Avoid high bounce rates – gpgmail


Advice on content marketing always talks about getting people to your blog.

But, what about once they’re there — how do you get them to then buy from you?

That’s the conversion half of content marketing, and that’s what I’ll cover: converting your readers into paying customers.

First, they read. Then, they buy.

When visitors arrive on your blog, three things should happen:

  1. First, they must start reading — instead of bouncing.
  2. Next, keep should keep reading until at least halfway through.
  3. Finally, they should be enticed to read more or convert: sign up, subscribe, purchase, etc.

Demand Curve’s data shows that when readers complete this full chain of events — as opposed to skipping step #2 — they’re more likely to ultimately buy from you.

Why? People trust your brand more after they’ve consumed your content and deemed you to be high quality and authoritative.

We’ve optimized tens of millions of blog impressions, and we have three novel insights to share in this post. Each will hopefully help compel readers to stick around and buy.

Let’s conquer high bounce rates — the bane of content marketers.

Entice visitors to start reading

First, some obvious advice: Getting visitors to read begins with having a strong intro.

A good intro buys goodwill with readers so they keep reading — and tolerate your boring parts.

There are three components to a good intro:

  1. Have a hook. Read about hooks here.
  2. Skip self-evident fluff. Read about succinctness here.
  3. Tease your subtopics to reassure visitors they landed in the right place.

The web’s biggest blogs include tables of contents at the top of their posts to reassure readers. It not only benefits SEO, it also improves read-through rates.

Image via Getty Images / z_wei

Keep them reading once they’ve started

Once visitors begin reading, you have three tactics to retain them:

  1. Drop-off optimization.
  2. A/B testing.
  3. Exit rate analysis.

This is how we’ll improve our read-through and conversion rates.

Drop-off optimization

Sometimes, when I write a post on Julian.com, I find few people actually finish reading it. They get halfway through then bounce.

I discover this by looking at my scroll-depth maps using Hotjar.com. These show me how far down a page an average reader gets. Then I pair that data with the average time spent on the page, which I get from Google Analytics.

Whenever I notice poor read completion rates, I spend ten minutes optimizing my content:

  1. I refer to the heatmaps to see which sections caused people to stop reading.
  2. Then I rewrite those offending sections to be more enticing.

This routinely achieves 1.5-2x boosts in read-through rates, which can lead to a similar boost in conversion.

You see, I never just publish a blog post then move on.

I treat my posts the same way I treat every other marketing asset: I measure and iterate.

For some reason, even professional content marketers publish their posts then simply move on. That’s crazy. Not spending 10 minutes optimizing can be the difference between people devouring your post or not being able to get halfway through.

Specifically, here’s the process for rewriting a post’s drop-off points to get readers to continue reading.

How to perform drop-off optimization

Screenshot 2019 08 06 20.34.53

Image via Julian Shapiro / Julian.com

First, record a scroll heatmap of your blog post. Any heatmap tool will do. I use Hotjar.com.

Next, whenever you see, say, 80% of readers getting midway into your post but only a fraction then make it to the end, you know you have a problem in the back half of your post: it’s verbose, uninsightful, or off-topic.

Your job is to find these drop-off points then rewrite the offending content using four techniques:

  • Brevity: Make the section more concise: Cut the filler and switch to a bullet list like the one you’re reading now. Or, delete the section altogether if it’s not interesting.
  • Inject insights: Perhaps your content is self-evident and boring. Rewrite it with novel and surprising thoughts.
  • Make headlines enticing: Make the next section’s headline more enticing. Perhaps readers bounce because they see that the next section’s title is boring or irrelevant. For example, instead of titling your next section “Wrapping up,” re-write it into something more eyebrow-raising like, “What you still don’t know.”
  • Cliffhangers: End sections with a statement like “Everything I just told you is true, but there’s a big exception.” Then withhold the exception until the next section. Keep them reading.

