Do you want to create content your target customers will enjoy reading?
A content that converts your readers into paying customers?
Well, the truth is, every business creates content for one reason, to increase their revenue.
And of course, content marketing works.
Statistics prove that it works. Yes, 41% of B2B content marketers say they have seen success with content marketing and are committed to the strategy.
While spelling, length of content, visual appeal, spelling and grammar, formatting, readability, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness are good features of quality content they don’t usually define what a high-quality content means.
High-quality content is content that is useful and informative, ranks well on search engines, uses data and statistics, incites social media engagements, achieves marketing objectives and converts your website’s visitors to paying customers.
Those are what defines a high-quality content.
That kind of content takes time and skill to create. And I’m going to practically show you how to create that type of content in this article.
I must confess, the first few articles I wrote when I first started out were gobbledegook. I feel ashamed of myself when I look at it in 2017.
However, here is a checklist I used to improve my content and has helped my clients increase their sales and customer retention rate.
1. Have a clear message
First-off: before you start creating your content, you must set a goal for your content. Ask yourself “What do I want to achieve with a particular piece of content I want to create.”
Simply posting random articles on your blog regularly is not going to generate any income for your business.
So, if you must create an effective content that converts, your content must follow a structure based on your buyer’s persona and your buyer’s journey.
Your buyer’s persona will help you know your customers well enough and allow you to leverage their pain points to create content that will resonate with them.
However, your buyer’s journey will help you create content that’s targeted towards getting your customers on the radar in each stage of their buying cycle.
So, what is the aim of your content?
Are you trying to create awareness, are you creating content for prospects that have defined their problems and are looking for a solution or are you creating content for prospects that have decided on their solution strategy and are with their credit card ready to purchase?
Your content goal should be super clear to you.
Truth is, content marketing done well can generate as much as 3 times more leads compared to outbound marketing. Interestingly, content marketing is 62% cheaper than outbound marketing.
2. Be a great conversationalist
What does it mean to be conversationalist?
Conversational writing is that type of writing style that doesn’t care about what you were taught in school about grammar. It doesn’t mind starting with a pronoun and ending with a verb.
If you’re familiar with business reports or academic essays, conversational writing is the opposite of that type of writing style.
The interesting thing about conversational writing is that it brings your personality into the picture. How do you speak with a friend? That’s the way you should write.
Write as though your friend is sitting side-by-side with you and you’re trying to communicate an idea to him/her.
Legendary writer and author of more than 15 books, Seth Godin, rightly said:
Conversational writing makes your content interesting and engaging. It hooks your readers with your content.
In a recent study by Neil Patel, it was revealed that conversational writing improves time on site by more 300%.
Oxytocin is also known as the “bonding or love hormone” because it causes you to feel empathy and trust and to connect with others on a more personal level.
How do you create a conversation with someone you don’t know? You may ask.
It’s not rocket science.
You can go ahead and use the following techniques to start or maintain a conversation.
1. Use the words “you” and “I”: It’s important that you use the word “you” and “I” as it forms the basis for your connection between yourself and your audience.
It allows your audience to have the feeling that you’re talking to them directly. Besides, who wants to listen to someone that’s not talking to them.
Edit your content until it sounds like you’re talking to a friend.
2. Ask questions: Did you notice the question that started this post?
That shows I was ready for a conversation. I literally started a conversation with you and so far we’ve been moving along with a lot of questions along the lines, right?
3. Let your personality shine: When talking to your friends do you put up that serious tone? It’s not common. Maybe some people do. I know a lot of us use a casual tone. So you can go ahead and add a bit of humor to your content. Make your audience smile at some point.
4. Don’t use difficult words: Tell me, if you’re chatting with a friend, will you use big and confusing words in your conversation? Don’t use big words, use easily understandable words in your writing, so you don’t get your users confused.
Don’t try to outsmart your audience. No. It makes you look stupid.
5. Use informal words such as “they’ll, we’re, that’ll, aren’t” as they sound informal. You don’t have to be formal.
6. Your content shouldn’t sound like writing: Edit your content until it doesn’t sound like writing.
If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.
7. Don’t use passive voice: For example, rather than write “You’re loved by me” (passive), write: “I love you” (active). It’s pretty short and straight to the point.
3. Every sentence get a reader to say yes
As people read your content do they nod their head in agreement with the statements that you make? Your content should get your readers say “yes.”
It should resonate with them. If it resonates with them, they’ll most likely say “yes” and that’ll help move them faster to the bottom of your sales funnel.
It goes without saying that you should write from your audience point of view so they get the feeling that you understand exactly what they’re passing through. And that’s only possible if you’ve done good enough research on your customer’s persona.
If every of your content gets your readers to say yes they’ll most likely keep reading.
4. A headline that draws people in
A compelling headline can attract more readers and of course, more customers.
According to Copyblogger, eight out of ten people will read the average headline when they see it — but only two out of ten will read the associated blog post.
That being said, if you don’t grab your reader’s attention they won’t even click through to read your content. You could risk losing those customers that didn’t click for life.
But what makes a compelling headline?
A compelling headline is:
Urgent: It adds a deadline. For example, “10 ways to fix your conversion rate NOW.”
Useful: It should clearly define the benefit a user will get after reading your content. For example, “These 6 Foods Could Help You Lose 15 Pounds.” Pay for your readers time with value in your content.
