Top tips for creating engaging content that converts

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Creating content is deceptively intricate. It’s not a matter of simply throwing a quick blog or social media post together or asking ChatGPT to write one for you – anyone can do that.

The true skill in creating meaningful, engaging content that converts potential customers into existing ones is about much more than that.

Besides excellent spelling and grammar, it’s about being authoritative, targeting a specific audience, and search engine optimisation (SEO).

In this article, the UK’s leading company formation agent, 1st Formations, digs deeper into these techniques and suggests eight top tips for creating engaging content (both written and video) that converts.

Understand the marketing funnel

Before we go into detail, let’s clarify where the conversion-ready consumer is in the marketing journey. Below is a typical marketing funnel.

As the above demonstrates, conversion follows awareness and consideration. This means that a customer is ready to cover – in other words, comply with the intended call-to-action (CTA) – once they are already familiar with a brand and are considering engaging with it further. For instance, making a purchase.

Despite this customer being ready to convert, they are easy to lose with unoptimised content. Now, let’s explore how to keep conversion-ready consumers engaged and flowing through that funnel.

Know your audience

First and foremost, you need to understand who your content is for. You can’t appeal to everyone; this will skew your analytics and make it difficult to optimise your marketing strategy. To make your content engaging and maximise your chances of conversion, start by researching your audience (also known as a buyer persona).

For example, if you run a retail business that sells handcrafted baby clothes and accessories, your target audience will be families and new parents. Or if you run a photography business, your prime customers might be engaged couples (if your expertise is wedding/event photography).

As well as knowing your audience type, you should also possess key information about your typical customer, such as age range, interests, and buying behaviour. Having a detailed understanding of who you’re writing for will allow you to tailor your content to meet their specific needs and improve conversion.

Adapt your tone of voice

Once you know who your content is aimed at, you need to adapt it to their tone of voice (TOV). You want to speak the reader’s language and provide them with relevant content that delivers the intended message.

When establishing a TOV, always keep your buyer persona in mind. Let’s go back to the baby retailer example. If you’re writing an article for new parents in their 30s shopping for newborn essentials and nursery furniture, your TOV should be informative, trustworthy, helpful, and easy to understand.

You’d also use specific keywords to answer questions they might have, like ‘support’, ‘durability’, and ‘top-rated’. In contrast, slang might be inappropriate or scientific words too complex, causing them to switch off and shop elsewhere.

You might also have more than one type of audience to cater to, like grandparents. This is now an older age group with different needs and potentially a different budget. So, they’ll be looking for different keywords, like ‘unique birthday gift’ or ‘grandson/daughter.’

To engage with different types of readers and maximise conversion potential, keep those key persona details in mind and fine-tune your content to the demographic in question. This way, you can focus on using the right language and make your content relatable and meaningful to the intended reader.

Write catchy headlines

Headlines are your engagement hooks. They are the first thing people see when they come across your brand’s content, so they need to spark intrigue and convince the reader to click and read more.

Whether it’s a blog title, email subject line or website header, here are some top tips for writing effective headlines.

Keep it short and sweet

While there’s no specific length limit, it’s generally best to deliver your intended message in as few words as possible. Also, bear in mind that Google only displays up to 60 characters, so anything over this amount won’t appear in the search results.

The same rule applies to email content. The email marketing platform, Mailchimp, recommends up to nine words and 60 characters for an engaging subject line.

Include keywords

Your headlines must contain keywords relevant to the core of the content. Not only does this clarify to the reader what your content is about, but it also improves its chances of ranking highly on Google.

Unsure which keywords to use? Try these free keyword research tools:

Avoid spam words

Particularly concerning email content, spam words could hurt your conversion attempt by routing emails to the recipient’s spam folder. The list of spam words is quite extensive and different marketing platforms have their own versions, however generally, they include urgent, e-commerce terms, such as:

  • Buy now/today
  • Exclusive deal
  • Limited time
  • Act now
  • Click here
  • Cash/money

Other ‘spammy’ characteristics to steer clear of are all caps, extreme punctuation, and grammatical errors/typos. Instead, use relevant keywords and apply your brand’s unique TOV and style to create genuine, valuable, and engaging content.

Address the reader

Part of creating a compelling user experience is addressing the reader in the first person with “you/your/me/my” pronouns. For example, a “Keep me updated” CTA rather than “Subscribe to our newsletter” or “Complete my order” rather than “Click here to check out.”