Once you’ve ironed out drop-off points, perhaps 35% of your readers finish the post instead of 15%. This reliably works, and it’s the highest-leverage way to achieve conversion improvements on your posts.

This is so self-evident yet no one does it for some reason.

And we’re only just starting. There’s another, more effective technique for optimizing your content: A/B testing paragraphs. Whereas drop-off optimization irons out the kinks in your article, A/B testing is how you take your read-through rates to a new tier.

Before we begin, follow along

As we explore the tactics below, you’re welcome to visit two blogs that incorporate these techniques:

If you need a primer on SEO before continuing, see my other gpgmail article on the topic here and this orientation here.

A/B testing content


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All the Numbers to Know


Let’s take stock of how companies perceive content by considering efficacy, investments, transmission channels, and content intelligence advanced scenarios.

A lot of water has passed under the bridge since the first Content Marketing project. Content has certainly come of age and companies trust it completely.

Nevertheless, its potential is far from running out. Companies can see their wide margins of expansion and development due to hybridization with new technologies.

In this post, we will look at the present and future of Content Marketing, relying on some valuable data that emerged from the 2019 State of Content Marketing by Zazzle Media. If, on one hand, we want to take a picture of the current panorama, on the other, we want to understand what the next Content Marketing assets will be.

Efficacy

The first findings refer to nothing but the results or, better, the perceived effectiveness of Content Marketing. The 2018 main companies’ issue dealt with the fact that almost everyone was aware of the need to produce Content Marketing, yet the goals were unclear. Such uncertainty caused a justified sense of frustration.

Things have changed as 96% of marketers perceive content as effective for the brand in 2019.

Not only that. In fact, the perception of content as an integral and integrated part of the company’s objectives bloomed as well: 89% of marketers agree that the content is linked with other business areas (such an opinion was shared by 45% only in 2018).

Investments

Just like efficacy and integration in business objectives, strategy awareness is also constantly growing: one-third of marketers interviewed claim to see “very clearly” how to conduct a Content Marketing campaign at its best. About 50% claim to understand it “quite clearly”.

This demonstrates greater awareness and a fuller skill maturity, even though there is still a slice (12.5%) in which best practices “are not so clear”.

The excellent result in “knowledge” is important because it has a direct impact on investments. In fact, we discover that investments increased very much year by year: while the percentage of budget invested in content was on average 23% in 2018, today it is 41%.

Objectives

The Zazzle Media study reveals that over three-quarters of companies see brand awareness as the main goal of their Content Marketing strategies. What about second place? Lead generation.

The objectives of content

Looking at the “goals” from another point of view, we find that most companies (89%) take as a reference the metric of site traffic, followed by SEO indexing performance (65%).

The objectives of Content Marketing

Format and transmission channels

A reflection on the format is also necessary because content can be expressed in many ways. Writing still stands out: it remains the most chosen format (97% of companies).

Yet, we know there is a channel that is fast-growing year after year: video, to which 72% of companies rely upon.

The format (or perhaps it is better to call it a strategy) involving the influencers is also constantly spreading. Nowadays, 23% of marketers rely on it, while 100% say that they will place Influencer Marketing in their Content Marketing plan.

Now, how is this mass of content produced by companies conveyed? The most effective transmission channels are two:

Email

It is not simply a matter of creating a newsletter to be filled each time with new content. In fact, a new feature allows for automating the composition of emails with the latest content, e.g. from your blog.

It is about Custom rows, which allow for saying goodbye to copy-paste texts, link manual image upload, and obsessive checks to ensure the accuracy of the content. Custom rows allow for:

  • Importing content via RSS/Atom feed or CSV, JSON, or Zip files into the sending platform;
  • Finding them in the editor as readymade rows– with optimized titles, texts, links, images, and call-to-action;
  • Easily filtering the different content sources and choosing the most suitable content for each message in one click.
The Email custom rows

How to create emails with custom rows

Messaging Apps

In addition to email, there is another key channel for conveying the fruits of the Content Marketing strategy to others. This involves the Messaging Apps through which new blog posts and any other informative material are automatically sent to contacts on Facebook Messenger or Telegram.

