In a 2017 webinar survey, Brainrider asked respondents to identify the primary goal of their website. 70% stated their priority was to acquire new, qualified leads.
This sentiment has been echoed in various studies in recent years, including this 2019 study by Ascend2 and Vidyard.
There’s been an undeniable shift from a focus on quantity to quality in B2B marketing. This has been both strategic and intentional as B2B marketers are becoming more accountable for business objectives and revenue. Marketers are adopting a “do more with less” mindset, where “less” is the product of better strategic thinking.
With this in mind, how can B2B marketers adopt a “less is more” strategic approach and generate more qualified leads through their B2B website?
Not sure to where to start in your marketing planning?
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First, let’s define what we mean when we talk about quality—we’re referring to generating leads that are engaged and are aligned with your organization’s ideal customer profile. The shift in focus is towards driving less leads, but leads of exceptional quality. This means that any improvements you make to your website are done to facilitate an improvement in lead quality.
So let’s get started. Here are four ways to generate more quality leads with your B2B website:
1. Provide your website visitors with multiple content pathways
Every visitor to your website is unique. Not only are their needs and pains slightly different (they all landed on your website for a different reason), they are each at a different point in their buying decision. Some are still trying to figure out their problem, some are looking at potential solutions, while others are comparing different solution providers. Your site needs to meet them where they are, serve up the content that they need, and encourage them to move to the next stage in their journey.
So what does this look like in practice?
Varying your calls-to-action (CTAs) is a great way to provide a customized experience for your visitors. No matter how they landed on your site, there will be a CTA that meets them where they are, allowing them to follow their interests and leading them to additional content that is specific to their needs.
Every page on your site and every action your visitor takes should also have a follow-up step that helps nurture them to the next stage in their buying decision. That way, visitors can self-identify when they’re ready to move forward while also minimizing dead ends.
Here are a few ways to put this in action:
– Your visitor finished reading a blog post. Are there related content pieces you could offer them?
– Your visitor is on your ‘About Us’ page. What CTAs are you offering to them? Is there a CTA at the bottom of the page for them to contact you?
– Your visitor downloaded a white paper. Does the thank you page for that download offer other related pieces of content they might be interested in?
These suggestions all help drive leads closer to conversion. However, you don’t want every piece of content on your site to be a potential conversion point. This leads us to our next point.
2. Be selective about the content you gate
Gated content is at the crux of B2B website lead generation–you offer something of value in exchange for someone’s contact information. While gated content can be a great way to learn more about your audience and gain information to nurture qualified leads, it can also cause friction if used too frequently.
You should gate a good portion of your content, but it’s recommended that you leave a few key content assets ungated in order to expand your content’s reach.
Not gating key pieces of content gives those assets far more exposure than if you had restricted their access. It lets the free content demonstrate your company’s expertise. This makes prospects more likely to give you their information (and their business) later on.
3. Minimize friction in your forms
Leaving strategic pieces of content ungated will expand their reach and can generate higher quality leads. But there is still more you can do.
Poorly designed forms can be one of the primary points of friction in your pipeline. They force prospects to slow down and reconsider: “Is this content worth exchanging my information for?”.
Here are some ways to reduce the friction in your forms:
– Make sure your forms are mobile-friendly. Test them yourself to prove this.
– Reduce the amount of information you ask for. The less fields your forms include, the higher their conversion rates tend to be.
– Evaluate whether the gated content is worth the information you’re asking for. For example, a detailed research report may have many form fields, but a visitor may consider that a worthy exchange for the content provided, however a brief eBook with the same form, will likely not have the same positive conversion results.
– Use progressive profiling. If you’re using marketing automation software (like Pardot, Hubspot or Marketo), this can be fairly easy. Set your forms up to ask for only the most essential information (like their email address and name) the first time a prospect downloads a resource. If the prospect returns and downloads another resource, then ask them for secondary information, like their title and zip code, for instance.
By being more strategic with how you manage your forms, you can transform your lead generation and lead nurturing work. Looking to increase conversion rates on your contact forms? Read more about it here.
4. Organize your content according to needs and pains
How you organize your content library plays a large role in your website UX and it should be done with your ideal customer in mind. Many websites have their content library organized by content type, rather than by topic, but this doesn’t maximize its usefulness to your audience.
Usually, there are a few high-level categories of interest or needs that your customers have. Some marketers refer to these different types of interests or needs as tracks. Like the new adopter track or the switching from competitor X track.
Ask yourself some questions about your customer. What do they truly care about when they come to your site? What are the most valuable content assets? What are their needs and pains?
Fair warning, if you do this on too granular a level, it can become unwieldy. However, you can use this information about your customers to build a set of distinct needs and pains that can act as a guideline for categorizing your content. (Ask your sales team to confirm your suspicions about this.)
Some final thoughts
Your lead generation and nurturing efforts are not just a collection of isolated conversions. Every action a prospect takes on your website gives you insight into what they care about, what problems they are trying to solve, and how best you can support them. By focusing on appropriate definition of lead quality, you can truly focus on reaching those who need your help most.
By providing those prospects with a more coherent and useful user experience, your website will start to generate more quality leads and better results.
Looking to develop a scoring and grading methodology? Here’s our definitive guide to everything you need to know to get started.
Create content that meets your buyer at every stage of the journey. This blog post covers how to ensure you’re creating a full content experience that contributes to your marketing goals and creates better leads.
If you’re interested in improving your website’s lead generation and nurturing, we’re here to help. You can request a proposal here.
Brainrider is a B2B marketing and creative agency. We help clients hit KPIs by providing B2B marketing execution services through an on-site & off-site resourcing model to fill capacity and capability gaps. We’re focused on helping you achieve your business objectives and identifying opportunities for continuous improvement so you’ll always stay ahead of the curve. Get in touch here.