With the word “content” being thrown around in so many different contexts and meanings, writing “good content” can be a rather convoluted business objective. What does content refer to? Does it mean just web content? Or does content refer to whitepapers, press releases, and so forth? What about social media and blogging?
Content refers to all of these things, and should be worked upon as a whole, like a work of art in progress. Your content is part of an overall conversion strategy. In order for the content to work to your advantage for your website, business, or service, it should take the audience through a series of persuasive approaches. As such, there are five content categories that should be included in your overall content.
Content That Builds Trust
Trust building is the first content ingredient that will encourage a visitor to stay on your website and keep on reading. If visitors and prospects don’t trust you, they certainly won’t engage in any business or transaction with you. So, how do you build trust?
Give away valuable, useful content. If the content feels a little too valuable to be given away free, then you’re probably on the right track.
What is valuable content? This obviously varies from audience to audience, and business to business. If you establish yourself as an authority on a related subject, and offer sincere insight, help, advice and answers to your audience, this communicates to your audience that you value them far beyond just making a sale, or turning them into customers. Here are a few general ideas for trust-building content:
- How-to content, tips and tricks
- Articles – articles that offer specific information, or outline the solution to a problem
- Resources – provide links to other (non-competing) authoritative and helpful sources.
- Updated content – dedicate a little content for offering useful information, whether weekly or daily, such as “Tip of the Day,” or “Safe Solutions.”
Content That Educates
Educational or informational content is very similar in purpose and placement as the above content that builds trust. By offering content that educates your audience, you can generate genuine interest, or even “hunger” to learn more about a subject or theme, and therefore your business. A few examples are:
- Whitepapers – these can be great tools to educate your audience about a larger topic that includes your business or service. Whitepapers also establish you professionally, and if well-written, may encourage prospects to learn more.
- Newsletters and emails – update your prospects, keep them informed and let them know what you’re up to. This also helps establish transparency, which builds trust as well.
- FAQs – this should be one of your main web pages from the beginning, so people have answers to basic questions.
- Survey data – Graphs and charts that reflect well upon your business and company are a quick, visual reference and information source for visitors and potential customers.
Customer Generated Content
Allowing happy customers to write testimonials, provide feedback and commentary, or take surveys about their experience, allows for another way to create content. This also provides a sense of community among your customer base, and it provides proof of results for potential customers and website visitors. You can do this with testimonial submissions, customer reviews, video feedback, survey forms, and other interactive applications.
Other People’s Content
This can serve as both an SEO strategy and a content strategy. By linking to another resource that provides good information, helpful hints, solutions, or other valuable content, you can again build trust with your audience. You may be able to link exchange with a non-competing site in this way, and help build backlinks to your site, which boosts SEO and search result rank. You can create RSS feeds within your industry, post news within your industry, or link to an informative article on a non-competing website. You can also use Storify to collect and republish stories that relate to your website.
Content That Converts
This may be the most important one of all, along with building trust. If your content does not call for action from your audience, they will not be inclined to take any. The last thing your content must aim for is converting your visitors, potential customers and prospective customers into actual customers. Remember to focus on them. Converting content is not a bunch of descriptions about how great your services or products are. Create a need from the customer, and show you understand their need, and then demonstrate how you can solve their problem or satisfy that need. Here are a number of methods for this:
- Case Studies – these are in-depth success stories of a specific person or company that had tremendous results and great customer service. Some do it with written content, and others do it with streaming video.
- ROI calculations – Prove to your audience that the return on their investment is well worth it, and that whatever investment or change they would make by becoming a customer – is proven to be well worth it.
- Results – Results are hard, primary sources of proof that your business is effective, and that it does what it claims. Its tangible evidence for your audience, which creates confidence in their buying decision.
With these 5 types of content on your website or blog, it will become much more effective at boosting conversion rates. Fortunately, any content you create is content is that you can update, improve, delete, modify or change – whenever you want. In this sense too, your content is a work of art in progress that keeps on improving itself.
What types of content are you currently using in your conversion strategy?