If you’re running a subscription-based or membership-based business, you understand the importance of keeping your customers engaged to increase your retention rates. You know that means creating irresistible content.
What is Content that Sells?
Content that sells includes high-quality content that’s updated frequently and is relevant to your customers interests is important. If people aren’t interested in what you’re saying, they won’t be interested in what you’re selling.
Knowing how to create subscription content that sells is vital to success. Below are the different aspects of content marketing that you’ll need to understand in order to get the most out of your content creation budget.
1. Know your audience
Before you can even begin to create your membership site content, you need to identify your audience. Even if you already have a general idea of who may be interested in your products or services, it’s a good idea to spend some time to really focus in on who you’re targeting.
Specific is always better than general when it comes to marketing, so the more you know about your target audience, the better. Here are some questions you can ask to help hone in on who you’ll be creating content for.
What problem is your product or service designed to solve?
It’s always good to think about your business as a solution to a problem. Then you’ll be able to identify who your audience is easily: the people who have this problem.
What do the people you’re targeting have in common?
Understanding your audience means knowing what they have in common. This gives you a starting point for creating effective content that sells. Common lifestyle choices, demographics and interests all can give you a way to connect with your audience.
Who is your product or service not for?
This may seem like an odd one, but an important part of targeting your audience is knowing who isn’t likely to become a customer. Your content budget is likely to be limited. So, don’t waste time and money with content, targeting people who are unlikely to convert to sales.
Besides, even if some of your less-than-ideal target market becomes customers, they may be the customers more likely to churn as your product wasn’t suited to them in the first place.
Ask yourself these questions to gain a better understanding of your audience. This will enable you to determine the types of content that’s relevant to them. You’ll get better conversion rates and your retention stats will improve with content that’s designed specifically for your ideal customers.
Make the most of your marketing budget by ensuring that every piece of content you create is designed with your ideal customer in mind.
2. Respect your customers’ time: keep it short and sweet
There are countless things clamoring for your customers’ attention all day every day. With 55% of website visitors spending 15 seconds or less on a blog post, you can’t expect potential customers to put a lot of effort into deciding whether an email or article is worth their time.
If all they see is endless paragraphs of text, they’re likely to pass on your content, moving on to the next demand on their time.
Make it easy for your customers to decide to engage with your content with the following tips:
Create eye-catching headlines
According to HubSpot, a good headline should catch people’s attention by telling them exactly what they’ll get. Think back to the problem that you can solve with your product and try to include some aspect of that in your headline.
Keep paragraphs short and add emphasis where it matters
It’s harder to read large blocks of text on a screen than on a page and if someone is reading on a phone or tablet, a big paragraph can seem even longer. It’s recommended that paragraphs for online text should have no more than three sentences.
Use bold or italic text to highlight what’s important, but don’t overdo it, since large amounts of bold or italic text can be more difficult to read.
Use graphics wisely
Adding graphics and images to your content is a good way to keep your audience interested. If your content includes data, adding a chart or graph can help your readers better understand this information.
There are stock photos available for nearly everything and including an image or two helps break up the text, making it easier to read. If you’re on a tight budget you can get free stock photos from sites, like Pixabay and Pexels.
3. Become an authority in your field
Your subscription content should position you as an authority in your field, so that your customers learn they can trust your content to provide useful and accurate information. Your content must have some value to your consumers to keep them on board.
One of the best ways to establish yourself as an authority is by including specific examples, case studies, or testimonials in your content.
Everyone expects a business to have nothing but great things to say about what they’re selling. Using information from external sources demonstrates that you’re confident in your product and that other people have seen its value as well.
For example, check out our stats from online marketing experts like Pat Flynn, Nicole Walters and Amy Porterfield for practical examples of how we at Gravy improved their payment recovery rates.
Here are some ways that you can set yourself up as an authority in your field:
Cite a scientific study
This isn’t always applicable for every area, but if there are any relevant studies that you can quote, use them. Nothing sets you up as an authority faster than some real data with citations.
