Recently, I was reading Julie Joyce’s Link Week article, 8 Tips To Make PPC Work With Link Building Efforts, and really enjoyed the premise of combining two disciplines that are often very separate in a marketing organization. Julie’s article got me thinking about some of the work we have been doing in the area of landing page optimization, and how those efforts are sometimes being tied to social media marketing and lead nurturing efforts that do not traditionally “talk” to, or integrate with, PPC Marketing.
Conventional wisdom in the world of landing page optimization is that “less is more.” Keep the visitor focused on the conversion action typically a contact form in B2B marketing - by stripping out content and navigation. We have certainly seen successful landing page tests that take this into account (even stripping out small noise contributors such as breadcrumb trails.)
But, almost every B2B marketer faces some common challenges that conflict with this methodology:
- Long sales cycles
- Multiple buyers & purchasing influencers
- Complex messaging
- Need to educate prospects
- Demonstrating ROI and value
The key in B2B marketing is to get someone to become aware, listen, and be interested in engaging with you.
Not every offer or campaign will resonate with the reader and convert that website visitor into a lead. If you have just spent $6.83 (for example) paying for a click on a PPC ad for a keyword that is spot-on for your category, it’s a good idea to do what you can to maximize that interaction. Even if you have a great offer, you may have brought a visitor to your site that just isn’t interested in what you have to say at the moment, but that person could be a fantastic prospect over the long run.
Here are some suggestions for how to maximize your chances of staying on that person’s radar, and in the loop with that company’s buying cycle in general:
Tagline to remember
Expect high bounce rates with any landing page you create. Not all of the people leaving right away are a poor fit for your company. Give your visitors that one, perfect sound bite that they will remember the next time they are thinking about the same thing that brought them to your landing page in the first place. You probably use short value/branding statements all the time in your overall marketing efforts, so just make sure to emphasize this tactic on landing pages as well. Don’t rely on someone looking up at the top, left corner of your site and seeing your logo with the company’s tagline. Create a phrase that resonates with the keywords and/or concept that brought them to this landing page, and put it right out there for them on the page itself.
Social media icons
A nice alternative to someone filling out your form right then and there is to have them become a fan or a follower in places like Facebook and Twitter.
Use the icons of the social media sites where your company has a presence to add some eye candy to your landing page. Keep the images above the fold so that these are images that the user will see without having to scroll through your page. Visitors that do not decide to follow your company now may at least remember that you can be found on those communities at a later time.
Video that is social
I would recommend combining your social media and rich media efforts in this case. Load all of your (quality) product demonstration, training, thought leadership, and related videos in YouTube in your company-specific YouTube Channel. On the PPC Landing Page, use the YouTube embed code to bring in 1 to 2 of your best/most-relevant videos onto the page. Make sure that the page design accommodates a neatly-packaged space for the video(s), and that this element does not clutter your page. The imagery of the video will add visual appeal to the page, the content of the videos themselves will add to the education process, and the use of YouTube will add the potential for users to share, comment, and view more materials in your YouTube Channel.
Events & trade shows
Consider having a small box on the side of the page dedicated to highlighting the next 1 to 3 events and/or trade shows where you will be attending. You can use this space to highlight one of your own Webinars as well as reminding people that you will be at one of the major industry shows.
If you have a newsletter and a subscription process already in place, give users a link or provide the actual sign-up form if it is short enough (especially if it is simply an e-mail address box.)
Try something, anything, that will differentiate your landing page from all of the other cookie-cutter landing pages that are popping up out there. Yes, you do want to have a Contact Form directly on the landing page, placed strategically in the right margin. But, just because that is a best practice, does not mean you cannot inject some creativity into how you use landing pages to engage people over the long haul.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.