Have you ever watched a hummingbird? They move rapidly from tree, to flower, to bush in search of nectar or small bugs to consume. They do not linger in their search. If what they visit lacks what they are looking for, they move on quickly. Are your visitors consuming what you offer on your website?
In that respect, visitors to websites are much like hummingbirds. Visitors come to the web in search of knowledge, entertainment, and goods to consume. They click into a website. If it isn’t what a visitor expected, they leave as quickly as they came and are on to another site until they find what they want to consume.
For businesses, visitors who fly off websites take with them opportunities for conversion. Whether you think about conversion as time on site, ecommerce purchases, sign-ups, or completing a contact request form, if your visitors aren’t staying, it’s a problem.
This is where content strategy comes in. Evaluate your offerings by reexamining your content. You have to offer what your audience members are looking for before you can convert them. Think back to when you set up your site. How did you decide what information to include? Were you focused on what you wanted to say or on what your audience would want to find?
It seems like content should begin with the essential messages you want to communicate about your business, but that isn’t the best place to start. Businesses that begin focused primarily on what they want to say often miss the mark. It is essential to analyze and strategize your content according to your target audiences if you want to see conversion.
Begin this analysis by identifying various audiences, their respective needs, interests, values, and priorities. It also entails anticipating what your audience knows and the language they speak. Developing this detailed knowledge of your audiences will help you greatly in developing content to convert them. If you have multiple audiences, you will need to cultivate content for each of them. If you can’t convince your audiences you know what their needs are, you cannot expect conversion.
I had an experience with this as an audience member a few months ago. I was exploring the idea of buying my first home and decided to get pre-approved for a mortgage. I had contacted a lender referred to me by my realtor. The lender had sent me the application and all the paperwork,. When I reached the section of the forms where I was asked which loan I was applying for, I was at a loss. So I went to the bank website expecting to see a description of each loan, the benefits of each, and a comparison to differentiate the products from one another.
But that wasn’t what I found. There were descriptions with interest rates listed, so I could see differences. Each loan listed its term length, but the rest of the description was technical. Filled with acronyms I was unfamiliar with, it didn’t give any information that indicated which loan was right for me. So I abandoned the site and instead emailed the lender for an explanation of their loan products. He then directed me back to the bank website, but I already knew it had nothing to offer me.
Neither the bank nor the lender I spoke with took into account that a member of their audience would be unfamiliar with home loans and the lending process. Despite a word-of-mouth referral from a reliable source, this bank lost my attention and an opportunity for conversion because it failed to think about what I needed. Its content wasn’t relevant to me nor was it easy to understand. Had they used a chart to detail the differences and included explanations for technical, the result might have been very different for them.
Content extends beyond just the information you are trying to communicate. Content consists of:
- what you say (your message),
- what you say it with (its medium– a picture, video, music, a website),
- how you say it (style and tone),
- where you say it (in print, at a conference, a social media platform, a website, a billboard),
- when you say it.
There is a lot to consider when it comes to tailoring content to one audience, let alone to multiple audiences. If you want to convert them, you have to offer relevant content in forms that resonate with each group.
The bottom line is that if your content isn’t relevant and readily available, audiences may fly away from your site. On the other hand, if you create relevant content, you’ll be in a good position to retain audience attention, garner their interest, and increase your conversions.