Content is an essential component of any marketing plan. Conversely, only a good content strategy will ensure that your marketing plan is successful; a lot of bad content doesn't equal good marketing. Or, it could be that your good content isn't being posted in the right formats or on the right channels. Identifying the reasons why some content performs highly and others do not is helpful in your constant quest to improve audience engagement metrics.
That said, there's also a lot of content types out there that are underutilized, but boast high conversion rates. One of the reasons that these types of content are so good at engaging and converting users into customers is that they aren't as common, which in turn makes them more attractive. While every business is posting blog content and promoting their products, how many brands leverage interactive content like quizzes, assessments, polls and other tools?
Let’s look at some of these unique content types and how they can be used to optimize your conversion rate and enhance your content marketing efforts.
1. Quizzes & Trivia
Users like to test their knowledge and prove (mostly to themselves) how smart they are. Ever see one of those “impossible” math questions circulating social media? Not everyone may like or share the puzzle with their friends, but it is safe to assume that everyone stops and tries to solve it in their head because it is fun and challenging.
The real success is if you can subtly tie the quiz or trivia question to your product or service. For example, a pest control company could challenge audiences on the warning signs of an infestation or how to keep your house cockroach free. By the end of the series of questions, the consumer may reach the conclusion that their house isn't as clean or pest free as they may have thought it was. And you are right there to provide the solution to this realization.
This is a fun, interactive way to disguise the sales attempt, which prevents the customer from feeling targeted. In other words, it rounds the edges of an otherwise hard sell.
Assessments are like quizzes but are less about knowledge and more about personality. If you have ever taken a BuzzFeed "quiz," that is an evaluation. They pull people in through curiosity and wanting to see how their personality compares to others. "Hmm, I have always wondered which Disney Princess I’d be.” We have all been sucked into one of these assessments at one point or another. They are fun, even if we don’t agree with being like Ariel instead of Jasmine.
From a marketing standpoint, assessments provide a less intrusive means to gather information about potential customers, while simultaneously encouraging them to make a purchasing decision. For example, a tutoring service could utilize an assessment that evaluates a child's current reading level, which may encourage the parent to enroll them in the program then.
3. Interactive Infographics
People like to learn things, but reading a block of text or looking at a sheet of facts is not only discouraging, but it is also hard to process. Infographics, on the other hand, are visually pleasing, have an interactive component to them and present the information in a way that logically makes sense and can even tell a story.
Interactive infographics are very shareable and can help to make an otherwise complex topic very easy to understand. If your product, service or industry is difficult to explain to people, an infographic encapsulates the information into an easier to digest format. In fact, here’s an infographic on why infographics work.
Videos are common sources of content for business, but they still make a list for a variety of reasons. Most importantly, videos are genuinely engaging, which means they convert. Secondly, they are increasingly popular now that the world carries around screens with them wherever they go. According to eMarketer, an average adult spends approximately 5.5 hours watching video content every day. If you want to be a part of this huge junk of the consumer’s day, then you must be producing video content.
Videos can also be very interactive. In the past, most video content only allowed the user to watch, but now there is video software that allows you to pose questions, have clickable buttons and other interactive elements inside the video. This creates a dialogue between the content and the viewer and provides lots of good data to use.
Calculators aren't going to work for every type of company, but for a marketing company that is trying to express ROI to build an app for a client, they can be very powerful tools. The reason they work so well is that it allows a potential lead to see how your service or product could directly benefit them, by inputting their data. This lets them run the calculator tool and quickly determine, "Yes, this makes sense for me." Or, "No, there is not enough potential for me to purchase."
6. Surveys & Polls
This content type asks questions, like interactive videos, assessments, and quizzes, but there is no right or wrong answer. It is just to gather feedback and allow people to share their opinions. At first, you might not suspect surveys to have good engagement. After all, what is in it for the consumer? Well, this assumption vastly underestimates how much people love to tell you what they think.
Arguably, consumers would share more about what they believe that if only asked. This exchange not only helps the customer feel heard and gained a sense of participation in the brand's future, but it supports the company by providing incredibly valuable information that can be used to make better decisions and detect strategies that aren't working.
7. Contests & Giveaways
If nothing else works, there is always the proven strategy of giving away stuff. You can further encourage user engagement to any of the above activities by incentivizing people to take part. If you disseminate a survey to gain consumer data that you desperately need, then offering a coupon, limited time offer or another freebie will make people more willing to take the time to complete the poll and thereby give you the data you are after.
Contests can also provide huge returns when they manage to stir up competition between different consumers. Some of the best marketing-driven contests have achieved such high success because of the overly competitive nature of the participants. This also attracts other people to join in on the competition because they do not want to miss out on the fun or opportunity to win.
Each of the strategies discussed above can help improve your overarching content strategy and lead you to produce consistently effective pieces of content that engage users and help your company achieve its current objectives. Think carefully about how each one can be used to provide value to your current audiences, as well as the leads you hope to convert. You don't want to ostracize today's customers, in the hopes of gaining tomorrow's. Then, it is simply a matter of choosing the content you want to produce first.