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Conversions: The holy grail of content marketing

Learn all you need to know about conversions, why they are important, and how to create the high-performing content you need to delight your customers.

Main takeaways

This blog will give you a high-level understanding of:

  • What conversions are, and why they matter
  • Why tracking conversions is important
  • What high-converting content looks like
  • How to incorporate these concepts into your business

If you work in marketing or sales, or your role involves collaborating with these departments, the terms “conversion,” “conversion funnel,” and “conversion rates,” are words you will probably often hear.

This article will talk you through all you need to know about conversions, including the word’s meaning, why they are important, and how to create the high-performing content you need to grow your business and delight your customers.

What are conversions?

A conversion is the result of a visitor to your website, a recipient of an email marketing campaign, or an app user completing a desired action. This could include:

  • Clicking on a link
  • Downloading a file
  • Filling in a form
  • Subscribing to a newsletter
  • Visiting a particular landing page
  • Downloading an app
  • Signing up for a webinar or event
  • Making a purchase

The conversion is the point at which a lead becomes a potential – or converted – customer.

Here a few related terms with which you need to be familiar to understand conversions:

  • Conversion rate. The number of converted divided by the total number who were presented with the content or offer
  • Cost per conversion (CPC). A measurement of the entire investment you have put into a particular marketing activity and its return on investment (ROI). This includes the advertising or marketing costs, the human resources needed, specific tracking software, or any other outlay
  • Conversion rate optimization (CRO). The activities and tactics that help you optimize your website, app, or emails in order to get more customers to convert

Why is tracking conversions important?

Tracking conversions plays a vital role in a successful marketing and communications strategy. It helps companies to understand how, when, and why their goals are achieved. 

Tracking conversions enables brands to understand where a lead originated from, for example a particular advertising campaign. By tracking the lead’s buyer journey, you can see what your return on investment (ROI) is for particular marketing activities. This valuable information can then be used to refine campaigns based on customer behavior and allocate resources to the more successful channels. 

So, by tracking conversions, you can optimize campaigns, focus on the more profitable marketing channels, get more customer engagement and enjoy higher conversion rates.

What is a conversion funnel?

A conversion funnel describes the different stages of the buyer journey, usually through your website or app. You can use this model to map the customer’s route through the four recognized stages of the conversion funnel: awareness, interest, desire, and action. By getting an understanding of your lead’s needs, goals, and any barriers to sale at the different stages you can create more effective buyer personas, enhance your marketing strategy, and drive more conversions.

– Want to understand your customers better? Check out our blog on the 4 steps to creating buyer personas.
 

What are examples of high-converting content?

The types of content that drive high conversion rates depends on a number of factors, such as the sector in which you operate, your marketing goals, and your target audience. For example, if you work for a cutting-edge fashion brand, video content might result in the most sales. But if you work in financial or government services, an informative white paper could be the perfect format for encouraging warm leads to fill in a contact form.  

Here are a few general examples of high-performing content marketing formats that your brand could try. We have included some real-world examples to get you on the right track.

  • Blogs or guides that outline a particular problem that an audience is having, including a call to action (CTA) or explanation at the end that demonstrates how the brand’s solution solves this problem. As digital marketing experts, you would expect Semrush to do a great job of this, and they don’t disappoint. Check out this blog on Tips to Optimize Your Blog Posts
  • A piece of high-level content on a specific subject with a gated download offering exclusive or personalized guidance in exchange for contact details. Hootsuite knows a thing or two about offering valuable content in exchange for minimal personal information. Take a look at this informative blog on social e-commerce, including an unobtrusive but noticeable CTA to download a guide on how to apply these tips to your business
  • A brand-owned consumer or market research report that gives exclusive insights into the state of play in a particular sector or subject. This demonstrates thought leadership and with the right CTA can be a great conversion tool. CareerArc not only provides a comprehensive overview of their Future of Recruiting in 2021 study, they also offer the full report as a download and invite readers to a webinar. Great brand-building and valuable, useful content in a variety of formats
  • Downloadable checklists or templates (gated or otherwise) offered with a how-to or blog. Hubspot does this beautifully, as you can see from their blog on – you guessed it – how to write a blog post. They highlight the problem, offer an extremely thorough guide for getting it right, then direct you to a link for a number of free blog post templates
  • Personalized content. If you already have an understanding of what your lead is interested in, send them a particular offer or piece of content that is relevant to their stage of the conversion funnel. Grammarly understands that retaining the customer is as valuable as winning them in the first place. By sending weekly usage reports to subscribers, they demonstrate their value and keep their brand at the front of their audience’s minds at all times

How can you create high-converting content?

Goals
To create high-converting content, it’s best to start by thinking about who you are trying to convert and what your goals are (what a conversion means to you). You can then decide on the types of content that will appeal to the lead at the different stages of the conversion funnel or buyer journey. 

Content creation
Once you have your plan in place, you need to create the content itself. If it is a piece of written content, it needs to have a strong, relevant headline. Don’t be tempted with sensational headers that aren’t a true representation of the rest of the article. This approach won’t build trust with your audience and is likely to result in high bounce rates, which are bad for your search engine optimization (SEO).

Hook your reader
Next, decide on the priority information you want to include at the top to get your reader hooked. Briefly run through what the content will include and the benefits it will give them. Break the information down into short, sub-headed paragraphs, with bullets or lists to make it scannable and easy to digest. Include images, videos, diagrams, screenshots, or quotes where appropriate, and some internal links to helpful content in your own website (and others if relevant and genuinely valuable). 

Trust indication
Incorporating trust indicators like case studies or testimonials into your content is an effective tactic for boosting conversions, though always keep it natural. For example, if you add a case study link, position it as a way of enhancing the story you are telling, rather than bragging about your brand’s enviable client base. 

Call to action (CTA)
If your content is long-form, or you simply feel it would be useful, include a CTA within the first few paragraphs to encourage the reader to contact your company directly to find out more. Otherwise, make sure you create a killer CTA at the end of the content. If you’ve given them a lot to think about, use your final paragraph to summarize all the amazing, authoritative information you have included and explain how your solution solves their problem. Then give them a clear direction on what to do next. This could be clicking a link to get in touch with a sales person, downloading a guide, filling out a form, or making a purchase. Create a sense of urgency with words like “today” or “now,” and be clear about the benefit and what they will get.

For example: We hope you have found this article about conversions and how high-performing content can help you boost them useful and informative. At Contentoo, we work with a wide variety of businesses, helping them to create the valuable, original content that makes leads become customers. If you need any help developing your content marketing strategy or just want to discuss your future content needs, get in touch today. We’re experts and we’d love to help. See? Works like a charm. 😉