8 Essential Strategies to Create Content That Converts

Create Content That ConvertsWhen it comes to “feeding the content beast”, it can be a challenge to create fresh content that breaks through the clutter.

But in my last post, I showed how it’s still possible to move the needle, when your fresh content truly resonates with your audience.

By sticking with a few simple strategies, we can up the chances of success.

How a Simple Blog Post Moved the Needle

When a simple blog post — “26 Tips to Reduce Hand Numbness for Motorcycle Riders” achieved results far beyond those that preceded it, I decided to see if I could determine why it worked so well.

(Read more: How a Simple Blog Post Got 2214 visits, 140 social shares, and dozens of new customers for a 75 year old glove manufacturer).

What made that simple glove company blog post so effective?  Can the process be replicated?  Here are 8 strategies to create content that converts:

  1. Persona Research:  I’m not a rider myself — but with the right persona research — interviews and conversations, and listening on social media — we can all learn what our target cares about.
  2. Social Listening:  Careful listening might be the content marketer’s most important skill.  I spied the “hand numbness” blog topic in one of my social media outposts. Regularly monitor forums and social sites for conversations that provide insight.
  3. “They Ask, You Answer”:  This advice is so simple. (credit: content marketing expert Marcus Sheridan),  Yet in my client’s category, no competitors are doing it!  It’s still possible to use the most basic form of content marketing — a blog — to stand out.
  4. Authentic Helpfulness:  Remember that it’s a blog post, not a sales brochure!  Keep the focus on helping the target, show restraint in adding your sales message, and let your CTA do the heavy lifting.
  5. Write for People, Not Search Engines: To be honest, I really wanted to stick “shock absorbing gloves” in the title of the post.  But if I had, it wouldn’t have resonated the same way.  Focusing on the product instead of the benefit drove clicks and shares, and SERP’s (search engine results) for related keywords increased anyway.
  6. Include a Call to Action:  Give the reader an easy path to go deeper into your sales funnel if they want to. In this example, a very visible CTA (call to action) at the end of the post enabled my client’s gloves to be purchased if desired.
  7. Promote Your Post:  20% of my client’s social media budget is allocated to paid social promotion, designed to boost visibility of selected content on appropriate social networks. Not every small company has a budget for this … but the right balance of owned, earned and paid media can create ROI.
  8. Organic Search, the Gift that Keeps on Giving:  It’s not always easy to see how content, social media, and SEO are intertwined, but in this case, the combination helped us achieve the coveted 1,2, and 3 spot for more than a dozen related long tail keyword phrases. This continues to convert to new sales each week!

Key Takeaway: Rely on Marketing Fundamentals, Build a Solid Foundation

Even in a digital age, old-fashioned consumer insight is still a marketer’s greatest tool.

Whether you are a B2B Business with a thought leadership strategy and a long purchase cycle, or a B2C business with more immediate goals,  the basic content creation blueprint is the same.

By following this simple strategic process, we moved the needle. This client’s online sales have doubled in less than a year.

What marketing insights have you stumbled on to break through the content clutter, and create content that converts?

Can you add to the strategies listed above?


About Rhonda Hurwitz

Rhonda Hurwitz is a content strategist and marketing consultant who helps mid-sized businesses develop more effective online strategies. @rhondahurwitz on Twitter, and on Forbes.com: http://blogs.forbes.com/people/rhondahurwitz/
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2 Responses to 8 Essential Strategies to Create Content That Converts

  1. Pingback: Joe Pulizzi Knows Content Marketing. You Can Too. | Marketing World Today

  2. Pingback: Are “Made Up” Buyer Personas Costing You? (Warning Signs, What To Do About It) | HMR Marketing Solutions

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