How content drives conversion

  • Caroline Pieracci

What does your content strategy need to take into account to keep your customers happy and the conversion rate rising? We have five insights to offer.

Requirement 1: content has to be useful

A few days ago, my husband sat at the computer looking unhappy. He had to renew his driving licence, and was working his way through his home country’s traffic authority website. Even though he was getting annoyed, the website had his full attention, as it was extremely useful.

*Driving licence renewal on the California Department of Motor Vehicles website. Source: Department of Motor Vehicles California, accessed May 2018 *

What can we learn from this? However chaotic and boring the content, if it’s useful we spend time on it. That’s why in content strategy we say usefulness is the be-all and end-all of any content. And speaking of content: When we say content we mean text, images and videos): content is anything that conveys meaning. At Liip we split useful content into two areas: 1. It solves pain. 2. It delivers gains. We then use this to develop the content.

Content Strategy Recommendations
No empty marketing texts, no blah-blah-blah. Reward all visitors to your website with content that has true substance.

*Useful content understands its users’ problems. A good example: outdoor equipment supplier REI. Source: REI.com, accessed May 2018*
*Useful content delivers gains: ABB has hundreds of specialist journalists on hand to keep potential and existing customers up to date. Source: ABB conversations, accessed May 2018*

Requirement 2: content must be understandable

In the past, consuming content meant reading books, studying newspapers or watching films. We had some peace, and the medium was large in scale. Today, consuming content means looking at something on a 7x10cm screen whilst on the train with your shopping between your knees and the man next to you’s dog sat on your feet. This means for content strategists: make content that a child could follow. I test all of mine on my neighbour’s kid. He’s 12. He looked at this article, for example. He doesn’t read any bits that don’t have pictures (so the many examples in this text are thanks to him).

Content Strategy Recommendations

  1. Start your content with something that triggers positive emotions so that visitors are inspired to continue.
  2. Split your content up so that it’s easy to follow. Use visual goodies such as images, videos, quotations, info boxes and so on to keep your readers interested.
  3. The big finish is the buy button, suggesting ‘and now you can also buy all of this great stuff!’
  4. Also important: teasers for further content, to show our visitors what other things they can find on our website.
*An image attracts attention, an exciting headline generates interest. And don’t forget to optimise both to the main keyword. Source: Freitag.ch, accessed May 2018
The introduction outlines the text, the video promises entertainment. So it’s worth reading on. Source: Freitag.ch, accessed May 2018
Don’t forget: you must be there when someone is ready to buy, and offer other topics to keep your visitors interested. Source: Freitag.ch, accessed May 2018 *

Requirement 3: content must offer a sense of belonging

There are endless competitors for every product and every service. Take the example of deodorant. It’s just deodorant, but every deodorant brand now has its own particular attitude to life. For example, my neighbour’s kid I mentioned before uses Axe, as he once told me (what exciting topics of conversation we have). But he didn’t know why Axe is his deodorant of choice. Axe’s marketing strategists however do have an idea. They actually have had it for over 30 years when they first started positioning their product as “Irresistible.

– and have had it for more than 30 years, because that’s how long they have been focusing on the brand value of ‘irresistible’. For example, in 1985 it launched the claim that it was ‘the smell that drives women crazy'. Just the effect that a teenager wants to have on the female sex. Sports fans instead go for Rexona, and those who prefer the sensitive touch choose Dove. Whichever you would choose – a clear positioning helps you and all other consumers to identify with a company, and to choose its products.

Content Strategy Recommendations
Find your tonality [link to other text] to draw in and unite your customers.

*It’s just a deodorant... but it makes you sexy, seductive and irresistible. How? ‘Discover your best self,’ Axe says, to become ‘Gold’. Source: axe.com, accessed May 2018
It’s just a deodorant... but it makes you athletic. ‘Keep moving.’ ‘Every move counts’ - Rexona highlights its sporty positioning using short, active sentences with clear instructions. Source: rexona.com, accessed May 2018
It’s just a deodorant... but it completely redefines your masculinity. Dove expresses this with the ‘new definition of strength’. Source: dove.com, accessed May 2018 *

Requirement 4: have a go at entertainment

Or in other words, don’t bore your visitors. In content strategy we work with two sizes: 1. micro delightment, 2. macro excitement.

Freitag.ch’s website does not use dry facts to explain how its bags work – every product video is a mini work of art. They offer surprise and delight, and sometimes even some PR potential. Freitag has mastered the art of micro delightment, and entertains users just where it is important: at the point of sale.

The other side of this is large campaigns, or macro excitement. These often target large-scale awareness, such as for example Nike’s Breaking2 campaign. Nike launched this costly attempt and documented the world’s best runners trying to run a marathon in under two hours. An expensive undertaking, but with a high ROI: the teaser alone got 6.6 million views, 13 million live stream viewers and 400,000 mentions using the hashtag #breaking2. Any content strategist enviously says: nice!

Content Strategy Recommendations
Make the extra effort to add a touch of entertainment to your content. Your visitors will thank you by staying on your website for longer and happily coming back.

*If you offer real entertainment, people will never lose sight of the product: take Nike’s Breaking2 campaign. The reward for its efforts: National Geographic topped the campaign off with a documentary film. Source: Nike, accessed May 2018 [plus link]
Opening hearts at the critical moment in the purchase decision: right at the digital point of sale. Source: Freitag.ch, accessed May 2018*

Requirement 5: become part of your customers’ world

Nike knows how it works: The Nike’s Breaking2 campaign takes us to a running training configurator where anyone interested in running their own marathon can create a training plan. So, of course, I did. Although I only did a half marathon, Nike was my constant companion for four months. What’s more, I also managed to persuade my dad to join in – and Nike also became part of his life. Nike’s content provided me with real added value, which was attractive and logically structured making it easy to follow. Nike stands for athletic performance – something I can identify with. Nike has wormed its way into my daily life with real added value provided in an entertaining way. I buy products from them, which is exactly what Nike wanted to achieve.

Content Strategy Recommendations
Become a part of your customer’s world and you have won the battle, as that’s when we show blind faith in a brand – and recommend it to our friends, free of charge.

Nike becomes your daily companion with a training plan for amateur marathon runners. Source: Nike.com/Marathon, accessed May 2018

Learning

Good content is time-consuming, but really does have something to offer – satisfied and convinced customers who keep on coming back. Even if our customers just start out as observers, the conclusion is clear: ROI several times over.

Checklist

ቦ Requirement 5: are you part of your customers’ world?
Think about how to become part of their everyday lives.

ቦ Requirement 4: are you entertaining your customers with exciting content?
People who are captivated by a website will stay longer and come back sooner.

ቦ Requirement 3: are you creating a unique experience?
Determine your brand’s unique character so that visitors can identify with it.

ቦ Requirement 2: are your content pages cleanly laid out?
Make sure that visitors can follow and understand you.

ቦ Requirement 1: are you providing real substance for your visitors?
Solve your users’ real problems and provide them with added value.

The experts behind this article

Thanks to Christoph and Jenny for content and copy assistance, to Jan and Jérémie for the images. This article would not have been possible without you!


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