You’ve read all the advice on how content will help you drum more sales. Grow a mailing list. Increase inquiries. Or build your expert status.
Blah blah blah.
But it didn’t work.
You’ve spent days on end writing posts and creating other content types and….
Sure, visitors did come in. Some even flicked a couple of pages. But that drip campaign list you set up’s remains empty.
And email got stuck at inbox zero.
But you know what, it’s all down to one simple thing:
The content types you publish.
And in this post I’ll show you the ones you should focus on if you’re aiming for conversions.
Every content type has a purpose
Not all content types work the same.
Some, like those mammoth, 3-4k words long blog posts or ultimate guides are ideal for attracting traffic. Memes, cartoons or other visuals get shared a lot. Influencer roundups, interviews or webinars are great when you’re trying to increase brand awareness.
But if you want your readers to perform specific actions, you need these content types.
What I define as conversion
Before we begin, let me define what I consider a conversion.
The “official” definition reads:
“Conversion is the point at which a recipient of a marketing message performs a desired action”.
But personally I make it slightly more specific:
“Conversion is any action a user takes that’s been designed for them to take.”
In other words, it’s something you’ve wanted the reader to do after consuming your content.
It could be checking out your services page, signing up for a mailing list, downloading a lead magnet or sending you an email with an inquiry.
Now, with that off the way, let’s look at those content types that could help you direct users to take that action.
Opinion posts focus on providing readers with reason or explanation for why they should take a particular action or make a specific decision and include supporting information.
Instead of just listing those reasons, opinion posts are based on deep personal experiences.
And that’s what makes them so powerful.
You see, these posts help build a strong personal connection with a reader, bridging the typical author / reader relationship. They provide an insight into your personality and reveal a lot about you, much more than a typical listicle would.
And needless to say, that’s highly needed when you’re trying to convince someone to take action.
How-to’s one of the most common content types you see around.
And for a reason.
How-to’s attract a very specific audience. They are the people who already know that they have a problem but still insist to try and fix it themselves.
And even though they are only early in the buying process, they can be easily converted into email courses and other educational resources and nurtured to become clients.
And here’s the trick to make how-to posts to convert like mad.
Create how-to’s that teach exactly what you do. But in the process reveal the complexity of the task and give the reader the idea that they could either:
- Do it themselves but that would mean investing a number of hours to do it, or
- Get you to do it for them.
eBooks are the most popular lead magnet.
We’ve even published the comprehensive guide to creating an eBook based lead magnet.
But do you know why they work so well?
Because their format allows you to include all information needed to present all knowledge the audience lacks and solve a particular problem. Not to mention that they’re easy to consume and provide instant gratification for signing up.
- They help establish your authority and expert status,
- They have a high-perceived value, and
- They are quick to produce by for instance repurposing old blog posts into an eBook.
I actually have a problem with the definition of what the whitepaper.
Partially because there are so many contradicting ones around.
The one that currently resonates with me defines a whitepaper as:
An in-depth publication presenting a specific problem and offering a solution.
Businesses create whitepapers to educate their customers on a particular issue, highlight a particular feature, product or service.
And that works because it targets prospects who are deep in the buying process, typically at the evaluation stage.
Another hugely popular lead magnet.
Email courses promise to deliver a solution to the prospects particular problem in exchange for taking a small action.
However unlike eBooks or Whitepapers, they generally attract subscribers at very early stages of the buying process and thus the drop off from them is quite high.
The “What” Blog Posts
This is a seldom used content type.
And yet The “WHAT” posts can grab the user’s attention like mad.
They’re often used to compare different aspects of a problem and thus, attract readers tuned in to marketing message.
This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the landing pages, right?
Here’s a great definition of what a landing page is by Neil Patel:
“[…] any page that gets traffic from anywhere other than the same pages on your site — hence the name landing. It’s most commonly associated with pay-per-click ads like Google Adwords, where you can drive traffic to a specific URL that has been designed to receive those visitors.”
Their strength lies in being able to attract a very specific audience looking for a particular solution.
And being the final element convincing a visitor to take action – sign up to your mailing list and download a lead magnet, for instance.
Also check out our advice on landing pages:
- 4 Landing Page Design Myths that Actually Hurt Conversions
- 5 Things You Should Never Split Test on Facebook Ads Landing Pages
- 5 Landing Page Mistakes Killing Your Paid Advertising
- 9 Fast Ways to Improve Your Facebook Landing Page Conversions
When selecting products or services to acquire we often rely on the opinions of others.
Here, let me show you just one research that backs this claim:
David Wooten, a researcher from the University of Florida conducted two experiments aiming to determine whether the opinions of others could influence a consumer’s product evaluation process.
His findings concluded that indeed we do rely on reviews and user opinions. But also…
We reach for them at the exact time when we’ve learnt as much as we could about the product on our own and need something to help us justify purchasing it.
And thus, publishing reviews could significantly improve your conversion rates.
In fact, according to Econsultancy, publishing positive reviews could produce up to 18% uplift in sales (incl 11% conversion uplift).
I always approach case studies as a conversation between a current client and a prospect.
Your client explains how your services or products have helped them.
And you’re merely just a facilitator of that conversation.
Because of its format, a case study helps convince a prospect currently on the fence about buying from you.
It gives them that one final reason to go on and hire you.
And thus, if possible, publish as many case studies as you can. Interview clients and then publish their responses in a narrative format on the site.
Testimonials and Video Testimonials
Cases studies are typically hidden behind a form.
But if you’re looking for a content type that’s free for anyone to see but delivers the same results as a case study – builds trust, helps to overcome sales objects and basically sells…
But here’s something funny:
Testimonials are rarely considered an actual content type.
Perhaps that’s because it’s not you who write them but a client, I’m not sure.
The truth is though, they could be the most converting content type on your site. And recent inquiries I got through my website definitely prove it for me.
Why testimonials work so well? Because they reveal experiences others had with you.
But if you want to make your testimonials even more powerful though, use video.
Feature your clients praising your efforst.
We’ve talked about the power of testimonials already.
But another way to make them even more powerful is by recording video testimonials featuring your clients praising your efforts.
Like this video from Basecamp:
And that’s it….
What do you think?
Can you see any of these content types working for you?