Content marketing is finally getting the attention it deserves. While many write about how a content marketing strategy can drive traffic to your website, this article addresses how to improve the engagement of visitors once they arrive.
You might use Google AdWords to drive paid search traffic or banner ads for remarketing. I hope you’re taking advantage of social media and spending time on SEO to improve your organic results in search engines. But how much effort are you spending on the content you are serving your customers? More specifically, how engaging is it?
When you finally get a visitor are you doing everything you can to keep them there? Are they returning?
Before you dig into tactics, you need to know what areas will give you the biggest payoff. You can easily be overwhelmed with analysis paralysis, but some basic areas to look at include:
What is the percentage of visitors who look at a single vs multiple pages on your website?
A number of years ago I was talking to a friend about a book I had just read called ‘Game of Thrones’. His response, “I’ll wait for the movie.” While a TV series did eventually come out, his comment is relevant for digital marketing: Not everyone consumes content the same way.
How interactive is your website experience? Are the dozens of articles you’ve posted on your blog your complete content marketing strategy?
Do you break up your copy with visual diagrams, animated GIFs or infographics? Have you created a video demo or have a message from your founder you can post?
Neil Patel of Quick Sprout collected data from a number of different studies. Results showed a diverse content marketing strategy was most effective.
Do you offer high resolution photos of your products and allow for zooming in or rotating 360 degrees? Even offering lower tech solutions like a downloadable white paper or brochure can often be a better experience than requiring your prospect to click and scroll page after page.
Not only does the variety increase user engagement, it can have positive effects on your SEO strategy as well. Google likes great content and it can often have an impact on your search rankings as well.
Besides making your website more interesting, your visitors consume content differently based on their buying stage. I stumbled on this funnel created by the folks over at Adido which demonstrates an integrated approach matters.
Content marketing doesn’t always mean lots of content. By providing interactive tools like calculators, questionnaires, training tools and more, you can provide value to your customer while assisting them in a potential purchase.
If a customer walked into a shoe store, they could ask to have their foot measured. They would try on the shoe. They might ask questions about which running shoe was better for addressing high arch. A shopper who is trying to pick out an all-natural herbal remedy for helping with allergies is likely to have questions about which product is best for addressing their specific needs.
Brooks Running Shoes offers an interactive tool called “Shoe Advisor” that asks 5 easy questions to help shoppers find the perfect shoe.
Feedthepig.org offers a variety of tools to increase engagement for their users. A good content marketing strategy consists of varied formats.
Often a company doesn’t have the resources or sophistication to produce a podcast or build interactive programs. Providing bite size content in the form of tips and guides is just as useful.
Manya Chylinski published an article at the Content Marketing Institute about the benefits of offering a resource center as a sound content marketing strategy. Benefits include:
This example from Bistromd.com shows that simplicity can still be effective.
One reason visitors to your website might not stay is because they are confused or overwhelmed when they arrive.
Don’t put too many options in your readers’ face and limit the number of choices you want them to make in the beginning. Ease them into your site and then offer them more as they go on.
It’s easy to see from these two financial services websites which one might overwhelm a first-time visitor.
You built great content on your website and provided a service to them. Give them an offer to stay connected. Use content marketing to bring them back.
Offer a weekly podcast they can subscribe to or an exclusive report that will be emailed to them along with a weekly newsletter subscription. Provide custom SMS or email alerts when something goes on sale or loyalty reward points for each return visit.
As is the theme with this article, continue to provide value whether they purchased or not.
While this article only scratches the surface on how to leverage content marketing to make your website sticky, this should provide you a good start.
Use your website’s analytics data to identify opportunities for improvement and remember that ‘one size fits all’ approach doesn’t work. Providing engaging content in different formats and continuing to provide them reasons to return to your website afterward are keys to success.