified leads (SQL’s).
We have a blog dedicated to taking you through the process of creating high-performing emails. It’s even got a pretty nifty template to get you started. Take a look 👉 here.
4. Run A Content Audit
It’s time to dig deep into understanding your content data in order to give it the conversion boost you’re looking for.
But where do you start?
Your first step is to look at the existing content and collect data on some key stats and performance areas. This can include data on:
- Articles that used to bring in a lot of traffic, but no longer do.
- Articles that have high traffic, but low click-through rates.
- Articles that have extremely high bounce rates.
- Articles that have low time spent on-page.
- Articles that have low traffic.
- Your keyword ranking and distribution.
- What source is generating the most traffic and leads for your blog.
To do this, you can use a number of tools such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console, SEMRush and HubSpot.
HubSpot’s CRM, for instance, not only provides you with reports on the entire life cycle of a prospect. It also provides you with data on how each of your pages are performing allowing you to track which sources are bringing in the most traffic.
Image source: HubSpot
Google Analytics, especially, is great for an in-depth look into how your content is performing. Google Analytics can, for instance, provide you with reports on pageviews, the average amount of time a visitor spends on the page, the average number of pages they look at per session, returning visitors and goal conversion rates. It can also provide you with user flow and behaviour flow stats, which shows you how prospects navigated through your website and what they searched for.
This valuable information can then be used to, let’s say, create a blog post about a certain FAQ.
Image source: Google Analytics
Google Search Console, on the other hand, can be used to determine keyword position, CTR and your top-performing pages over a certain period of time. This data can help you tweak your content where needed to improve your site’s search results and performance on Google.
Image source: Piwik Pro
Once you have collected all the data necessary for a deep-dive, it will need to be compiled into a spreadsheet where it can be sifted through, analysed and compared to ascertain what is performing well and what not.
This type of information will not only help you pinpoint winning content but will also help you better allocate marketing campaign resources in the future to target the sources that have the best ROI.
Your content audit could look something like this:
And can include both automated and manual processes. At Uku, we often combine the two. Collecting the data in this way allows us to become intimate with the data and highlights opportunities we may have missed with an automated-only approach.
Once you’ve figured out what’s not working, you can come up with a plan to rework, combine or unpublish content to better align with your buyer persona and your marketing objectives.
At Uku, we recently did just this. After an in-depth content audit, we found that this piece, for instance, originally published in 2019, wasn’t performing well. So, we updated it with new data, graphics, and keywords, and an attention-grabbing title … and here you are!
5. Content distribution
We all know that without the right eyes on our content, we’re not going to drive any traffic, let alone get conversions.
You need a distribution strategy to promote your content. This strategy needs to be well planned and well-executed.
The below is a great example of how a well-planned distribution strategy should combine paid, earned and owned media channels to distribute and cross distribute your content.
Sharing a few links on social media, running a paid campaign and perhaps spamming a few forums will not get you the kind of conversion rates you’re looking for.
You will need a thoughtful and detailed plan for not only your content but also what paid media channels you will be investing in and how you can leverage contacts, mentions and shares, for instance, to increase distribution.
We’ve found that our content distribution strategy needs to work in alignment with our social media and paid strategies.
I’ve thrown in an extra tip for you because I believe it can’t be left out...
6. You need lead magnets
Did you know that companies that have 15 or more landing pages see a 55% increase in leads?
Whilst content marketing really is a long-term game. The creation of valuable content offers will generate consistent leads for you.
By giving a helpful resource (like an ebook, webinar, checklist, video series, etc) away for free, you’re able to generate leads for your business.
Free resources together with custom landing pages coupled with a streamlined distribution strategy across Paid, Owned and Earned will help you increase your website's overall conversion rate.
In fact, Hazendal Wine Estate was able to achieve an overall conversion rate of 19.89% through the creation of buyer-persona-specific lead magnets such as their free downloadable Wedding Planning 101 Guide. This conversion rate of new-visitor-to-contact is well above the industry average of 3%.
And because we are following our own advice ;) Here’s a free link to 20 more ways to effectively increase your conversion rate.
Content marketing requires constant problem-solving to really drive the right kind of leads for your business.
The key to improving your conversion is to experiment and test to find out what works best with your particular audience.
I’m curious to know how any of these have worked out for you and if perhaps we should include anything else here.