You and the team spent weeks, maybe even months, mapping out your current digital campaign, nailing down the strategy, refining the images and copy, and finally releasing it out into the wild. But for most B2B companies, that’s just half the battle.
Depending on your objective, you have to guide customers along the whole journey, not just dump them off in an unfamiliar land with a smudged map. And that’s where landing pages come in. More importantly, landing pages that convert.
Don’t think you have to wheel the whiteboard back out to start carving out your landing page. The arduous work you’ve done to create your campaign will set the foundation you’ll use to build your landing page. As a bonus, this approach also naturally guarantees your campaign will look and feel cohesive from the first time someone comes across your ad, all the way to conversion.
Get Your Landing Page Structure Down
There’s a lot, but also very little, you’ll put on your landing page. What I mean is that every word will pack an important punch, but the copy and visuals will be relatively minimal. For that reason, it’s important to get everything organized to provide yourself with a clear template of what you need to fill in.
Your hierarchy may change slightly depending on your goals and what you’re selling, but the below is a proven structure since it follows the flow of the average consumer’s questions: What or who is this? What do they want from me? What’s in it for me? If I say yes, then what happens?
Use a one-line headliner to describe what your company is about. The ad that brought the potential customer through was probably focused on their need. Your identifying headline is your chance to establish credibility by concisely letting him or her know why you’re cut out to provide that solution. This line probably already exists on your homepage as your elevator pitch introduction to visitors.
Zendesk builds whole suites of products aimed at helping companies provide top-notch customer experiences. Here’s how they sum themselves up in one sentence:
And Salesforce, whose product offering is exponentially more complicated than the one-liner below, smoothly explains the company’s purpose:
Determine Your CTA
The call to action is basically the entire purpose of the page, right? So don’t pass off this section as a simple button with “Click Here” on it. A landing page should have one goal. Just one – download the ebook, start your free trial, order today, subscribe now, and on and on. Identify that one goal and put that CTA front and center. Of course, it’s important for it to appear on an obvious clickable button, but don’t hesitate to represent it elsewhere in the copy, as long as the message stays the same.
Identify The Offer
What are you giving the person? While discounts are enticing, don’t make them your default. If you have a great product or a white paper, it’s enough if you’ve set the sale up correctly. Don’t stop at one bullet point for what the person will get. Expand on the offering as much as possible to give the offer strong legs. Be able to list exactly what you’re giving people.
Blue Apron, an ingredients and recipe delivery service, highlights the difference in their ingredients – farm-fresh, seasonal, no added hormones, sustainably-sourced, and so on, in addition to mentioning the supporting recipe materials. The list gives the product a much higher quality feel than a box of food with some directions (and starts to justify the cost).
Highlight The Benefits
Most (if not all!) people have a “me” mentality. They assess nearly everything with a “what’s in it for me” filter. For that reason, focus on the outcome of using your product, not on the product qualities themselves. Using Adstage as an example, our “cross-network reporting & automation connects marketers to the data they need to analyze, automate, and report on their ad campaigns.” The potential customer benefits include saved time, hands-off campaign tracking and measurement, better-looking reports in just a few clicks, and easier campaign decisions thanks to more precise data collection.
List What Comes Next
If someone is heavily considering taking action, this could be what tips them over the edge. They’re interested in the offer, so use this section to show them it’s the correct, easy choice. List out what happens as soon as someone takes action – instant access, automatic importing of existing data from your current system, no download or installation required, full access start of a 21-day trial, etc. No one wants to commit to something only to find out they have to do work to get started.
Know Your Audience
You should already have a ton of audience data from when you initially set up the campaign, and hopefully it was reflected in your ad copy. If your campaign has been running for awhile, you should also have a pretty good collection of insights to shape the landing page, too. If there’s a certain audience segment that’s responding very positively, focus there. If it’s split, you may even consider creating a few landing pages – one for each segment.
In addition to using what you already have, try starting with your prospects’ most urgent problem and work backward. For example, if you know your potential customer spends 15 hours a week creating one email for their marketing campaign, and your software allows the same to be done in minutes, hit home on the “time saved” message. Pump up the language that shows prospects you understand their pain points. It not only lends you credibility, but potential customers will be more likely to trust the solution you’re selling if it seems like you understand the problem to begin with.
Focus The Landing Page Copy
Before you start jotting down copy, go back to what your campaign objective was in the first place. Collect all the copy and messaging you used in your ads and paste that below your campaign objective.
Pro tip – determine which ad performed the best and highlight that copy as a reminder of what’s already proven to be most effective. Use this as a powerful reference sheet as you scope out copy for the rest of your landing page. It’ll stop you from doing double work, but also keep everything cohesive.
- Keep it short. Your landing page is essentially another ad unit, so you have to be concise, even though technically you have a lot more real estate. You’d never be able to drone on in a PPC ad or even a TV commercial. The same best practices apply here. If you’re using the right messaging, it won’t take multiple scrolls to convince someone to accept your offer. In a previous post, What’s A Good B2B Conversion Rate in 2017?, we looked at a report from Unbounce that examined landing page conversions across several verticals. The study found pages with fewer than 100 words convert 50% better than pages with 500+ words.
- Make every word pack maximum power. Here at AdStage, we often use tools like CoSchedule’s free Headline Analyzer, which breaks down and scores your copy. Also, make sure your messaging pertains to your unique business and product. If you a competitor could also use it, it’s not specific enough to you.
- Don’t try to include everyone. Sure, you want to sell to as many people as possible, but generalizing your copy and messaging will only water down your offer and benefits. Focus on your persona’s specific needs and go hard there. If down the road, you see an opportunity to focus on another persona, you can always build another landing page speaking to the solutions you provide that person.
Test, Test, and Test Some More
Whether it’s button copy (instead of “Click Here” try “Start Your Free Trial” etc.), or breaking paragraphs into bullet points, make sure you’re trying new approaches to see what works best.
VWO, an A/B testing and conversion optimization platform, shared a case study on their blog (#8) showing how Provident Hotels & Resorts ran multivariate text tests on their CTA and form titles that resulted in a 9.1% higher CTR. They used 12 different combinations and discovered the “Reserve a Room” + “Search” combination was most effective.
- This should be no problem if you’re using the same copy and assets from your original ad campaign, but make sure the messaging and design mirrors the ad that brought the person to the landing page. If it’s too different, he or she might think they’re in the wrong place or being scammed.
- Don’t get carried away on desktop. Everything needs to be mobile-optimized.
- Videos can be a compelling tool to help offer more information without clogging the page with text. Eyeview, a video manufacturing company, shares a few case studies that show video can increase conversion up to 86%.
- For more tips beyond copy, check out our post 5 Easy Ways to Boost Landing Page Conversions
Launching an ad campaign is just half the battle – but there’s a silver lining, too. It means that half the work is already done, all you need to do is extend it into another form. Keep in mind your landing page should answer all questions, and provide an offer prospective customers can’t refuse.