Have you been tasked with increasing conversions from your content? My guess is yes–probably from your demand generation team (people like me). Increasing conversions from content can greatly impact your sales funnel.
A content conversion is when someone gives you their information in exchange for free content which they find valuable.
This can help fuel your demand-generation funnel in many different ways, like adding new leads to your database, engaging inactive leads, and nurturing your target buyers.
Here are a few different ways our team has increased conversions from gated content.
1) Use Dark Social Data to Determine What Your Audience Wants to See More Of
Then deliver it.
We know that 70% of social sharing happens through dark channels like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Slack, just to name a few. Dark social is a great way to look deeper and figure out what your audience is sharing and what they want to see more of. For example, if I know that my audience is engaging with content that discusses getting creative with your social strategy and/or other brands that are being creative, then it makes it pretty easy to know what I should deliver to my prospective and existing customers.
Our team uses data like this to make decisions on what content we should put in our nurture flows and drip campaigns, and what to put spend behind. We know that content being shared via dark social drives conversions, so if we promote these pieces to our database, they will drive higher conversions into your funnel.
2) Retarget Website Traffic with Related Content
Kudos to marketing automation for making this tactic relatively easy for the marketer. Content retargeting can be very useful for leads in the awareness stage and for moving them to the interest stage. You will need to enlist the help of whoever is in charge of your marketing automation platform (MAP).
Here is how it works. Let’s say someone in your database (whom you already have information on) lands on a blog post that is about Instagram. You can retarget that person in different ways.
Example 1: Send an email with an Instagram strategy guide or an exclusive piece of content.
Example 2: Promote related content on Facebook using their custom audience feature or look-alike campaign.
Since this person has shown interest by going to certain pages on your website, he or she is more likely to convert on a gated piece of content that is related to what he or she engaged with. Use web behavior and un-gated content as an indicator of their interest. Then deliver more relevant content to them and you will see your content conversions increase with these retargeting efforts.
3) Learn from Other Channels to Increase Email Open Rate, CTR, and LP Conversion
This seems pretty basic, but it is often overlooked. A big driver for content downloads is email. If you can increase your open rate, then the email reaches more people. If you can increase your click-through rate (CTR), then you are driving more people to your landing page to actually convert. If you can entice your audience with a great landing page, more people will fill out your form and get your freshest content.
For subject lines, see where similar content is being promoted. Learn what is working and not working. Subject lines are very important: if no one sees your email, no one will fill out your form.
When I need some inspiration, I turn to Lucy, our Senior Content Marketing Manager, and see which titles are performing well on the blog or what is getting the highest click-through on our newsletters.
What is getting people’s attention and what drives clicks? I also dig into social, and see which posts are getting the most engagement.
To optimize for click-through rate, it’s all about email copy and design. I’ll get to the design part later. The goal of email copy is to spark interest and get people to click through to the landing page. I oversee our email programs, but our content team produces the content. I used to read the content and then write the email copy based solely on the content. Now I partner with our content team on the email copy. It really helps to get more than one set of eyes on copy.
This allows us to keep messaging and voice consistent, and brainstorm different messaging and CTAs. If done well, this will increase your CTR.
4) Customize Your Subject Line and Email Copy
Let’s face it: you only have so many hours in the day to create awesome content. How can you make the most out of one piece of content and increase conversions? There is no way you can make a separate piece of content for each buyer persona, but you can tailor the way each buyer persona receives the content, and tailor messaging to what each persona cares about and needs. We have tested this method and seen an increase in open rates and click-through rates.
Personalized email messages improve click-through rates by an average of 14%, and conversions by an average of 10%. (Aberdeen )
Let’s say you have a piece of content that appeals to four different buyer personas. You will need to write four different emails, tailored to each persona’s goals and needs. Each email will point to the same landing page. Each person will ultimately get the same content, but tying back the “Why should I read this piece of content?” to specific needs will increase your content form fills.
5) Test and Refresh Your Email Templates
Lastly, you should be testing new email and landing page templates in order to stay fresh and optimize for click-through % and conversion. Make sure you have a schedule of when you need to update your templates. This could be once or twice a year. Maybe your existing customers like a different layout than prospective customers do.
It was time for us to refresh our email templates, so we started A/B testing different templates using the same email copy to test if the design and layout increased click-through rate. When you are testing different templates, make sure to test each template multiple times; by doing this, your results are statistically significant.
Want to learn more about increasing conversions using social data? Download our guide below!