You aren’t writing your content for your health — you’re doing it for the health of your brand or business. Obviously, then, if you invest your time and energy into creating engaging content, it’s no surprise that you should expect to see results in the form of conversions.
Calls to action are integral in creating a link between your content and conversion. They should be core to your content marketing strategy and exist in different forms throughout your site, as well as across its external properties, such as social media accounts.
You’ve likely examined the different ways you can incorporate best practices for calls to action within your site, but did you know that every single piece of content you publish can — and should — contain a call to action?
Without bombarding your audience with “Buy Nows!” and “Click Heres!” you can easily capture attention, drive action, engage audiences, and keep them coming back for more.
Put your audience front and center
People love to see their name in print. They also like to know that brands or organizations they engage with appreciate their interactions and, hopefully in turn, will grant them their loyalty.
Turn your audience into brand ambassadors by creating engaging content that invites their input and gives them a platform to share their opinions — not just in the comments section.
Put their responses to your content front and center, by either grabbing them from your social properties to showcase them using tools like Storify or by writing a post about a hot topic that asks them to submit their own relevant content for you to publish.
There is a diverse list of types of engaging content you can create — why not have your audience help you?
Asking for their thoughts and opinions is a non-invasive way to invite your audience to participate in your brand, and it also provides you with insight into how they view you and your industry, which you can use to inform future adjustments to your content strategy.
This extends your reach beyond just your site — to online and even offline communities your audience participates in and wants to share their contributions with — and costs your brand absolutely nothing.
Make your audience members feel like winners
Who doesn’t love to be a winner? Make your audience members all feel like winners with gamification of content that rewards them for reading, engaging with, and returning to your brand’s content outposts. This tactic also gives you a way to incentivize your audience to provide you with additional information, including contact information.
WordPress has several gamification plug-ins that award badges and even points, which you can use to thank your audience members for their responses and support. For example, if you’re running a special promotion or series, you can set up Easter eggs for readers to discover, a scavenger hunt to keep them tapped into your campaign on a long-term basis, or create a contest that lets them “unlock” special content if they correctly answer questions about your business.
While earning badges is fun, getting a deal is even better. You can consider making the points your audience earns through your content redeemable for a discount on your product or services — which might be just what your audience members need to nudge them toward making a purchase or intrigue them into exploring what you have to offer.
Give a little to get a lot
Create “extras” to go along with your content, such as downloadable eBooks or embeddable infographics, that your audience members can access only if they tweet about the offer or fill out a contact form.
Many brands offer eBooks or extra information in exchange for filling out a lead form, but if these extras are accompanied by a full blog post, they become much more valuable and responsive to your audience’s needs.
For example, if you’re writing a blog post about a new feature of your product, include a downloadable tutorial that demonstrates how to use this feature, step by step. This cuts down on the technical details you need to include in your post, which makes it more likely to hold readers’ interest. It also allows your audience members to share the post, download the tutorial, or do both without bogging them down with details before they are ready for them.
People love free stuff, and if your content is always good and your “extras” are unique and relevant, audiences will likely take notice of how your brand goes above and beyond to meet their needs and interests — and will return to engage with your business again and again.
Although these tactics may not seem like outright calls to action, they can certainly drive conversion by turning your audience members into your clients/consumers and, eventually, into brand ambassadors who are invested in helping you extend your reach and impact.
For more great tips on making your content more engaging and impactful, register to attend Content Marketing World 2013, taking place on September 9–11 in Cleveland, Ohio.
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