Once online visitors reach your landing page for a top- or middle-of-the-funnel piece of content, there is one more major step they must take: converting. These online visitors are potential customers who are not ready to make a purchase yet, but are considering giving you their personal information in exchange for some more educational content about your industry, product, service or company.
Have you ever thought about what is going through their minds at that given moment? Is this relevant to me? Can I find the time to read it? Do I want to read it? Is this content worth it? Oh, Williams-Sonoma is having a sale? Yes, we must compete with thousands of distractions that our potential customers are bombarded with each day, but chances are if we can get visitors to answer yes to the first four questions here, distractions won’t be a major problem. Sorry Williams-Sonoma.
As content marketers, we put a lot of time, energy, research and resources into our content, no matter the level of the funnel. But the truth is, almost all of the effort lies on the other side of a conversion form. If we cannot convince this visitor to convert, they will never see or experience our masterpieces. We must put the same level of effort—if not more—into encouraging them to give up their information for ours.
First, a strong call to action is imperative. Whether they find that call to action on your website, your blog or your pay-per-click ad, they need to feel compelled to click on it. The copy should be direct, different, demanding, clever, urgent and easy. (To learn more, click here.)
If you were successful with your call to action, your visitor will be one step closer to becoming a lead—but they are not there yet. They are currently staring at your landing page, deciding which step to take next. You know the basics of a good landing page: clean and simple design, a relevant and appealing graphic, a bit of copy with a few more details about the offer, an easy-to-fill-out form and no distractions to lead visitors away from the page. All of those elements lend a helping hand toward your visitor becoming your lead, but they are not a guarantee.
The true decision to convert—to hand over their well-protected personal information—lies in both the relevancy your content lends to their needs and the intrigue your content holds. Do I want to read more? This is the one and only question they are considering at this moment.
You will need knock-em-dead headline, of course. (For more on writing successful headlines for top-of-the-funnel content, click here.)
But more than that, you will need a promise of relevant, quality content behind that form. Your visitor needs to feel that your content will not be a waste of his or her time, that they will enjoy consuming it and, most of all, that they will have a need met or a problem solved. Trading personal information for less-than-stellar content can be a huge let down and lead to trust issues with the brand moving forward. Don’t let this happen to you.
Using the call to action copy, the landing page text and graphics, the headline and every other element you have at your disposal, tell visitors what they want to know—give them a preview of what’s to come. Spell out what solution you may have (without giving away the actual solution—that’s what the form is for!), and let them know there is meat on the bones of this download. Share bullet points for the topics or chapters covered inside. If you give the illusion that there is little to no valuable content inside, visitors will navigate away.
From now on, when you are creating your content marketing strategy, be sure that you are placing yourself in your potential customer’s shoes. What would make you want to convert? Is your content relevant? Is it problem-solving? And most importantly—is it worth it?
photo credit: MoHotta18