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9 Simple & Fast Ways to Elevate Your Content

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9 Simple & Fast Ways to Elevate Your Content

Superb content is the driving force behind every winning marketing campaign.

Even the most brilliant strategy supported by the most advanced marketing technology will fall short of achieving your goals if your content isn’t optimized for conversions.

Yet, all too often, content marketers fail to differentiate between content created for the sake of filling a page and purposeful content designed to increase conversion rates.

A central challenge to effective content creation is that content quality is inherently subjective, and therefore notoriously difficult to measure.

How can we tell with any degree of certainty which words, colloquialisms, turns of phrase, or contentions are the most compelling and will have the most impact on your target audience?

In the absence of precise measurement tools, marketers might be tempted to assume that all content – as long as it’s relatively well-written and on topic – is created equal.

Unfortunately, this complacency leads to less than optimal content marketing decisions that stifle conversion rates.

To help you navigate the world of content marketing, here are nine tips that will elevate your conversion-boosting content.

1. Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is a prerequisite to every marketing campaign.

And maybe because this immutable marketing law has been ingrained in the marketer’s mind for so long, too many content marketers take it for granted.

Others fail to appreciate that different target audience segments respond to different content differently.

Let’s say you sell professional baking tools, and your target audience consists of two primary segments: baking enthusiasts and professional bakers.

You might be tempted to write the same article touting the benefits of your baking tools for both segments. But then you wouldn’t be writing content optimized for conversions.

  • The amateur baker will likely want to hear more about how reliable and easy-to-use your baking products are.
  • Whereas the experienced professional baker might be more interested in technical features that speak to how advanced or versatile your products are compared to the competition.

The area of expertise is another good criterion for content segmentation.

  • If you’re selling software to hospitals, you may want to create content emphasizing the product’s finance features when targeting hospital administrators, CFOs, and other C-suite professionals.
  • But when targeting marketing and customer service professionals, you can focus on the CRM component of your software.

Both audience segments are interested in the same product, but your content should be tailored to each group’s unique needs, interests, or goals.

2. Follow Online & Offline Trends

The best way to get your content seen by as many people as possible is to ride whatever big trend is popular – as long as it’s relevant.

Many companies boost their social media presence by commenting on current events, especially on Twitter, but you can take it even further and integrate the trend in an article or post.

Take every opportunity to make your brand part of the conversation, but make sure to avoid tackling any controversial topics or messages that would come across as tone-deaf.

Most consumers think companies’ sole goal is to make money, so adopting an overly preachy tone (e.g., Gilette’s “We Believe” ad) might attract ridicule.

3. Focus on Titles

The title is the most important element of your content when it comes to catching readers’ attention.

Not only should the title be catchy and intriguing, but it should also accurately reflect the article’s central theme in a way that optimizes click-through rates.

It’s no wonder many writers spend a significant amount of time poring over different title versions.

So how do you write a CTR boosting title? Here are some quick tips:

  • Use numbers and statistics whenever possible.
  • Inform the reader, but don’t give away everything.
    • (e.g., “Ever Wondered How Many People Actually Read Marketing Emails?” instead of “20% of People Actually Read Marketing Emails”)
  • Use a headline analyzer like CoSchedule to check how your title fares in terms of length, word choice, and other key variables.
  • Resist the temptation of clickbait – it may garner a large number of clicks, but it will only damage your credibility; you need to find the right balance between intriguing and obnoxious.
    • (e.g., “Ever Wondered How Many People Actually Read Marketing Emails?” is fine; however, “You’ll Never Guess How Many People Actually Read Emails – The Figure Will Shock You” is tacky and counterproductive.)

4. Don’t Focus on Selling All the Time

Nothing takes you out of an insightful read like a sales pitch or excessive promotional links. When users come to your site, they want value, not ads.

Granted, there’s nothing wrong with mentioning your products or services if they are relevant to the topic – even independent influencers sprinkle affiliate links in their posts.

But keep in mind that consumers might find affiliate links off-putting.

5. Offer Actual Insight

You’ve probably come across articles that were only one step above lorem ipsum text in terms of value – simply written to take up screen space and hit keywords.

Clearly, that is not the kind of content you want associated with your brand.

All text on your website or social media should be purposeful.

