We’ve all heard the old adage, “Content is king.” But what exactly does that mean and why is it something you should consider?
Content is used in every interaction with potential and current customers:
Being an answer to a question they ask Google
On a sales call when they have questions or need information
On social media when you want to get their attention
In emails when you’re communicating with them
Your messaging and strategy for content carries through every stage of the buyer’s journey and in every moment where you’re connecting with someone — so it’s not surprising that it’s pretty important.
We’ve been in the business for a while, and in our experience, a successful content marketing strategy has specific elements that make your content powerful.
This article outlines the five crucial elements needed to create content to increase website traffic and help you generate higher conversion rates.
Crucial Element #1. Content Needs a Purpose
To attract potential customers to your web consumers’ questions, it needs a purpose. Without purposeful writing, your words fall flat on the page, and people leave your site. There are four primary purposes of content that you should consider. These are:
Your Content Needs to Entertain
You want content that creates an emotional reaction and grabs the attention of your visitor. You may write blog posts that tug on heartstrings, web copy that makes a person feel happy and positive or even generate the fear of missing out (FOMO).
Your Content Needs to Inspire
Inspirational content generates an equally emotional level like entertaining content. The difference is that this type of content pushes your website visitors to purchase a product or service. The content shows them how your product or service will make them feel after they make a purchase.
Your Content Should Educate
Less emotional and more rational, educational content aims at helping a reader solve a challenge they may be facing. This can be anything from how to configure a piece of software or up to something more complicated like creating and implementing API hooks. When you write educational content, it is critical to understand your audience, their experience level, and the end goal should still be a sale.
Your Content Should Be Convincing
Sometimes your audience needs that last, little push to become a customer. Instead of inspiring content, convincing content provides facts, figures, and addresses the rational interest of your audience. This content is created for the customer who already is inspired or educated on your product, they just need a little more data to close the deal.
Crucial Element #2. Content Answers Questions
The Internet is a treasure trove of information, consumers search for answers to their questions daily. No matter what the topic, the Internet has an answer.
As a business, you need to tap into the questions consumers are asking to establish trust and answer their questions. You know you need to build trust with your customers and create a loyal base to promote and talk about how your business helped them.
In order to build that trust and create loyalty, you need to know how to write content that answers questions.
So, how do you find the questions you need to answer to draw a website visitor in and convert their inquisitiveness into a sale? You do exactly what they do, search for the answers! There are lots of ways to find out what your customers want to know, here are a few to get you started:
1. Keyword Search
There are multiple keyword planning sites out there. Google Keyword Planner, HubSpot Keyword Tool, SEMRush and more help you find the most-searched words. You know your industry, you know what your customers are looking for, find the keywords to answer the question.
Those 140 character tweets aren’t just for posting personal feelings, shout-outs to friends, and retweeting someone famous. Twitter offers a way to research questions users ask frequently and provides you with feedback showing you exactly what questions people want answers to.
BuzzSumo offers multiple ways of researching the habits of your customers and the questions they want answered. It’s a powerful tool designed to help you create content that really resonates with your audience.
No matter how you research the questions you need to answer, you still have to create content that people want to read. Break up chunks of text with diagrams, graphics, images, and step-by-step guides.
Crucial Element #3. Content Isn’t About You
Whether you’re writing content to improve your conversion rate or to improve your SEO standings, understanding your customers’ needs is at the core of your content creation. You already know what you do, how you do it, and what the benefits are, but your ideal customer may not.
It’s crucial to keep this in mind when creating any kind of content. Whether it’s your website copy on your homepage or blog, the content needs to be written with your ideal customer in mind.
According to Adweek, 81% of shoppers research online before buying. People want to have as much information as possible at their fingertips.
Research means they go through multiple links to read about a product or service they’re thinking of buying to read reviews, specifications, and end results after purchase.
To write content that is customer-focused, you need to answer their “why, how, when, and what.” Show them that you understand their problem, how you can solve the problem, and how great their life will be after they buy from you.
Crucial Element #4: Content Needs Structure
Lots of people are visiting your site, and each one has a different expectation of what they are going to find. To take advantage of the fact that website visitors scan instead of reading full websites, your content needs to be structured to meet that need.
Creating helpful content is more than just choosing a tone, and writing what the viewer wants to read, content needs a structure.
This structure helps keep your site and content organized logically and makes it easy to add, delete, and curate the content. It may sound simple, but the final structure is more complicated than the finished product looks.
To start creating this structure, go back to how you answer the questions your visitors are asking. This helps you create the most critical content that needs to be on your website. The next step is to decide where less central content should be that may not be as crucial to your visitor but is still essential.
Another challenge is how to group elements.
Grouping elements based on the intended readership, a common answer, or a common theme helps you organize content in a way that leads the viewer down a path.
Remember that even if you think your content should be organized logically and objectively, actual visitors are more subjective and goal-oriented. Show what’s relevant and showcase it prominently on a specific page of your website.
Crucial Element #5: Content Should Be Quality-First
If content is king, then quality content is the queen. So many companies get lost in keyword searching and generating content that generates buzz that they miss the big picture.
No one will read something that isn’t quality information that answers a question or solves their problem. There’s no secret formula to creating quality content, but we have a few tips to help you improve the quality and quantity of your content.
Write A Captivating Headline
Incorporate words that evoke an emotion, tell the reader what they’ll get out of the article, and how. An example of a captivating headline would be “Ten Crucial Things You Need To Boost Your Sales.” After reading the article, you’re telling the customer what they’ll learn, why they need to learn it, and what it will do.
Create a Hook
The first sentence after your headline is what captures the reader’s attention and keeps them interested enough to read more. You want to capture their attention and lead them to your first point.
You know what you’re writing about inside and out. Showcase your expertise by injecting statistics, data, and metrics to support your claims. You can weave this information in by using graphics that break up long blocks of text and create visual cues that keep the reader's attention.
Focus on Your Key Message
Pick one key message you want to convey through your content. Tie every part of your content back to it.
Choose Your Voice
Your company and brand have a unique voice to your values, culture, and brand. Use this voice throughout your content for consistency. Readers get confused if your homepage is very dry and factual, but your blog posts are fun and entertaining, and vice versa. Make sure you know your voice and tone and recreate it for every part of your content.
Optimize for SEO
While this is important, it’s not the end-all-be-all of your content. For too long, companies wrote articles stuffed with keywords trying to rank higher on search engines. This actually works against you in today's world of overloaded Internet browsers. Choose a few targeted keywords, and then write around them, not for them.
Edit, Edit, Edit
Go through your content and edit it yourself, check back with the overall tone you’re aiming for, and then send it to someone else. Having multiple eyes on the same copy helps guarantee consistency, readability, and purpose.
The goal of effective content writing is to turn site visitors into satisfied customers. It’s more than getting content out. And it’s producing high-quality content that people want to consume. Search engines crawl across content and reward the most well-written articles by ranking them higher in search results.
Ready To Start Creating Conversion-Focused Content for Your Business?
Everything your company does online is connected. From your website to social media and beyond, the goal is to drive traffic and turn strangers into customers. Suppose you’re ready to skip past the trial and error of writing the content yourself.
In that case, our experts are ready to help you turn your content strategy into a plan that will capture your audience’s attention and create prospects into customers. Contact us today to get started!