convert leadsWant your content to convert leads? Of course you do — it’s practically the holy grail of content marketing!

But creating content that can convert leads is a tall order. Not only does it have to be crafted to accompany your target buyers on their journey down the path to purchase, it also has to contain the right hooks, calls-to-action, and triggers. It’s only when your content is customized to that level that it can truly be effective at converting leads and progressing them through the sales funnel.

Let me explain what I mean. Think of effective B2B content like a line of dominos. If properly spaced, aligned, and organized, all you need to do is get the first domino to the fall and the rest will follow. Similarly, once you get your target buyers to consume their first piece of content, they should automatically be guided to another piece of content, thus encouraging their forward momentum through the sales funnel. Quite simply, you want to do everything you can to ensure the dominos keep falling so that you convert leads into paying customers.

Leveraging hooks, calls to action, and triggers to convert leads

Inserting hooks, calls to action, and triggers in your content shouldn’t be a blatantly obvious tactic. The idea is to naturally nudge prospects along the buying process, rather than drowning them in an endless supply of unnecessary content. Below are definitions of hooks, calls to action, and triggers, and tips for using each.

A HOOK is the component of your content that people see first. It can be as simple as an article headline, an e-mail subject line, or the image that accompanies a blog post.

In other words, it’s what draws buyers in. Buyers often evaluate those hooks — typically in a split second — to decide whether or not the article, e-mail, or post is worth reading. The trick is to capture people’s attention by doing things like writing short, pithy headlines and provocative subject lines, or selecting bold images that are visually engaging. Basically, you want to do whatever you can to encourage your target audience to fully consume and digest your content.

A CALL TO ACTION is a mechanism by which you get someone to consume more of your content and ultimately make a purchase.

For instance, you might include text at the bottom of a curated article that says something like, “If you enjoyed reading this article, consider reading these articles too!” Alternatively, if you produce a series of blog posts about best practices for using marketing automation software, you might include a button or pullout box next to those articles that says, “If you’d like to learn more about the business benefits of marketing automation software, download our free eBook.”

A TRIGGER is the automatic response that is prompted by a specific customer action or engagement with a particular type of content.

This essentially boils down to basic physics. For every action, there needs to be an equal and opposite reaction. In other words, if someone downloads your eBook, you should follow up with them. If someone reads one of your articles, they should be able to easily find or be directed to related content. Always plan ahead and know what the next the next step is toward moving your target down the path to purchase.

There are many ways to convert leads into buying customers. Content can be a powerful way of doing so, and using hooks, calls to action, and triggers will go a long way toward helping your content do just that.

What tactics are you using to convert leads?

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