As public relations pro, you are often chief content marketer, using content to sell something – whether it’s a product, service, or message. Even with high engagement, it is possible to double or even triple your conversion rates. Here are five ways to create high performing content to boost your conversions.
- Add visuals to draw people in. Adding visual elements to your text content can make a huge difference in performance. It attracts and engages your readers, while adding more substance to your content. Visuals also are an excellent way to break up longer pieces of text, making your content easier to scan and understand.A study conducted by Chute and Digiday noted that 20.3% of marketers found visual content to be three times more effective than text content. And another 19.5% found it to be four times more effective.
What makes the best kinds of visuals largely depends on the type of content you’re creating. Here are six types of visual content that can help you increase conversions:
Adding original graphics to your blog posts shows your readers your content is unique and you invest the time to develop something valuable and original. Even without an in- house designer, you can always use tools like Canva to come up with your own graphics.
Original graphics can work effectively as featured images for your blog posts. It’s best to try to come up with something fun and eye-catching, yet still relevant to the topic covered in the post. The banner graphic at the top of this post was created for the GonderPR Twitter home page at https://www.canva.com.
Social media has exploded with GIFs (pronounced jifs) which are extremely effective at drawing eyes to your post. The experts at Giphy say GIFs outperform static images by nearly 50 percent and video by 85 percent. It is best to keep the text light. GIFs that relate to culture or the news generate attention and interest. You create an account and upload a photo or photos and add a short text. One-to-four words is recommended as they can dominate the image. You can choose a style for the font and one of six types of animation. To make your own GIF, visit: http://giphy.com/create/gifmaker.
Charts and graphs
If you’re quoting studies or stats to support your point, include charts and graphs for further validity. While you can include a simple link to the source of the information, but readers may not want to visit another website to see if something is true.
Also, many readers understand information better through visuals than narrative, so including charts or graphs alongside your content will appeal to a broader range of visitors.
If you’re explaining how something works, screenshots can enrich your content significantly. Original screenshots can explain things visually in ways you not possible with words. You can show how-to tips for a certain tool or display an example of a strategy in action. You also can use screenshots to prove your claim.
Maybe you’ve conducted a study and compiled some useful data. Complex data may be difficult for your audience to understand with words alone. Or maybe you want to create useful, bite-sized content to help explain a complicated concept, product, or strategy.
In these instances, creating infographics can transform your complex information into intriguing visuals. Tools like Piktochart and Infogram are great for creating eye-catching infographics, even for beginners.
You can also use infographics to repurpose old text. Look for some of your best-performing blog posts, then turn them into a shorter piece highlighting the main points. After that, use the shortened piece to create an infographic.
Images or text alone may not convincingly explain how a product works or how people can benefit from it. Include a short explainer video on your landing page to help boost conversions. Or include video testimonials or reviews from real customers and/or influencers in your industry or other prominent individuals.
2. Write a killer headline
After a graphic, your headline is the first thing readers notice about your blog post or landing page content. Whether or not the headline captivates will likely determine if visitors continue reading or leave. Although different kinds of headlines work, there are some common elements in successful headlines. Hub Spot and Outbrain conducted a study of 150,000 article headlines and discovered:
- Headlines with eight words performed the best in click- through rates
- Headlines containing a colon or a hyphen performed 9% better than those without
- Odd numbers in list posts have a click-through rate 20% higher than even-number lists. and
- Ending a headline with a question mark results in a higher click-through rate than using an exclamation point or a full stop.
Use these common characteristics of successful headlines as the foundation for writing killer headlines that convert. Clearly explain what the content is about in a few words, and –if it needs a little bit more detail– include a short explainer, a colon or hyphen. And when creating a list post, keep it to an odd number.
3. Intrigue readers with your intro
While your headline should attract readers, your intro should intrigue them enough to make them stay and read more. In other words, your headline is the bait, and your intro is the hook.
For blog posts, the first three to four sentences comprise the intro. Your text should efficiently communicate the point and clearly explain how readers can benefit from the post.
In the case of landing pages, the subhead acts as the intro and is equally important for intriguing and converting your audience. The subhead should highlight the main benefits, preferably with bullet points so the information is easier to scan and absorb.
4. Use an easy-to-read format
The format can also significantly affect your content’s ability to convert. While you may have plenty of useful tips and information, if the writing comes in big chunks of text, this will discourage readers from investing the time. Especially online, visitors are impatient to process the information and move on. Here’s what you can do to make your content more reader friendly:
- Break up blocks of text into shorter paragraphs with a maximum of five to six lines. Use bullet points when applicable to highlight key points.
- Add other elements like visuals to illustrate your points and break up text blocks.
- Include subheads to give clues to those skimming of content to come and make the page less gray and more appealing.
5. Create a compelling call to action
Your call to action (CTA) should convince people to take a step through your marketing funnel or learn more about your cause. Maybe your CTA is at the end of a blog post, urging people to subscribe to your newsletter or download your e-book. Perhaps it’s a CTA on your landing page for a product or service you’re offering. Even your video content needs a CTA to drive conversions.
Whatever the case, make sure your CTA compels people to convert using these tips:
- Clearly explain what you want people to do next. Make your call actionable by beginning the sentence with a verb. For example, “Get your free guide now,” or “Start saving today.”
- Be brief and to the point. If you include a CTA at the end of a blog post, you can write a full sentence. For a landing page, limit the CTA to five to six words. Focus on what they’re going to get or how they’ll benefit from the action.
- Create urgency with words like “now,” “instant,” or “today.” Create exclusivity using words like “custom” or “exclusive.”
- Highlight benefits with words like “free” or “save.”
While it may not be possible to use all of these tips in one CTA, you can create variations of your CTA copy. Then run an A/B test to see which drives more conversions.
These are some of the most effective ways to create high- converting content. You may be a novice content marketer or an expert just looking to expand your knowledge. Either way, these easy and effective tips can help you improve your content to boost conversions.
Are there any additional tactics not covered above that have worked well for you? Please share them in the comments.