Speaking to the reader in the first person instantly adds value, clarifies the benefit, and inspires action. It also creates a more personal experience, as though you are specifically answering their questions and meeting their needs. As a result, they’re more likely to find your content engaging and persuasive.

Write natural copy that’s easy to read

Another important component of engaging content is its quality and structure. It should be written in a natural way that’s easy for the reader to digest.

  • Short, clear sentences – Keep your sentences concise, up to around 20 words each. This makes content far easier for readers to follow, especially if you’re discussing a complex topic. You should also keep your paragraphs fairly short, with 2-3 sentences.
  • Use headers and subheaders – Headers help break content up, apply structure, and make it more digestible. They also notify the reader of the topic of that particular section, clarifying what they’ll take away from it.
  • Use bullet points – If you’re listing several ideas or terms, use bullet points to make that information digestible and memorable. Bullet points also help break up larger pieces of content, making it more appealing to the reader.
  • Follow a logical structure – Your content should flow cohesively. Like a story, it should have a beginning, middle, and end.
  • Apply different media types – A lengthy article isn’t particularly inviting if it’s merely a block of text on a page. Keep your readers engaged with alternative media types like images and videos where appropriate.

While engaging content should be personalised with your brand and audience’s TOV, it should generally be easy to read and understand to maximise conversion. Feel free to use complicated or industry terms/concepts where needed but be sure to explain them to the reader.

Ensure content is SEO-friendly

Once you’ve written for the human, you need to write for the machine (generally, Google) with search engine optimisation (SEO). This is the process of editing blog and website content to improve its discoverability and authority. In other words, making it easier for people to find and trust.

Here are the key components that can affect search rankings.

Content length

Generally, longer content performs better, meaning it’s likely to appear higher in a user’s results when they search for your keywords. According to The State of Content Marketing 2023 report by Semrush, high-performing articles (appear in the top 3 Google results) contain around 1,152 words and roughly 5 keywords.

Google doesn’t specify a word count to improve your rankings. However, comprehensive and genuinely useful blogs tend to be a little longer. So, it’s worth dedicating more time to your content and ensuring it provides as much detail on your chosen topic as possible.

Research and data

A well-researched article has a greater chance of ranking highly. That’s because Google will register it as authoritative, high-quality, and beneficial to the reader.

The data you reference in your written content should be up-to-date, relevant, and derived from a credible source. Then, flag it to Google with key terms like “data”, “research”, “study”, “chart”, and “infographics.” Remember to cite your sources and include outbound links to the original sites.

Keyword distribution

Let Google know the terms/phrases you want to rank for by distributing your chosen keywords evenly throughout your written content. They should appear in a mixture of headers, subheaders, main text, title, slug (URL), and meta description (a page summary that appears on the results page).

This method allows Google to match that repetitive keyword to a user’s search terms and display your content as a relevant result. The higher your content appears, the more useful it is, thus improving your chances of conversion.

Don’t worry, there are plenty of free SEO tools to check your content and ensure it’s Google-ready. If you host your website on WordPress, this has a Yoast SEO plugin, which scans your copy and flags any SEO improvements you need to make.

Other useful tools are Google Search Console, Semrush, and Total SEO.

Track your metrics

Optimise your content by tracking engagement and conversion performance. When you publish a blog, share a social media post, deliver an email, or produce a video, it’s essential to understand how your audience interacts with it.

This crucial data will highlight what’s working and what isn’t, and how you can adapt your content to meet your specific targets. For example, your email open rate may be lower than expected or your page views are below average.

Continuously tracking these key metrics will give you an idea of your readers’ behaviour, what they find engaging, and what persuades them to convert. So, you may learn that you need a more captivating headline or perform some SEO edits.

Many of the tools we’ve mentioned in this blog (like Google Search Console, Semrush, and Mailchimp) are popular analytics systems that can help with this. If you want to investigate social media content, each platform should have its own tracking capabilities.

Thanks for reading

Creating engaging content is an ongoing process. Use our top tips in this blog to help you get started with high-quality, targeted, and meaningful content that will grab your readers’ attention. Then, keep a close eye on your metrics to spot improvements and boost your chances of conversion.

Ready to start your own business? Discover quick, simple, and affordable registration with 1st Formations, the UK’s leading company formation agent. Their experts guide new entrepreneurs through incorporation and beyond with a range of address and corporate governance services. Find the ideal company formation package for you, starting at just £52.99.

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