Unique: Your headline should be unique to your website. Because, if your headline has been seen elsewhere, they won’t bother to read your content.
Ultra-specific: Your headline should be ultra-specific. It should convey one idea. For example:
- 7 Common Foods You Should Never Eat
- 15 Genius Ways to Impress Your Boss Without Even Trying
- 70 At-Home Date Night Ideas To Try Tonight
That’s the most reason why listicles are pretty popular. Because numbers say a lot. The numbers make it super specific. You know what you’re expecting right-off-the-bat. This amazing 4-U formula was coined by Michael Masterson.
A compelling heading aims to grab your audience’s attention.
For example, here is a headline from Copyblogger “Can You Resist Clicking These 3 Headlines? (One is So Good I Had to Copy it).”
They are two very important features these headline posses:
1. It arouses your curiosity with a question
2. It’s telling you about an important point you can’t afford to miss in the article. This kind of headline is hard to resist.
There are a lot of great headline formulas that work you can use for inspiration.
5. Break your content with compelling sub-headings
People don’t actually read content on the internet, they skim your content looking for headings or highlighted keywords that capture their attention.
However, if they find the piece of information they are looking for they’ll likely read it word for word.
According to a recent study, Chartbeat analyzed Slate and other websites and discovered that most website’s visitors scroll through about only 50-60% of your content.
So, you should use catchy sub-headings to get them to actually read your content.
6. Be liberal with short sentences
Just as previously stated, people don’t read web content, they skim. However, you can make them read by making your sentences short.
Short sentences help you draw attention. Even Apple uses one-word sentences:
All-new Lightning connector. Smaller. Smarter. Durable. Reversible.
In fact, they use it always:
“Keep your growing library organized and accessible.
Perfect your images and create beautiful gifts for sharing.
And with iCloud Photo Library, you can store a lifetime’s worth of photos and videos in the cloud.”
Notice how they started the next sentence with And? It’s meant to break the text into short sentences. This might contradict what you’ve learned in college.
But don’t worry, your teacher won’t see this. In fact, even if they find it, they’ll enjoy reading it.
7. Use comforting words
Most writers like to show that they are an authority and that they know so much.
So they speak so highly of themselves and make their audience feel like they are the worst people and the only person in the situation they find themselves.
Don’t do that. Tell your customers how you’ve passed through the same issues and how you got out of it.
Use words like “ We’ve all been there,” or “it happens to the best of us.” Using such words stop them from feeling stupid.
8. Use data/statistics/case studies/testimonials to support your claims
Why should your customers listen to your opinion?
They don’t know who the heck you’re.
But if you add another voice via a testimonial, data about other customers or marketers experience and success case studies, your customers are more likely to believe you.
And of course, your content will resonate with them.
Why do marketers love to read Neil Patel’s content?
It’s obviously because of the in-depth research, data and statistics that he adds to his content.
A great content is a blend of a creatively crafted content plus data.
More so, if you say ”according to a customer research by Marketo 10 out of 12 customers are happy to buy from a brand that understands their needs” it will sound more authentic compared to saying that “10 out of 12” without referencing any recent or recent research case study or giving customers testimonials.
9. Add urgency
It’s natural. Everyone has the FOMO (fear of missing out). So you’ve got to leverage this psychology to increase your conversion. Add limitation on time available before you close sales.
For example, you can decide to give 90% discount for people that buy your product on the first day of launch. You have seen how we used urgency in your headlines.
You can also use it in the body of your content to make your customers convert almost immediately. No one wants to miss out on great offers especially when they have deadlines.
No matter what conversion means to you — exchange of valuable e-book for their email addresses or to make a sale, this strategy works great.
10. Colorful stories along the way
People love stories.
Show that you’re not a robot, let your customers into your world. Tell your personal real-life stories that can help you create a connection with your audience. Don’t be afraid to show frustration in your story.
Don’t only share the good parts. Be yourself. However, don’t bring in any story that doesn’t connect in the context of the content you’re creating.
People will likely remember the stories they read faster than any other statement from your content.
11. Format your content for readability
Readability is key. If your content is hard to read, doesn’t have white spaces, doesn’t use images, uses confusing terms, you’ll risk your users jumping out of your content almost immediately they land on your landing page.
12. Close the content with the right call to action
Depending on your content goal and what you call conversion, your call to action might differ. So there’s definitely no silver bullet strategy for creating the best call to action.
If you want to get your readers to submit their email address, ensure you do it the right way.
For example, you can use this formula to collect email addresses by offering them something similar but very in-depth and valuable:
“For more on [your blog subject], check out my new comprehensive eBook!“
Or maybe you need them to subscribe to a free trial of your product:
It all depends on what you want to achieve. Explicitly encourage your readers to take action. Don’t make it boring. Don’t ask them to send you an email. For example:
- “Do mail your acceptance to me today.”
- “SEND NO MONEY NOW! But please mail your card today!”
Instead, make it easier for them to sign up or do whatever, you want them to do immediately.
Test different call to actions to find out what works best. Your call to action is very important. It’s your last chance to convert your customers. Creatively make it such that it’s irresistible.
If your content is not generating profit for your business, you need to rethink your content strategy.
I suggest you should consider this checklist. Bookmark it and inculcate it into your content strategy. It’s more likely to help you boost your bottom line.