It’s difficult to create a compelling brand and to generate leads without the substance of engaging content to connect with your audience. Content brings visitors to your website and content keeps them engaged by helping your visitors solve problems and understand the unique value you provide, but the goals are to capture them in your sales funnel and the stark reality is fewer than 3% of users are ever converted to leads.
Investing in Acquisition Rather than Conversion
If your CFO is crunching the marketing budget for insights, consider that there’s about a 100 to 1 disproportionate investment in acquiring every visitor v/s converting them to actual customers. According to Econsultancy, for every $92 acquiring a visitor, about $1 is spent converting them.
Deciding what content to create is only part of the challenge. You need to have an effective strategy for promoting or placing your content where your audience will find it. But guess what? That’s still not enough. Your sales funnel can get pretty leaky (see: how to fix a leaky sales funnel) if you are not measuring engagement and then optimizing your site to keep or convert your visitors into leads.
Adapting Content to Visitor Preferences, Behavior and Intent
The challenge for marketers is that it’s difficult for humans to measure, test, and then optimize content and user experiences without technology to help crunch the data, and sometimes make changes in real time. Holes open up in your sales funnel when users don’t find content that interests them and they abandon your website, which can happen in a matter of seconds. Instead of data, most marketers (63% according to Crazyegg) are optimizing their websites for conversion based on hunches, intuition, and best practices.
The first step is understanding what content to create in the first place. If you’ve done your homework, you’ve developed buyer personas and you know the questions that your target audience asks at the different stages of their research process. This will guide you to lay a content foundation that might include the following:
Content that Confirms Your Existence, Necessary but Uninteresting
Technical descriptions of services, product features, and specifications are necessary resources to explain your existence. These are important content resources for visitors who either know you, or they are willing to take the time to dig deeper into your site to understand what you do, or to vet your solution against a competitor, if you’ve made the shortlist. The problem is that they are the least-likely kinds of content to create your initial conversions, and as much as your website needs the basic building blocks of branded content to inform users on what you do and whom you do it for, it may not be enough to hold their interest.
Content that Helps Visitors Understand How You Add Value
Understanding what you do is useful, but uninteresting when compared to other companies in your category. You are all providing similar services or offer similar products. If you’re in a competitive industry, your me-too brand depends on connecting with visitors based on how you uniquely add value, what you know about solving problems that “I” face, and why you do it? Can you help me anticipate problems that I don’t know that I have and do we share a set of common values that makes working with you enticing, at least compared to others?
Case studies, and blog articles, and premium content like eBooks and Resource Guides go a long way to complement your establishing content and create a compelling position worth further inspection, but you still have such a short window of opportunity to convert.
Content & Functions that Drive Leads
Unless you’re waiting for a prospect to pick up the phone or fill out your request for a proposal form, you are going to need a mechanism to capture the user’s information and add them to your lead database for the purpose of nurturing through deeper stages of the sales process. These assets include forms, landing pages, and calls-to-action. Best practices in implementing calls-to-action and landing pages are a good place to start, but testing and optimization are required to improve your conversions. That is where conversion rate optimization comes in.
What is Conversion Rate Optimization?
The process of Conversion Rate Optimization, or CRO, is the use of analytics and user feedback to improve the performance of your content and your website. As users interact with your website different configurations of content or other features are A/B tested to determine which assets drive deeper engagement or conversions. This could be a human process, but there’s a lot to measure, so speeding up the process or making site improvements depends on software to make those changes as they become more statistically significant.
These improvements can apply to any metric on your site that is important to your business, but it is usually associated with filling out a form, a purchase, or directing the user to a page that deepens engagement. The goal of CRO is to make the most out of the traffic your site is receiving by helping you make changes to accomplish a specific marketing goal. Instead of buying more traffic, you can increase conversions of your existing traffic and provide valuable insights about what kinds of content and features you need to create in the future.
How Content Marketers Can Get Started with CRO
The best way to engage your users is by connecting with them on a one to one basis by providing relevant, personalized content and then testing the interactions that lead them deeper into your sales funnel. CRO technologies can help you test and personalize content on your website by delivering subscription forms or calls-to-action based on user profiles, behavior, or referral source.
Select your KPIs and Measure
Establish a baseline of your current engagement and conversion performance, so that you can understand how your current content performs today and then after optimization. Evaluate the visit and conversion performance of landing pages and key ratios such as: visits to pageviews, visits to conversions.
Monthly increase in conetnt engagement and conversions with BrightInfo
Select CRO Technologies
Marketers can leverage CRO technologies to A/B test, or dynamically analyze visitor profiles, location, or referral source to deliver content matches that assist conversions and deepen engagement. HubSpot helps marketers with smart content to personalize content to visitors who have been profiled in HubSpot’s database based on their sales lifecycle stage, location, or referral source. BrightInfo is a CRO platform that A/B tests and optimizes content, and uses slide-in, scrolling, and modal CTA’s to engage users throughout the site. The combination of the two platforms provides both personalization and optimization for your known and unknown site visitors.
Dynamically push content to users based on how they interact with your website. Ask them to subscribe to your blog, based on exit intent, and present blog articles and educational premium content such as eBooks as the user scrolls through your page.
Test Headlines and CTAs
Leverage BrightInfo’s A/B testing features to optimize headlines or CTA graphics on your website to deepen engagement and conversions. 80% of users who read your headline, will also read your CTA.
Track and Refine Content
Track the blog articles that are most frequently engaged with after optimization and use this information to guide future content development.
When implemented properly and continually managed in an ongoing process, CRO is an effective strategy for increasing your conversions and filling your pipeline with qualified opportunities.