Content marketing has been with us for almost three centuries now, but over the past eight years its role has become paramount. No one in the industry is arguing that any more. Instead, they’re talking about how its intricacies manage to keep evolving with digital trends, and how its strategies remain so valuable for marketing success today.
We spread our searches far and wide to see what industry-experts are doing, and to find out what thought-leaders in our space have to say. The information and examples we came across put our understanding of compelling content back into perspective.
By using our summary as a guideline you’ll be inspired to relook at the way you’re using content, and find new ways to ensure your content is building your brand and increasing your conversion rates.
What does compelling content even mean
We’re in a competitive digital age where good is no longer good enough. To write compelling content means to create something original that’s captivating, convincing and conclusive at the same time. Which is not easy. Consumers aren’t so enthralled by what we have to say and share anymore. They’re already clawing their way through the disguises of online marketing every day, so to get (and keep) their attention you must deliver something truly relevant and valuable.
So that’s what it means to be compelling. What’s more important though is that you understand the full definition of content. We tend to talk about articles and social media posts a lot because it carries so much weight, but it’s not the only content that exists. Every word you put out there counts.
Take Duo Lingo for example
Here are two separate occasions where the language-learning app, Duo Lingo, takes one-liner content and turns it into something truly beautiful:
In-app ad copy
Everyone likes free stuff, but no one likes ads. Duo Lingo used this rare opportunity to remind us that they care about education, and that they’re working within their means to make sure that we can access it for free. In just seven words they were emotionally captivating, insightful and convincing. Now that’s compelling.
Users are a lot more likely to wait patiently through the ad and continue using the app because they understand the heart-warming motive behind it. Plus, once they can see and feel the brand’s moral values, they’re more likely to convert to loyal, paying customers.
Duo Lingo takes a human-centric approach to the way they word their email subject lines. This has a good impact on their interaction rate. They do this in three pretty simple ways:
Firstly, they stay in contact with you outside of the app platform to keep your connection real and your interest strong. By delivering a weekly progress report, they’re accomplishing this in a way that actually benefits you.
Secondly, they reach out to you with subtle reminders when they see you’ve been inactive for a while. It’s nothing spam-like or annoying. Instead it politely says they won’t be sending report updates anymore, since there’s been no progress from your side for them to work with. It’s a bit of a guilt-trip, but it’s effective.
Lastly, they hit you with this emotional one-liner from Duo, the cute cartoon owl. Once they pick up that their efforts aren’t working and you’re still not online, they tug right at your heart-strings. Guaranteed, a large portion of the audience will visit the app again after reading this.
Find inspiration in Duo Lingo’s human-centric approach to communication when you think of all the one-liners that consumers come across when they visit your website or buy from your online store. Every strand of content you deliver must be created with a higher purpose of improving interaction, increasing conversions and sustaining loyalty. Talk to your consumers on a human level, and your content will automatically become more compelling.
If you want more information on creating compelling emails like Duo Lingo did, be sure to also check out our article on Email Marketing 101, which goes in-depth on creating and optimising email content, segmenting data and working through a full email life-cycle.
If content is king then data is, well, your other king
Content is a whimsical thing, and because it has such an omnipresent role in your business efforts, it’s contribution to your brand’s success often flies under the radar. You can determine your traffic, check your bounce rates and count your leads, but you’ll never really be able to track every single conversion that comes from your content marketing.
But one thing is for sure: content marketing is a creativity-data hybrid. If you want to know how well your efforts are doing, you have to rely on multiple streams of analytical data. Even if your content is succeeding right now, it won’t survive off the same approach forever.
Doing continuous research and data evaluation in new areas is the only way that you will find accurate answers, evolve strategies, measure success and drive better decisions.
Think with Google gathered valuable insights from marketing experts to reinforce the idea of data-inspired creativity. Two brilliant quotes in particular stood out:
Joanna Monteiro, Chief Creative Officer, FBC Brazil.
“Data isn't powerful on its own. Our work as creatives is now to mine the data to ensure relevant, strategic, and creative work. As creatives, we have to be the best users of the knowledge that data gives us.”
Her statement reassures us that data can’t replace the human-quality of good storytelling, but that it will empower your content tremendously if implemented correctly. It’s up to you to find new ways to do this because no single strategy will work the same, and no excellent strategy will be shared openly with the public. The ball is in your court now.
Noah Kahn, Regional President of Digital and Innovation, TBWA & DAN
“Using data to support our positions removes subjectivity and allows us to focus on delivering disruptive work. We use data to provide insight, to validate a creative idea, to measure the impact our work is making, to optimize for even greater results, and to learn and build greater intelligence. In other words, data helps us reframe the conversation with our clients from ‘I think’ to ‘I know.’”
His words left us wondering: does content just adapt to marketing trends really well, or is it actually responsible for creating new trends? Great inspiration can be found from data. We mustn’t focus on using data as a retrospective tool only, but rather also use it as a gateway to discovering real-time opportunities and future prospects.
Add tactics to make your compelling content win
Everything we’ve shared with you so far is an elaborate attempt to spark your inspiration and kick-start your brainstorming process. But now you must go through the fundamental steps of conducting thorough research and analysing critical data.
Only once you’ve done this will you be able to implement more straight-forward efforts. If you skip the first steps, you might miss the broader scope of effective content marketing and run the risk of having your tactics fall flat.
Here are five important tips to follow if you’re ready to make your content prosper:
Going forward the future of SEO is likely to revolve around the behavioural metrics of your audience. So prioritise user experience as an essential part of your future SEO ranking objectives. No matter how good your content is, it’s not going to win if it’s lying somewhere on a lost and lonely blog, or hidden under layers of dormant and disjointed website pages. Your platform and all its journeys must be easy for your audience to find and follow intuitively.
Take an in-depth look at your conversion rates and deploy a conversion rate optimization strategy based on data. This will boost your knowledge on page performance vs consumer behaviour. When you define the relationship between these two, you’ll quickly discover small gaps of content and design (because they go hand-in-hand) on your online journey that need improvement.
Find out exactly what your audience want to see and read before you start dishing out content. You’ve probably covered most of this in your brainstorming and research steps, but now it’s time to verify that you’re on the right track. Use polls, surveys and interviews to gather first-hand data on consumer concerns and opinions. If you want to take it a step further, start conducting sentiment analysis and gain in-depth knowledge on what your audience shares with and about you – instead of you sharing with them. Understanding this will put you at the forefront of exceptional brand building and revenue growth.
Give organic content marketing some love. Consumers have a lot of control over what they see on their screens these days, and they’ve become experts at calling out nonsense. They only want to see things that are interesting or entertaining to them, so stay relevant and make authenticity your superpower.
Craft a better CTA game-plan. This is crucial because all of your communication efforts are rendered useless if users don’t know what to do next. Content marketing can become quite a twisted web where consumers bounce back and forth through different content instances on various journey-points. Use recurring phrases throughout your platforms to enhance specific conversion goals, and optimise your design and layout to strengthen your CTA so that consumers know what to do next.
Content is arguably the most challenging part of operating an online store. But it’s a challenge that you must face with a headstrong attitude because the success of your online marketing ultimately lies at the swipe and click of your consumers’ fingertips.
What you must do now is read through this content again thoroughly and mark all the important points that stood out to you. Start your brainstorm process here with the knowledge we’ve shared, and build a new strategy based on your own inspiration and market trend research.
If there are any topics you want to know more about, or if you simply want to chat about ecommerce marketing trends, feel free to give us a ring. We’re here to ensure your company’s online success and we love doing research on topics you care about. Don’t be shy, let’s make your business thrive.