Content marketers need to be able to create content that converts. At the end of the day you need to move audiences, bring in leads and ensure an action is taken.
How easily you are able to get people to opt into an email list, read a blog post, or share your content is very important.
There are 5 main areas that you need to focus on in order to create conversion oriented content.
👉 Emotional hooks
Headlines are the first thing that a reader sees so you’ve got to have titles that pique curiosity and promise value in order to increase click through rates.
Only 20% of people who scan your headline will continue reading your content, so it’s a scary thing to keep in mind.
This number will decrease even more as the online world becomes even more saturated.
If you want your content marketing campaigns to be successful, then it’s time to start creating headlines that your readers just can’t ignore.
Here are some things that you can do:
It's a Numbers Game
Headlines with a number tend to generate 73% more social shares and engagement and increase conversion by 36%
People are always number oriented and integrating specific numbers and data into your headline is an effective way to make your headlines more enticing to readers.
How to" headlines go Viral
An alternative to asking a question, the "how to" headline is another way to open a curiosity gap. It also suggests that your content is going to be practical. It’s also one of the most popular phrases used in the most viral headlines
It pays to be negative.
It's proven that your brain responds to negativity much than than to positivity so forget what people say "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."
Sources of negative information may be more likely to be percieved as impartial and authentic while positive superlatives have become overused and less interesting.
Question headlines get 150% more clicks than declarative ones.
The space between what we know and what we don't know is called the curiosity gap and this plays a key role in all top funnel marketing. Framing your headline as a question opens up a new curiosity gap in your reader, which can dramatically increase click throughs.
The Value Proposition
Offering a value in a header increases dramatically.
Having a headline that offers something unique and highly desirable for example a solution to a problem or answering a question can reach your audience quickly and increase open rates.
People are incredibly interested in themselves.
You can dramatically increase your click throughs by just referncing the audience. Using words like "you" or "your" have been proven to get noticed.
Headlines that used the second person got 175% more clicks that those that didn't.
A good headline alone is not enough, it needs help.
Having a sub headline can boost clarity. It's like having a head and a tail. Headlines that had 2 parts to it performed 9% better than headlines without.
Sub headlines re affirms why your reader is on the page and it's kind of like a meta description on search engine page results. it can make or break the interest of your audience.
Making your content easy to understand goes a long way.
At the same time if you can produce sharp, clear, and intelligent content then it becomes much easier for people to see the value in it and keep reading.
I spent years trying to write clearly and I am still learning.
Communicating with your target audience is not always an easy task but there are some factors to consider when writing your key messages.
Let’s take a look at some methods that can help you write clear content.
Know What You Want to Say
Before writing you should know:
Know your Audience
The better you know who you are talking to, the more clearly you have an idea of communicating to them.
Tailor your messages to your target audience according to their needs and wants.
Keep it Simple
Use the Active Voice
This allows your sentences to feel more engaging
Passive - He is enjoying his new shoes
Active - He enjoys his new shoes
Just avoid unnecssary words and get to the point with an active voice.
Be Consistent with your Tone
Explain One Idea at a Time
Avoid Jargon and Fancy Words
Review and Proofread
A person spends about 3 seconds
Anyway yeah, you get the message. Your audience lack patience and if you don’t bang them with a great first impression then you’ve failed.
This is where Emotional Hooks can help you which is a secret ingredient to successful content.
You know why?
Because people make most of their decisions based on how they’re feeling especially when it comes to purchasing decisions.
So if your content hasn’t been converting the way you want it to, try spicing it up with emotion.
Once you learn to leverage that emotion, your engagement is going to go up and up and up.
An emotional connection turns your words into a powerful mental image.
Talk about People
Including your audience or focusing on people centric terms can help encourage your readers to think how the issue might affect real people.
When you talk about cost savings or numerical benefits that you offer, you can help readers visualize what that could mean for them in tangible terms.
This boosts the value of your offer as it helps them visualize the experience.
Pain the bigger picture of the problem. Show that you understand what their frustration is about.
Then provide a solution. This allows you to build an empathetic connection with your audience.
Tell a Story
Everyone wants to know what happens next, especially if they can identify with the story's hero.
Telling stories about your business can increase your brand's likability factor.
The fear of missing out is a powerful force. Nobody wants a great deal or a juicy secret to pass them by.
If you can create a sense of anxiety or urgency in your audience, you'll get a reaction out of them.
