Over the years, the term 'content' has seen a massive shift. Once a way to refer to blogs, articles, long-form downloads and other similar formats, it quickly became a catch-all for any form of written, aural or visual media.
On the one hand, this shift has provided brands with a creative, diverse foundation to convey their message to their customers. On the other hand, it's resulted in a more complex, more changeable landscape to keep up with if you want to engage and convert.
So if you feel like creating content that converts is a hard slog, if your creation process has become synonymous with high levels of effort and low levels of impact, or if you find yourself chasing trends and algorithms, we're here to help.
We've summarised our top three insights from our recent webinar, all about creating content that converts.
Watch the full webinar here. Featuring Maria-Christina Delioglani, Marketing & Communications Consultant, Gabrielle Jesson, Founder of The Prospect Society, and Lala Cooper, Content & Communications Consultant.
Insight #1: Same principles, tailored execution
It might seem like a natural conclusion to think of B2B and B2C as vastly different, but when it comes to your content, speaking to businesses and consumers often requires the same principles.
Best practice starts with a simple, but effective question: what's useful? According to Gabrielle Jesson, that could be content that answers challenging industry questions, or supports businesses/customers in navigating turbulent times.
"It's helpful to apply a PR lens to content creation: what's topical and relevant for right now? What's genuinely useful and interesting? It's about helping your clients or customers make better or smarter decisions through great content."
- Gabrielle Jesson, founder of The Prospect Society
Understanding what 'useful' is and how it's defined by your audience types will enable content to develop more naturally, with meaning and action behind it.
Key Takeaway: Compelling content will lead to a compelling CTA
You may be tasked with a highly specific objective with your content, but ultimately, your content's end goal is almost always to convert, whatever that might look like. By leading with a compelling CTA, you'll marry your brand's objective with a strong driver for your end customer. Two birds, one stone.
Insight #2: Determine decision-making behaviour - and your customer's typical journey
Getting to the core of your target audience's decision-making behaviour is one of the most powerful tools you can give yourself - particularly when it comes to creating content that converts.
Unlike most B2C decision-making journeys, B2B can have a significantly longer lifecycle. Converting from a lead to a customer will rarely happen overnight after a few Google searches. According to Lala Cooper, it relies on carefully executed tactics, regular performance analysis, and strategic evolutions of your content strategy.
"Decision-making processes aren't as linear as traditional marketing has portrayed. Understanding each stage of a buyer's journey and reviewing performance analytics as you progress will mean you can better evolve your content strategy, and achieve greater results."
- Lala Cooper, Content & Communications Consultant
Underpinning all of this is the importance of a well-researched buyer persona. If your product or solution typically has a long-term sales journey, you might also have multiple stakeholders involved - all of which, you should work to understand if you want to create relevant, relatable content.
Key Takeaway: Consider email sequences
Email sequences are the behind-the-scenes magic to any number of successful marketing campaigns. Content segmentation can accurately reflect each stage of your buyer's journey, and communicate the next step if they're stagnant on that journey. Seen that your buyer has downloaded your long-form content, but not progressed further? A well thought out email sequence could provide the final nudge needed.
Insight #3: Video is (still!) on the up and up
Surprise or no surprise, video is only set to accelerate. Performance, impact and potential are all on the rise with video, and brands and consultants alike are leveraging the touchpoint in various ways.
Take video on social media channels, for example. Its ease, accessibility and capabilities mean it might seem like low-hanging fruit for many content creators, but it doesn't minimise the power it can have on brand loyalty and strength. According to Maria-Christina Delioglani, even more traditionally corporate sectors, such as healthcare, are realising the benefits of reels on Instagram or TikTok videos.
"We're already seeing doctors, for example, provide their insights on social media channels through video content. It can be a really powerful tactic that supports the customer, drives awareness, and builds the brand, all in one."
- Maria-Christina Delioglani, Marketing & Communications Consultant
And when it comes to building effective paid and organic social media campaigns, video and video animations can exponentially raise the profile of any brand, building loyalty, awareness and perception. Proving it's a cost- and time-efficient way of boosting your overall content offering.
Content is never a lone wolf.
It can be easy to think of content as solely its own entity - a simple content calendar, a few keywords and a handful of blogs each month. But the reality is that your content should underpin any manner of campaign.
Be it PR or marketing, brand or internal communications, your content can - quite literally - make or break the success of your strategic activity. By connecting with your audience, influencing behaviours, and driving relevant action, you can work to create powerful content that converts even the toughest, most scrupulous customer.