How do we create content that transforms browsers into believers, and believers into buyers?
I’m looking for answers to that question all the time as I journey through the content marketing revolution. And my role as the Chair of Content Marketing Conference puts me in front of lots of talented people that have lots of very creative ideas, and lots of different answers.
We tend to approach content creation like baking a cake. We compile a list of all the ingredients and head out to Whole Foods to buy the best. We infer that the better the quality of those ingredients, the better the cake will be. We are led to believe that the secret to success is consciously and artfully combining those ingredients, and carefully baking them a mysterious, secret way.
We see this approach all the time at WriterAccess. Customers select what they believe is the perfect writer for a project. They then place orders for content with a checklist full of specifications. Target audience persona descriptions are included along with tone and style requirements, conveniently checked off from the list. They determine when they need it and how much they are willing to pay. Bingo. Out pops the content from the oven, crafted to perfection.
As it turns out, customer engagement and conversion are not only about the ingredients or how the cake is baked. Instead, it’s about the content experience and what I call “how you make your readers hungry,” which I’ll explain below.
Hana Abaza of Uberflip surfaces this point nicely in a presentation she delivered at Content Marketing Conference. The presentation was so exceptional we wanted her to share it live. You can catch Hana’s live presentation here: How to Optimize the Content Experience for Crazy-High Conversions.
The great novelists and storytellers understand how to make readers hungry. And they do it by asking or implying a question at the beginning of the story. And then they delay the answer. It’s a simple concept that begins a journey of discovery and what happens next.
Readers are human, and humans are programmed to wait for answers to questions. The more intriguing the question, and contextually relevant to the audience, the more hungry and thirsty the reader will be to find the answer, and stay with the story. Word to word. Line to line. And paragraph to paragraph. The question comes first. The answer last. The reader actually learns to love the chase. And that engagement transforms the browser into the believer, and the believer into the buyer. The momentum is unstoppable.
Trusting such a simple answer to the conversion challenge feels meretricious. The concept is very basic: Ask a challenging question and create narrative fuel that slowly unveils the final answer in the end. Add in a few luxuries, like elaborate service or product features, impossible-to-believe facts, solutions to problems we all have, SEO keywords intelligently placed, and you’ve got a slam dunk once and for all.
Join our live webinar with Hana next Wednesday to learn how to ask the right question that sets the right context to engage readers, convert buyers and keep them coming back for more.
About the Author
Byron White is one of the original content marketing revolutionaries, chair of Content Marketing Conference and published author of three books on content marketing. He is the Founder and CEO of WriterAccess, a growing marketplace that now connects 16,000+ customers with 10,000 writers, making the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies two years in a row. He’s also founded several other successful startups including Freelance Access, ideaLaunch, LifeTips and LostBall.org.Follow on Twitter More Content by Byron White