4 Crazy-Good Content Marketing Tactics That Drive Sign-Ups
If you're in business today, you almost certainly have somewhere for customers to sign up for something. This could be a website form to receive emails, a Facebook or LinkedIn lead generation form, or a way for people to download a whitepaper (or all three!).
Humans invariably know that by signing up somewhere, they'll receive not only exactly what they asked for (like that free download) but also a bunch of stuff they don't want (like sales emails—or worse, if your database gets hacked!). This means your offer has to be insanely compelling in order for people to overcome their fear of spam and take advantage of your generous offer.
All that said, content marketing is still hands-down the best way to drive sign-ups. So, what are some crazy-good ways to use content marketing that prospects simply can't ignore? And are there really ways to make people overcome their misgivings and pass over that all-important email address? First, let's talk about content marketing.
What's the Big Deal About Content Marketing?
You've almost certainly heard the saying, "content is king," and that statement has never been more true. There are millions of dollars used to purchase content every day, from printed and online newspapers to businesses making money from clickbait advertising. With all the questionable content floating around, your first job as a marketer is convincing your prospects that you have something new and interesting to share. Oh, and you usually only have a few seconds to convince people that you're:
B) Have something interesting to say
C) Not going to waste their time
Easy peasy, right? Not so much, it turns out. The good news is that we've scoured the Internet for great ideas that you can implement TODAY. Don't wait until tomorrow, or next week, or “when you have the time.” The time is now, my friend!
1. Create a Dark Facebook Post
Yeah, we all know Facebook has a dark side, but you may not realize how much this little tactic can benefit marketers. Dark posts on the social media giant aren't as diabolical as they sound, but they can certainly give you some crazy-good results for your sign-up strategy. Unpublished posts, or "dark posts,” are the ideal way to test a number of variables in advertising before you post them to your broader audience as part of your news feed.
Yes, dark posts are ads that cost money, but you can run limited tests very quickly—altering one variable at a time to see whether a shorter or longer intro drives people to your site to sign up, for example.
The content you're using (intro, headline, call to action) all has an impact on total sign-ups. Since that's the variable you're optimizing for, find the right combination and then use your learnings to scale. Learn best practices for dark posts and details on Social Media Examiner's updated article.
2. Create Awareness Content
Awareness content is exactly what it sounds like—a way to make prospects aware of your business, perhaps learn a bit more about the problem they're having and see why your solution is the best. Actual purchases comes later, but this is often one of the first steps in the sales funnel. Awareness content is meant to capture attention and is often highly targeted to a specific topic or the answer to a single question in an in-depth manner.
The hope is that prospects find enough value in the article, blog post, or social media entry that they make a decision to engage more deeply with your brand by signing up for a newsletter or becoming a social media fan. It's important to keep the relationship lighter at this point or you risk prospects heading for the hills. Unless you explicitly note it upon sign-up, it's best not to start sending a daily email with a strong CTA, for instance.
3. Create Consideration Content
Once you've reeled your prospect in and they're a little more familiar with your brand, they may be willing to deepen the relationship. This is when you pull out progressive profiling forms on your website and attempt to learn more about your prospect—always with the aim of turning them into a paying customer. Consideration content is more hefty than a simple blog post and often includes a series of training videos or webinars, a downloadable multi-page whitepaper, case studies, or other forms of social proof.
If this if your first interaction with a prospect, they've likely found your tailored information as part of their research into a particular topic, so be sure to tease the value of the content that you're offering without giving away the zinger. It's a fine line, but we're confident smart marketers like you will nail it.
4. Create Tailored (and Sticky!) Content
You've done it. You've got a landing page you know will convert. Your blog post or whitepaper strikes just the right tone. Your social media strategy is paying off with new sign-ups every day. The only problem is that you're engaging only a very limited subset of your audience and the rest simply aren't paying attention. It's time to get out the red pen and start tailoring your content for your various audience segments. Hey, everyone wants to feel special! Make some variations of your winning strategy, and then be sure you're always adding a next-step call to action, even after you've got the sign-up.
These are only a few of the winning marketing tactics that you'll find on our blog. Now that you've got plenty of people signing up for your email newsletters, why don't you get started optimizing those email metrics?