Marketing Bootcamp

Content Marketers: Don't Ask Them to Sign Up. Tell Them to.

Content Marketers: Don't Ask Them to Sign Up. Tell Them to.
Image credit: Pixabay

Any experienced marketer knows that converting leads is a precise art. Mediocre content, a flawed sales funnel, poor lead nurturing and sales and marketing misalignment can all have serious consequences for your campaign’s success.

Still, there are a few other content campaign issues that don’t cross marketers’ minds quite as often, but have just as much of an impact. Here are four surprising reasons your content campaign isn’t converting customers.

Related: How to Create a Compelling Call to Action

1. Your calls to action (CTAs) suck.

CTAs are probably one of the most important elements of a content campaign that converts, but they end up being an afterthought for a lot of marketers. Here are just a few of the ways CTAs can destroy your conversions.

  • They don’t appear with every piece of content.

It’s all too common to find blog posts without CTAs. If the goal of your content campaign is to convert, then it needs to be possible with every piece of content.

And they don’t all have to be the same call to sign up for email alerts or a free trial. There are many simple ways to create a unique CTA, such as a content upgrade or VIP access.

  • They aren’t relevant to each point in the sales funnel.

If you’ve done your planning right, then each piece of content you create corresponds to a certain point in the sales funnel. Instead of tacking on a generic CTA, you should develop unique ones relevant to the specific content piece. For example, someone just starting to learn about your product’s benefits shouldn’t be presented with a “buy now!” CTA.

  • They don’t use actionable language.

Sometimes, it’s the wording of your CTA that creates problems. When it comes to CTAs, you’re allowed to sound demanding, because that’s what gets people to click. Use actionable language and add a sense of urgency to encourage conversions. Here’s an example from Louder.Online:

Image Credit: Louder.Online

Related: A Deep Dive Into Developing a Content Strategy That Resonates

2. Your landing page is overwhelming.

It’s difficult to get conversions with landing pages. Conversion rates usually range from 1 to 3 percent. That’s why most marketers are meticulous about following landing page best practices, such as:

  • Incorporating testimonials

  • Placing the CTA above the fold

  • Highlighting important features

  • Using visual cues

  • Using videos and images

But still -- they fail to convert. The reason? The landing page is way too complicated.

Despite the individual benefits of all the content components mentioned above, when you put them all together, you end up with an overwhelming page. The content can ultimately serve as a distraction from the overall goal of the page and decrease the chances the visitor actually signs up.

Follow landing page best practices when appropriate, but don’t be afraid to add white space and make it as simple as possible for visitors to understand your value proposition and how they can get more information -- by signing up.

3. Your content is siloed.

So often you see companies organize their content by content type: “testimonials,” “case studies,” “reports,” etc. But most of the time, people coming to your website aren’t looking for reports or testimonials, they’re looking for answers. That’s why it’s important to have your content organized in a logical way, so it’s easily accessible to readers.

People don’t know what they want to look at on your site. You need to show them.

Hubspot’s one of the best at this. They have testimonials on their homepage and incorporate a lot of other content into each blog post.

Image Credit: Hubspot

Testimonials should appear just about everywhere, and other types of content should appear strategically as readers make their way down the sales funnel. Case studies and reports should be integrated into blog posts that demonstrate the value of your product or service. Content should always be available as a “next step” for readers, not buried away in categories no one will click on.

4. You’re forgetting to re-target.

So your content campaign is getting visitors to your website but not converting them. You’re not the only one. In fact, 96 percent of website visitors leave before completing a desired action, so as marketers, our expectations shouldn’t be that high.

That’s one of the many reasons why re-targeting is such an important part of any content campaign. Giving up on leads after they leave your website is a waste of valuable potential. Research has shown that re-targeted visitors respond much better to marketing efforts than new leads.

Image Credit: Wishpond

Related: 3 Ways to Make Your Content Marketing Shine

They also have a higher click-through rate and CTA-conversion rate, according to Wishpond. So, even if your content didn’t do the job on the first try, it probably makes it easier to succeed with re-targeting methods later on, if you care to take advantage of them.