How many times have you and your content team gotten together to create content for your site, only to find that you were struggling coming up with things to talk about? It happens to even the best among us every once in a while. If this happens more often than it doesn’t, though, it’s possible that your inbound marketing efforts might need some work. Most of them would not consist of asking philosophical questions as the image below might suggest:
A great site doesn’t simply present readers with a group of one-off pieces surrounding a single topic. If you expect to convert visitors, your site needs content that builds off of itself and helps inspire and inform content across multiple channels–blog posts, white papers, demos, video, etc. With an average bounce rate of 40 to 60%, failing to engage visitors after they’ve consumed that first piece of content is where most content websites fail. A great site’s content works together to guide a reader from simple curiosity to satisfied (and hopefully returning!) customer.
Here are the steps you should take to begin creating content that doesn’t simply entertain your readers but builds towards converting them into customers:
Clearly outline your buyer’s journey
How do your site’s visitors and readers find you? What is it that you want them to do? Are there benchmarks that you want them to hit along that journey?
Creating a customer journey map helps you understand where potential buyers are at the beginning of your interaction and where you need to take them to complete the conversion. For example, according to Interconnected World, 44% of online shoppers begin by using a search engine. If your goal is to get visitors to, you’ll need to start by moving them from the search engine to your website.
Determine what content is needed at each stage of that journey
Once you understand how your prospects will move through your marketing funnel, determine what kind of content will help keep them engaged at each step of that journey. According to Aberdeen, 84% of marketing executives plan on developing a process to map content assets to buyer journey stage.
If 44% of your visitors are coming from search engines, the blog or other introductory content you create should focus on answers to common searches related to your industry. As they progress along their journey from curiosity and fact finding to deciding to take action, you’ll want to supply content that does that: white papers, eBooks, etc.
Make sure each piece of content bridges the gap
Instead of creating a swath of content that all says basically the same thing, you want your content to convey an understanding of what they might have already consumed. Make sure whoever is creating your content knows what search, blog or landing page brought them to it and what offer or recommended content they will be presented with when they have finished. This content should clearly communicate where in the buyer’s journey they are as well as start subtly guiding them toward the next step you want them to take, whether it’s clicking for more information, joining that mailing list, or taking the leap and pushing the metaphorical “buy now” button.
The best way to accomplish all of these goals and create an optimized buyer journey is to ensure that you are always on top of your analytics. The creation of your content calendar and each piece of content you recommend should be driven by the data you’ve collected and personalized to each visitor’s unique journey. What kind of content can you create that best serves that data?