Updated: February 25, 2016 – With more awesome and helpful information.
Content Marketing Ideas That Help You Catch and Convert More Visitors
I was at the gym not too long ago and for the third time I was listening to Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, and in the middle of my high-intensity jog a phrase just stuck in my head, “Bait the Hook to Suit the Fish”. At the point of recovery I had to make note, email myself and write an article about that phrase, what that phrase means to me and how it should be used with your life, and in our case, with your marketing!
“Bait the Hook to Suit the Fish”
So what does “Bait the Hook to Suit the Fish” mean to me? It’s simple: I am no rocket scientist and I am not recreating the wheel at all, but in basic terms it says I need to use the right bait to capture the fish I want, or in another context I need to write the specific content to capture my reader, right?
Awesome Content Bait Ideas for Catching Website Visitors
I put together a list of content bait. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it’s a good starting point. Each of these ideas is like a different kind of bait because we all know it takes different bait to catch different fish. I like to think of these different fish as different audiences, and I like getting to know them (which is where that social category comes in handy).
[list class=”bullet-add”][li]Email –[/li] Contrary to popular belief, email is NOT a dying marketing tool. In fact, savvy marketers are still building and growing email lists to push their content and promote their business. Take Noah Kagan who runs the AppSumo newsletter – he grew his email list to over 750,000 last year with simple content tactics like optimizing his top web pages to capture email addresses and offering email-only bonus content.
[list class=”bullet-add”][li]Newsletters –[/li][/list] When people are too busy to check your site daily for a new blog or video, newsletters highlight your best content in a convenient format. This is for the busy fish who can’t be bothered to check your website every day, but certainly has time to read a short newsletter. Use highlights designed to catch their attention and convince them to devote more time to reading in order to drive up conversion.
[list class=”bullet-add”][li] Pamphlets – [/li] [/list]Analog marketing like printed pamphlets are a rare throwback to pre-Internet marketing, and can be a stand-out option at trade shows when you’re in a sea of QR codes and URL-labeled swag. Pamphlets with eye-catching graphics and short, snappy bits of information go home with a potential client for later consumption. It’s much easier to pick up a pamphlet than grab an Internet device, look up a website, and find what they’re looking for.
[list class=”bullet-add”][li] Drip Campaigns – [/li] [/list] Email marketing tool Infusionsoft has the drip campaign down to a science. Its dynamic range of tools makes it simple to capture leads, nurture them, and foster client relationships over time. Good marketers have several drip campaigns to suit their different sales funnels. The best bait for this method is urgency and friendly reminders, depending on the recipient’s position in the buying cycle. Urgent-sounding content pushes the sale while friendly reminders nurture the client relationship.
[list class=”bullet-add”][li] Social Media – [/li] [/list]Every kind of brand from diapers to lunchmeat is on social media these days – it has surpassed word of mouth in several industries as the leading source of referrals for new clients or business. Social media is a rainbow of opportunity with its ability to create personal client connections, directly answer questions, display specials, offer time-sensitive information, and reach a diverse audience with the power of sharing. Short and sweet posts are best to start the conversation; use that to lead them into the longer content on your site.
[list class=”bullet-add”][li] Images – [/li] [/list]A picture’s worth a thousand words and humans are more prone to look at images before reading text. Every single bait we’ve talked about can benefit from some high-quality, eye-catching imagery. Relevancy is usually the way to go, but sometimes an off-topic image is great as an attention grabber – just make sure you can tie it back to your message somehow.
[list class=”bullet-add”][li] Infographics – [/li] [/list]Why say it when you can show it? Statistics can be one of the most revealing and yet boring types of content. Some smart entrepreneurs found a way to turn facts and figures into entertaining graphics that share information in a lighter, easier-to-digest manner. Don’t bog down your content with a wall of text and numbers; lighten it up with colorful graphics and charts in an infographic!
[list class=”bullet-add”][li] Video – [/li] [/list]Our friends at Gearshift.TV speak nothing but the truth when they say, “Video is an integral part of every successful marketing plan and the basics are simply not good enough.” No more videos taken on your iPhone in your office; savvy businesses are hiring professional video studios like Gearshift to produce top-quality video segments for catching the attention of the least attentive audiences. Those clients who won’t sit still to read a 500-word blog or skim through a tri-fold pamphlet? They’ll watch a two-minute video on your business’s services.
[list class=”bullet-add”][li] Landing Pages – [/li] [/listGo beyond the standard home, contact, and about us pages. Create landing pages that talk directly to certain types of clients. Use every tactic – call to action, catchy lead-ins, video, special offers, newsletter signups – to grab their attention and keep it through the lead intake process. Your website can handle thousands of landing pages, so there’s no excuse to not use that space to your full advantage and create a baited page to suit every fish in the sea.
[list class=”bullet-add”][li] Ad Campaigns (yes, ads are content, and the higher quality the better) – [/li] [/list]Think memorable Super Bowl commercials, talked-about billboards, catchy jingles. Advertising that sticks in your head for days is doing its job, and that’s only because the marketing team was inventive enough to create something entertaining, emotional, or controversial. Use this same energy to breathe life into your ads and capture the crowd you’re looking for.
Pay attention to each kind of bait you’re using. Take them out on a date. Would you marry any of them? Okay now we’ve switched from baiting to dating, but you’re following, right? Love what you do, and the rest will come naturally!
Now that You’re Baiting and Dating
Okay so you’ve gotten to know your bait, and think you have a pretty good idea what those fish want for dinner. It’s time to get started! But hold on, cowboy, have you thought what you’re going to do with all those fish? We started out wanting so badly to pick the perfect bait to catch the perfect fish that we forgot to think about what to do with all those fish.
Think of catching a fish as having site visitors, but now it’s time to convert them (pull them into the boat). A simple example of a conversion may be getting one of those fish to sign up for your email campaign (you did set up an email campaign, right?). This is where that perfect landing page comes into play. The perfect landing page is one that is so convincing that each person who reaches it completes your desired action, in this case sending you their email address.
Finding desired actions for all your fish to complete is as important as going out to catch them in the first place. Take some time to think about what you want your fish to do. Are there products you want them to buy? Services you want them to pay for? Do you need to upsell? Are you connecting with your customer at each point in the process? Do some planning here.
Time to Start Fishing
Now it’s time to get started! This is one of those things that takes time and patience, but jump on in and get started. Stop making excuses. Stop waiting for the perfect moment to execute your master plan. Just get started. Things won’t go perfectly right from the start, but that’s okay because it’s the mistakes we learn from. Listen to your fish… er customers, and adapt your strategy accordingly. Now quit reading this article, and start fishing! Oh and if you need any help you know who to call: We Do Web!
Alex is a successful entrepreneur, marketer, and president of We Do Web Content, an Inc. 5000 business. His firm devises content and marketing strategies and produces online content for law firms, medical professionals, and small businesses nationwide.