For this, it is enough to develop an automatic campaign that recovers the latest content from your blog and turns it into notifications sent via Facebook Messenger.

This type of campaign is based on RSS feeds or files (CSV, JSON, and Zip). Such automation sends messages every time your content is updated, whether or not it is in the form of blog posts, ebook, webinar, or video.

At Email, we have developed an automatic campaign based on RSS feeds to deliver the latest blog posts to contacts. Here’s an example:

An example of Messenger campaign

A possible advanced development could include the integration of a chatbot to move from a push to a pull logic where the user “pulls” the content towards him/her: companies like Whole Foods Market, Food Network, and TechCrunch already have chatbot with which help contacts find relevant content.

Why you should use messaging apps in marketing and how to collect contacts

Content Marketing and Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is becoming an ever-important ally for companies. Forrester’s report Intelligent Content Management – 2019 Survey depicts this scenario, which will increasingly represent the future. The report compares the performance of early adopter companies (already managing content via AI) with companies that are planning the adoption of artificial intelligence.

Companies that apply artificial intelligence to photos, videos, and other digital content reach +23% new customers. Advantages overcome expectations by 15% on average with peaks of up to 20% among companies that use Content Intelligence. Among the main benefits we find:

  • The improvement of the customer experience, confirmed by 63% of early adopter companies, against an expectation of 44% of the others;
  • A better ability to plan activities on assets such as photos, newsletters, and videos (63% vs. 47%);
  • An increase in content production speed (42% vs. 29%);
  • Improving creative team efficiency (49% vs. 30%);
  • A better return on investment in content (56% vs. 38%).

With regard to marketing priorities, companies
identify as pressing:

  • Greater consistency between customer experience and brand promise (40%);
  • Greater use of data and analytics (39%);
  • The increase in customer centrality (39%).

Content Intelligence can play a decisive role in addressing these challenges. Artificial intelligence helps in understanding the nature of the content, such as topic, level of involvement, style, and tone. This allows for tagging and thus searching and reusing content over time with the possibility of extracting data on the interests of users who consult them. Such a wealth of information will be useful for companies to personalize the message and improve the experience.

To sum up

In a universe dominated by advertising, companies should aim at valuable content that can solve problems and answer needs.

This is why Content Marketing is so important: in a world overloaded with news and stimuli, the challenge of brands lies in engaging, communicating, and being useful.


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The Steps of Content Marketing Strategy for SaaS Startups


90% of the SaaS companies in existence are using Content Marketing as an integral part of their business plan.

For example, take a quick look at any standard SaaS website and you are likely to come across resources section that has ‘knowledge base or content related to their products.’

These informative contents can either be in the form of blog posts or ebooks, and they are actually an important part of the content marketing plan. Also, you’ll need the right Content Marketing tools to get them done effectively.

But, let’s face it: Creating a SaaS Content Marketing Strategy that can convert your website visitors into customers, is the hardest part. A lot of the conventional strategies that people suggest to use don’t even yield half of the expected result.

But, wait. How are your competitors making profits? What strategies are they using for their SaaS content marketing plan?

There definitely is a clear answer to both these questions, and if you want to know what they are, read the post carefully.

SaaS Content Marketing Strategy: What’s the hype all about?

Content Marketing Strategy for Software as a Service (SaaS) is one of the major and most important marketing tools that SaaS startups use to attract, inform, and covert customers. The most important element of Software-as-a-Service content marketing is to help potential customers understand your product/service.

How can a visitor become your paid customer if he does not understand how your product works, why is it different, and how it can benefit them?

SaaS content marketing strategy is a great way of helping your target audience to learn about your product, its features, and usability. It bears not much difference with traditional marketing strategies or marketing approach. Instead, it is more cost effective, direct and hassle-free.

