Whenever you write (or publish) a clickbait post, do you feel a bit spammy? Does it make you feel like you're one step away from used car sales? I'm not going to deny that those types of posts and that brand of content marketing doesn't get results - it does. If you get a lot of traffic, you're going to get some click-throughs. The thing is, that kind of content doesn't usually result in a customer that sticks around (or that's the kind of lead you want).
If you want content that converts as many as one of every five readers into buyers, then your focus needs to switch to quality content. Over time, solid material beats a lot of "rig-the-system" content every time. However, it's possible to follow these best practices and end up with great content. The kind that draws a lot of traffic and connects with those readers - it makes them want to stay or convert.
Keep in mind that though all of these content types convert well, following the tips we give below will help get your rate as high (or higher) than the average. Without further delay, here are the nine content types with the highest click-through and conversion rates:
1. Quizzes and Tests
Have you seen one of those “Which character from Show X are you?” quizzes in your social media feed lately? Did you take it? The most likely answer? Yes. In fact, 85% of people who see those quizzes will take them. 72% will complete them.
Quizzes, especially when tied to a trend, fandom, or something that provides a fantasy, convert well. The trick is tying them into your offer or service. This is easier if you, say, offer services to build an app and have a quiz for “Which mobile app are you?” or offer editing services for first-time novelists and have a quiz that helps them find the right genre to pursue.
Keep in mind that most people take these quizzes for fun. They are, on average, 2-3 minutes in length. Tests are also very likely to be shared - expect the results to be contested once in a while, too. That debate is healthy for you. Any interaction makes it more likely that people will remember (and follow) your brand.
2. Blog Posts
The average conversion of an individual blog post might not seem like much, but the effect can compound. The more relevant and useful blog posts you have, the more likely a reader will be to subscribe or respond to any of your offers - now and in the future.
The keys to writing a well-converting blog post are in the format, targeting, and copywriting techniques used. Yes, you want to provide value for your customers. Giving people, your readers, access to great content is a must - but you have to organize and present it in a way they understand and will read. That's the basis of conversion optimization.
When you write a blog post, combine it with a few other content types. Infographics, videos, and list-format work especially well. And in today’s mobile world it’s important to make things easy to read on all devices. More companies are building apps for their customers and it’s only getting easier with app makers.
Blog posts with infographics in them are 3x more likely to be shared on social media. Not only that, but they appeal to anyone who likes to skim (which is most of us these days.) People are visual creatures. Infographics play to that tendency very well. This is a concise way to deliver content and spread a message.
What does that mean for your conversion rate? More eyes and more expertise. It's easier for an image or infographic to become stuck in someone's memory than it is for a paragraph to be. If people pay more attention to you and then remember what you have to offer, they are more likely to come back if they aren't convinced to sign up or make a purchase the first time around.
Want a higher click through rate immediately? Get out your video camera. Just using video content will increase your CTR by 20% right now. As long as you advertise it - include “video” in email subject lines and headlines. Planning on using a video as an ad for your business? Make it entertaining and informational first. Don't just go straight into your sales pitch. Give before you get.
When you're writing a sales video, remember to:
- Include your introductions - make sure they know who you are up front.
- Tell a story - talk about a big win (or even a failure) for your company. People respect authenticity.
- Slow down. Don't talk too fast.
- Keep it brief. No more than 3 minutes. Better, under 30 seconds.
- Put your CTA at the very end.
Contests are for those who need more eyes on their brand - more exposure. They can lead to some pretty big boosts in subscriber counts, too. That can create its momentum.
The keys to successful contests:
- Offer a prize relevant to your content, products, or services.
- Offer easy opt-outs for freebie seekers
- Don't expect to see a direct correlation to new subscribers and sales - not right away.
- Incentive sharing - extra entries for every share on X channel, etc.
People love lists. This post itself is a list. Yep, it's a tactic often exploited by clickbait creators. Even more, it's a format that can benefit your readers, when done well. Lists help people break things down: more and less important, the correct sequence of steps, different ideas, etc. For example, a list of top app makers can be displayed better than an article written about app makers. In short, lists are easy - your brain likes easy. So does everyone else's.
When you go to write a list, try to keep these points in mind:
- The more points, the more comprehensive a list feels: 9 is better than 3.
- Odd numbers get more attention than even numbers (Unless the number ends in 0 - like 10 or 20).
- Organize your content in a specific way: best to worst, easiest to hardest, most to least effective, etc.
- Make the best obvious - especially if you're promoting something specific. In this case, more options can lead to the confusion and “analysis paralysis” which may make them opt out entirely.
7. The Basic About Page
There's an element of surprise to having an outstanding "About" page. People expect it to read "In 1910, Company X was founded by ..." The surprising thing? Excellent web pages have moved beyond that. They realize that an "About" page is one of the top 3 most viewed pages on their website.
An “About” page that converts viewers into loyal readers or customers will have these features:
- It will tell your story. It doesn't have to be a particularly enthralling read - you and your company just must seem human. There should be something in that story that connects with its reader.
- That said, the more interesting it is, the more likely people will want to share your story.
- Your “About” page is about selling your brand. Include a contact form or other CTA (call to action).
- Use more than three paragraphs. If a reader clicks on your "About" page, they want to know more about you and your brand. Give them information.
- Include a case study or group of testimonials. What other people say about you is often stronger than what you have to say.
8. Social Media Posts
Every time one of your posts is shared, it's like a mini-testimonial. That, along with the ability to easily connect with your audience, is the power of social media marketing. Social proof is a powerful conversion tool.
Social media posts can also just be shortened or “teaser” versions of longer posts found on your primary website. It's easy to create them and difficult to deny their potential.
9. Case Studies
If you have a more expensive product on offer or you need more information from someone, you need a powerful form of persuasion. Your content must say that you are an expert, you are recommended, what you offer will do what you say it will. When you want someone to put out hundreds or thousands of dollars, clickbait tactics fall through. You will be under additional scrutiny - and that is where case studies come in.
A case study is a report detailing the before and after state of something (and sometimes the process in between). It can include an interview with the customer, data collected with tools you cannot tamper with, etc. The more “outside” proof you have, the more persuasive the case study.
Always Keep This in Mind
It's not always "what kind of content you use" as much as it is "how that content is designed." You only want to attract certain customers, not everyone. In the case of contests, you'll want to weed out random freebie-seekers. With social media, your numbers will include actual loyal readers and a strong percentage of "joiners." Maintaining the integrity to put out strong content will keep these numbers at a minimum, compared to clickbait-type content that attracts more of the wrong types than the right ones.
Strong headlines, emotional content, long-form pages, images and adequate text spacing are all practices you should use. The techniques themselves aren't questionable: there's nothing wrong with making something easier to read or highlighting a well-researched best choice. The content, the real facts, that these present is what matters. That and the intent behind it.
Andrew Gazdecki is the founder and CEO of Bizness Apps — Bizness Apps creates mobile solutions suited for local businesses with small budgets and big ideas. We create the ultimate customer connection through mobile apps that create a digital connection to your customer's mobile phones for commerce, loyalty, reviews, referrals, communication, and more.