There’s little doubt in our mind that the COVID-19 pandemic upped the ante for digital marketing, especially content marketing, in ways we’re only beginning to understand.
While a marketing crystal ball to glaze into 2021 would be fantastic to have, last year’s key insights will more than suffice for the time being. The optimistic outlook is that several tried-and-true content marketing strategies still work, but which tactics increase content conversions at a higher rate?
The idea isn’t to cope with COVID-19 and hope things return to normal but to anticipate the peaks and valleys, leveraging opportunities to increase content conversions in new, creative ways.
Here are six quick wins to get started on the right path.
Creative CTAs are consistent across all content but tailored to a specific format. For example, an email blast might contain multiple CTAs to “cast a wider net” and increase conversions with a scattershot approach.
But what happens to lead quality if you pepper consumers with several CTAs at every turn, sometimes multiple on the same lead magnet? The answer is that CTAs lose credibility and get ignored by the reader; the solution is to personalize the message.
The scattershot tactic was never ideal in the first place, yet many content marketers still used it – until COVID-19, that is! Now, it’s not enough to nudge website visitors repeatedly to opt-in with standard directions like “click here to subscribe.”
An opt-in page for a business that sells all-natural healing products is a perfect example. In today’s environment of general anxiety and uncertainty, a better CTA button text might be something like “start living healthy.”
According to HubSpot, a CTA with a personal touch converts at least twice as good as a default CTA.
Reimagine Buyer Personas
Developing buyer personas is arguably one of the most critical contents marketing deliverables. Without accurate, reliable personas, we wouldn’t be able to craft content that speaks to a particular audience; we’d be shouting into a hurricane – again, using the scattershot approach and hoping that positive data justify our choices.
As content marketers, we’re (supposed to be) adjusting and fine-tuning buyer personas constantly, whether it be for lead generation or increasing brand reach across social channels, but some of our efforts mean more than others. Creating great personas is a prime example.
A quick win in 2021 is to add dimensions to current buyer personas that account for changes in consumer behavior during periods of pandemic-induced malaise. We have to keep in mind that COVID-19’s impact hasn’t been equal across the economy.
Specifically, the U.S. Travel Association’s recent findings revealed that the travel industry alone is losing about $1.75 billion per day during the pandemic.
In this spending environment, do buyer personas still apply carte blanche to the travel industry’s consumers, or do they need reimaging? The latter tactic makes more sense moving forward.
Adjust A/B Testing
The benefits of A/B testing for content marketers speak for themselves. Without A/B testing, there would be no way to compare minor adjustments to content and see which are most successful. It’s the only way to determine which content works and which is lagging.
One facet that often arises when analyzing content is diversions interrupting the buyer’s purchasing journey with distractions. It’s tempting to cross-promo multiple opt-in opportunities, but the danger is that an ordinary website visitor might get lost in confusion and bounce out.
So what’s the best way to determine which elements to include in A/B testing? One quick win is to remove text below the fold that could be diverting attention away from the lead magnet as readers scroll down.
Optimize Lead Magnet Elements
Taking a long look at a lead magnet’s elements is another way that we’ve seen content pros increase conversions recently. A common issue is that a lead magnet might contain too much information and display too many opt-in fields for a consumer to digest.
We could write the best CTAs in the world, but if our website’s readers get lost and bounce before finishing an article, our efforts are fruitless.
We found a recent statistic that highlights this problem well. The experts at WishPond estimate that multiple-offer landing pages receive well over 250% fewer leads, so the conversion rate is likely much worse, too.
As content marketers, it’s easy for us to forget that not everyone reads at our level. What may make perfect sense to us may not resonate with individual buyers.
Thus, an easy, quick win is to update a lead magnets’ elements for simplicity and include a laser-focus on making one conversion at a time, not several in the same user session.
Change Content Scheduling
Yet another opportunity to improve conversions is to change the pace of automated content scheduling. It’s far too easy to get locked into a pattern we’ve had success with, so the hard part is investigating why certain content excels while others languish, no matter how much work you put into each piece.
There’s an obsession with the content length that simply refuses to go away. We see it all the time: a content marketer who only focuses on long-form content, hoping to earn top rank in search results.
The average word count of a page one result is about 1,400 at the time of this writing, but that does not mean that every piece of content must be that long to rank highly.
As an industry, we content marketers might fare much better if we change publication pace rather than obsessing about the perfect word count.
Strengthen Social Proof
We’ve known for some time now that social proof boosts content conversions, mainly through influencers on social media. The challenge moving forward is finding ways to strengthen social proof in actionable, tangible ways; the days of merely installing a social share plugin are over.
Nowadays, consumers need different social proof, and video is the ideal tactic for that new type of evidence. Videos on landing pages can double the time readers spend on a site.
One quick win is to make the videos COVID-19 related and push a message of empowerment and perseverance. Content that speaks to the signs of the times lets readers know that a brand understands the plight, which may increase brand loyalty well beyond the COVID-19 era.
We hope that these six tactics to increase content conversions put businesses on a path to recovery as we keep fighting through this pandemic.
If you’re looking for marketing support to take your business growth to the next level, get in touch today.