The desired outcome for most techniques within digital marketing is a conversion. For B2B, that conversion takes the form of a lead that has provided their contact information and consent in order to receive a content marketing asset like a whitepaper or eBook.
The ethos of the digital marketer then is to test, analyze and optimize to improve the results of a campaign. The latter, optimization, can be a daunting task at times. There are some simple strategies that can be used to increase the likelihood of a prospect converting into a lead via a form fill.
The following concepts can help you craft an effective optimization strategy by focusing on leveraging engaging media formats, simplifying forms and taking a more nuanced approach to presenting content.
Use Video-based Landing Pages to increase conversion rates by 80 percent
In the world of content, video has long been heralded as the “king.”
One can view that statement as hyperbole, but the statistics make a strong case for that claim. According to a report by Cisco, video will make up 82% of all web traffic by 2021. It is the preferred method for how most people consume content as it ties into our DNA. Humans are inherently visual creatures and video’s combination of audio and visual elements provide for the most engaging way to inform and entertain.
Landing pages are used in the B2B space primarily to generate leads for long-form content marketing assets like eBooks and whitepapers. The standard approach is to provide a summary of the content along with a form. While this is the tried and true approach, it is one that has suffered from the “law of diminishing returns” over the years. The fact is prospects lack the attention span to read through the copy to see the value in your content. If they don’t see the value, they’re most likely not going to give up their contact information to look at your asset.
Video provides an opportunity for optimization as you can use this format in lieu of copy. By using this strategy, you can see conversion rate increases of up to 80 percent according to leading landing page tool, Unbounce. That is an exponential increase over the standard approach.
To best leverage this strategy, consider the following tactics when creating a video for a landing page:
- Length: Your summary video for a landing page should be approximately one minute. This provides enough time to explain what the subject matter is before the viewer “mentally checks out.”
- Format: Animated and whiteboard style videos are excellent for landing pages. They are inherently engaging due to the presentation and are generally more cost-efficient to produce.
- Increasing Traffic to your Landing Page: The summary video you produce for your landing page can be used within your marketing strategy to drive traffic to the page. Video can be leveraged within social media marketing to generate more visits to your landing page, for example.
Craft a Data Enrichment Strategy to Simplify Forms
As B2B marketers, we have a love/hate relationship with forms. They are needed to capture leads and consent for marketing outreach. They are also responsible for a large portion of the bounce rate when they are overly complex.
To maximize the number of conversions on your landing page, you should steer clear of creating a “formzilla,” which is a form consisting of more than five fields.
The common fields that I’ve seen on B2B “formzillas” are things like: industry, revenue, employee size, etc. While this information is inherently valuable, you do not need to rely solely on a prospect self-identifying this information via a form fill.
A more sophisticated approach to maximizing conversions while acquiring this data on leads is to craft a data enrichment process post-conversion.
Data enrichment refers to merging third-party data from an authoritative resource to first-party data (i.e., lead conversions). This process can allow your team to have access to the information you’d typically ask in a complex form without providing an intrusive experience for the visitor. There are great resources in the market that provide this sort of intelligence like DiscoverOrg, LinkedIn and Owler. When leads convert, you can use these tools to append information like job title, department, revenue, industry and employee size to the lead record.
In order to get the most out of this strategy, try crafting a simple form that consists of name, email, phone and a consent checkbox. Put rules in place so the visitor must use their business address (rather than Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo) to convert. If you have their business email, you know what company they work for. When you know the company, you can use third-party tools to understand more about the individual and the account. Have your data team append the necessary information to the lead record in your CRM by using these tools.
Use “Flex-Gating” to Create a More Engaged Audience
“Flex-gating” refers to the ability to ask for the conversion before, during or after the content experience. The term has been popularized by companies who provide interactive content development platforms, like ion interactive and SnapApp.
Where flex-gating can help with conversion optimization is with the ability to allow visitors to preview a portion of the content prior to the form appearing. It is a successful strategy because often visitors feel a “bait and switch” if the content they provided their contact information for doesn’t live up to their expectations. This is a common problem with B2B marketing that leads to visitors not converting in the first place because they foresee that the content will not match their needs or expectations.
When using flex-gating, you can allow the visitor to view a portion of the content without the need to fill out a form. If using an eBook, for example, you can unlock one chapter of it for visitors to read. By doing so, the visitor will be able to ascertain if the content matches their expectations. They’ll be more likely to convert because they’ve invested the time into reading a portion of the content and will want to complete it. That is essentially the definition of engagement within the realm of Content Marketing and a more engaged audience is one that will likely convert to a lead.
In conclusion, these techniques, when used correctly, can assist your efforts to convert more traffic from landing pages and content into leads. The use of video, simple forms and flex-gating can help you and your organization craft an effective strategy for conversion optimization.
Jonathan Rosenfeld is a Digital Marketing professional with over 15 years experience in B2B. His areas of expertise include Content Marketing, Demand Generation and Marketing Technology. Mr. Rosenfeld currently serves as the Director of Demand Generation for Bython, where he assists clients like IBM, Kronos, and LogMeIn.