How to Create BORING Content That Boosts Conversion
Just imagine opening your website analytics only to see the following stats: Time on Page over 4 minutes. Your Bounce Rates around 50% and your Pages per Visits above 2.
Every website owners’ dream, right?
Well if it’s not, it should be! The better your numbers are, the more of a chance your readers are going to engage with your page, read your articles to the end and sign up to use your services. Now, the signing up part might not happen straight away, but rest assure that your company’s name will pop up the next time your prospects need a service like yours.
They will remember you due to your content.
Now stop for a second…take a look at the header of this article!
Seriously! Do you really think that you are going to get conversions with BORING Content?
Of course not! But it did get you reading this article.
The main idea behind content marketing is not to just create content for the sake of it, but to create super interesting articles that spark some type of emotion. Your goals shouldn’t be lead generation or downloads, but rather an “emotional goal” that will get your users:
- Curious, or thinking about what you’ve said
- Inspired, to know more about your article’s topic
- Happy/Grateful, thanking you for the information / solution you’ve provided them with.
- Craving, for more great content and ideas from you
If you managed to touch some type of emotion, it will allow you to connect to your readers, eventually leading to sign ups.
In this article I am going to try to explain how you can make an article stand out and not bore your readers to death, keeping your readers on their toes throughout the article and also driving conversions.
Just one thing to note before I jump to the interesting stuff – not everyone is going to like your content!
Remember when you were at school and were so stressed about being liked by everyone? Well, get over it! Not everyone is going to like you or your content and, furthermore, most people aren’t even going to give you the time of day.
Modern technology has made it very easy for everyone to write and publish articles, and with today’s distribution platforms you can get your articles out-there, almost instantly. It has actually become quite a problem. It has become so easy to publish articles, we’re finding ourselves swamped with content. Articles here, articles there…
Furthermore, endless amounts of information have caused most of us to be pretty shallow with our reading. Some of us have become scanners, others simply read titles and move on to the next article. Some people read the first and last paragraphs, only looking for the gist of things. Only a fraction of online readers will take the time to read your articles and invest time in your words.
So, how do you create an article that will stand out from the crowd and interest at least SOME of your users?
1. Match Your Content to Your Personas
You shouldn’t develop your content or do any kind of content marketing without knowing exactly who your buyers are. Knowing and understanding who buys your product is imperative to help you maximize your content’s effectiveness and improve your levels of engagement.
In addition, it is important to understand their tolerance level for your content and then structure the article in a way that will appeal to them. People that read academic journals are going to have much more tolerance for longer articles and bulkier text than if you are targeting an audience on Facebook. People on social media prefer buzzier, easy to read content.
And don’t think that structure is the key to all your problems.
Sure you can use bullets, deep captions, links, highlights and short paragraphs to make the look of the article seem less intimidating (more user-friendly), but when push comes to shove, if your users are used to reading long material, then make sure you meet their expectations and provide them with a content length and style that they feel comfortable with.
For example, if you are targeting medical patients that require an abundance of information, then a short buzzy article might not be the best practice, especially if you want them to contact you after you’ve got them to read the article. You might have to go into depth and write a very professional article that shows you are an authority – a health specialist.
If you are targeting people who purchase iPhone cases or other mobile gimmicks, they’re not going to want to read a long manual-looking article that is completely technical. They are probably going to want to hear some buzz about your product and how having it is a MUST. Short and sweet content would probably be better.
The idea is to, first of all, know your audience; what type of content they prefer and then supply their demands.
2. Your Articles Might Need Personality
This has been said many times before, but I will emphasis on it again; you are not writing for robots. All the SEO type content that used to work 5-10 years ago doesn’t even fool Google anymore, so why would it fool your readers?
When creating content, give it some personality. Put some humour into your articles or write your articles using an interesting tone. You can also share a personal experience or write your articles in the form of a story.
The main idea is to get your readers into a specific type of mood so they feel that you are talking to them- and THAT you can do by bringing your content to life.
If your content was a person marketing your business, how would they dress and talk? Casual, business suit and black shoes. If you are a sales person, so in every sales pitch you’re going to add a bit of personality. You are going to try to build a connection with your prospects before you make the sale. The same goes here!
Add the exact dosage of personality you need to your content to bring it to life and attract your readers, without overstepping any boundaries.
Your content personality is key to attracting and keeping your audience’s attention. Just remember to take the time to ensure that it’s aligned with your businesses look. For example, you wont see a Wall Street bank using slang in its content!
3. Numbers are OverRated!
I recently typed into Google “Financial tips” and this is what I got:
8 tips for this…. 10 tips for that….. The honest truth, all the articles looked the same. The only one that caught my eyes was the one that started with Savvy Stuff. Not that I connected with the title, but it still caught my eyes.
While numbers in headlines can really help and are known to drive clicks, they are being used by nearly everyone. Did you know that Taboola, the content distribution platform, even recommends using titles with numbers when creating content for their platform? While using numbers might work, if everyone is writing the same way then you probably won’t stand out and you’re going to get missed!
Buzz up your content by creating catchy headlines and try to think out of the box.
Look at the title of this article:
How to Create BORING Content That Boosts Conversion
Obviously boring content won’t boost your conversions, but it still got you to click to read the article…
4. Know Where to Place Your Call-to-Actions
Every junior copywriter knows that you have to add a call-to-action to your articles or content, especially if you are developing content for lead generation; and who isn’t these days?
When writing an article, you have to first of all try to define your goals and then strategically place them throughout your content.
Ok… stop for a second… the next thing I am going to share will really shed some light on your CTA placings, but before I continue, I’m going to ask the following:
If you’ve liked this article so far, go to back to the article on Linkedin LIKE it or SHARE it. After that comeback and continue reading.
Hey! Don’t cheat and read on… go and like the page!
If you’re still reading and haven’t liked it, then you’re just lame.
But if you have, then check this out:
When writing an article you have to understand your goals and especially your reader’s tolerance. My goal is for you to like the article so I can gain reach. As you can see I have placed my call to action here in the middle of the article under section 4.
I could have put it at the beginning of the article, but then it would have probably just been overlooked. Why would someone like something they haven’t even read? But in the middle of the article is a different story.
I assume that some of my readers will drop off along the way and won’t reach the end of the article, so I want to try to get them to like the article before they go.
Even if my readers continue to the end of the article, I also assume that they will have more enthusiasm to complete my goal throughout the article, rather than at the end when they are looking to move on to a different site / topic / article…(seeking other content).
Place your Call-to-Actions strategically so that you are going to get higher engagement rates and conversions. Try to get your readers to take action when they are wrapped up, focused on your content. You’ll need your users to be hyped and connected to what you are saying in order to convince them to take action.
Oh, and by the way, of course I have added another call-to-action at the end of this article for those of you who were lame enough to continue reading without LIKING 🙂
5. Pictures are for Time Outs
If you’ve got this far throughout the article then you have read over 1000 words. Not bad!
Think about it! I’ve got you to read more than half the article. Did I do it with my good looks?
Nope. Apart from creating what I think is interesting content, I’ve also added pictures along the way.
While you might think that pictures only make the article look pretty, there is actually a hidden reason why I place them within the article. But before I reveal it, think about this:
I recently got a 30 page presentation from a client. My initial impression was “Does she really expect me to read all of this”. I was tired before I had even started reading the presentation! I started reading it and after a couple of slides, I came across one slide that only had a picture. Written on it was “Coffee Break”.
Yes, we all know that pictures add value to articles. Like I already mentioned, they make articles look much more attractive and will often visually explain written content. But pictures provide much more value than what you might think. It gives your readers a second to pause and rest throughout their read. Kind of like a change of scenery but here it’s “content scenery”. It allows your users to catch a breath before continuing to the next section or paragraph.
Just think about children’s books. They are always full of pictures and illustrations. Do you really think a child would have the patience to sit and listen to a long story that is packed with just text? I know they don’t, as I have kids myself…The same goes for us adults.
Most of us just don’t have the energy to dive into a long, intimidating article. We need some color to brighten it up and give us a few “timeouts” throughout the article. Even if they only last a second or two.
Try adding pictures to your articles. I am sure you will see your Time on Page increase significantly.
6. Your Title and First Two Paragraphs
Ok, we’re up to over 2000 words on this article, so I am going to make this last part short and sweet. Once you’ve got your users into your article though your fantastic teaser which drives a killer CTR, you are going to have to invest time in your first few paragraphs. Those paragraphs are the make-or-break of your article. Those first few sentences will determine whether your viewers will continue reading or not.
Make sure that your title and first few paragraphs are super interesting and never give away the gist of your article at the beginning. Try to build up curiosity or some type of suspense to get your users craving to read the rest of your article. The first paragraph should give your users just enough information so they can get a taste for what is coming next, and it should suck in your readers.
To create a killer first paragraph and get it just right, I sometimes write it last.
Final Thoughts About Content Writing
Creating content is easy, but creating engaging content can be quite a difficult task. Especially if you have to take lots of things into consideration, like SEO and Conversion Goals. Sometimes things will conflict. The most important thing is to create a reading experience that will last, one that will stick with your readers so that next time they see your article, they will click on it even if it isn’t your best article yet.
CTA – Oh… and if you haven’t LIKED this article until now, C’mon show your appreciation 🙂