Point to your publicity
If you’ve had any media attention, don’t be shy: use it in your content marketing. Let other people say that you’re great and then tell your audience how your product or service can help them.
Here’s an example of how we used the fact that we secured $1 million in funding to draw attention to the work we do.
Be as specific as possible
It’s always better to be specific. Don’t speak in generalities about your product. Use examples that demonstrate a specific problem, and then show how you can solve this issue. If you have testimonials from people for whom you’ve solved that problem, all the better.
4. Don’t shy away from what works
There’s a reason that certain styles of articles are seen again and again online: it’s because they work! If you’re trying to get those views to convert to sales, you want your potential customers to feel at ease with your content. Keeping it simple and familiar can be helpful.
Here are some tried and tested content styles that get the results you want.
Add a top 10 list
One of the most popular kinds of articles online is the top ten list and for good reason. Everyone loves a countdown. These kinds of articles often are easier to read because the content is naturally broken up into easy pieces.
They often have lots of images included as well. Though this is a great format, don’t be afraid to mix it up a bit with a top nine, worst five, or another variation.
Stir up some controversy
A great way to create attention-grabbing content is to use a topic that’s a bit controversial. Find a topic that you can tie into your business and then discuss the controversy. Show off some figures that explain the issue.
If there are common misunderstandings or popular myths in your industry, you can use your expertise to prove them wrong. It’s a great way to create some buzz around an article. Our ‘3 Things Collection Agencies Do That Kill Your Business’ blog illustrates this point.
Craft a great narrative
Stories are important when you’re creating content that sells. A compelling narrative will keep people reading to the end and since the end is generally where you’ll include your call to action, you definitely want people to get there.
Subscription marketing is all about convincing people that they will continue to benefit from your product. Stories are a great way to do that, because they give people something to connect to.
5. Build your pitch into your content
As much as possible, incorporate your sales pitch into your content throughout, rather than suddenly changing up the tone of your piece with a hard sell at the end of the page.
Find ways to include your product throughout your content. If you’ve found the right topics, it shouldn’t be hard to tie your product into the rest of the narrative. Here are some things to keep in mind as you craft your subscription content:
Discuss your product’s value
Make sure that you make the value of your product or service clear. A good value proposition describes the ultimate benefit your customers can expect from your product.
Discuss problems and solutions
We’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating: position yourself as the best solution for a particular problem. Be sure to describe the problem clearly, so people will know exactly what you can do for them.
Discuss other potential solutions and why you’re the better choice
Be sure to address the fact that people have options, but your method can save them time, money and effort. Describe the common, less-effective ways that people deal with the problem that you’re positioning yourself to solve.
While Dunning software in one choice for payment recovery, at Gravy we know it's safe to say that automation can only get you so far when asking for money. That’s why our solution is led by people. We use a human-centered, technology-enabled approach to boost customer retention and payment recovery.
There are many things you can do to improve your subscription marketing. Create content that sells by following the tips above and make the most of your marketing budget. In summary:
- Keep the focus on your target audience: create content that’s specifically aimed at them.
- Keep your content easy to read by creating great headlines and formatting that includes plenty of white space and images.
- Establish yourself as an authority by using external sources to back up your claims.
- Use familiar formats that potential customers can connect with.
- Incorporate your pitch and set yourself apart from the alternatives.
After spending the time and resources creating killer content, you need to have a way of keeping your customers. It’s an unavoidable fact that some of your customers’ payment will fail at some point. Position yourself to recover these payments in the most efficient and empathetic way possible.
As you think holistically about content creation for sales and customer retention, think about partnering with a company whose full-time, laser focus is on retaining your customers, day in and day out. Gravy does just this and serves to re-engage customers, bringing back their payments and loyalty back online.
Book a call with us today to find out how much you can recover from failed credit card payments.