Sometimes, as B2B marketers we are drawn like moths to the big, bright flame of marketing strategy and we forget that there, in the shadows, lurk the rather less glamorous but vitally important tactical elements that do a lot of the the hard, relentless work of attracting and converting visitors to real leads.
Here are 3 elements. They are the little helpers of your online lead generation engine – and it’s essential to get them right in order to maximise your ability to convert leads.
Calls to action are clickable “buttons” with links to website pages. They tell you what action to take, and what you can expect from the page you’re going to. Think of CTAs as the conversion paths from your marketing tactics to your high value content pieces. Without them, you wouldn’t have a visually compelling bridge from one area of your site to the other (or from an email to your site for that matter). You also wouldn’t have analytics data to track which offers are performing best on web pages and emails.
In buyer stages:
- Top of funnel: You make some really good points but I don’t know or care about what you’re selling just yet, but I’d like to read more.
Example: Subscribe to our blog!
- Middle of funnel: Hmm, I definitely have some challenges and I need some help. Your product might prove useful. Help me decide for myself.
Example: Request a demo!
- Bottom of funnel: Okay, I’m serious about solving this issue, I’m interested in getting the low-down on your solution.
Example: Download our product information sheet!
Your CTAs must be pleasing to the eye and use language that compels action. Keep it to 1 or 2 main calls to action that you want people to focus on – minimising distractions will increase your CTA’s chances of getting clicked. It’s tempting to stuff your pages with calls to action but that defeats the object of the exercise.
Forms are the guardians of your precious gated content. They are also the essential key to your lead segmentation strategy so it’s really important to get your questions right.
In buyer stages:
- Top of funnel: They’re asking for a bit of info but that’s fine because I really want to learn about this topic and your content looks like it will help!
Tip: Less than 5 fields, must include email address.
- Middle of funnel: This form is a bit long but I trust you now, and I think this juicy content is definitely worth some of these questions.
Tip: Up to 8 fields. Ask some Budget, Authority, Need and Timeline style questions.
- Bottom of funnel: I’m filling out this form because I really need a solution and the clock is ticking.
Tip: Up to 10 fields. Go for the questions that will help Sales prioritise.
How many times have you taken one look at a landing page form, thought ‘nope’ and clicked away? Incomplete information is still better than nothing at all, so keep it as short and easy to fill out as possible!
3. Social Proof
In times of uncertainty, we’re hard-wired to look for clues from other humans to help us make the right decision. That’s where social proof comes in – as evidence that other human beings are advocating your company and what you sell. And since the B2B sale is a long and complex process, there’s even more uncertainty and need for validation.
In buyer stages:
- Top of funnel: This blog post is awesome, and by the look of things other people think so too. I’m going to jump on the bandwagon and Like/Tweet it.
Tip: Put social sharing buttons at the top of each post to encourage more shares (by showing off how many times it was shared).
- Middle of funnel: Well, they seem to know what they’re talking about… but how satisfied are their past clients?
Tip: Put case studies in your nurture campaigns.
- Bottom of funnel: Alright I’m convinced. Now it’s time to set up a meeting.
Tip: Obviously if you’re meeting in person, make sure you and your surroundings are presentable. Either way, be sure to leverage all the information you have about them on their digital behaviour, like what content they’ve consumed during their buying journey.
For social proof to be effective, it has to be personalised and relevant to your buyer. It also has to come from a credible source. Quote the experts and thought leaders of your industry to strengthen your argument.
Getting these 3 elements right will speed up the decision-making process and nudge your buyers further along in their journey so that they happily progress to the next stage. Think about it – why else would marketers bother to A/B test them? It really does make a difference!