What are the 4 Stages of Converting Content?

Do you want to be effective at selling your product online? Understand your One Reader’s buying behavior and reduce friction in your funnel. Build a community through digital channels with converting content and promote your product all the time while providing value. You can optimize your funnel for audience and revenue growth.

86% of B2B marketers report that their organizations are using content marketing,” according to Content Marketing Institute (@CMIContent).

Increase your conversion rate by starting with social media posts that drive traffic to your blog posts. Exchange a lead magnet for your One Reader’s emails. And then send your audience offers segmented by their interest. Watch your sales grow.

The key is Dr. Cialdini’s first principle of persuasion, the rule of reciprocity, a classic lead-generating technique. Providing cumulative value will: 

  1. Convert visitors into leads
  2. Leads into customers
  3. Customers into brand loyalists 

Because humans naturally feel obligated to give back when there’s nothing expected in exchange for that favor. After reading this blog post you’ll be able to:

  • Strategically craft content that converts visitors into buyers
  • Build a community of brand loyalists
  • Establish trust through positive online experiences
  • Become an authority in your market

The Psychology of Persuasion & Converting Content 

Dr. Robert Cialdini’s Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion outlines the “reciprocity principle” as people feel obliged to return favors when there’s nothing expected in exchange for that favor. 

Create converting content with that rule in mind, and you’ll attract the right traffic as your audience comes through your funnel. Establishing trust online can be tricky, but using the first principle of persuasion creates a positive experience because of the value you provide. A simple gesture can go a long way, especially when it demonstrates your authority. 

“95% of buyers buy from someone who gave them content at each stage of the buyer’s journey.”

The Big Book of Facts & Statistics that salespeople & marketers should know in 2020

Keep your One Reader engaged with content that solves their pain point and improves their experience. If the experience is memorable, the prospect will purchase from you when the time is right. Doing a good deed without expecting a favor in return is content marketing.

With all the data-driven approaches to everything in life, marketers overlook that their One Reader is a human being. Show your target audience they’re more than a potential revenue source by offering a reward before you ask them to purchase.

An Example of Reciprocity

Copyhackers is a real-life example of Cialdini’s first principle. The website offers a robust amount of free content including articles, videos, and resources about conversion copywriting. Because they provide so much insightful content, they have no problem selling their courses and bringing in qualified leads to convert into clients. 

Copyhacker shows all businesses are converting content businesses.

A good deed can influence behavior and establish a long-term relationship with your One Reader converting them into brand loyalists. Create informative content that gives readers tips, advice, and suggestions with plenty of examples. Carefully curated and crafted content bolsters your credibility in your industry. So keep people returning for more content and they will buy your product.

Converting content sells your solution

The Reciprocity of Converting Content  

Marketers who prioritize blogging are 13X more likely to see positive ROI. Base your converting content funnel around the most common problems your One Reader has. Increase your conversions by building trust with your audience through your authority.

  • Motivating your One Reader to buy your product starts with building a relationship with them
  • Sustain the connection by answering your audience’s questions about their problems
  • Focusing on critical topics that speak to their top concerns is a powerful way to convert them with content

“70% of consumers would rather learn about a company from a blog post than from an ad.”

Ledgeview Partners

Stand out in your industry with valuable content that grabs your audience’s attention and interest. Keep them engaged by speaking to desires and call to them action by asking for their email address.

Once you have their email address, your One Reader becomes a valuable lead in your conversion funnel. It’s vital to offer something personalized that provides value without coming off as you’re trying to sell your product. Instead, offer something of value first and then tap into their emotions by telling a story.

Your offer is directly related to your One Reader’s finishing stage of awareness for the blog post. Provide the next logical step. 

Offer Something First

Offer a solution for your One Reader’s problem on social media. Optimize your offer by adding bonuses and making the delivery process friction-free. Reduce their risk and fulfill your promise by having a result they can measure. Think about:

  • The type of decision-maker they are
  • How they search for solutions
  • What words they use
  • Your business goals

87% of shoppers now begin their search on digital channels.”

Salesforce

Personalize Your Converting Content

According to OptinMonster, “businesses have lost $756 billion in a year because of poor eCommerce personalization.” 

Join the conversation your One Reader is having in their head. Move them from their starting stage of awareness to the next. Personalize the converting content by directly addressing their objections to your:

  • Offer
  • Product
  • Services
  • Brand

Move them from maybe to yes by providing value.

Converting Content Provides Value

Enhancing the value of your offer builds trust and establishes your expertise in your industry. If most of your content is educational, informative, and related to solving your reader’s problems, they’ll be ready to buy when you are selling something related to your expertise. According to Single Grain, the average customer engages with 3-5 pieces of content before talking to a sales rep.

For example, Backlinko’s Brian Dean offers the complete guide for free but offers a downloadable option in exchange for your email. (Take a look at his backlinks guide).

Backlinko is an excellent source of converting content

Emotions Sell

According to Harvard University professor Gerald Zaltman, “9 of 10 consumer purchases are driven by emotion.”

Use the six emotional states to sell with your content. They are:

  • Greed
  • Fear
  • Altruism
  • Envy
  • Pride
  • Shame

Empathize the emotions that’ll appeal to your One Reader, and their interest will turn into desire. Make the connection by knowing precisely what your audience needs and showing how your product solves it. 

Harvard Business Review found customers having an emotional connection to a product or brand bring about 52% more value than customers who don’t feel emotionally invested. 

Stories Sell Well

Integrate real-life stories that your One Reader can relate to in your converting content. Use metaphors, anecdotes, and analogies. Use the StoryBrand formula if you need a structure to follow.

Stories are the highest converting content

3 Steps to Crafting a Brand Story

  • The 1st step is to find the character for your story and then find the character’s problem
  • The next step is to find the way your product is the guide to successfully solving their problem
  • The final step is to call them to action as the story ends with the character finding success with your product

Converting content helps consumers make decisions, no matter what stage of their journey they are in. A compelling story engages your relevant audience, making them receptive to each stage of your content conversion funnel.

What are the 4 Stages of Converting Content?

The Hubspot research found that 79% of marketers believe in the effectiveness of content marketing, but only 6% know how to use it effectively. Create converting content with Cialdini’s first classic principle of persuasion and a solid offer. There are 3 components of your conversion funnel: top, middle, and bottom. You can use the classic copywriting formula, AIDA, to create a high converting sales funnel.


Getting your One Reader’s attention will generate traffic/brand awareness at the top of your funnel. Providing a huge chunk of value specific to your One Reader will hold their interest; a lead magnet will speak to their desires. At the bottom of your funnel is your offer.

Align your content strategy with your sales funnel to increase your conversion rate. An example of a content conversion funnel is a social media post that drives traffic to your blog posts and asks them to download a lead magnet to get a series of emails that’ll lead to a landing page. The best thing about email is that you can automate it with detailed targeting.

Example of an email series:

  1. After someone signs up for a free e-book
  2. Send a simple welcome sequence/ triggered emails with offers
  3. Craft call to actions in the email to send them to a landing page
Use your converting content to drive traffic to your landing page

Top of Funnel

“Start inviting customers into a story by making the customer the hero.”

Donald Miller

At the start of the customer journey, figure out what they need and speak to it directly. Put yourself in your One Reader’s shoes and keep in mind they:

  1. They look for a solution by doing some initial research
  2. After that, they’ll compare different products, look at reviews, or try to find the best deal
  3. Then, they’ll be ready to hit the buy button
Converting content persuades your audience

For example, use a social media post about a new “How-to” guide at the top of your conversion funnel because it generates attention and interest. The blog post provides value transitions their interest into desire. Offering the “How-to” guide as a lead magnet converts the desire into action as you exchange their email address. 

Stage 1 is Getting Your One Reader’s Attention

Stage one of your funnel is the awareness stage. Find out where your audience hangs out, and then find out what converting content will attract their attention. For most companies, this is on social media or SEO. It’s challenging to stand out when over 4.4 billion active Internet users create over 4 million blog posts every day on WordPress alone.

Where Does Your One Reader Hang Out

Get in the habit of sharing your converting content on social media platforms and engaging with your audience. 

“97% of marketers are using social media to reach their audience.”

Forbes

Social media is the quickest, surest way of getting prospects and customers to engage and eventually become brand evangelists (Twitter, LinkedIn, and just word-of-mouth marketing). 

  • LinkedIn performs 277% better than Facebook and Twitter when it comes to generating visitor-to-lead conversions
  • 80% of social media B2B leads come from LinkedIn

For most companies driving traffic to their blog starts with social media/SEO. Build your converting content around keywords.

  1. Start long-tail keywords because they are more specific and less competitive
  2. Create personalized educational content that solves their top priority problem
  3. Craft call to actions that compels traffic to visit your website
https://www.crazyegg.com/blog/call-to-action-examples/
66% of marketers use blogs in their social media strategy, and the result is 3x more leads than paid search advertising.” – HubSpot (@HubSpot)

Create a social media post that transitions your One Reader’s attention into interest. Attribute a specific goal to each social media post.

Stage 2 is Generating Interest from your One Reader

98% of marketers in a Zazzle Media (@ZazzleMedia) study said they used written format — blogs, articles, etc.

As your One Reader enters the interest stage, a skilled content writer/copywriter will be able to blend educational and entertaining content. In this stage, the visitor becomes a lead. Create a blog post with a lead magnet.

Blog posts are converting content

Middle of the Funnel

Bridge your audience to the value of your product with content that aligns with the consideration stage of their buyer’s journey. Solution-focused content pushes the One Reader to the next step in your funnel. Blog posts that show your audience how to solve their real-life experiences using your product can help convince visitors to buy from you. Blogs are the 5th most trusted source of information. 

