Your content fails to convert because you lost sight of your audience

Nothing is more frustrating than when you’ve done everything right, and still the audience doesn’t convert. So what’s going on?

Problem 1: your call-to-action might need tweaking

Every piece of content needs a call-to-action (CTA), because ultimately we want the audience to do something after reading your content. And your CTA could be anything:

🧁‘Read this blog’

🧁‘Download a white paper’

🧁‘Register for a webinar’

🧁Say hello!

However, a mistake I see often is when companies lead with a ‘hard’ CTA – something like ‘Book a demo’. It’s hard because it requires your audience to take a big step with you. And depending on where they are within your nurture flow, they might not be ready for it.

Just imagine…

You’ve never heard of a company before but discovered one of their articles during a Google search. Unless that article contains some pretty spectacular copy, chances are there’s no way that person is ready to commit to a demo (yet!).

With each piece of content, think about where it sits in the sales cycle. For example:

Diagram to show how different types of content map to the sales cycle

At the top of the funnel, think about using soft CTAs to ask for a micro-commitment. For example, to share the content on social media, to read a related article, to watch a video case study.

Only once you’re further down the funnel, and your lead has shown a degree of interest, can you introduce harder CTAs. For example, if they’ve invested the time to read a white paper, the likelihood is they’re serious about wanting to know more about your product/service. Now is the time to invite them for a demonstration, to book an assessment, or contact you for an initial consultation.


Make sure that your CTA is tailored to the content, rather than the generic demo/assessment that’s available to everyone. This doesn’t mean you need to create a new offering for every piece of content, simply that you adapt its name, or how you position it to the audience.

For example, imagine you offer a cloud infrastructure health check that seeks to identify what tools are in the IT infrastructure, how they integrate, and any duplication of functionality. In a white paper that’s been exploring the topic of emerging threats and cyber trends, a cloud infrastructure health check may feel out of place – unless you highlight that in revealing what’s in an organisation’s cloud infrastructure, they can identify potential vulnerabilities and take appropriate steps to mitigate risks and wrap greater controls around personal/sensitive/confidential data.

Think about the flow of your content so when you ask the audience to perform your CTA, it feels like the natural next step.

For example, download your printable PDF on CTAs.

Problem 2: it’s not the right time

If you’ve created a following of people who love you, you’ve done the hard bit. These people want to buy from you – and they will buy from you – but first they need a reason. It could be:

🧁There isn’t sufficient budget – or they’re waiting on their new year budget to be signed off.

🧁They don’t have the authority to buy or engage with suppliers.

🧁There is no need at the moment.

🧁For a variety of reasons, it’s just not the right time.

Keep going. Keep nurturing your network through your social channels, email marketing, and events. And think about how you can use your content to begin a dialogue that helps get you one-step closer to conversion. For example:

🧁Budget: can you craft a special offer to pull budget forward now?

🧁Authority: can you help them communicate your proposition with other internal stakeholders?

🧁Need: can you get closer to them to see when the need may arise, so you know when to act?

🧁Time: can you be the ‘trusted partner’ they need to remove barriers.

Problem 3: did you take them on a journey?

Your content may be great because it’s full of really interesting stuff. But if you’ve failed to make an emotional connection by taking your reader on the ‘as-is, to-be’ journey, they won’t be moved to action.

There’s a core structure to all copy:

Download the PDF…

🧁Context: demonstrate awareness and empathy for your audience’s situation.

🧁Problem: show understanding of their current pain and its business impact.

🧁Opportunity: show how that pain can be overcome.


🧁Opportunity: show the ‘new shiny’ the audience needs to take advantage of.

🧁Problem: what’s stopping them.

🧁Anticipated outcome: help the audience to visualise the ideal world.

🧁Solution overview: what’s going to get them there (i.e. you!).

🧁Evidence: proof that you can do what you say you can do.

🧁CTA: ask the audience to do something.

Go back through your content to check you’ve covered off every step – and if you’ve missed something, some careful editing will ensure you deliver the narrative your audience needs to convert.

Want to learn more about how to secure the click?

🧁Read the ultimate guide to article writing

🧁Read the ultimate guide to white paper writing

🧁Learn more about content creation for a new financial year