Let’s face it - content creation has gotten out of hand. As I pointed out in my article, What Is Content Noise?, content is created at an alarming rate. Here are some stats from that article on the amount of content that’s created every minute:
- YouTube uploads 72 hours of new video
- There are over 200,000,000 email messages sent
- Google receives over 4,000,000 search queries
- Facebook users share 2,460,000 pieces of content
Those numbers are so large is makes my head hurt. Most of us (scratch that - all of us) marketers get upset when our content doesn’t perform or convert those who read it. We put a lot of time into the content we create but at some point, we have to face the fact that that doesn’t necessarily mean our content is worth reading or consuming. We have to be better, almost surgical, in our content creation, only then will our content be the conversion machine we hope it to be.
But, to start, where are we going wrong? Why aren’t users who read our content converting the way we would like them to be? Simply put, we’re not providing the value or information needed for our audience members to take action. It’s important that we all take a step back and learn what makes a piece of content convert, and not continue to simply create content for the sake of creating content.
Here are my tips on creating content that converts...
Find Your Target Audience
Creating content is so much more effective and resourceful when you know who you are trying to attract and what their needs are. For instance, if I am a digital marketer, and I want to help businesses and brands create more useful content for their users and their business, I’d probably write an article about how to write content that converts, right? (Insert winking emoticon here)
In order to create content that converts, you need to know the exact type of user or customer you are speaking to, what their exact needs are, how your business or product helps them, and why you’re a better option than the competition. From there, decide what the overall goal for the content is. Do you want them to watch a video? Signup for an event? Purchase a product or service?
The goal of your content is to motivate your audience into taking the desired action. To do so, you must enable and inspire them to do so, and the way you do that is through tapping into their emotions. By tapping into emotions, you have created a connection in your audience’s mind between your brand and that specific emotion. You know who does a great job of this? Budweiser…
Now, watching that, you can’t help but feel something, and that’s what makes marketing and content effective - the ability to connect an emotion to a brand or product. When content or offers make us feel an emotion, they make us feel connected to the brand or product, and feel better about their decision to ultimately convert on your content or make a purchase.
If a piece of content isn’t relevant to your audience’s needs or problem, then it’s simply not useful to them. In order to engage your audience on a deeper level, it’s your duty to provide a content experience that speaks directly to their specific business needs. When you do this, your audience is more engaged and inclined to accept you as an expert in your industry, because you’re providing real value to them.
Relevancy means a lot of things to a lot of people, but in content marketing, focus on:
- The issue your audience is facing
- How your service or product can solve that issue
- Create the content that is most useful to your audience
- Use the language that they are using to describe their problem
- Use calls to action that will benefit the user (and your business) most
When you create relevancy with all of the above points in check, you create a sense of security for your audience that you understand their issue or need for information and are the correct source to alleviate those needs. If you aren't hitting the above points, you're simply wasting your audience's (and your) time.
One of the most effective tools in your marketing toolbox is urgency. Urgency creates a sense of exclusivity and scarcity in our brains and causes us to take action quickly. Raising a point of urgency in your content creation or product offerings removes a lot of the obstacles that usually keep us from taking action. For instance, when we lack urgency, our target audience has time to mull over their decision, conduct more research, or simply have an "I'll get to it later" mentality that ultimately ends with them not coming back or converting.
A few ways to create urgency:
- Show a deadline
- Use action words - "now", "immediately", "hurry", etc
- Show availability limits
- Use urgent colors
A great example of a website that does this is Amazon.com: