You can churn out heaps of content for your website, blog and social networks, but if the content isn’t actionable, it will not generate the results you’re after. Actionable content is essential to your marketing efforts because it motivates the target audience to do something with the information they just viewed. Otherwise, they’re left to passively consume a post without taking the next step on their customer journey.
Actionable content will benefit your business and the audience. Interacting with this type of content will improve the online experience and create value to enhance their lives. Likewise, when you provide that value, it helps to establish brand trust, strengthen your relationship with consumers and, ultimately, boost organic website traffic and conversions. So how do you create actionable online content? Here are five tips to start you off.
Create Hyper-Targeted Blog Posts
In this landscape where internet users are saturated with content from numerous brands on various platforms, you need a personal touch to ensure your own blog content stands out. Not only do consumers enjoy personalized content—they now tend to expect it.
Statista notes that an estimated 90 percent of U.S. consumers are “annoyed” when marketing content doesn’t feel personally relevant to them, so it’s crucial to build out hyper-targeted blog posts. Below are some questions to ask as you research consumer demographics and brainstorm blog post ideas to interest the specific audience segment you want this content to speak to:
- Where is this audience segment located?
- What current stage of life are they in?
- Do they have shared interests or affiliations?
- Are they into certain hobbies or subcultures?
- What are their consumer pain points?
- What is their ethnic or socioeconomic background?
- Do they post about certain topics on social media?
- Are there trends in their buying habits?
- What keywords or phrases do they search for?
Update CTAs for Maximum Impact
A call-to-action (CTA) is one of the most impactful elements of any content piece because it tells viewers exactly what to do after they’re finished consuming it. Your CTA should be concise but compelling, with a clear incentive that urges the consumer to act.
If the CTAs in your content—or on your website—don’t seem to yield much user engagement, update them to help boost click and conversion rates. Follow these best practices for how to write CTAs that will effectively grab the consumer’s attention, communicate their next step and why it’s beneficial, then persuade them to take this critical action:
- Start with a strong verb that mobilizes the consumer. Phrases like: “Check out,” “open this,” “join in,” or “click here” are sure bets.
- Evoke a sense of urgency with phrases such as: “Get it today,” “act now,” “limited time offer” or “take advantage while it lasts.”
- Use a first-person voice (for example: “Download my free e-book”), so the consumer feels a unique, personal stake in the action.
- Cap the CTA at a maximum of 5–7 words if possible. You want the message to come across succinctly without distractions.
- Tell the consumer how taking this action will enrich their online experience (for instance: “Order now and receive free shipping”).
- Ensure the CTA is in a prominent area the consumer won’t miss. You can even insert a clickable button to increase visibility.
Offset Text with Interactive Visuals
If most of your content is text-based, then you’re missing out on key multimedia elements to not only attract viewers but hold their interest for longer than just a couple of minutes. Interactive features, such as video, are increasingly essential for content that converts.
According to a 2022 report from Wyzowl, 93 percent of marketers agree video promotes brand awareness, 87 percent agree it boosts website traffic, 86 percent agree it helps generate leads, 82 percent agree it increases dwell time, and 81 percent agree it influences sales. In addition to video, here are some other forms of interactive content to experiment with:
- Audio clips
- Charts or maps
- Animated images
- Surveys or polls
- Social post embeds
- Photo galleries
Put Download Links in the Content
Placing a download link in a piece of content serves a dual purpose. It directs the consumer to one of your website landing pages to retrieve the downloadable file while also motivating them to share their contact information, which you can use for future marketing efforts.
This is a simple, strategic way to offer exclusive access to your high-value gated content when consumers follow the download link and enter their personal data. Just make sure this gated content is extremely valuable and well written, so it’s worth the exchange. Below are a few types of content to offer as download links within another piece of online content:
- White papers
- Annual reports
- Product demos
- Survey results
- E-learning courses
- Subscriber communities
Give Consumers Data-Backed Proof
Ultimately, the most effective way to urge consumers to take further steps with your brand after interacting with a piece of content is to show them ROI potential—to prove this action is in their best interest with data points they can measure and visualize.
This will make your content feel more credible which, in turn, communicates that your brand is trustworthy and able to deliver results. Customer-brand relationships are cemented on trust, so don’t just spew information and expect your audience to believe it. Compile and share the following evidence to bolster your content with reliable facts:
- Case studies: Demonstrate how your expertise leads to actual, real-time success. For example, on one of 10xdigital’s website landing pages, they reference a three-month case study with a client in which they obtained 9 article backlinks with an average DA of 60. Additionally, they were able to publish content on high-traffic sites like Harcourt Health, Motley Fool and Reader’s Digest.
- Statistics: Find accurate metrics and percentages from credible sources (or research and calculate the metrics yourself) to support the main points you discuss in the content piece with hard numbers, rather than claims or assumptions. You want to come across as authoritative, not speculative.
- Expert quotes: Cite a reputable industry expert on the subject you’re talking about, so consumers will know this isn’t just your opinion—it’s based on real corroboration. You could even take this a step further and ask to interview an expert, then turn portions of the interview into another piece of content such as a tweetable quote, social graphic, video, podcast, or Q&A article.
Optimize Your Content for Actionable Results
Content marketing is vital for any brand’s overall success, but it also requires significant time and effort to build out actionable content that will generate leads, increase traffic and boost conversion. If your business needs some help in this area, reach out to professional content specialists to make it easier.