Here's Why Your Content Doesn't Convert

March 10, 2016 Doug Milnor

Okay, so you've written the content, you've posted it, and you've waited for all those magical conversions to start happening. ... and waited ... and waited. Frustrated with twiddling your thumbs, you wonder why your content just isn't making the grade.

If this describes where you are in your inbound marketing strategy, take heart. While there are many reasons why your content may not be performing as you would like, there are also a number of things you can do to get things moving in the right direction. Here are some common issues that lead to low conversions and some suggestions for turning the tide in your favor.

Content marketing

Make your presence known by producing high quality
content to the right audience at the right time.

Problem Number One: Aiming at the Wrong Target with Your Inbound Marketing Strategy

You can write stellar content all day long and fail to increase conversions completely if you are aiming at the wrong target audience. Using the analogy of the way fishermen utilize a variety of lures and bait to catch specific types of fish, Hubspot's "How to Write Compelling Copy: 7 Tips for Writing Content that Converts" notes that marketers must learn as much as possible about their target prospects before producing content.

To maximize the impact of your content, the article recommends creating specific buyer personas. How? Hubspot says: "Start by answering a series of questions about their personal background, their company and the position they hold, and their challenges, goals, and shopping preferences. As a result, you'll amass an abundance of invaluable information that you can then use to attract attention and inspire action."

Problem Number Two: Not Following Through for the Entire Customer Journey

Looking at your content objectively, are you supplying your target audience with what they need at every point of contact? For instance, your content may be heavily skewed toward leads just entering your sales funnel. That makes sense, as you need to get prospects engaged early in the process.

However, if you are not providing a steady source of content relevant to every stage of the buyer journey, you are losing leads along the way. Block off the exit ramps by re-routing web traffic to content that addresses issues leads face throughout the decision-making process and watch your conversions grow accordingly.

Problem Number Three: Wimpy Calls to Action

The novelty of "Click Here" has worn off. While there are still occasions where such a generic CTA may work, the vast majority of web visitors are no longer hard-wired to click just because you suggest it.

Thinking about your buyer personas will help you tailor your CTAs to appeal with specificity to them. To illustrate, Hubspot gives these two examples:

  • If you're going after an experimental SaaS audience, then give them a "Start your free trial now" CTA.
  • If you know your target persona to be curious and discovery-oriented, then give them a "See how it works" CTA.

In general, your CTAs should be simple, creative, and straight-forward. Leave no ambiguity about what action you want your audience to take. If you want them to do something, ask them.

Problem Number Four: Failing to Stand Out from the Crowd

Face it. With content marketing, you are competing on a very big playing field. To raise conversion rates, you must do something that differentiates you from your competition. To do this effectively, two steps are required.

First, you must know your competition. Market research is an essential component of solid content marketing. You need an intimate knowledge of what is already out there in the way of content. Follow thought leaders in your field. Keep a finger on the pulse of your industry. Then, ensure that your content offers something unique, something above and beyond what others in your field are offering.

Second, you must make an emotional appeal to your audience. Whether your organization is B2C or B2B, human nature dictates that people make decisions, not entirely on logic, but with their gut. Infuse your content with genuine emotion, and your audience will be moved to conversion.

Content marketing

Stand out from the crowd by crafting original content
that provides real value to your target audience.

The Takeaway

Good content leads to conversion. Key elements of good content are: targeting the right audience, providing something for every stage of the customer journey, creating killer CTAs, doing extensive marketing research, and punching up the emotional appeal to your audience.

How does your content measure up in these key areas? To find out, request an assessment today. There is no time like the present to boost your conversion rates.

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