Looking for better conversion rates from your blog posts? Try these three tips to ensure that you’re making the most of your content and getting the right data.
As any good content marketer will tell you, the number of leads that your content generates is far from the only valuable metric you can measure. Content marketing can establish trust in your brand, build industry recognition for your experts, and provide your sales team with material to feed to active prospects, to name a few things—and these things can’t always be accurately measured in a spreadsheet.
But leads can. And like it or not, you’ll probably be held accountable for how many your content generates. In the B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends - North America Report (2016), B2B marketers said their most important metrics were sales lead quality (87%), sales (84%), and higher conversion rates (82%). But how do you ensure that your content marketing is not only being read and digested—but is feeding directly into qualified leads and conversions?
Measuring conversions means following leads back to the original content that inspired your prospect to fill out a contact form, whether that’s a blog post, ebook, infographic, video or ebook landing page. You need to know exactly what you need to measure, track it religiously, and create dazzlingly helpful content that delivers true value amidst the swirl of our fast-paced digital age.
Here are three key practices to keep you on track:
As soon as a reader arrives at your site, she should be wowed by compelling content. You need to be offering deeply useful, transformative, educational content that sparks interest and delight. You need to leave the reader smarter than they were when they first bumped into your download. You don’t want to leave the vaporous taste of fluff in their mouth—fluff is your enemy.
Drench your writing with stats and facts that back up your claims—build up a realistic picture of the world which will resonate with your reader’s experience. Organizations that lead in data-driven marketing have been shown to be three times more likely to achieve a competitive advantage in customer engagement and loyalty than those who don’t embrace data. Building the educational value of the content ensures that readers will be primed to trust your brand.
Going past the “gate” is what a blog conversion is all about, so you’ll need to prove your value to your reader as soon as they land on your site with a top-of-funnel blog that’s loaded with useful advice.
Once they realize how valuable your content is, they might be hooked enough to sign up for more, so provide a gated content offer, either in a side column, footer, or even as a pop-up window (but don’t be obnoxious). Ask for no more than a few key details, such as name, company, and email address, enabling them to receive the content as soon as they’ve signed up.
Be very specific in your call to action—showing the concrete benefits in clicking on. Ensure that you have a valuable offer with insights that they won’t find elsewhere: For instance, do you have a large group of customers that you can use to conduct your own proprietary research? Develop a blog post that teases a few of your findings, and encourage readers to fill out a contact form to gain access to the entire document.
Enable them to access the document quickly (through entering their email right on the blog page) if you’ve already convinced them, or give them the opportunity to dig in for more information before making a decision by learning more about it on a dedicated landing page.
This isn’t just about beautiful writing and great ideas—this is about delivering value, building trust and encouraging your audience to be a lifelong partner, getting them to literally “opt in” to your brand.
Some blog conversions aren’t obvious, but make the effort to seek them out and your team will be rewarded with kudos (and hopefully bonuses). With every conversion that occurs on your company’s site, track each lead back to the visitor’s original interaction with your site: In some cases, a visitor might come across your organization’s website through stumbling on a blog post, but not fill out a conversion form until visiting the site’s homepage two weeks later. In fact, Salesforce has found that it takes six-to-eight “touches” with your company in order to generate a viable sales lead.
Even though you may not see a direct path from the specific visit, this is still a content marketing-related conversion—so make sure that your team has correctly set up its Google Analytics and other tracking tools to ensure that you receive the credit you’re entitled to.
To get good at this, you need to wrap your arms around the sales process, understand your business goals, and learn how to measure and execute—drawing an ever-straighter line between content and buy-in. With that strategy in place, you’ll be creating stellar content that will build a legion of followers.
Ready for more tips on building a successful content marketing strategy? Check out our B2B Content Marketing Ebook for much more research and advice on how to build a strategy that generates leads.
Clare Tyrrell-Morin brings 15 years of international marketing and editing experience to Eucalypt Media. Born in the UK, she spent a decade in the Asian media industry as arts writer for the South China Morning Post newspaper, founding art editor of Time Out Hong Kong, and marketing and events manager for Asia City Media. She moved to Maine in 2009 with her husband and has been enjoying the pristine air ever since.
Employer brand marketing is crucial for recruiting and retaining top talent.
If you're debating hiring an entry-level content marketing manager, focus your budget on a content marketing consultant instead.
Learn how and why to create data-driven reports to support your company's marketing and PR efforts.