You’ve to inform the audience how your software works and why it has the potential to solve their problems. Information and education are critical parts of the SaaS strategy, which is why content is the most important tool you can use to market the SaaS product.

Sure-fire tricks to conquer the SaaS content marketing

Your target for every visitor reaching your website should be to find ways through which they can stay connected to your website and become paid customers. 99% of the buyers are unlikely to buy your product the first time they reach the site. Hence, you need tricks and tips to stay in touch with them and bring them back to your site.

Step 1: Creating customer-centric and solution-oriented articles

The SaaS startup’s focus must be on customer intent. Because whether it is a lead, new customer or an existing customer, you should provide your audience with prompt information. SaaS companies are creating content that guides the visitors towards the buying process. But a wise way to do this is creating content for each stage of the buyer’s journey. Here’s how you can funnel your buyer’s behaviour in five different stages and create content around it.

Phase I: Product or Service Awareness

Take the first step of content marketing stairs by creating content that can create awareness about your product. Use top keywords, long-tail phrases, write engaging articles, and attract attention. Do everything you can to spread awareness.

Phase II: Lead Generation

Once you’ve created awareness about your product, the next step is keeping the audience engaged with your site, and earning their trust. You can generate leads by developing high-value, free, and informative content.

Phase
III: Get the Visitors to Sign-Up

Get the users and visitors to sign-up and try your product. The best way to do this is by offering free trials and letting the users decide if the product is appropriate for them.

Phase IV:
Free to Paid Customers

Now that your customers have tried your product, it’s time to convince them to try the paid version. It can be made possible by offering them valuable features and tools within the software.

Phase V: Retain the paid Customers

This could be the toughest, but most important phase. To retain your paid customer, make sure you continue providing them with valuable features, tools, and support. Deliver quality in exchange for money.

Step 2: Creating infographic content for the visual appeal

Customers will remember a visual representation more than a written or audio one. It will stay in their brains longer and help them navigate their way to you SaaS startup. The communication is easier, customers’ understanding of your products will improve.

  • Infographics are a compelling communication medium that can communicate complex information in an effective manner.
  • SaaS startups are using compelling infographics to create informative content and share knowledge about the product’s exclusive features and benefits.

Step 3: Improve on-site SEO

While content marketing strategy is important, what makes it so is the search engine optimization, means the identification of the most used keywords for your products or services. Not all SEO keywords will generate the same results for your website. If you want to create content that converts, here are a few things that you can do while doing keyword research:

  • User Intent is crucial: If you have a SaaS product, you sure have established a rival and competitors. It’s time to look at these competitors and learn what keywords they are using. Also, use Google AdWords to target the specific customer range and win them over by offering what’s missing in your competitor’s product/Solution.
  • Search Volume Analysis: Search volume refer to the number of times Google users are typing particular phrases into the search bar. Who wants to build their SaaS strategy around content nobody is searching for? You can use the Google Keyword Planner to find the frequency of each keyword.   

Step 4: Customer involvement marketing strategy

This marketing strategy works on the existing customers better by communicating with them regarding new features of your product or service which they haven’t yet tried and encouraging them to do so. Provide them with the solutions for a hassle-free engagement program.

For example, office messaging applications like Slack, Twist, and Microsoft teams repetitively send notifications to users about the recent upgrades, bug fixes, and new features to try. This way, they motivate the buyers to stay on the board.

Step 5: In-app upgrades of applications

As a SaaS startup, another marketing strategy to use is in-app upgrades. In-app upgrades let the users use the app even while it is being upgraded. Now that does not mean that you have to force them to buy those upgrades. Instead, with better analysis of data, your company can ensure which in-app application is best suited for the customer and then educate them about the same by creating content around it.

An in-app upgrade is a great way of fixing the bugs and making improvements, and at the same time, retaining customers by offering them enhanced features. 

