By Hana Abaza, Director of Marketing, Uberflip
Good, relevant content will attract visitors. Great content will keep them around a little longer. But only a truly optimized content marketing experience will ultimately convert those visitors into leads, and eventually customers.
Whether we’re talking about a single piece of content, your blog, or your content hub, optimizing for lead generation comes down to two key factors:
- The Content Experience; and
- The Engagement Path.
Content Marketing Experience
I love piña coladas. But I’d much rather enjoy one on a beach in Hawaii than in my backyard watching the neighbors fold their laundry. The piña colada tastes the same in either scenario, but it’s the experience that makes the first example much more appealing.
Think of your content as the piña colada and Hawaii (or your backyard) as your content marketing experience. When your audience comes to visit, how do you want them to feel? Where do you want them to go? How long do you want them to stay? No matter how good your content may be, if the experience sucks then you’re going to lose people.
To optimize the content experience for lead generation, here are a few must-have elements:
Attractive and Usable Design. Like it or not, the bar has been raised when it comes to the front-end design of your blog or content hub. The overall design must be attractive, and appeal to your target buyer persona while still staying true to your brand. Ideally, both of these things are aligned. Good design not only breeds trust and likability, but a well-thought-out user experience also allows people to better navigate your content.
Visual Support. Partly related to the above point about design, adding visuals to your content helps bring it to life. This might mean that your entire experience is visual in nature (like this great example from Monetate) or that you’re including images within blog posts and highlighting visual content as a whole such as videos, infographics, and SlideShares.
Mobile Friendly. Your content must be accessible through any device. I think this goes without saying, but even now — in an age where we spend way too much time on our tablets and smartphones — too many companies have a terrible mobile experience. If you’re not optimizing your content for mobile devices, you’re likely seeing higher bounce rates and losing out on potential leads.
Creating a Clear Engagement Path
I came across a fantastic article the other day about organic specialty foods. I loved it and wanted to find out more about the company and their products. Unfortunately, this wasn’t as easy as I’d expected. There was no easily accessible link or call-to-action (CTA) and when I finally found what I was looking for, it was buried in the footer.
Creating a clear engagement path for your audience to take action is essential to generating leads through your content. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how fantastic your content may be — if there isn’t a way for people to continue the relationship, the results of your efforts are falling short.
An engagement path can and should take many forms since people visiting your content are at different stages of the buyer journey. Here are a few things you can implement to create a path, and tips on how to use them in the right context:
CTAs are important but it’s more important that they’re in the right context. If we’re talking about a piece of content targeted at people in the beginning of the buyer journey, use a softer approach like a CTA to get your latest eBook. If they bite, now you can send them the eBook with a CTA that’s even more targeted. The further along a person is in the buyer journey, the more it makes sense to include a more aggressive CTA. This might mean asking them to request a demo or try your product or service.
Ask For An Email
The best way to keep the conversation going is to connect via email. If someone invites you into their inbox, take it seriously — I don’t know about you, but my inbox is sacred. I only let people in if I want to hear from them. You can accomplish this several ways, but the most effective way we’ve found is to use an overlay CTA (similar to a pop-up) on our content hub.
Recommend More Content
Not everyone will be ready to give you an email, let alone sign up for your product or service. Another engagement path that can help keep your visitors hooked is a content recommendation engine. There are a ton of tools that allow you to do this, but the key thing to keep in mind is that you should be recommending relevant content. Ideally, if I’m reading an article about email marketing, I’d like to see another piece of content about the same topic suggested to me.
Optimizing your content for lead generation is an ongoing process. It isn’t enough to place a static CTA on your blog and call it a day. The entire experience must be considered as a whole and within that experience various paths must be created that guide visitors toward eventually becoming customers.
Hana Abaza is the Director of Marketing at Uberflip where she combines a metrics driven approach with an unwavering commitment to creating an exceptional brand experience. She has a knack for communicating inspired tech solutions to mainstream audiences and, with over a decade of experience in digital marketing, she gets results. Hana is also an energetic speaker and contributor to the Huffington Post, Marketing Profs, Content Marketing Institute and other industry publications. Find her on Google+ or follow her on Twitter @HanaAbaza.