The Psychology of Content that Converts

January 3, 2015

Killer content is a powerful conversion tool, when used correctly. Understanding the psychology behind what your customers are looking for in that content, and how you can give it to them, is key when you’re looking to get the most out of your content marketing.

As human beings it is only natural to rush to judgment about all aspects of an online experience–especially when something is as subjective as content.  This desire to dissect and interpret reaches branded content as much as it does anything else. Great content can turn brand-ambivilants (or even brand-skeptics) into brand-evangelists and bad content–well, vise versa.

While many businesses are investing heavily in social media strategies to try and increase their following and influence the opinions and buying habits of that following, many are forgetting another crucial part content can play in creating a cohesive brand. This is why it is important to consider your content as highly as you do any other element of your business’ branding. Listening to your visitors, creating content specifically tailored for them and understanding their needs as individual consumers can help build a core audience and loyal following ready to convert.

Consistency is key

Be true to your brand at all times.  As individuals we’re told to always “be ourselves,” and as brands the same sentiment holds true.

A website is essentially the online face of a company and becomes the representation of a brand online.  Customers often have an emotional connection to this brand image beyond that of customer/seller.  Being sensitive to these human elements in the creation and maintenance of your site can have a huge impact on consumer buying behaviors.  Don’t suddenly deviate from your brand image and jump on trends as you could alienate customers who have come to know and love certain brand elements.

If you are a company that has been family owned and operated for 50 years and take pride in that fact, let it resonate through your online persona.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking that because one company has a super high-tech website with over-the-top graphics that it’s right for you.  Not only does it confuse your customer, if it varies too much from your everyday brand it could work to water down your image.   Instead, think about how you might be able to stay on-trend while still remaining true to your brand as a whole.  The phrase “be yourself” is as relevant to one person as it is to an entire company online.

Craft content specifically for your audience

Market research, buyer personas, buying cycles and more aren’t just helpful when it comes to launching products or devising business strategies–they’re essential when you’re creating content too.

Figure out what your customer really needs and why they might choose you to get it.  Go beyond who they are and where they spend their time, which are helpful for targeting the right audience, but are far from enough when it comes to truly engaging and maintaining that audience. Who’s in your audience–what would they be interested in reading about? What moves them? What do they want?

A good starting point might be to consider your topping selling product or service and create content geared toward a customer who might be interested in those items or services.  What needs is your company fulfilling for this customer and how can your content provide even more quality for them?  Just as you would consider your target customer when creating a new product or service these same emotional starting points should be values you want to stick to when you build online content campaigns.

Excite your reader’s imagination

Make it fun for you readers, by making it fun for yourself first. You’ll know when the content you’re creating is capable of peaking interest, sparking imaginations, and inciting action–because it’s the kind of content that sparked all of that in you when you were creating it.

If you run a shark diving operation, there’s good news on a number of fronts. One, if you’re reading this, then you’ve clearly lived to tell the tale. Two, that tale is a fairly exciting one–as are many in an industry like that. When your industry lends itself to edge-of-your-seat stories, stunning imagery and the like, then creating interest and fostering excitement with your content may not be as challenging as it would be if you were, say, a tax accountant.  Not all businesses sell exciting products or services. Customers know this, even when they’re searching for content.  But that doesn’t mean your content marketing gets a free pass here, quite the contrary.

If your business struggles to create content that’s as thrilling, or even just engaging for anyone in an average audience, that’s where your creativity can truly set you apart from the pack and give you an advantage in your market.  If nothing else, try having (and sharing) a little humor about what it is your company does and reach people on a human level. If more than a few posts about the How-Tos of Basic Accounting isn’t get people riled up, have a little fun with things, spice things up with a post on “How to Thrill at a Dinner Party: Lessons from Accountants” or think of it this way: a post on anything that you might actually want to read.

Whatever you do, create sharable content that people can relate to. Speak to their imagination as well as their practicality. Certain forms of social media naturally lend themselves to playful content and with all of the content marketing outlets at your disposal, you can target audiences of all kinds all over the web. By using these mediums, you can visualize and articulate a message that speaks to customers on a profound level–one that will drive not only measurable engagement, but increased conversion, and ultimately, real customer loyalty.


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