In the Key of Inbound

How to Write Better Content That Converts in 2016

[fa icon="calendar"] Mar 31, 2016 10:25:26 AM / by Matt Jacoby


You have committed to keeping your site updated with fresh content, and maybe you are already seeing some positive results from those actions. If you want to see truly great returns from your inbound marketing efforts, you need to not only keep creating content, but keep creating content that converts.

A conversion happens when a potential customer gets closer to doing business with you, in a measureable way. A new visitor to your website downloading a piece of content is a conversion, and a return visitor filling out a contact form is also a conversion. The specific conversion action will vary depending on the customer, and where they are in their journey as buyers. What does not vary is the fact that you need to make a consistent effort to write better content that facilitates those conversions.

How to Write Content That Increases Conversions

It’s easy to simply say “write better content,” but how do you actually do it? Despite the fact that the idea of “better” is totally subjective, there is an easy four step process that you can use to inform and improve your content creation efforts:

  1. Start with a problem: Why are your customers searching for you in the first place? Who are your most important buyer personas, and what problems do they typically have?  Anticipate the questions that your customers will have, and don’t be afraid of them. Spell those questions out in your content. Not sure what those questions are? Check in with the members of your staff who deal directly with customers, like your sales team, or even your receptionist.
  2. Give your customers the knowledge they need and can understand: Pay attention to the language that your customers use when they describe their problems and questions - make sure that you are using the same terms and phrases in your content. Put your customers’ problems in a larger context, and don’t be afraid to illustrate them with examples. Why is this happening to them?
  3. Help them believe that their problem can be solved: Now that your customers understand the what and why of their problem, it’s time to offer possible solutions. Many marketers are afraid of writing content that is too pushy or sales-y, but if you do it well the risk is low and the payoff is huge. How do you do it well? By offering valuable knowledge and solution options. If you do this, the reader will believe that the next step you want them to take (downloading a guide, making an appointment, or buying a product) is the right thing for them to do. They need to know that their problem will be solved - make sure your readers understand how you will provide that solution.
  4. Decide what you want them to do: Many marketers seem afraid to admit that is this the goal of their content - to drive an action. Even the most well-researched and articulately written blog post is useless if your customers are not sure what to do next. Don’t leave them lost in the woods! What you drive your readers to do will not be a one-size-fits-all action - you may have different conversions for different personas, and for the same persona at different stages in their search process. Either way, if you make the next step clear, your conversions will increase. 

Take a look at any new content you are creating, and any old content that needs a refresh with these four steps in mind. Knowledge drives belief, and belief drives action. If you give your readers the knowledge they are looking for, they will believe in your ability to help them solve their problem.



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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Lead Conversion

Matt Jacoby

Written by Matt Jacoby

Matt is the owner of Octave Media, has been developing websites for 20+ years and helping businesses grow online with inbound marketing for 4 years. He enjoys spending time with his wife and two boys. Long walks on the beach aren't half bad either.