For example – Troop Messenger frequently uses In-app upgrades as a SaaS. The weekly updates not only fix the identified bugs and errors but also generate clicks from the existing users.

Step 6: Free trials and extension offer

A SaaS startup marketing strategy must be to offer its customers/ leads a free trial so that customer ‘tries before buys’ your product. Free trials and extension offer for new and existing customers work in a similar manner as creating an inbound marketing content strategy does.

In addition to the free trials, the SaaS startups marketing strategy of offering extensions will become a major amplifier in the customer’s visits and purchase of your product.

A great example of free trials and extension offers can be Troop Messenger, an office chat application. In addition to all the basic features, users can also avail features like Audio Messaging, Video Calling, Instant Messaging, Screen Sharing and live tracking. 

Step 7: Referral marketing strategy

After your SaaS startup has gained a desired reach of leads, make your way up to a referral program wherein a customer can refer your product to his friends and that will earn you another customer and premium points to the existing customer. As an excellent content marketing strategy example, referral marketing tactic is something that can generate potential leads for your business.

There may be relatively high growth in the sales of your product after a referral program if only it is executed properly, promoted among the target customers, and deployed well.

A good example of this SaaS Startup marketing strategy is encouraging the existing users to send referral links to their friends and family, ask them to download the application and get cashable rewards.

Step 8: Partnered marketing program

As a startup, you can enter a co-marketing program with another prominent company which offers similar products, or secondary or closely related products. It will help you navigate your co-marketers’ leads or audience, hence, an increase in leads and conversions.

Eventually, this will prove to be a good B2B SaaS marketing strategy. And it will be cost effective.

You can partner with a company having mutual goals, setting partnership tiers, and by developing the co-branding content. Always align with your partner’s expectation and make sure the content you are developing is both relevant and informational.

Step 9: Customer retention: reducing the cancellations

Using the right tools, the SaaS startup can ensure which customer is most likely to cancel the subscription to service. With the predictive analysis, you can find out the reasons behind it and provide the customer with better solutions to make their experience a better one. It will also help your startup to determine which feature of your product or brand is causing the customers to cancel and you can deploy development efforts.

To reduce customer cancellation, the SaaS startup can improvise their services or product to retain the prospective cancellers.

By understanding the user-demand, trending topics, your website can reduce the churn rate and increase the sign-ups.

Step 10: Business networking programs

As another important SaaS Startup growth strategy, the startup will need to widen its network by getting in touch with other marketing events or trade shows or marketing organisations. This will undeniably expand your startup’s horizon.

Take advantage of this outside networking to leverage your SaaS startup’s marketing growing-up after these meetings and events will strengthen the new-built relationship with bigger SaaS companies and with time, you can determine whether the partnered program can be brought in use with these companies.

Step 11: Offer varied payment options

With only a credit card as the payment option, a customer may not be comfortable sharing his card details with a SaaS startup. A marketing strategy, the SaaS company can incorporate different payment options like UPI Payment, PayPal, PayTM wallet, Mobikwik Wallet, PayUmoney.

With the free will of payment to choose from, a customer is likely to purchase your service or product. There’s a reason why offering multiple payment options is considered one of the best practices of SaaS marketing.

There is nothing like ‘One Size fits all.’ If you want to target a varying range of customers, you should offer a varying range of payment options.

From debit to credit cards, direct deposits to online payments, the more options you provide your customers, the easier it will be for them to pay you.

Wrap up: Improve your SaaS content marketing

SaaS startup marketing strategies are important to ensure the growth of a SaaS startup and reaching out to customers and conversion will what make the SaaS goals achieve. It is like a smart investment which will yield better results with time.

As your company develop a robust SaaS content marketing strategy, ensure to use tools and the tactics that have been mentioned above. With the right planning, effective tools and analytics, and smart execution, you can reach the target customers and your knock your sales high!