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What the Research Proves About High-Converting Content

This article originally appeared on Advisor Perspectives on May 16, 2021, and can be found here.

Has an article or social media post led you to make a purchase?

If so, then you’ve experienced the effects of high-converting content first-hand. But converting a lead to a client is not as simple as going from point a to point b. There are many steps in the process or funnel:

High-converting content fulfills the objectives of each step and leverages audience information to provide a refined, personalized experience.

In our research, we’ve determined several factors that influence how often content converts. Here’s how advisors can create content your clients will fall in love with at every step of their journey.

Attract traffic

At the top of the funnel, the objective is to draw attention to your firm and attract traffic to your website.

Every item that’s listed under traffic attraction supports one another, so the content you create for this portion of the funnel should do the same. Your content should be:

1. Linked to your website: Your content should attract visitors to your website. Even if the content is hosted elsewhere, like videos on YouTube, the content should contain links back to your site.

2. Optimized for search: About 53% of website traffic is the result of an organic search and SEO is the key to improving your organic search. Your content needs to include targeted keywords and follow SEO guidelines.

3. Adaptable to mobile devices: According to The Search Review, roughly 60% of all searches are performed on a mobile device. By not optimizing your content for mobile you’re cutting your ability to attract traffic by more than half. Mobile optimization includes your entire online presence, from content to website.

4. In a blog format: Blogging is the foundation of your content strategy. It provides SEO advantages to your website and a location to collect other forms of content. Videos, podcasts, infographics, etc. can and should be used in your blog post.

5. Shareable on social: With over 3.7 billion users, social media is the perfect location to share your content. Following social media best practices for your chosen channels will help improve your conversion rate.

As an example of the above tips in action, my client, Dream Financial Planning, was able to increase organic traffic by 200% in one year:

Convert Leads

At this point in the funnel, traffic is flowing to your website and visitors are interacting with the content you’ve created. Your content’s goal is to convert leads. Here’s how:

Calls to action

Calls to action (CTAs) seek to initiate an action from the reader. CTAs come in many forms, and a common example in blogs is a button that reads “Contact Us.” Furthermore, CTAs in finance have the highest average click-through rates of any industry, sitting at just below 9 percent.

Consider these 10 effective CTAs from other financial advisors when writing your own.

Form fills

Forms ask leads for contact information to fulfill an action. The action could be to contact the advisor, become a member of the email list or sign up for another service. Forms can appear in a number of locations, from sidebars to pop-ups and individual pages.

The forms you create should be simple and hassle-free. Make it easy for visitors to fill in their information.

Forms come in two general types: static and dynamic. An example of a dynamic form would be a page element like this one found on Fox Wealth Management. It is an overlay that pops-up on the visitor's screen:

Forms like this rely on CTAs, design and copy elements to attract visitors and entice them to take action.

Landing pages

Designed specifically for converting leads, landing pages combine targeted content with the other two tips on this list to position you as an expert. Here are four characteristics of high converting landing pages:

  1. Structure: Landing pages should focus on benefits and valuable information. Avoid a step-by-step approach and start with a call to action.
  2. Headline: Short, clear descriptions that focus on your audience’s needs.
  3. Color: Colors provide feeling to a page, brand colors should certainly be used, but consider color psychology in other elements.
  4. Credibility: Provide evidence for your statements like links and imagery.

Notice how these characteristics come into play in this example landing page created using Twenty Over Ten’s Website Engine:

Close Prospects

We’re getting close to a new client! Individuals are interacting with your content, are on your contact list and engaging with you on social media. At this point in the funnel, the objective of your content is to close prospects with personalized messaging using the following tools:

Email optimization

Emails are part of our everyday life. To cut through the clutter, your messaging needs to be precise. An attention-grabbing subject line, personalized message and specific CTA will do the trick.

  1. Subject line: Start here as it is responsible for 35% of openings. Using a tool like CoSchedule’s Subject Line Tester can help you discover some of the best words to use.
  2. Text length: Your email, like your blog and social media, should be skimmable. Any content you include should come with a short summary without giving away too many details.
  3. End with a CTA: A big faux pas we see in email marketing is including too many CTAs. One main CTA is all you need to improve your click-through rates.

Lead scoring

Lead scoring qualifies your leads and shows who is most interested in your content. The content you create should take these scores into consideration.

As an example, Twenty Over Ten’s Lead Pilot has built-in lead scoring to help advisors qualify leads within their contact list:

Segmented nurturing

Every contact list should be segmented into different categories based on your audience. From here you can craft specific messaging towards each segment.

CRM software

Customer relationship management software helps advisors retain current clients and attract new ones. CRMs consider every point of contact with your audience, then use this data to help you understand how to best appeal to them. Like segmentation, CRMs give you the information needed to personalize your content. Consider this list of CRMs if you aren’t currently using one.

Delight Clients

You’ve made it, a new client has joined your firm. But that doesn’t mean your content stops there. Happy clients help drive more traffic and enhance every portion of the funnel. Afterall, if your current clients aren’t happy, how are you going to attract more? Here are a few ideas to continue to delight your clients:

  1. Host online events: In-person events are challenging nowadays, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take them online. Show client appreciation through online events, promote a cooking class, socially distant movie viewing or something related to your audience’s interests. The key is to engage your audience in a personal matter, beyond their personal finances.
  2. Provide content updates: Give current clients updated information. Marketing reports, tax changes, etc. all work. The goal is to make your client feel up-to-date. Show clients that you’re keeping an eye on current events that could impact their financial situation.
  3. Celebrate with them: Holidays, birthdays and special events are a great way to connect with clients. A card, an email or an online event can all be used to connect with your clients and show appreciation.

Repeating the content cycle

Advisors with high-converting content understand the audience they're attempting to reach. With time, your content cycle, CRM and analytics will help you understand more about your potential and current clients. Using this information, you can provide a more tailored, personal experience to elevate your content further.