Let’s start from scratch here for anyone just tuning in. What on earth is CRO?
While not a new concept by any means, Conversion Rate Optimization is the idea that all marketing efforts should directly drive conversions, or at least move prospects closer to converting. For most, this means user-friendly landing pages and clearly marked buttons.
As most of you know, we mostly talk about content marketing around these parts. So why are we jumping into the vast wilderness of UX and design?
Because even though content is the king of the jungle, CRO is the lord of the trees. Both efforts have to work in tandem for a truly successful, repeatable, and ongoing marketing campaign strategy.
While the two concepts might seem at odds (and sometimes certainly are), they actually go hand-in-hand. It’s just a matter of perspective. Here’s a foolproof plan that incorporates both content and CRO to ensure a successful marketing strategy.
Know Your Audience
Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience. What kind of landing page are they looking for, and what kind of design do you think will pique their interest? Gather data on these individuals as they interact with your collateral so that you can continue to glean insights and make appropriate marketing decisions.
But don’t stop with design. What kind of content appeals to them? Instead of pitching your business next to a form, do you think an infographic or short article might be of more interest to them? This is the first step towards integrating your content and CRO efforts.
Test, Test, Test
Testing goes far beyond A/B testing, but that’s a great place to start to optimize your conversion rates. Move your buttons, change your colors, use different types of forms and layouts, and even experiment with various URLs.
And again, test your content! Maybe a certain type of content isn’t landing in a certain area of your website. Move it! Draw different connections and test new topics with your audience based on the data you’ve been gathering. Look to breaking news and industry trends and incorporate this into your content marketing. Just like with design, content can be adapted and variants can be tested to create more sales.
Personalization is something we constantly hear in the content marketing world, but it’s also important for CRO. Content personalization is content that directly relates to the tracked interests and engagement of a specific individual. Marketing automation processes and logic allow us to present these individuals with ads and content that pertains to them on an individual level.
Likewise, we can personalize landing pages from a CRO standpoint to help make the process more comfortable for users. Instead of having a single landing page for all incoming prospects, consider creating a separate one for each URL driving prospects. That way, you can create a seamless and personalized experience from a design standpoint as well as from a content standpoint.
The buyer journey is a cycle, and as such must take a number of things into consideration. One of the most commonly overlooked parts of the journey is the after-submission experience when prospects fill out forms. Rather than just saying “thank you,” this moment can be used to drive CRO by pushing the prospect towards another action -- perhaps a piece of content!
Content is a great driving factor that can keep audiences engaged after taking an action. Consider linking between content pieces to drive ongoing engagement (think about how many times you’ve ended up in a Wikipedia, YouTube, or Reddit black hole…).
Analyze & Optimize
Once your campaign has been running for at least a few weeks and some tests have been performed, it’s time to begin analyzing data. Find out what’s working and what’s not by looking at every aspect of your campaign - from ad sets to landing pages, from buttons to font type, from topics to content length. Anything can be measured, and should be measured to help you truly optimize your campaign.
As you can see, content plays a vital role in every step of the CRO process. Each can bolster one another as long as each is given its fair share of the marketing pie. Make room for both CRO and content in your marketing strategy and you’ll be driving successful campaigns in no time.
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