Industry report after report continues to purport the fact that hyper-relevance and personalization are absolute keys to increasing conversion rates. So why then do content marketers continue to write general drivel that is just like everyone else's drivel? Last night I did a presentation at a local Sparks event and I called it:
Your Content Sucks. Exactly Like You Wanted It To.
My point with the presentation wasn't to insult people's ability to write content; it was to criticize their ability to write content for their audience. We tend always to fall back on writing content that we believe is important, but that's only connecting to a fraction of our overall audience.
Our problem is that our audience is diverse. Two prospects with identical demographics will have many different processes for advancing a relationship with your company. We don't tend to take that into consideration.
5 Elements to Enhance Your Content
- Increase Cognition – by adding imagery, audio, or video you will increase the impact and cognition of the article you're writing.
- Make Shareable – optimizing content to build a readers' value if they share it is an amazing strategy. Help readers grow their network, help readers promote their identity, help readers get involved sharing content to their community, or inform them of a cause that they will share because they care.
- Support Decisions – some readers are impacted by trust, facts, efficiency, emotion of combinations thereof. Balanced content that contains all these elements will connect with more readers.
- Persuade Action – include content that drives persuasion – linking, reciprocity, consensus, scarcity, consistency, and authority.
- Personalize – people don't turn their lives on and off when they arrive or leave work. Business purchases are influenced by friends, family, and our personal development. Personal purchases are impacted by your work. A car purchase, for example, can be influenced by gas mileage concerns for long commutes.
Case in point, we did a review with an e-commerce company yesterday. They have incredible customer retention and high conversion rates, but over time they've had a difficult time acquiring new customers. When we chatted with them, the first thing they told us was how unique their company was. They were 100% American-based. The majority of their product ingredients were American-made (some ingredients couldn't be acquired here). They answered their phones for every call. And they build their warehouse 100% solar-powered!
I realize this is an extreme scenario, but everything they were proud of about their company was difficult or nearly impossible to find on their website! What if we transformed their content with the following:
- Add an image of the facility to impact the visitor as soon as they arrived at the site.
- Share the news on attaining energy independence. Social and environmental responsibility is a cause that many readers will share.
- Include industry facts, infographics, whitepapers, testimonials, and case studies to help support visitors' decisions.
- The client already has some initial free shipping and discount offers. Perhaps adding some expiration date could persuade the person by making the offer scarce.
- These folks were passionate! Why not include videos that capitalized on the history of the company, the amazing customer service, and some of the unique profiles of the employees? Connecting personally with the audience will drive conversions.
Again, what you believe is critical to your product or service isn't necessarily what your client believes is critical. Our agency typically focuses on conversions. But sometimes clients are more interested in the quality of the content that we provide. That's something we should be keeping in mind as we write content that promotes our company!