If you want your customers and potential customers to think of your content less as annoying advertisement and more as valuable, useful, or enjoyable marketing, you need to rethink your content strategy.

Various content methods generate leads. Visual and interactive content, in particular, can increase not only clickthrough rates (CTR) but also conversion rates for many marketing campaigns, whether email signups, clicks on links, or sales of your product.

Here are seven proven methods to help you increase your leads and optimize conversion rates.

1. Blog Posts

A blog is one of the original types of content marketing, and it can be used to help promote most websites and online stores.

One of the greatest benefits of a high-quality blog is its ability to boost a website's search engine rankings by targeting keywords. A blog with solid advice that draws the attention of consumers can increase traffic to your website and help consumers decide to purchase your product or use your services.

To optimize your blog's CTR and conversion rates, you may need to test blog post frequency, times to post, and content mix. As a starting point, post to your blog weekly during high-traffic times of the year and include a variety of text-only, infographics, and slide content. By testing a range of options, you can fully optimize your conversion rates.

2. Videos

Videos that explain your product or service can greatly increase your CTR and conversion rates, and they are much more effective than simply advertising your product on yet another YouTube video; after all, no one likes advertisements they're forced to watch.

Your marketing video should either educate or entertain your audience and draw their attention to the product, preferably in the first 10 seconds. Your explainer video shouldn't last longer than a few minutes, and it should try to keep the audience's attention by piquing interest every 20 words or so.

Videos are an excellent way to connect with customers while clearly conveying your business's value proposition. By giving prospective clients or customers a taste of the product, this visual medium can convince them that your product is worth their time and money.

Videos can be easily shared with potential customers through social media, in turn increasing traffic and views, thus leading to even greater conversion rates.

3. Interactive Quizzes/Trivia

Interactive quizzes are an amazing way to increase traffic and obtain new leads. To be successful, the quizzes must provide some form of entertainment. They must be engaging and linked to something extremely popular in today's culture—such as popular television shows, movies, books, even foods. Quizzes should be intriguing enough to draw in potential customers and then give them a result based on, for example, trivia knowledge, allowing them the opportunity to share their performance with their friends.

By offering a quiz that caters to the individuals' knowledge or interests, you can encourage people to follow or like you on social media, or even give you their email address. If you're a mobile app maker, for example, you might test your audience's knowledge on how to build an app. Doing so will encourage engagement from people who are interested about your service or offering.

This method is not about instant results; it's about generating leads and therefore bringing you closer to your goals.

4. Surveys/Polls

Surveys and polls differ from quizzes because they don't require knowledge of a subject, just opinions. They also come in various forms, including on-site (a popup when people visit your website), customer surveys, and off-site surveys. Here's a closer look at those.

  • On-site polls are surveys that may pop up when people are browsing your site. They offer a few multiple-choice questions, such as "Is something stopping you from purchasing today?" The questions are often followed by a yes or no answer and a written response for shoppers to fill in their thoughts. This method is perfect for learning how to reduce friction with possible new customers by finding out what they want from you, allowing you to increase the quality of your service.
  • Customer surveys are questions asked after a client has purchased a product. It is sort of like a review: They can give their opinions on topics consisting of "Were you satisfied with your purchase?" and "How can we improve our service?" sort of questions. Again, the answers will allow you to improve your customer service because you gain insight into possible problem areas or ways to ensure customers are satisfied.
  • Off-site surveys may be conducted via social media or blogs that are related to your product or industry. You can get information on products or services in your industry by asking specific questions such as "Which of these is the best app maker?" They allow you to gather information on what potential clients look for.

People love to share their opinions and thoughts. By providing a means for them to express themselves, you can achieve a win-win for both you and the consumer: Users get to share their opinions, and you can gain valuable insights on how to improve your products, service, and website.

5. Infographics

Infographics are much more likely to be read than text. They can visually engage, inform, and educate possible customers about your industry or specific products or services. They should be easy to understand, so here are some key considerations for ensuring a successful infographic:

  • Ensure data is shown in a way that encourages the consumer's eye to compare different pieces of information.
  • Encourage the viewer to consider the substance rather than the methodology or the graphics design.
  • Make sure that large data sets are coherent while still presenting many numbers in a small space.
  • It should serve a clear purpose, because no one wants to be wondering why they're looking at something.

With those points in mind, it's clear that an infographic requires a professional to pull of successfully, as design is crucial.

6. Contests and Giveaways

Giveaways and contests, similar to interactive quizzes, are all about generating leads by getting audiences to opt in by submitting their emails or phone numbers. Setting up an engaging contest, mixing text and visuals, and enticing consumers with the potential of winning a prize result in high conversion rates.

Those rates can be further increased by setting up the competition so that people either must share the post to enter or gain additional contest entries by posting on multiple social media sites.

Sweepstakes can be highly successful; however, you must ensure your campaign meets relevant regulations before going live so that you don't get into legal trouble.

7. Personality Assessments

Personality assessments are a highly popular content form for audiences, because people are naturally curious about their own personalities and want insight into themselves.

If the assessments reference sources of popular culture, similar to quizzes/trivia, users are likely to share the assessment results via social media for their friends to join in. Assessments might include, for example, "What character are you from [TV show, movie, etc.]" and 'What is your spirit animal?"

Although such evaluations seem like merely fun for the audience, businesses can gather useful information about leads and sort out potential customers based on their interests and personality. For example, finding out about a favorite color can help you promote products of this color to people.

* * *

Ultimately, not all these content methods may be right for your business or service. Moreover, their results will vary between among industries as well as individual companies, and some might not relate to your business at all. But not all these content forms are required for you to be successful.

Don't be afraid to test new content or marketing ideas. What may seem like a silly suggestion at first may end up being incredibly successful for you.

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image of Andrew Gazdecki

Andrew Gazdecki is the founder and CEO of Bizness Apps, a do-it-yourself iPhone, iPad, Android, and HTML5 app platform that allows mobile app resellers, or small businesses that have no programming knowledge, to create, edit, and manage mobile apps.

LinkedIn: Andrew Gazdecki

Twitter: @agazdecki