No matter how large your company, you won’t grow your share of the market if you don’t eventually convert browsers into buyers. Luckily, content marketing can play a huge role in boosting website conversions.
But you need to take a subtle approach. Today’s buyers can smell a sales pitch a mile away. It’s best to leave the high-octane sales pitches to the corner car lot.
Here are four best practices to help you convert visitors in a more subtle way, using genuineness and personalization to win them over.
Focus on Your Target Customers, Not Your Company
All too often, I see too much “we” in the world’s largest companies’ content inventories. It’s not the pronoun that’s the problem; it’s the focus.
Instead of making your “About” page a brag sheet about your accomplishments, no matter how commendable they might be, show what your company has done for your customers. Sure, you’ve saved the world from (insert worthy cause here).
But unless you’re a charitable non-profit, you’re there to serve your customers. So, instead of talking about you, tell how your expertise has made a difference in their lives and businesses.
Similarly, in blog posts, white papers, email newsletters, case studies, and social media posts, use your expertise to solve your customers’ problems and inform them about industry developments that affect them.
To identify their interests and pain points, you can use social media and content analytics. Surveys, as well as social media conversations, can also provide you with information about your target customer segments.
Two other fruitful sources of information about your target audience are your sales and customer support teams. Break down departmental silos and meet with representatives from your company’s customer-facing teams regularly to stay current with your customers’ and prospects’ needs.
Target Various Stages in the Buyer’s Journey
With the death of third-party cookies, you can’t follow prospects around the internet, prompting them with intrusive ads. Frankly, we’ve never liked that approach, anyway.
The best way to target prospects at various stages along their buyer’s journeys is to get them on your email list early in the relationship. Then, segmenting your email list into different stages can help you address the specific needs of each group with carefully targeted content.
Top-of-the-Funnel: The Awareness Stage
Using content such as how-to guides and infographics to attract them into the top of your sales funnel allows you to send them informative emails that can help them solve a problem or learn something new. In the process, they’ll grow to trust your brand as an authoritative source of information and advice.
Middle-of-the-Funnel: The Comparison Stage
Dividing your email list into segments allows you to send recipients material that addresses their specific needs at that point in the buyer’s journey. Using blog posts that demonstrate how your product can address their needs is helpful.
Also, include brand stories that show how your company has solved problems similar to your prospects’. Seeing others’ success can motivate your middle-of-the-funnel prospects to put your brand on their shortlist.
Bottom-of-the-Funnel: The Decision Stage
Create more detailed content that spells out the numbers – how, why, and how much your products can solve your prospects’ problem. Compare your product to the competitors that are likely on their shortlist.
If your product comes with free delivery or after-the-sale support, be sure to include that in your bottom-of-the-funnel content. Informing prospects about these extra perks can set your brand apart from its competitors.
And nope, it’s not just your customer support team’s job. Content marketing can play a critical role in customer retention and upselling.
But it is a good idea to partner with your support team for content ideas.
Don’t forget about your current customers as you churn out content for those not yet ready to buy. When you publish content that teaches them about how to get more out of their purchase, it helps you retain them as customers. And, they are more likely to recommend you to others and buy more products from you when they’re ready.
Use Account-Based Marketing for Major B2B Decision-Makers
One of the most subtle, yet effective ways to use content to boost your conversion rate is account-based marketing (ABM). In account-based marketing, you tailor content to the interests of each decision-maker in a business.
Answering their questions and meeting their objections proactively – before they even ask – builds their trust in your company’s expertise. Additionally, it demonstrates that you’re ahead of the curve in customer experience.
Who wouldn’t love a brand that wanted their business so badly that they’d provide each decision-maker with such a personalized experience?
It’s like reading their minds, especially when you take the time to dig into the data to discover each person’s perspective and pain points.
No wonder that in a 2018 study, 77 percent of marketers gained 10 percent more return on their ABM investment than when they used a traditional marketing strategy. Forty-five percent of them actually more than doubled their ROI compared to traditional methods.
Identify and Solve Content Calendar Misalignment Challenges
All those sales funnel images you see on marketing websites. Oh, so neatly they fall in line.
First, they start at the top of the funnel and familiarize themselves with your brand. Then, they identify a problem and start researching solutions to it by comparing brands, and finally, they narrow the field down and, hopefully, select you as their vendor at the bottom of the funnel.
But as Jonathan Hill points out, that’s not always the case.
In fact, they could even start at the bottom of the sales funnel. Maybe they aren’t too happy with their current vendor and stumble upon you.
Your content needs to cover these types of situations, as well.
So, when you schedule a bottom-of-the-funnel piece on your content calendar, don’t assume that they’re already all cozied up with your brand. They might just be saying hello.
Ditch the Jargon
Even for bottom-of-the-funnel pieces, lose the insider lingo.
People who have made their way down the sales funnel the traditional way might be used to your industry jargon. Those who enter at the bottom won’t, so use plain English (or whatever language you publish your content in).
Cover All Your Bases
Here’s an example… You might be reading this post and are so familiar with our passion for simplifying content workflows that you’re probably second-guessing what we’ll say next.
But this might be your first time on the DivvyHQ website, and all you know is that you can’t stand your current content planning, production, and publishing tech stack. It’s a digital Frankenstein – cobbled together from collaboration software, word processing software, analytics tools, and more.
You want a single content marketing platform where you can do everything from ideation to analyzing the performance of the final product. And you should have one. It can save you time, allowing you more of it to actually produce content.
See what I just did? Although this might be a bottom-of-the-funnel post, I addressed the needs of both first-time visitors ready for a change and those who have reached this point by becoming avid readers of our blog posts.
Aligning your stage-specific pieces of content with a broad range of audience possibilities helps you tailor your content to more people who are ready to make a decision.
It’s subtle, but it works. Again, it goes back to our first point: focus on the target customer.
Drive Conversions with Focused Content
So, let’s put this content strategy to work. It’s not so much more content that you need. It’s more focused content.
Because focused content drives conversions. Subtly, without a shout.
But it’s hard to focus your content when you’re trying to juggle ideation, collaboration, creation, publication, analytics, and more on several systems at once. That’s where DivvyHQ comes in.
It’s a standalone platform that can handle every step in the content process, from the lightbulb moment to measuring all the new conversions you’ll have with this new strategy. Better yet, you can try it for 14 days absolutely free.
So, don’t wait until your competitor gives it a test drive. Start your free trial today!