There are a number of ways in which you can generate traffic to your website. Most common is search engine marketing and search engine optimization. Increasingly popular is the use of content marketing or inbound marketing. In fact, it’s so popular that according to the Content Marketing Institute’s B2B Content Marketing: 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends research 86% of B2B marketers are using it.
Inbound/content marketing is about creating content that draws potential customers to your website – eventually leading to a profitable interaction. Typically this content includes white papers, blogs, case studies, articles, etc. Increasingly more companies are adding video to the list of content types and those that are really innovative are creating interactive content like automated online assessments – also known as “decisionaires.”
Companies use inbound marketing, and a variety of other techniques, to drive people to their website. The thing is, what do you do with someone once they get to your website? How do you take a site visitor and turn them into a lead? Well, there are a few ways to do this:
- “Gate” Your Content – this involves requiring a site visitor to fill out a form in order to access the content that you are promoting. This is probably the most common approach to converting a site visitor into a lead. The problem is that some people aren’t willing to provide their contact information in order to access a piece of content. The result is that many potential clients either abandon the gate form or complete the form with bogus information.
- Live Chat Pre-Chat Survey – if you can attract people to your site, then there is a good chance that the site visitor will have some interest in your company, products, or services. And, if this is the case, the content on your website will most likely not answer every question that the site visitor might have about your company, products, and services. So, to address those questions that your website can’t answer, you should have a Live Chat button strategically placed on your web pages. When clicked, the site visitor will be asked to provide their name and email address and their question or concern. In this case, a site visitor is more likely to complete the form and provide valid information because providing this information assists the chat agent in answering their questions. This approach is more likely to render valid site visitor information than the gate form approach mentioned above.
- Decisionaires – decisionaires are an inexpensive way to create automated online assessments that provide site visitors with personalized content instantly. The site visitor is asked a set of questions via the online assessment. Upon answering the questions, the site visitor clicks a button and immediately gets an automated, personalized report, white paper, rating, etc. This approach to converting a site visitor to a lead encourages honest responses to the questions that the decisionaire poses and site visitors are less likely to abandon this – as opposed to a gated form – because they understand that their responses will be used to provide them with the personalized content that they are interested in receiving.
Let me be clear, I’m not suggesting that you only use one of the tips above to convert website visitors to leads. You should use them all. But you should understand the benefits and downfalls of each tactic and use an appropriate mix to maximize your online lead generation. Keep in mind that with the first tip – gating your content – the perception of the site visitor is that by providing you with their contact information the only one who benefits from this information is you. Since they don’t reap any benefit in providing this information to you then they are more likely to either lie or abandon the form. With the other 2 tips above, the site visitor directly benefits from answering the question that are presented to them and are therefore more inclined to respond honestly.