Increasing conversions for B2B (business to business) involves so much more than building landing pages that convert better. Conversion rate optimization for B2B tends to be more difficult than business to consumer (B2C) because of these added complexities:
- Trust - Decisions in B2B are heavily dependent on risk avoidance as mistakes are significantly more costly.
- Timeline - Sales cycles are longer in B2B. Conversions can take months rather than days or weeks.
- Touchpoints - Multiple stakeholders may be involved in the decision-making.
As you’re selling high-consideration products and services, content for conversion via education is more critical in B2B lead generation.
Here are a few ways you can optimize your lead gen efforts through a content strategy plan:
Map out the industries you’re targeting and present information by industry
B2B visitors look for knowledge within their industry. You need to show that you understand and can cater to their specific needs before you ask them to fill out a form.
If you cater to a variety of industries, ideally you want to give users the ability to self-select their industry by having separate navigation pathways for different types of users.
Ensure that the B2B lead generation content for each industry:
- Conveys the user’s language
- Presents technical information in a manner that is easy to consume (e.g. in charts)
- Shows you have appropriate certifications and comparable clients in the same industry
This way, you establish trust and credibility before asking users to “Request a Quote”.
Cater to the different roles and responsibilities
In B2B, web visitors have different roles and tasks. Converting in this space requires multiple people or departments all finding what they need from your site.
At a very simplistic level, a researcher may check if your business solves the company’s needs, while a buyer may check your certifications, price points, and other details required to close a deal. They are going to want different types of information, and your digital presence needs to have the content to satisfy the diverse set of B2B visitors.
You need branching pathways so a visitor with a research task can find the early-stage educational content, and a user with a buyer’s task can compare your products and certifications easily.
If you have the budget to go deeper than that, you can have collaterals that nudge companies from the top to the bottom of the funnel. An example would be a PDF that someone in the research phase can easily forward to someone in the buying phase via a call-to-action (CTA) button.
Serve personalized content
If you have the technology for it, you can tailor your messaging to fit the company visiting your website.
There are companies that allow you to do account-based management (ABM). Essentially, they have systems that let you serve different content or workflows depending on the visitor’s IP address.
At a basic level, your largely static page can contain a dynamic section that changes when a target company visits your site. A visitor from a healthcare company on your radar might be served an additional piece of content that’s tailored for them, something that visitors from other industries will not see.
At a more advanced level, you can have dynamic pages tailored to specific companies. Additionally, your customer relationship management (CRM) software might perform different automated actions depending on the company of the user filling out the form.
Employ progressive disclosure and support the sales cycle
Once you get visitors from target companies on form pages, maximize the chances of them converting:
- Limit the number of fields. Having a ton of fields makes the form intimidating. Limit the amount of information the visitor needs to provide at any given screen to make the form friendlier.
- Use progressive disclosure. You can ask for information in small pieces. Initially, you can collect only the visitor’s email address to send them a white paper. Eventually, you can ask for their company and company size when that becomes relevant. Asking for information in bite-sized pieces tends to go over better for conversions than asking for a lot of information at the start of the process.
The other consideration is where a certain visitor is in the sales cycle. If they’re on the early stages, you can give them a lot of information without asking for a lot in return. If they’re in the middle stages, you can ask for some information.
Ensure that your collaterals have CTAs. Some of the CTAs can link back to the website, nudging users down the sales funnel. Other CTAs can enable forwarding of content from an early stage researcher to a late-stage buyer.
Putting It All Together
B2B lead generation can be tough. However, if you …
- have tailored content for the visitor’s verticals and industries,
- generate messaging for the different roles and responsibilities,
- personalize your content,
- employ progressive disclosure, and
- support the different parts of the sales cycle
… you can get a leg up on the competition.
Would you like to integrate a lead generation strategy with your overall internet marketing program? Download our Internet Marketing Template to get started.
Alexander is a conversion rate expert for SiteTuners with an innovative digital marketing and eCommerce background.