One of the most common demand generation issues I hear from clients is, “We get leads, but they rarely convert into opportunities.” If you could use some conversion rate improvement, the following marketing tools are excellent assets to use on your website for prospect engagement.

Fundamentally, you will need to build a journey for your website visitors. Think of this journey like hiking trails in a park. The prospect wants to choose which trail they go on and how long they take in their journey. Your job is to keep the path clear and to insert value along the way so they always know how to continue forward and have the motivation to do so. If they aren’t motivated to continue on their journey, they are going to pack up and leave.

Top tools to create an exciting journey

They’ve started down the trail as enthusiastic hikers, hoping that you have something interesting to show them. Something that feels like it is just for them. Like the deer they spot in the woods, you need to give them something they want to tell others about. Enter personalized thought leadership content.

Step 1: Personalized thought leadership content

When I say “personalized” I don’t mean a whitepaper that has the website visitor’s name on it. (Yes you could do that with macros, but that’s a bit creepy). Instead, it means having content that is made specifically for your target visitors. This could be content that is specialized by industry segment, role or both. And when I say “thought leadership” that means content that doesn’t talk specifically about your product.

Thought leadership content is typically the original attribution point for a lead and is key to bringing prospects to your website to get the asset.

Here are the highest converting forms of thought leadership content:

  • Research – This can be from secondary or primary data (example) that gives visitors an idea about what is happening in their market/industry, to their role or relative to a problem they are experiencing. TIP: Annual surveys or data reports are a great piece to use that can be year long campaigns that get easier every year. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
  • Testimony – This is an opinion piece backed up by testimony from experts and/or your customers providing an idea about what is happening in their market/industry, to their role or relative to a problem they are experiencing.

Step 2: Interactive quiz

Once prospects have downloaded your thought leadership asset, they need another reason to engage with you on their hike. They just saw the deer, they can go back and end the hike or climb the big hill to continue the journey. How are you going to help them up the hill?

What they need is a super cool walking stick that makes the hill easily surmountable.You can provide them one with an interactive quiz.

An interactive quiz should be on a topic that helps the prospect determine if they should continue on with the journey. Is your product a fit for them? Will they get value from your product? The beauty of the quiz is that it is relatively painless, kind of fun and starts planting the seeds of the good stuff up ahead in their journey. Will you get some people who disqualify themselves out of the journey? Absolutely! But that is time saved from business development trying to call those people and disqualify them later.

Step 3: ROI calculator

They have successfully climbed the hill and they stop to pause, hearing a waterfall in the distance. Now they are getting excited, but are cautious thinking, “Show me the money!” That is where an online ROI calculator (example) can be a great asset.

They want to know in hard numbers if your solution will bring them value. This is a struggle for many organizations, but you’ll find that a little bit of data collection from willing customers can help to build a comprehensive enough tool. Just make sure that it requires only a few inputs so it doesn’t feel overwhelming.

Step 4: Early stage demo

The ROI Calculator showed huge cost savings and they are now right in front of the most majestic waterfall they’ve ever seen. It looks too good to be true and they are wondering, “Is it safe? Can I dive in?” Here is where an early stage demo is critical.

Short videos are the best way to cover early stage demos. Break down your functionality into key segments and create 30 second videos showing those features. This will help give them the security that yes, the goodness is real and that they could be a part of that goodness.

No prospect journey is ever the same

It’s true that while I painted this “hike” as a four step journey, the reality is that your prospects will all take unique paths. Some may go to your demo videos first, jump to ROI calculator and then be ready to talk to sales. The key is to have these key assets on your website so that prospects can engage and explore independently. Even if your sales team brings incredible value in the sales cycle, your prospects are dreading it. They need to be convinced that it is worth it and that means marketing has to bring the goods.

Need helping developing great assets like these? Check out some examples of my work.