Time limited offers for example.
Make Your Audience Feel Special
The desire to feel special drives a lot of purchasing decisions.
To tap into your audience's desire to feel special, use your content to paint a specific picture of your product or service: it's high quality, distinctive, and exclusive.
Unanswered quetions are intriguing.
Fill your content with some questions- people want to know the answer, so they click.
There are long standing unanswered questions in your field, create content around them, since people love the unknown.
Marketing doesn't have to be serious all the time. Including humor can be great for your brand's image.
Laughter is a great way to from an instant connection with someone.
Surprise Your Audience
Add an element of surprise, like a good plot twist at the end of a story so that it stays in their minds.
Include surprising facts in your content that people wouldn't believe at first.
Challenging someone's idea or changing their mind on an issue is a great way to get them to remember your brand.
Now you have to prime your audience to take action before they reach your CTA.
I like to call it the gentle nudge off the cliff.
Your target audience has reached this far and they only need a little extra push to hit that subscribe button, to buy your product, to test a service.. In the end you want them to make an action that is profitable for you and for them.
Preparing your audience to take action before they reach your CTA is is a very important factor that you need to get right.
Here are some things you can focus on.
Rhetorical questions are powerful motivators and by bouncing questions regularly back to the reader, you encourage them to engage deeper and reflect on your argument within their own context. It also makes your writing interactive.
Even if you can write extremely well, you have to agree that people don't read every word you write. People also won't remember everything they read. So your structure plays an important role for conversions. You need to place your strongest arguments at the beginning and end of your text.
This is mainly because people tend to remember the first few and the last few and words in the middle are usually forgotten.
A positive feeling is released in the brain when we hear information that we know is true, because we have heard it before. So it's important to reinforce the same argumetns multiple times, mostly used in long form content of course. But every time a reader comes across the repated argument, they're more likely to feel the same way.
When we receive something, you want to give something back. It's human nature. So before you even think of asking your readers to take an action, your content should offer plenty of valuable information or resources.
This gives them the impression that you've helped them get that much closer to their goals, meaning they're more likely to reurn the favor when asked.
People generally are not trustful, espcially with marketing. Everything you say will be taken with a pinch of salt. You can lower this barrier before a call to action by showing readers how other people have trusted you. This can be done through testimonials, product reviews, or an endorsement from a trusted auhtority.
Let's face it, people love free stuff and discounts. It's not going to cost you money in the long run. By giving something to get a user to subscribe to your newsletter, the user sees the subscription as gold because they know they will be receiving free product in return.
You really need to inspire your customers to take an action.
For that you’d better start learning how to write killer Call To Actions.
Sign up, download, subscribe, buy now, learn more – all of these are CTA’s but they are all the most common ones that won’t give you the best results.
Remember that your CTA is your final instruction to your reader and it better be damn good if you want to get conversions. You have to learn to captivate your audience and motivate them to make that action.
The next time you’re thinking why my campaign didn’t work, well most likely it was because your CTA was not effective enough.
Showcase Instant Gratification
Nobody likes to wait. When it comes to persuading people to take action online, even a slight delay in giving people what they want will affect your conversion rate negatively.
Curiosity always leads to increased sales. If you can craft your CTA message in such a way as to create the desire in your prospects to know what's on the other side of the CTA, you'll get more clicks.
Aggravate the Problem, then Offer the Solution
You need to build a deeper understanding with the customer's pain points. So Identify their problem, agitate their problem, and then give a solution.
Leverage the Urge to Belong
Your ideal customer doesn't want to miss out on what others are already experiencing. This social proof is the easiest way to ease customer's minds and elimnate their objections. People will take action based on what others have done. People follow the crowd.
Use a Cliffhanger
A cliffhanger is just an unresolved ending in a part of a book that leaves the audience or reader eager to know what's going to happen next. Use the same strategy to craft your CTA message.
Offer a Bonus
People love rewards and freebies. So you can offer a bonus in your CTA message.
Get creative, try things out and follow the tips that I've given so that you can create fabulous converting content.
Novnish is a Content & Campaign Marketing Manager EMEA - helping companies and brands generate results with marketing activities. He is a passionate, cross-functional, creative and result driven marketing specialist with almost 8 years of marketing experience across product marketing, digital marketing, project management, content and campaigns. He believes that marketing activities should create value within the market and to the consumers using data, insights and innovative strategies.