Today's guest post is by Jacob Baadsgaard, founder and CEO of Disruptive Advertising.
Content marketing is a key component for any business that wants to generate more leads. It's the "Swiss Army Knife" of online marketing:
- Need better SEO rankings? Great content helps with that.
- Need better PPC performance? People love to click on and share great content.
- Want to nurture or grow your audience? Content marketing is great for that, too.
But…what if there was a way to help your content perform better? To get more conversions from all of that content you spend so many hours producing?
Disruptive Advertising is a PPC advertising company, but we put a lot of time and effort into our own content marketing. Through some trial and error, we found a way to get more leads from that work.
Our solution? We use Olark Live Chat.
Content Marketing and Chat
So, why chat?
Well, as we were thinking about our content marketing, it occurred to us that every content marketing click indicates a high degree of interest in the topic of the content piece.
In other words, people click content because they are interested in it.
Well, one of the hardest things to do as an online marketer is to get people to actually start communicating with you.
Most of the time, people click, look for something specific and leave. That doesn’t help you out very much.
However, people love to talk about things they care about.
Since every content marketing click is proof that someone cares about a particular topic, we wondered, What would happen if we used chat to try and start a conversation based on the content they seemed to be interested in?
For example, say someone is scrolling through their Twitter feed and they see the following tweet from Disruptive Advertising:
If they are interested in doing pay-per-click (PPC) advertising in the real estate industry, they might click on the link in the tweet.
And, if they want to read about PPC for real estate, they might be interested in talking to an expert in real estate PPC…do you see where this is going?
No matter how people get to your content (SEO, PPC, social media, etc), the fact that they are viewing your content means that they are interested in what your content is about—why not use that to get them chatting?
Setting It Up
To take advantage of this, all you have to do is set up some targeted chat rules. Olark makes this very easy.
For example, we could set up our “PPC for Real Estate” blog post like this:
Now, when someone arrives on our blog post, they’ll receive a chat prompt that gets a conversation going.
Clearly, if they are reading our post, they are running AdWords for a real estate campaign and probably need to get better results.
There’s no better way to get people talking than to ask them about themselves…let’s ask them about what their plans are!
As a quick side note, if you’ve got a lot of content on your site, there are a few ways you can approach this:
- You can simply get tough and build prompts for every page. This can work great, but if you’ve got a lot of content, this can also get out of control rather quickly.
- You can build prompts for your top performing pages. This is a lot easier. Just look at your analytics, find your top traffic pages and start creating targeted chat prompts!
- You can create category-specific prompts. For example, if someone comes to a PPC-related page on our blog (Current URL contains “ppc”, perhaps?), they should get a PPC-related prompt. If they visit an article about landing pages, they should get a landing page-related prompt.
For sites with a lot of content, combining #2 and #3 is often a good way to go.
That way, you get the most out of your highest traffic pages, but you still have a somewhat-targeted chat prompt for all your other content.
As you might expect, engagement on our content-related chat prompts is extremely high.
In fact, this year, over two-thirds of our Olark chats started on a content page!
Now, you might be thinking, Jake, starting a conversation is nice, but do those chats actually turn into leads?
For example, check out this chat from earlier this year:
Now, this was a fairly long conversation, so let me give you the nuts and bolts.
A potential customer started looking at our PPC for Real Estate blog post. Our chat box popped up and asked, “How are you planning to grow your AdWords campaigns in 2016?”
The viewer (Austin, in this case), quickly responded that he was looking for PPC management.
(Look at that! Simply starting a conversation immediately created a lead!)
Because we knew what Austin was reading on our site, it became very easy to focus the conversation on what he needed.
Within a matter of minutes, we were able to check out his site, determine his PPC budget, experience with AdWords and Facebook advertising, loop in the head of our Facebook division and get Austin on the phone.
And it all started with a focused, content-relevant chat prompt.
Making Content Marketing Chat Prompts Work
We’ve seen these sorts of results from our content marketing chat prompts time and time again.
Simply by asking people questions that are relevant to what they are reading, you can immediately suck your readers into a conversation that is relevant to both them and your business.
Of course, not every visitor will respond to your prompt and not every chat will turn into a lead, but we’ve found the following to be great ways to initiate content-related chat conversations:
1. Make It Relevant
Relevancy is incredibly important to creating a successful content-related chat prompt.
Generic prompts provide okay results, but the best prompts are directly connected to the underlying need behind why they clicked on your content.
2. Keep Things Low Key
Remember, you are starting a conversation, not a sales pitch.
Most of the time, people are interested in your content because they have a need, but they may not be ready to have you fix that need yet.
So, instead of selling your product or offer, talk about their problem and wait for a natural opportunity to bring up your solution.
3. Know What You’re Talking About
If you’re going to use this approach, your chat operator actually needs to understand your content and be able to dialogue about it fluently.
Most salespeople understand your business well enough to pull this off, but a 3rd party customer service rep with limited training might not be a great person to have mediating this kind of chat.
4. Build Rapport
Don’t be afraid to go a bit off topic. Use your content to start a conversation, but the more connections you build with someone, the more likely they are to become a lead.
They might not do it right then, but they will remember how helpful and human you were, so they’ll probably come back again later.
Great content starts conversations. If you aren’t a part of those conversations, you’re missing a golden opportunity to connect with your potential customers.
By adding content-specific chat prompts to your blog or other content, you can capitalize on the full potential of your content. It takes a bit of extra work, but the results are worth it.
You’ve heard my two cents, now I want to hear yours. What do you think of this approach? Have you ever tried or encountered anything similar?