Avoid fluff and any content that doesn’t enhance your audience’s understanding of the subject.

Strike the right balance between informative and concise, and you won’t lose your audience with content that doesn’t add any value to the subject at hand.

6. Include Data

There’s something about numbers that makes people click.

For example, saying that ‘86% of people look up the location of a business on Google Maps’ wouldn’t have the same impact if you replaced the percentage with a word like ‘most’. That’s because data works on several levels.

  • Quantifiable insight automatically makes your argument more credible. In fact, articles with digits in their titles are 175% more likely to be shared.
  • Data can help predict future trends. For example, if a topic suddenly spiked in popularity at some point and then leveled out, we can probably assume that the trend isn’t sustainable in the long-term.
  • Data can also help your audience understand the current and future trends in their areas of interest by assessing how many of their peers are adopting new technologies or using new services.
  • Data provides social proof, making your audience conscious of what other people are doing, and implicitly making them more likely to follow suit.

7. Repurpose Old Content

There is nothing wrong with recycling a good idea, especially if you’ve generated a lot of content throughout the years.

You can easily breathe new life into content like articles, podcasts, and webinars.

For example:

  • Old webinars can be re-edited into video tutorials.
  • Old blog posts and articles can become whitepapers or newsletters.
  • Presentations can be stitched into infographics.
  • Any interesting tidbit or fragment can be posted on social media.

The point is to not think of your most engaging content as a one-shot deal, but rather as an opportunity to restructure and reshare it across new mediums, reaching broader and more diverse audiences.

Think about how often arguments made in newspaper op-eds eventually make it into books, and vice versa. So, recycle away!

8. Be Mindful of Structure

Nothing discourages a reader like a block of text. Whether it’s a 100-word email or a 1,000-word article, line breaks are a must.

Longer paragraphs (up to 15 rows) are fine within articles or blog posts.

For emails, 5 rows should be the limit. Each paragraph should have its own sub-topic and seamlessly transition into the next paragraph.

Bullet points, images, tables, charts, and infographics are also a great way to break a lengthier article or post. Not only that, but they also help the reader better digest the information they’ve just read by putting it in a visual form.

Your reader is much more likely to retain information about your product if that information is displayed in a chart, not just text.

9. Use Conversion-Optimizing Images

Your content needs images.

It’s cliché, but true: a picture really is worth a thousand words – and your main eye-catcher, no matter what content you’re promoting.

Content with relevant images gets 94% more views.

So how much attention do you pay to the quality and type of images you include?

The truth is that many of us simply rush to upload the first stock photo that remotely matches the content – hardly a conversion-optimizing tactic.

Get into the habit of putting more thought into the images you select. Whether it’s a standalone post, a thumbnail for a video, or a banner, each image you post should meet these criteria:

  • High-quality files: Make sure you save your .jpeg files in the highest quality possible to avoid any artifacts showing up. Even better, use the .png format whenever possible to avoid quality loss.
  • Well-taken shots: There’s a reason why people hire professional photographers or pay for stock photos. Getting the lighting and composition right is not easy, and it makes all the difference. Professional (or advanced amateur) shots are more eye-catching.
  • No obvious stock photos: We’ve all seen typical stock images of smiling employees gathered around a laptop or looking at a chart all over the internet. They’re cheesy, overused, and old news. A good, well-placed stock image should still stand out. Pick authentic images that complement your subject.
  • Appropriate composition for the placing: Certain images only work well for specific uses. For example, choosing a group shot of your team for a video thumbnail is a bad idea because the image will be displayed too small to discern faces. However, that same image would work well in a blog post about your firm’s career opportunities.

Conclusion

Too many marketers lose sight of the importance of thinking about every aspect of content marketing strategically, simply going through the motions of churning out content.

But really, you should think of content marketing as a powerful conversion tool that gives you a wealth of strategic options for reaching different audience segments with tailored messages across various outlets.

The story you tell through content is what drives consumers to your products, and ultimately builds brand loyalty.

And you should tell that story in a way that optimizes conversions, which, if you follow these nine tips, should be a layup.

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Alexander Kesler

President at inSegment, Inc.

With over 15 years of experience building companies, Alexander Kesler is an experienced entrepreneur with hands-on traditional and digital marketing ... [Read full bio]

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