Digital marketing is always changing.
In the beginning, all you needed was a website. Then, It was all about collecting user data. Now, there’s blogging and content, social media and relationship management. You’ve kept up with the trends and you know how to monitor everything that’s going on in your digital space.
But how does this translate into more leads? That’s where the conversion process comes in.
So many of us get caught up in thinking of this process as a complex strategy with even more complex pieces. That can be daunting. Why not simplify? Start with a plan. Then use it to guide you, step-by-step, to success.
The Perfect Plan
If you know your audience, your plan is already halfway done.
Think about how your audience is experiencing your website and content. What would help them better answer their questions or address their concerns? Are you offering enough information for people who are still in the awareness stage? Do you need more consideration content for people looking for a solution to their problem? Walking through your customer journey will help you identify what content will likely appeal to your potential leads.
That’s step one.
Now that you’re thinking like your potential lead, focus on how they found your content offer and what happens next. How will the potential lead feel about:
- Discovering your content offer
- Sharing their contact information with you
- Receiving your content
What overall experience would help create a deeper connection between your potential lead and your company?
While you’re thinking about that, let’s talk a bit more about creating the perfect content offer.
Create an Attractive Content Offer
Just offering content is not enough. You need to offer content that speaks to a specific audience in a specific stage of the inbound marketing sales funnel. Your audience will be attracted to different types of content depending on where they are in the funnel.
Are they still trying to figure out what problem they need to solve? Think about creating an eBook or whitepaper. Are they weighing their options? Look into a webinar or case study. Let the buyer’s stage guide the format.
Don’t stop there, though. Let the buyer’s stage also help you select a topic.
Remember that your potential leads are attracted to you because of your knowledge and authority. Give them what they’re looking for. How, you ask? Here are a few ways you can find clues to what your potential leads want:
- Review your personas
- Research the organic search terms for your company--and those of your competitors
- Review search terms used on your own website
- Look at your most-popular content, and see if you can develop a related content offer
Now, all that’s left is the writing.
Once you have an offer they can’t refuse, it’s time to think about the before and after of the content offer experience.
Before and After: Landing and Thank-You Pages
Your content offer is only as good as what the potential lead sees before and after they receive the content. Remember, you want a lead who becomes a customer, and the beginning-to-end experience is a strong factor in conversion.
By now you understand that conversion is about what your lead wants and needs. When developing a landing page, there are just a few more considerations:
Don’t ask for more information than the content offer is worth. You’ll be tempted to ask for every piece of information that the lead can give--just to fill up your database. Don’t do it. Asking for too much information can scare off a potential lead, and the reality is that you often don’t need much more than their name and email address in the early stages of the funnel.
Keep their attention focused on the offer. Once a potential lead reaches a landing page, make sure that your don’t show anything to distract them (like pop-ups or navigation).
Make them want to “submit”. While you don’t ever want to use the word “submit,” you do want to describe the offer in a detailed and enticing way
The thank-you page requires four simple details:
- Immediate access to the offer
- Consistent wording and design to complete the lead’s experience
- Appreciation for releasing identifying information
- More ways to engage with your company
The important part here is that the lead gave you identifying information because they wanted the content. Give it to them. And thank them for going through the process to get it.
Now that they have it, let them know how else they can engage with you. Now’s the time to offer them navigation, ungated content, and social sharing options. Build a relationship that can move them to purchase.
End with the Beginning: Calls-to-Action and Distribution
That’s right. Distribution is the last step to be built out. After all, you can’t distribute content that doesn’t exist.
When developing a call-to-action (CTA), keep the look and feel of your landing and thank-you pages in mind. The CTA building step is about a consistent and enjoyable experience for the potential lead, so create a call-to-action that is brief but clear about the content being offered.
Also, it doesn’t have to be the most beautifully designed CTA in the world, but make sure it’s visually appealing and matches the font and color scheme of the experience to come. This will avoid confusion and second thoughts on the part of the potential lead.
Finally, meet them where they are. When selecting distribution channels, you’ll want to reference your personas and web-traffic data. Have a strong social following and email subscription rate? Then, email and social are the platforms to start sharing the offer and CTA for your new premium content.
And be sure to make that copy snappy! You have a short amount of time to get your audience’s attention. Make every word count.
Now that you’ve had some time to think about the experience you want your audience to have, it’s time to get planning. You may not have the perfect process every time, but if you start with the perfect plan based on your knowledge of your audience, eventually you’ll hammer out the rest.