January 7, 2014 (Updated: May 4, 2023)
If you are reading this article based on the question “can content marketing drive conversions?” then let me save you some time:
Yes, yes it can.
The real questions are when, how, and why does content marketing drive conversions? For those answers we may need a little more room. First off, when you hear the word “effective” used throughout this article it refers to conversion. As we all know, most pieces of content are created for some ulterior motive- whether to perpetuate an image, sell a product, or just generate repeat visitors. The naïve audience need not read any further.
Businesses want a high volume of quality leads. Using an effective content marketing strategy can help achieve results, but only if you leverage the inbound traffic into prospects. This is easier said than done, and there are countless posts and books that go into much more depth than I am about to. From what I’ve learned, this can be broken down into four tips.
Consider the audience that would be drawn to your site from your strategy. Think about what type of information they would find valuable and make sure to put it on your site in a way that is easy to digest.
One of the most important steps in converting a visitor into a lead is acquiring his or her information. You have to create a benefit for the visitor that will warrant them giving you their name/email or other information. Most frequently this is done through whitepapers, RSS feeds, or product trials. The more information you can gather from the visitor without becoming intrusive, the better suited your ongoing strategy will be and the more tailored approach you can take moving them through the sales funnel.
If you have their information do everything in your power to capitalize on that data. The more tailored and automated you can be the better results you will get. Avoid mass emails covering broad topics, as you are apt to lose the lead just as quickly as you acquired them.
Content marketing is used to get leads into the funnel, it is then up to you to know when to sell them. Just as I have learned in my experience with dating, if at some point during the relationship you do not go for a kiss then you’ll quickly become single. Some marketers prolong pulling the trigger even though your audience already has enough interest in your company to hear a pitch. Use their historical behavior to accurately sell them on a product that they will want. Nothing will make a lead more annoyed than you trying to sell them something they cannot use.
When does content marketing drive conversions? When it coincides with an actionable sales strategy.
When done correctly, content marketing is highly valuable. It provides companies with an affordable and differentiated approach to non-traditional marketing. There are multiple variables that go into why content marketing drives conversions.
Content marketing is the tip of the sales funnel but isn’t where you need to make your pitch. The best approaches are ones that focus on engaging and informing the audience, not promoting your company.
One of the biggest benefits to an effective content marketing strategy is that is develops your brand into a thought leader of that space. People are not looking at your content because they want your product (if they were ready to purchase they would) rather they are looking for information or entertainment. If you are successful in fulfilling that need then that person will view your brand with more value.
In most cases you can predict what sort of inbound traffic you will generate from your content. The content should be cohesive to a specific theme within the umbrella of your offerings. Keeping your content in the same space as your industry will help drive meaningful and relevant traffic. Appropriate visitors are much easier to turn into viable leads.
Why does content marketing drive conversions? It provides a way to build your brand and encourage traffic that is relevant and intrigued.
As a recurring theme throughout this article- content marketing is an excellent tool to drive conversions as a company. But how do you do it? This is a pretty difficult question and one that is not all-encompassing, but nonetheless I’ll narrow it into a digestible acronym: T.O.T.E.M.
If you want to be successful in your content marketing strategy then you need to keep it focused on your target market. Ask yourself who is your desired audience and what topics they would find most valuable. Take those topics and make them the focal point of your content campaigns. Answer questions within your content that potential leads would ask search engines.
The web is a unique constellation of muddled information. It is rare to find a topic that is not covered in great detail by somebody else. However, the best content marketing strategy is one that stands out from the crowd while also remaining relevant to the targets and industry.
One of the greatest benefits of implementing a content marketing strategy is that you are likely to stay updated on industry standards and trends. Researching and writing content will help you see what competitors are doing so that you can plan and strategize accordingly. The content you are creating will also need to follow suit so that you are not hurting your brand with irrelevant and outdated information.
One of the best ways to differentiate your content is to make it engaging. Find a desired emotion that you want to evoke from your content and strategize with that outcome in mind. If your intentions are to inform your audience then make your content data-driven, if your goal is to make them laugh then use a strategy that your specific target would find humorous. Whatever the case may be, remember that your content should not be salesy or promotional, it should focus on appeasing your audience.
There needs to be a direct correlation between your content and the product or service offered. Not only will it improve the relevancy of inbound traffic, but it will improve your SEO and rankings for possible search queries.
How does content marketing drive conversions? It uses an emotional impact on relevant targets to drive an action or perpetuate an image.
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