Wondering if you should utilize landing pages in your marketing efforts? Now, I may be biased, but absolutely you should! There are a lot of contradictory definitions of what makes a landing page, but there are some basic principles that remain the same. First and foremost, a landing page must contain a form. Secondly, a landing page's sole purpose in life is to capture a visitor's info via that form.
Ideally, your landing page and the form it contains should be a part of a larger marketing ecosystem to nurture the specific leads you capture after they fill out the form. Nothing is ever free, so visitors need a compelling reason to give up their information. Landing page forms can be used for a content offer like an ebook, resource download, sales presentation pdf (basically anything you think your audience would find valuable) OR they can be more transactional in nature, like signing up for a free trial, demo, or anything with more information about a product or service you offer on your site.
Landing pages can be conversion-focused or SEO-focused. A conversion-focused page has distinct points of entry, like a pay-per-click targeted ad or a Call-to-Action in an email campaign. A SEO-focused landing page relies on bringing organic traffic to the page by using focused keywords. Always keep your ideal audience at the top of your mind when creating a landing page. An unfocused page will not yield qualified leads, and it makes your job harder when you have to slog through a long list of "leads" that aren't a good fit for your company.
Alright! Now with that out of the way, let's move on to tips for creating a successful landing page.
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
Generating online leads can be difficult, especially for B2B companies. Traditional marketing has stuck around in the manufacturing world. Adding landing pages to your current marketing plan is a great way to supplement your growth. A well-built landing page should generate QUALIFIED leads 24-7, like a salesperson you don't have to pay. Qualified being the operative word here. But how do you know what kind of audience you want to attract online? If you've not done so already, creating personas of your ideal customers and gearing your content toward those personas is a crucial component of building successful landing pages.
Now that you have your personas set up, the next thing to tackle is to create landing page content just for them. According to this quote, "A majority of B2B customers perform research online before making a buying decision, and the types of people that manufacturers target aren't just any B2B customer. These companies market to serious individuals including scientists, plant managers, and engineers. These customers are also looking for complex and expensive services and products that need to give them exactly what they need."(source: Hubspot) By creating informed content geared toward the specific individuals that make up your clientele, you will reduce bounce rates and increase your downloads, and eventually your sales.
OPTIMIZE, OPTIMIZE, OPTIMIZE
Optimizing your landing page for your ideal audience is so important. You spent all this effort getting them to your page, and you certainly don't want them wandering away without giving up any information. Landing pages should have limited "distractions" or routes that would carry them away from your carefully curated masterpiece. Even navigation in the header should be eliminated in most cases. Clear headlines are key; don't hide your intentions under a lot of fluff. Subheadings can help clarify the headline, and can provide additional information about your offer. Speaking of, the purpose of the landing page should be obvious at first blush. Don't distract from or dilute your offer. You want you audience to know what they are in for when they submit the form. After all–you've funneled them to this offer specifically. This benefits your audience by making it easy to get to the good stuff, and it also benefits you by reducing your bounce rate.
Another important thing to remember is to include captivating imagery of some sort. Most people need some sort of visual hook to grab their interest, and your landing page should capitalize on that. Video is also a great component to include to enhance your visual impact. According to Animoto, "People are 4x more likely to watch a video about a product than read about it." Think about that for a second. Four times is a huge figure. If you and your team can swing it, producing a video about your product is sure to boost your landing page significantly.
Testimonials from happy clients and the benefits of your offer are good items for "below the fold" content on your landing page. Everyone likes validation, right? Testimonials support the awesomeness of your offer or product, and if your clients are well-known within your industry, all the better. Having the benefits of your product spelled out in plain language is a great way to sway the undecided. Bullet point are the classic option for listing benefits, but short paragraphs are also used in many successful landing pages. Testimonials and benefits also boost your SEO, which is always a bonus in my book.
TEST IT OUT
A successful landing page is like a well-oiled-machine, you need to maintain it to keep it running as it should. You should be testing it's performance and making tweaks accordingly. Both A/B testing and multivariate Testing are good ways to hone in on the aspects of your page that are successful and where you need to make some adjustments. A/B testing consists of creating two different versions of your page: a control page and a second page with more significant changes. The benefits of A/B testing is that you get quick results and the changes are easy to implement. The drawback to A/B testing is that the reasons for conversion rate differences are often murky. You know which page does better, but not why. Multivariate testing consists of making one main control page and a number of separate pages with minor but specific differences. The benefits of Multivariate testing is that you will know what specific changes are helping or hindering your conversion rate. The drawback to this method is that it takes longer and you may see multiple versions of your page performing at the same rate, which makes making decisions harder. With that said, be free in what you want to change. Changes to layout, images, text, testimonials, etc. are all good places to start.
Landing pages should be the strong, yet flexible backbone in any good inbound campaign. They have proven time and time again to create qualified leads, boost your SEO, provide insight into the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, and engage with your prospects. With these tips up your sleeve, what are you waiting for?