At the core of any high-converting experience is content. It’s what makes your marketing outreach feel personalized—it fuels your nurture campaigns, content syndication, and retargeting ads, and can help arm your sales team with the collateral they need to seal a deal. It’s content that fuels the buyer journey, and content that helps your prospects move through each stage of the sales cycle with confidence.
That said, creating content should only be the starting point of your team’s content strategy. There’s an often overlooked element at play that can make or break your content’s success—and it lives on long after your content marketer has hit the “publish” button. We’re talking about your content experience.
Here are six ways you can optimize your content experience to drive your audience through the buyer journey and effectively convert leads.
1. Start with great content
Great content is the foundation of a great content experience. In order to maximize the value you’re getting from yours, it’s important to align with your content team and make sure you’ve thought about the following questions:
- Have you considered your buyer personas? Successful content needs to be of value to your target audience. You’ll want to ensure it answers the questions that your potential customers may have at a particular stage in the buyer journey.
- Is it on-brand? Ensure the content you’re creating is consistent with what your audience would expect from your company. Your audience follows your publication for a reason!
- Have you edited and fact-checked your content? Even the best content creators make mistakes, but typos and factual inconsistencies devalue the credibility of your content.
- Is it easy to read? We know that most people scan through online content rather than read it thoroughly. Make sure it’s digestible and easy to understand.
- What about its visual appeal? Page layout, graphics, headlines, and fonts all play an important role in capturing—and keeping—your audience’s attention.
If your organization’s content doesn’t take these factors into account, there’s a good chance you won’t be attracting the audience you need for qualified leads.
2. Make it look great everywhere
Now that your content team has written great content, you’ll want to make sure it looks good—and looks good everywhere. Test your content using different browsers and devices to make sure everyone gets the same great experience.
You'll also want to ensure your content is easily accessible. If someone in your target audience wants to consume your content, it’d be a shame to lose out on a potential lead because they can't access it on a smaller screen, or your page layout is confusing, or the content experience isn’t consistent with what they expect from your brand.
Your audience should be able to enjoy your content regardless of whether they’re browsing on desktop or mobile, Safari or Chrome, or at midnight or lunchtime. Consider all points of entry into your content experience, and cater to them so that your content consumption can be intuitive, fast, and effortless for your audience.
3. Be strategic when organizing your content
Your content’s structure is where user experience meets content experience. Optimizing your content’s structure will help you meet your marketing goals by easily allowing prospective customers to make their way through the buyer journey.
Organizing your content by date is certainly one of the most popular ways to do it, but not exactly the most effective. You may have a great piece of content, but who’s going to scroll through two years of blog posts to find it? And if they do, will they think it’s still relevant? You want to strategically organize your content so your audience will be met with the content they need at whatever stage of the buying journey they're in.
Sorting your content by type—let’s say infographics, ebooks, and videos—wouldn’t necessarily be how your audience would look for information. It’s more likely that they would search by topic, or by solution to their problems. For example, if your audience consisted of marketers, you’d want to organize content by topics such as ABM, Marketing Automation, or Lead Generation. It's a better idea to organize your content by subject or pain point in order to create the best possible browsing experience for your audience.
4. Ensure your content is easy to discover
Organizing your content to meet your lead generation goals is important, but you need to be doing more to help today's self-informed buyer find the content they need when considering a purchase.
Think about discoverability in terms of a bookstore. Can you imagine what the experience would be like walking into one where all the books were stacked on unlabelled shelves, in no logical way? With nothing separating romance novels from cookbooks, or Agatha Christie from Dr. Seuss, you’d spend an awful lot of time scanning through titles that have nothing to do with what you’re looking for. The thought of having to sift through piles of irrelevant information is enough to frustrate anyone. I, for one, would be out of that bookstore in no time.
The same rules apply to your content experience. If people can’t find what they’re looking for when they land on your page, they’re going to leave. Work with your content team to ensure your potential customers can find what they need on your site. To start, a search bar and a well-structured menu are two things you can easily implement that will make your content significantly easier to find.
A poor user experience is a bad content experience, and the unfortunate truth is that no one is going to dig for the answers they’re looking for on your site. Optimize your experience, or lose out on leads!
5. Create a highly personalized experience
A truly effective content experience will make the user feel as if it’s been created just for them. Luckily, artificial intelligence provides us with an easy way to achieve this. At Uberflip, we use a content recommendation engine that predicts the kind of content that users will want to see next, and suggests it to them.
Through relevant suggestions and recommendations, you can ensure your audience’s interactions with your content are meaningful. Providing a consistent and tailored experience helps establish a greater sense of trust with your brand—and makes users more likely to keep engaging.
Whether or not you use a recommendation engine, or employ another method to create highly customized experiences, your goal should be to avoid any dead ends in your content and compel action that propels your audience through the buyer journey.
6. Use targeted and contextual CTAs
There are a lot of benefits to using landing pages to generate leads, but the trouble with landing pages is that they disrupt the content experience. After you’ve worked so hard to build great experiences for your audience, why would you want to send them to a dead-end landing page?
We know that gated assets are integral to gathering leads, but you don’t have to drive people away from your content in order to achieve this. Targeted and contextual calls-to-action are an effective way to merge lead generation with your content experience.
Using a call-to-action like Uberflip’s Overlay CTA feature is a more integrated approach to lead generation because you’re creating the feeling that the answer they need is “just out of reach.” By placing targeted CTAs in a contextual content stream, the contextual CTA will be much more useful to the end user because it will directly apply to the content they were previously consuming.
Content experience as the key to conversions
A good content experience results in a good customer experience. You could have the best content in the world, but it's not going to convert if your target audience can't access it or consume it in the best way possible.
Take a look at the environment in which your content lives, the way that it’s structured, and the opportunities you give your audience to engage. Does the way your content is organized align with the message you’re trying to send? How easily can you navigate through sections? When you scroll through your pages, do you reach any dead ends?
If you’re finding that you’re not getting the results you want from your content, it’s probably time to rethink your content experience. Get your whole team on board and contribute some time and resources to building a well-optimized experience, and the leads are sure to follow.