If you’re finding that generating high-quality online leads for your equipment manufacturing organization is a challenge, you’re not alone. 61% of your B2B marketing colleagues said in a B2B Technology Marketing Community survey that it was their biggest challenge as well.
Perhaps you’ve done all kinds of work to get people to your website, but haven’t been able to capture those illusive leads — either because you haven’t had the time or don’t have the know-how to set up a landing page. Or maybe you were able to develop a landing page for a recent trade show promotion, but haven’t seen the leads roll in like you had hoped.
So, what’s a marketing manager to do? First, don’t feel deflated, because marketing to customers who buy industrial equipment and machinery can be complicated. Second, work through the following 6 steps to develop and/or improve the effectiveness of your landing pages so they can begin generating the high quality leads you desire.
1. Developing Compelling Content Offers
Before you have a landing page, you have to have an offer that speaks to your potential leads and aligns with where they are in the marketing funnel. If you haven’t pulled together some ideas yet, here are a few ideas to get you started:
Compile a series of related blog posts into an eBook.
Change an existing sales presentation into a short, easy-to-read PDF.
Pull together a problem/solution customer success story and use it as a topic for a webinar.
Create a process checklist that helps customers pull together information needed to initiate a new project.
2. Draft Your Landing Page Text
With your content offer in-hand, it’s time to draft the text for your landing page. As you do so, remember to be open to multiple revisions and consider the following as you write:
Create a compelling headline and subhead. The headline should be written so that it captures the reader’s attention and clearly communicates what the offer is about. Some examples:
FREE DOWNLOAD: 10 Ways to Kill Your Process Control System Are You Killing Your System Without Knowing It?
10 Questions to Ask Before Starting Your Next Equipment Rebuild This Guide Could Save You Time and Money
Also, make sure the language you use in the headline is consistent with what you use for your calls-to-action and forms. This keeps the messaging clear and simple to avoid potential visitor confusion. Your subhead should briefly supplement and clarify the headline as necessary.
Work that body text. Tell the reader what the offer is and what they will receive. As you draft your text, make sure you’re addressing the potential visitor’s pain points and the features and benefits of what they will receive. Remember to use language the visitor will understand and that what they'll be receiving is abundantly obvious. As with most content on the web, shorter is better, but there is no magic formula for length.
Focus on formatting. Keep in mind that the text needs to be easy to navigate and visually “light.” Instead of using multiple lengthy paragraphs, break up the text by:
Using short sentences
Include sub-headings that categorize content
Incorporate bullet points (especially for lists of features/benefits)
Don’t forget additional details. When writing your landing page, don’t forget to craft a concise meta description that explains what the page is about in 155 characters or fewer, as well as a clear, keyword-focused page title.
3. Create Your Call to Action (CTA)
Your CTA may be the most critical item on your landing page. When writing them remember to:
Keep it short and sweet. Your call to action needs to follow a 2-second rule. A visitor must be able to comprehend what action you want them to take after just a quick glance, such as: Download Now!, Register Today, or Get the Free eBook.
Plan for A/B testing. Think about a couple CTA variations you may want to test out. These variations may be a different verbiage placed onto the same color button or vice versa. Serving up such a test will enable you to discover which variation pulls the most activity.
4. Create Your Form
When creating the form you will use on your landing page, there are a couple of factors to consider when deciding what information will be required from a visitor as well as how much information you want to ask.
Where does this offer fall in the marketing funnel? For offers oriented toward top-of-funnel leads (those with whom you have a minimal relationship), it’s best to require just a small amount of information. For most manufacturers, this should include:
Name (Just first name or first and last name)
For offers targeted toward leads further down the funnel, you can include additional form questions. However, it’s generally best to only incorporate 2-5 additional fields.
Need to know versus want to know. Think about what you need to know about those potential leads and what just would be nice to know. And think incrementally, what information will suffice for an initial offer and what information may be appropriate to add to a form on subsequent offers. Remember, having to complete too many fields on a form may deter leads from completing the submission.
5. Page Layout
The layout of your page should be clean and simple in order to keep visitors focused. Be sure to:
Include an image. Incorporate an image that reinforces what your offer is or that helps explain its importance. Do not just use an image on your landing page because it looks nice. For example, if your offer is for the new eBook “10 Simple Ways to Resolve Vacuum Pump Issues,” include an image of the cover. If your offer is for an upcoming webinar, include photos of the presenters along with any imagery you’re using to promote the event to provide consistency throughout all your materials.
Only use one CTA per page. Let’s face it: most people are easily distracted. Don’t give visitors the option of clicking on another CTA that takes them away from the action you want them to take. This even means removing the standard top and side navigation links found on your main site.
Emphasize the CTA. There shouldn’t be imagery on your landing page that does not directly support the CTA. So position the image it near your form to draw attention toward there.
Don’t forget the social share. You can extend the reach of your landing page by allowing visitors to share it on the various social networks, so be sure to include social sharing links on the page.
6. Plan to Measure
As you develop landing pages, have in mind how you will measure their performance. Collecting and analyzing your landing page data will enable you to understand how different offers compare, how visitors convert to leads, what improvements you may need to make to your landing pages and more. Key metrics to track include:
Landing page views – this tells you how well the page is generating traffic through your promotion efforts.
Conversion rate – the ratio of views to submissions, which will tell you whether your offer resonates with visitors and/or if there may be barriers to submission (e.g., form is too long)
Conversion rate over time – this will help you know what offers are evergreen and which ones become stale.
Topics/formats – based on your conversion metrics, look to see if there is a certain topic that outperforms the others and if there’s a format (eBook versus webinar) that does so as well.
Generating leads online through content offers and landing pages is something that can feel complicated to execute, but with a little planning and forethought you’ll be on your way to creating pages that are generating great leads in no time.
Posted by Tim Holdsworth Tim has vast experience executing B2B marketing plans in a number of industries, including manufacturing, health products, and business technologies. He manages the mechanics of our clients' inbound marketing programs, including marketing automation setup, email marketing, and digital content creation.