Most companies spend a quarter of their marketing budget on content marketing. However, there is still a shocking percentage of companies that haven’t seen great results from content efforts.
A 2019 survey by the Content Marketing Institute found that 51% of B2B marketers find their content programs moderately successful, while 22% claim that content has been minimally or not at all successful.
If you’re struggling to see an ROI from content marketing, here are a few stellar examples of high-converting content.
The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing for Business
Three-step checklist for high-converting content
Before we jump into the examples below, it’s important to remember that these are stellar examples that go beyond the bare minimum. Therefore, here is a checklist of the bare minimum that you must have for your content to convert.
#1. Is your content original?
If information you’re providing already exists on the internet in some other form, you probably won’t succeed in content marketing.
This is usually an issue if you’re strictly targeting keywords. Therefore, consider how you can add an original twist to your content. For example:
- Add original case studies/data to support your point
- Include expert quotes
- Make your content more visually appealing (better UX)
Therefore, do some SERP analysis before writing your content to figure out how to provide unique value.
If you’re still stuck, consider joining a Slack group or Twitter chat for new content inspiration.
For example, here is a question that could be a great potential blog post:
Notice that I could easily write a blog post like “How We Generate Middle of Funnel Content Ideas Effortlessly.”
#2. Do you have a clear content funnel?
A funnel leads readers from one step (say a blog post) to the next (maybe giving their email address). However, many blog posts exist as a disconnected function rather than an active part of the funnel.
In the above diagram, the blog is detached from the lead magnet, which means that:
- There is no incentive to download the lead magnet from the blog post
- There is nowhere for the visitor to go after they read your blog post
Instead, be sure to have an action item for the reader at the end of your content.
Hubspot is a great example of this. Under almost every piece of content, they offer a lead magnet. Here’s an example:
By now, the knowledgable audience is ready to convert.
#3. Do you offer a fabulous user experience?
User experience is one of the most underrated aspects of content marketing.
Which of these pages would you prefer to scroll through?
You’re probably more likely to read the one with more images and white space. In fact, articles with visuals receive 94% more views than those without visuals.
Therefore, to make your content effective, be sure to offer a quality user experience that is easy to scroll through.
7 Examples of content that converts
If you’ve checked off all the above items, look at some of these stellar pieces of high converting content for next-level inspiration. Even if you follow all of the above examples, there is a variety of high converting content styles, and these examples show off each type beautifully. I recommend that you click on each example to understand why it is valuable.
Unbounce is a B2B company that offers a landing page builder.
They wrote a guide to creating eCommerce landing pages, and the goal of this post is to encourage people to download their list of 27 examples.
Ultimately, this blog post converts visitors to leads at 5.12%! So 5.12% of all visitors that landed on this blog post became a lead.
This piece has a fairly straightforward funnel.
The original post, 2020 Ecommerce Landing Page Best Practices, targets a beginner audience. They bring the audience up to speed on what a landing page is and why they should use one.
By the end of the article, the audience is MOFU, and they offer the 27 Landing Page Examples in exchange for an email address. From there, they can put the audience into a nurture sequence to mold them into a BOFU audience to convert.
If you have a blog post that gives an introduction to a topic (in this case, landing pages), offer a list of examples as a lead magnet and provide a thorough teardown of each one.
This piece has also mastered CTAs. In fact, there are 5 CTAs throughout the piece, and each one is visible without interfering with the user experience.
Maikshake is a B2B company that sells email software to help automate cold email outreach.
One of their highest converting content pieces is a cold email masterclass. This piece is a chaptered guide (hub and spoke piece) that discusses everything about writing cold emails.
It converts 10% of all visitors into email subscribers.
The Mailshake funnel is unique. This guide’s comprehensive nature attracts a wide variety of people (TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU).
Rather than serving a generic lead magnet to a broad audience, they collect emails by offering the guide as a PDF. Once the reader is on the email list, they send a personalized nurture sequence.
If you created an ultimate guide, pillar page, or hub and spoke piece that attracts a broad audience, don’t try to serve a generic piece of content as a lead magnet. Instead, offer the guide as a downloadable PDF and then separate them into personalized email nurture sequences.
In addition, the Mailshake team invested in quality design and created a fantastic user experience.
The content itself is also high quality with actionable information and specific examples with screenshots. The presentation also makes it easy-to-digest and navigate.
Hotjar is a B2B company that provides behavior analytics solutions for businesses.
Their post, 5 Ways to Use Hotjar to Increase Shopify Store Conversions, is a unique type of BOFU content that shows people how to solve their ecommerce conversion problems with their free product.
It converts 8% of all visitors into freemium Hotjar users.
All of the previous content examples we’ve looked at are long guides that likely took 10-20 plus hours to build. However, this guide is just 1,700 words and is a typical blog post format. The end CTA is straightforward and offers the product they explained in the post for free.
