Five Tips to Boost User Conversion Through Valuable Content

What kind of content will drive clicks and convert visitors into users or customers?  I posed this question to marketing directors at five different consumer Internet companies, including Brett Below at Rent the Runway, Andrew Sinkov of Evernote, Liz Wald of Etsy, and Shawna Strayhorn of Refinery29.  I overlaid these practical findings with research from Brian Halligan at Hubspot.

Content can be anywhere on the website, and is viewed by search engines and humans alike.  Content on the homepage gets the most views, but it has to be useful to people and peak interest immediately.  Here are 5 strategic tips to maximize the value of content on your site and outbound communication:

1) Write Content for All Sides of the Platform.  At Etsy, the marketplace for handmade goods, the marketing team creates content for both buyers and sellers.  Use these two types of content to engage a small but active buyer community, and to attract sellers with the benefits and best practices of your platform.  Writing for sellers will help frame your business as an opportunity to the seller rather than a margin muncher or competitive threat.

2) Integrate User-Generated Content into Your Site.  The most effective Web 2.0 sites engage users in a framed environment.  Get users to write about their success stories or uses of your product and include that content on your site.  For Rent the Runway, that content might include wedding coverage detailing the bridesmaids’ dresses or crowdsourcing a look for this year’s prom.

3) A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words.  Graphics-heavy emails, websites, and conversion pages are substantially more likely to get user conversions.  If you’re website is about handmade crafts, for example, include plenty of pictures of those crafts to get higher conversion.  In the world of instant gratification and massive media consumption, pictures peak interest a lot more than craftily assembled words.

4) Tell, Don’t Sell.  Endless selling of the website’s merchandise won’t drive traffic.  For email communication, focus on industry tips and picks rather than on individual merchandise.  Click-through rates can double when the messaging is about advice rather than specific items.  For email communication, focus on items that everyone buys often.  This will keep interest high and allow for future upselling.

5) Find a Partner and Exchange Mailing Lists.  Partnerships with well-known bloggers and industry experts are an excellent way to boost your credibility and mailing list.  Find an industry blogger, and pay him/her to write an article on your behalf and send to both of your mailing lists.  Ask for a reciprocal link, and chances are you will get a boost to your subscriber base, while mutually benefiting both parties’ brand images.


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