The internet is flooded with content. Texts, videos, images — we consume hundreds of pieces of content every day without even noticing it. But, how many of them actually hit the target?
As a business, your primary goal is to get noticed, to get heard. So, if the content you create doesn’t resonate with the audience, you are pouring your money down the drain.
As a self-funded startup targeting a highly competitive SaaS market, we at Chanty learned firsthand how hard it is to build a solid content marketing process from scratch. Yet, we had no choice but to make it work. And so we did.
In this article, we want to share our secret recipe for crafting the content that converts.
So, if you are planning to start a blog or promote your business online, here are the 5 ingredients that can spice up your content and make it work.
Write about what your readers want to read
Creating the content which is relevant to your readers and resonates with them is the key to success. Yet, finding the right topics to cover on your blog is always a challenge.
A good idea would be to start your search at a place your readers go looking for the answers to their questions — Google search. Popular search queries can be a great source of inspiration for your content. You can even explore regional interests by changing your IP address through the use of VPN servers and exploring local Google yourself.
The approach worked out pretty well for us. Namely, it turned out that many people are searching for alternatives to the well-known products. In our case, they were looking for team communication tools to substitute Slack and other popular messengers.
Such queries also clearly had a very high buying intent, so we gave it a shot.
We wrote a series of articles dedicated to the team chat comparison and created several landing pages optimized for “… alternative” keywords. As a result, our website traffic grew threefold while conversions hit 10%.
Takeaway? Don’t write for the sake of writing. Answer to your readers’ questions. Educate them. Offer solutions to their problems.
1 – Create content that earns trust
Customer loyalty begins with trust. No one will buy from a company that doesn’t seem reliable or is being dishonest with its customers. So, you need to establish credibility as a brand through the content you produce and share.
Make sure that your content is well-researched and based on facts, regardless of the topic you cover. Always give proper credit to the data you quote in your articles.
A great way to establish credibility is to create opinion pieces or expert roundups. To start with, you can reach out to the fellow startupers and ask for their comments or participate in such roundups yourself.
For example, our piece on How to get beta testers for a startup turned out to be a legit investment. The experts we included in the roundup were glad to share the piece and spread it across their networks, helping us get the visibility and build trust.
2 – Always add value
What is the main purpose of your content?
To get your website to the first page of Google search? To drive traffic to your website? To make the readers buy your product or service?
If your answer to any of the given questions is “yes,” you are getting the content marketing wrong. It’s all about adding value first.
A generic or boring article won’t help you convert the readers into customers. Neither will it help you rank higher in Google search. Yet, original and insightful content will.
Your content should be filled with real-life evidence, your own hands-on experience, and original insights. Namely, the comparison articles we mentioned earlier wouldn’t bring half of the results if it wasn’t for the original, in-depth (and unbiased) analysis they featured.
For example, in our seven-messenger test drive article, we got to the core of the team chat tools comparison. We didn’t go around singing our praises but conducted thorough research and tried to help our readers make the right choice instead.
The effort paid off well enough. The article spurred the conversation on our blog and had really positive feedback.
Feedback from the grateful readers.
3 – Channel your inner Hemingway
Even the brightest and the most valuable article can get dusty in your blog if it is impossible to read or understand. Of course, using proper grammar and following common style best practices go without saying. However, there are many more things you can do to make your content readable.
First of all, always speak the same language as you readers. Don’t overcrowd your content with unnecessary jargon, buzzwords or scientism in attempt to sound smart or trendy. Breaking the text into smaller paragraphs, using bullet lists, quotes or subheaders will make your articles easier to read.
You can also use some graphics here and there to liven up your articles. Adding a dash of humor never hurt nobody either!
Combo: an image we used in our article which is both funny and meaningful in terms of the article content.
4 – Spread the word
Once you create the perfect piece of content, it’s time to share it like mad. And by “share” I don’t mean just social networks. There are many ways to spread your content across all marketing channels. One of the best ways to accomplish this, is through the use of automated marketing tools. Many platforms will work with manual outreach and promotion, but this can add up to a lot of time-wasted, when plenty of automated options exist.
Guest posting is one of them. Getting your content posted on other resources with a bigger audience and higher credibility is a proven strategy for earning valuable backlinks as well as establishing credibility and growing your audience.
Featuring articles on such reputable resources as Hubspot, Entrepreneur, Foundr, Search Engine Journal, SemRush, Marketo, etc. was quite a journey for us as well. Yet, putting our name in front of millions of readers was definitely worth the effort.
On the other hand, if you accept guest posts, you can expect your contributors to share the articles with their network and get you some extra visibility on social media (as well as a good deal of traffic).
5 – Don’t be overly promotional
There’s nothing more frustrating than heading to the corporate blog, tempted with a promising title, just to see another ad in a shiny wrapper. Even if you choose to promote your product or service, avoid sounding too salesy at any cost. Educate your readers rather than try to bluntly sell your product.
Brand loyalty and trust can win you more revenue down the road than a one-time sale.
Need an example of how to best accomplish this? Take a look at the comparison chart at HealthyHandyMan.com, and how they list out the best benchtop jointers for sale on the internet today. We are all sick and tired of reaching long text articles, and want more visuals. This is simply one of the best ways to give your audience what they want, while also increasing conversions in the process!
As you can see, there’s no magic involved in creating the content that drives results. The recipe is simple: a cup of value and original insights, a tablespoon of credibility, and a dash of humor.
Yet, there is one secret ingredient that can make any article even better. It’s the value, the genuine desire to be useful to your readers. Only the content with a clear value will reach its target and bring the expected results.
What’s your strategy for creating the content that converts? Share your hacks in the comments.
Author bio: Olga Mykhoparkina is a Chief Marketing Officer at Chanty a simple AI-powered business messenger and a single notification center. This powerful and free Slack alternative is aimed to increase team productivity and improve communication at work. Having a 9-year experience in digital marketing field, Olga is responsible for Chanty’s online presence strategy, managing an amazing team of marketing experts and getting things done to change the way teams communicate and collaborate. Follow Olga on Twitter or feel free to connect on LinkedIn.