Blog Posts are the Centerpiece of Converting Content

Blog posts can help double or even triple your conversation rate. Establishing a detailed blog that helps answer users’ ongoing questions is the key to keeping them engaged and building more trust. HubSpot found:

  • Companies that blog get 55% more visitors than companies that don’t 
  • Companies with a blog also boasted of 97% more inbound links
  • Whopping 434% increase on an indexed page

“55% of marketers say blog post creation is their top priority for inbound marketing.”

HubSpot

Use BuzzSumo to find top-performing content in your industry and create a post with more value than your competitors. Use Moz to find out which blog content performs best on their website regarding backlinks, organic traffic, and social shares. 

BuzzSumo will show your competitors’ converting content
Tips for Converting Blog Posts
  • Focus on the introduction of the blog posts (Brian of Backlino puts most of his effort into the first three to four sentences)
  • Implement a high-volume long-tail keyword phrase throughout all your posts
  • Use images every 75 to 100 words. A BuzzSumo study of over 1 million articles found articles with images earned double the shares of posts that didn’t. 

To make your converting content more reader-friendly:

  • Break up blocks of text into shorter paragraphs
  • Don’t create paragraphs of more than five lines
  • Include subheads
  • Use bullet points 
  • Add other elements like visuals to illustrate your points 

Turn your best-performing blog posts into an infographic highlighting the main points. 

Bottom of the Funnel

Bottom-of-funnel content relates directly to your core offerings. Measuring micro-conversion like social media shares, views, and downloads reveals what content your One Reader likes. But the most critical metric is your conversion rate. You’ll have much more success if you offer your buyer a freebie along the way.

Lead magnets are the key to converting content

Offer a lead magnet that showcases the benefits of your product. The highest converting lead magnets are:

  • Case studies
  • Checklists
  • Cheatsheets
  • eBooks
  • Industry reports
  • Infographics
  • Resource guides

Refine your lead magnet so its value is unique to your audience. It must attract qualified leads by solving an ultra-specific problem with a solution they’ll receive within 5 minutes of opting in. Deliver on your promise with your blog post, and your visitor is likely to move to the next stage.

Stage 3 – Developing your One Reader’s Desire

Demonstrate your expertise with a more in-depth lead magnet. Creating a lead magnet that speaks to your “One Desire” can connect the benefits of exchanging their email address for it. Focus on creating instant gratification for your One Reader to get their desired result.

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/aida-model

HubSpot’s e-books continually get thousands of shares because of their value. Informative lead magnets have the following characteristics: 

  • Solve a problem your One Reader has
  • Deliver on a promise
  • Super specific 
  • Easy to read
  • Delivered instantly 
  • Demonstrate your USP

Although it is free, make it the highest quality. You can repurpose your highest-converting into a lead magnet. 

For example, let your audience know you have a comprehensive ebook that breaks down more about (your blog topic). Shift them from a visitor to lead so they become customers. Get their contact information by calling your One Reader to action.

Stage 4 – Driving Action

Be smart and tailor the call to action to your One Reader. Tell your one Reader what specific action to take next, so they enter the next stage of your sales funnel. Smart CTA’s convert 202% higher than other CTAs, so don’t use generic messaging. Use power words and words that convey emotions. 

Using words like “submit” in CTAs decreases conversions by 3%. Personalized call to actions speak to your One Reader by connecting them to your free One Offer (lead magnet). Examples of calls to action: 

  • Get Your (Desire) Now!
  • Get Started With (Product) in One Hour or Less
  • Get Your Free (Service) Now
There’s no converting content without an offer

Once your One Reader has exchanged their email address for your lead magnet, your content conversion funnel will pass the baton to a drip campaign. 

Follow up with a Drip Campaign

Nurture your leads with emails to drive your One Reader to a landing page, product page, etc. Customized your lead nurturing drip campaign with personalized emails mapped to engage your One Reader to buy your product. With your lead in your pipeline, prime them with relevant content like details about the benefits of using your solution.

60% of consumers have purchased after receiving an email with a solid marketing message.”

optinmonster

Continue to build the relationship with your One Reader with a series of emails that work to persuade them into a sale. Each email should increase the value of your “One Offer” by sending the right messaging at the right time. A must is adding value through information, so the One Reader can decide to purchase.

According to SEMRUSH (@semrush), “73% of marketers believe email marketing is the efficient channel for driving payments.”

Build credibility with useful emails that address objections with proof of how your solution will help them achieve their desired results. Segment your drip campaign based on what lead magnet they downloaded. Measure what emails do the best to get higher converting drip campaigns.

Converting Content Conclusion

The content conversion funnel moves your One Reader throughout your funnel by providing educational, actionable, and entertaining content until they are ready to purchase. Everyone’s conversion funnel looks different because their One Reader, One Promise, One Big Idea, and One Offer are all based on their product.

To define your conversion funnel:

  1. Research who your One Reader is and what they need
  2. Create a content conversion funnel that’ll build an audience, a relationship, and a bridge
  3. Optimize each stage of your funnel to generate more leads and revenue with content and copywriting

Your content should connect your One Reader’s pain point to your solution by providing helpful information without expecting anything in return. 

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