If there was a personified version of click bait, it would be a sleazy car salesman who swears that the 170,000 mile, dented up Toyota was only driven once a week on Sundays. Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t stand liars and that is exactly what happens when businesses use compelling headlines to promote awful content. No, I don’t want to click through 38 slides to read four sentences. You just lost a sale and earned yourself a blood feud. Thanks, click bait.
We’ve all seen terrible content, and from a business perspective, it is detrimental – not simply useless. Poor content can have a measurable, negative effect on search engine rankings, followers (I’ve unsubscribed to several websites for posting garbage), and a business’s reputation. Just like a used car salesman, poor content screams ‘scam’ (and probably smells like cigarettes too).
Quality content provides value to an audience. It doesn’t feel like advertising, and though it might have a marketing purpose, it comes across as genuine. One of the best metrics to determine the opinion of your content is to look into your conversion and click through rates (CTR). It will let you know the percentage of people who land on your site and make it all the way to the end of your online process. The end result is traditionally measured by the number of those who make a purchase, but it can also be measured by those who are moved into the next stage of your marketing funnel, like signing up for your email.
Below are 7 types of content that will optimize your conversion rates. By effectively integrating these into your website and blog, you will have the framework to provide value, entertain your audience, and in the process, convert some of those leads into customers.
CONTENT FOR READERS
CTR: 12%-28% (Boombox)
Conversion Rate: 9.94% (WordStream)
Quizzes are a great way to engage an audience because they require active participation. If you really want to see this type of content excel, it should be linked to some extremely popular fandom within society. An example or this could be, “The Hardest Harry Potter Quiz in Existence,” and would work well with a business that focuses in the entertainment industry. Try to tailor the content to your niche so you receive quality leads.
Quizzes do well at generating likes and followers, but this doesn’t pay the bills. In order to really capitalize on their value, you should incorporate a way for the user to opt-in to one of your email marketing lists. The conversion for this method is not about selling a product, but getting you one step closer in the process.
CTR: 24.8% (The study was specifically for email surveys)
Primary Benefit: Provides Information in Regards to your Website’s Weaknesses
While quizzes test an audience’s intelligence, they have a narrow target demographic. I’m not saying that there are only a few smart consumers, only that quizzes are most attractive to people who already have an expert-level interest in the proposed subject. Surveys can tap into these same people, but keep the doors open to wider audience. Since a survey is about opinions, there is no right answer and no barrier to engagement.
Simply running a survey like, “What are the best DIY app makers?,” and publicly tracking the results can help a technology company engage with their potential customers that are interested in learning how to create an app without any programming knowledge. It requires little effort on the part of the consumer, and in our fast-paced society, a small amount of commitment can be the deciding factor of an engagement.
Ultimately, this is more of a way to engage with your audience. If you really want to use surveys to increase your conversion rate, try to get people to answer questions about your process. If it turns out that a large portion of your potential customers are turned off by the design of your website then fixing the problem can greatly increase your conversion rate.
CTR: 82% (Boombox)
Conversion Rate: 20% (DemandGen)
Personality assessments are one of my favorite forms of content because they can give insight about yourself and are incredibly popular among large audiences. One of the more intriguing aspects of assessments is their ability to connect others based off of shared social groups. An example is an assessment that sorts the users into the noble Houses from Game of Thrones. Once you get your results, you want to share it with your friends and this helps promote your product all over again.
Assessments provide an additional benefit to businesses because they will sort your potential customers into groups based off of their personality and interests. If used effectively, this data can be an invaluable tool to target your marketing to the subsets of your target demographic.
CTR: 1.5%-2.5% (HubSpot)
Conversion Rate: 2.35%-5.31% (Median to Top 25%)
11.45% (Top 10% of Websites)
Blog posts are the original form of content marketing and serve as the backbone for most websites. One major benefit is that they boost a website’s search engine ranking due to targeted keywords and a basis of dynamic content. The general public consumes blogs almost without realizing that they are doing it. By drawing in an audience, a well-written blog can create trust and turn an advertisement into advice. The key to a successful blog is to engage your audience on a personal level. This requires a strong, consistent voice over an extended period of time. If done well, blog posts can reliably convert impressions into sales since your audience already trusts your opinions.
CONTENT FOR VIEWERS
CTR: 26% (Brafton)
Conversion Rate: 11% (Brafton)
Infographics had lived in print media for years but have only recently begun making an impact in the digital world. The key to infographics is their visual element. A business needs to catch their audience’s attention quickly and this can be accomplished through elegant design.
The design of the infographic is important to its success, but the text should not be ignored. Both need to work together in order synergize the information and to provide the most powerful experience for the intended viewer. A good graphic artist is essential to creating infographics, which mean you will either need to personally have the relevant skill set or hire someone who does.
CTR: 4% (Quora)
Conversion: 1%-8% (This seems to vary based off of the company)
Digital video is close to its traditional counterpart, but with a few nuanced differences. First, no one likes to see an advertisement when they are trying to watch something on YouTube. The on-demand nature makes the consumer irritated with interruptions. When a commercial pops up while a video is trying to load, nobody’s happy.
Video as content is much more effective at converting potential customers than a blatant advertisement. The videos should be focused on entertaining or educating your audience. Use demonstration videos to give your audience a taste of your products, and the visual element can quickly result in a sale. Again, the video shouldn’t be focused on making a sale but rather convincing your audience that the video’s content is valuable.
Contests and Giveaways
CTR: 5% (ConversionXL)
Conversion Rate: 31% (ConversionXL)
This whole content category straddles the line between text, visual and pure idea. In order to catch an audience’s attention, a strong promotional image is needed and it should almost always show the prize. This allows the audience to instantly see what they could win and in turn elicits an emotional response of desire. Because they want the prize, they are willing to provide the information that you ask for. Contests (and sweepstakes) are also a great way to grow your email marketing lists, which can be used as the basis for future marketing efforts.
ONE LAST THOUGHT
Just because you implement some of the above methods does not mean you are automatically going to generate awesome content. Also, these various forms require specific skills that many people don’t have. Don’t worry if you are not using every single one in your business. In some instances, it is more powerful to be an authority in one sphere (let’s say it is YouTube) and use the other forms to push people to your premium content.
I hope you enjoyed the read, because I had a blast writing it. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out. You do not have to do this alone. Finally, if anyone in charge of a click bait site reads this, please end the slideshows. Like I said, they probably smell like cigarettes.