It has a short funnel and converts visitors very well into freemium users because the title attracts a BOFU audience that already has:
- A Shopify store
- A conversion problem
Hotjar sells its solution to:
- Shopify store owners
- Stores with conversion issues
By targeting an audience that is problem aware, solution aware, and familiar with your brand (Hotjar is in the title), converting them into freemium users is easy.
If you want to create regular blog posts (as opposed to ultimate guides) that convert, consider using Hotjar’s formula:
How to Use (Our Brand) To (Solve Target Audience’s Problem)
This blog post works particularly well for SaaS companies with a more complex product that offers a freemium model or free trial.
Sleeknote is a B2B company that helps businesses collect email addresses and increase sales.
One of their highest converting pieces of content is the case study, Casper Marketing: How a Mattress Company Went from Zero to $750 Million in 4 Years (Case Study). It converts visitors from cold traffic to email leads at 5.23%.
The Sleeknote funnel starts with a comprehensive case study of a hyper growth company. Case studies usually attract people that are more advanced marketers and are looking for solutions to swipe.
After clicking on the lead magnet (Download All Resources Now), the reader is led to a CTA that asks for the email address in exchange for more case studies like this one. The CTA also sorts each reader by their interests (SaaS, Agency, Ecommerce, Beginner) to send relevant information.
One of the problems with today’s content is that it’s mostly unoriginal or copycat. This piece is unlike anything else available on the web as it tears down, step by step, the marketing process that grew a company from $0-750 million in four years.
If you want to create content that converts, start with an original idea (such as a teardown or case study of a wildly successful brand). Make it actionable for the readers to implement in their business and include screenshots and other proof.
They also do a great job of sorting the customers based on their interests to serve them relevant content in the nurture sequence.
Chatfuel offers Facebook messenger chatbot solutions for mainly B2B and ecommerce companies. One of their highest converting blog posts is How to Turn Facebook Post Commenters Into Customers.
In quarter 1 of 2020, it converted 14.7% of traffic to book a demo and, ultimately, a 2% conversion to purchase.
Like the Hotjar example, this blog post targets a BOFU customer who is already problem aware and looking for a particular solution. The title, How to Turn Facebook Post Commenters Into Customers, also qualifies the reader as a good lead as these people:
- Already use Facebook for marketing
- Are looking for a messenger solution
Therefore, it’s a quick funnel that ends with a CTA asking people to sign up for a demo.
This style post is quite short at just 1,100 words and easy for any SaaS company to incorporate in their content plan. Select one feature in your SaaS product and ask what problem it’s solving. From there, you can write a post about how to solve that problem and then offer a demo at the end showing how they can purchase an automated solution that problem.
In other words:
- Look at the features your SaaS offers
- Label the problem that each feature solves
- Write a post about how to solve that problem manually
- Include a CTA offering how you can purchase an automated solution to that problem
Close is a CRM that helps SMBs and startups close more deals.
They are also master content marketers and shared that their free sales script template is one of their highest converting content pieces and has driven about 55,000 email signups to date.
The Close funnel is a classic TOFU to BOFU sequence where the audience starts on a blog post for beginners, and they then offer a template for the problem (creating a sales call script).
To download the template, each person must enter their email address. After entering the email address, he/she receives the template and is enters a nurture sequence.
If you have a “How to” blog post, include a downloadable checklist or template as a lead magnet. This makes the post more actionable, and it’s a great way to capture emails. You can attach these checklists to multiple blog posts on the same topic to maximize your leads.
ActiveCampaign is an integrated email marketing, marketing automation, and small business CRM solution.
One of their high-converting posts is a step-by-step guide to building a welcome email sequence, and it converts roughly 3.5% of visitors.
ActiveCampgain has a straightforward funnel. Visitors arrive on the post and are greeted by multiple opt-ins for their email list.
Approximately 3.5% of all visitors become email subscribers where they are then nurtured and eventually converted into customers.
As the post is about email sequences, the incentive to sign up for their email list is to see what the ActiveCampaign email sequence looks like.
Step-by-step guides that offer plenty of examples and screenshots are popular blog post styles that develop a strong relationship with the reader. The reader might have this post open in another tab as they build their own nurture sequence. Therefore, it isn’t difficult to convert them into leads or email subscribers.
ActiveCampaign is also very clever to incentivize people to sign up for their email list to see their nurture sequence. Incentivize people to become a lead by offering a glimpse into your own marketing or business operations is a great strategy to collect leads.
The purpose of content is to lead a prospect down the customer journey, though many content managers still struggle with a disconnect between traffic and conversions. By using these tips, you can bridge the gap and help traffic turn into leads and eventually become customers.
If your content doesn’t lead your customer to take another action, the reality is that most visitors never return to your website. Use these tips to leverage content as an automated relationship builder and lead the customer through the journey.
Guest author: Megan is the CEO and founder of the content marketing agency, Ignite My Site. She is also the host of a content marketing and SEO podcast that breaks down the strategies and tactics of the world’s most celebrated content marketers. You can connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter.