You already have been using content to reach wide audiences and increase the amount of new visitors to your site by writing about approachable topics with a focus on providing immediate takeaways. You’ve published on your site, and promoted on various social networks to bring your target audiences to your website to discover more content that could help them.

Now it’s time to help your audience bridge the gap between “someone who found and read your piece” to “lead.” You can do this with content that makes your audience want to:

  • return to your website.
  • click a CTA button.
  • download an asset.

Your low-level, search- and social-friendly content caught your audience’s attention. The next layer of content should spark more curiosity, and promise more information from your brand.

Capturing leads is an exchange: You provide education, advice and results and your audience returns the favor with their contact information.

1. Promise value with in-depth titles

You’re no longer trying to scrape up new traffic to your site with keyword-dense, socially promoted posts – you can now focus more on providing deeper value for your reader. In this phase of the marketing automation process, and for this level in the funnel, you can put more trust in your audience to stay engaged with more involved, in-depth educational content instead of bouncing.

Deeper messages in your titles, with prescriptive language that offers advice, tips, insights or creative ideas will be especially effective for readers who are already somewhat familiar with your brand. Your goal should be to entice them with even more help and value for them should they choose to continue exploring your site and engaging with your content.

2. Keep landing pages simple

Landing pages for downloadable assets can be just as important as the content in those assets. In fact, they are crucial because the pressure is on – if the landing page or form content doesn’t convince the reader to click the “download” button, you can lose a lead.

The content on the landing page primes the reader for what your asset will give them. It should provide a quick, digestible summary of what they’ll learn if they download it. This is the “exchange” point in the process, where they decide if your asset is worth their time and their contact information. Show your audience how valuable the content behind the wall is by highlighting its features and benefits in the landing page copy.

Your landing page should not just promote your content, it should also be designed to streamline the lead-capturing process. Apply the same logic for your copy to your form fills – keep them simple and sleek.

3. Use CTAs to engage, not sell

We’ve entered the funnel, but we’re not yet in the middle yet. Your audience is only at the very early stages of evaluating your brand, and are looking to your content for any more helpful material to influence an upcoming purchase decision. A call-to-action in your blog to deeper, educational assets like eBooks, whitepapers, reports or infographics will create pathways to information that your user is looking for, and will send them to a landing page with a download form.

Get creative with your CTAs. They work well at the bottom of a blog, but also are especially eye-catching when they slide in to the page. According to a HubSpot study, the click-through rate for these moving CTAs is 192 percent higher than that of traditional CTAs. Make sure they match your website’s branding – according to Kissmetrics, keeping a solid color scheme increases brand recognition by 80 percent. If it doesn’t feel connected with your content – thematically, visually and topically – it won’t resonate with your readers, and won’t encourage them to click and learn more about your brand.

Not all blogs will need a call-to-action. For pieces designed to draw traffic and introduce your brand to new users, a CTA might come off as inappropriately salesy. If you’re using a CTA in a blog, don’t aim to make a sale. Your CTA should be designed and written to push your audience to continue engaging with you.

Even for pieces that are designed to immediately capture a lead and push users toward downloading a larger asset, it’s crucial to work a CTA into your writing style and flow. If your piece is educational, an overly promotional CTA that directs audiences to a product comparison page or price list will clash with your blog. Your CTAs should enhance your piece by offering supplemental content, and encourage continued engagement.

4. Experiment with interactive content

Interactive content is one of the most exciting new forms of content that many marketers are beginning to integrate into their strategies and host on their websites. It often leads to high engagement, high conversion rates, deep segmentation and analytics options, and a cohesive sales alignment.

Calculators, quizzes, surveys, checklists and even in-screen popups can help you capture more leads than traditional forms of content because they are easy to use, engaging, fun and, perhaps most importantly, educational. In fact The Content Marketing Institute reported that 75 percent of content marketers use interactive content to educate their audience, which can help them better understand how your service can help them.

Pardot found that assessments (such as “What type car are you?” or “What kind of vacation do you want?”) boast a click rate of 54 percent and completion rate of 76 percent. Interactive content like this is effective in mobilizing your site visitors not only because it is enjoyable to interact with, but because it helps prime them to think about how your services can help them. If a coffee company’s “What type of coffee are you?” assessment concludes a user is an espresso, they’ll form a bond with the brand and be more receptive to the idea of buying (and the company can collect customiz
ed personal insights about the lead based on the specifics of their answers in the assessment).

You now know how content can fuel your marketing automation strategy at two crucial points: attracting wide audiences to your site and capturing leads. The next blog in our marketing automation tips series will cover how you can use content to nurture your leads, so come back soon to learn more.

Ben Silverman is Brafton's Marketing Writer. His writing experience dates back to his time reviewing music for The UMass Daily Collegian at UMass Amherst. Ben joined Brafton with a background in marketing in the classical and jazz industries. When he's not writing, he's playing drums, guitar, or basketball.