Content Marketing is an investment—you give your users something of value that will hopefully return new leads and future revenue. Creating great content and distributing it are important steps, but what comes next? The answer is simple, though the path to realizing it is not: conversion.
While page-level metrics like time spent on page and scroll depth are strong indicators of initial user engagement, one often overlooked KPI reaches toward the next level: On-Page Actions (OPAs). These include examples like email sign-ups and longer-form content downloads, and they provide better insight into what content is driving toward content conversions.
OPAs are not a sell, but they help guide the user to the point of sale through follow-up content and the powerful idea that the user voluntarily decided to continue to engage with your brand. Consistently giving your users this chance to opt-in only increase your chances of moving forward with them.
Optimize your content towards OPAs through these steps:
- Achieve article engagement first: You can’t expect articles with low page-level metrics to convert well. Would you subscribe to more content based on an article you didn’t really read?
- Create content that creates interest for more content: Placing stepping stones between your content builds a path for the user to follow toward eventual conversion. How often have you watched a single episode of something on Netflix? If you always deliver the next step, your users will keep exploring.
- Keep it simple with one call-to-action: Don’t ambush your users as they finish with your content. Pick whichever OPA you’d like, but don’t distract your users with too many options to proceed—it’s more likely they won’t choose any of them.
- Make it easy for the reader to find the form: Common tactics include having an opt-in form visible at all times which follows the reader’s eye alongside the content, a pop-up form, or a less disruptive form at the end of the content.
- Keep it short and easy to follow: Don’t turn off potential leads with lengthy forms that ask more than needed.
- Use language that entices users to take action: If you package your OPAs in intriguing ways, users are more likely to engage. If you use inclusive language that helps show the decision to opt-in is both beneficial and noteworthy, it elevates the potential shown by your content. For example: “Join a community of marketers from Coca-Cola, Pfizer and many more!”
- Test different OPA strategies: Try out various formats and types of OPAs to see which garners more attention. This step is invaluable when it comes to optimizing towards what works, so don’t be afraid to experiment and then rally around your successful attempts.
Implementing small changes like these into your content marketing strategy can make a big impact on your content performance. If you do the work of providing the next step to the user with relevance and ease in mind, conversions will be attainable. And if you get it right, sales will follow.
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Zoe Vournas – Director, Client Services at PulsePoint - and her team's focus is to help each client drive meaningful engagement with their target audience through the amplification of valuable, high quality content.