Moving Educational Materials Out Of The Resource Center And Into Your Website Will Jump-Start Your Sales Efforts Instantly
If you spend 10 minutes looking at websites, you’ll notice that almost all of them have a resource center. You might even have one on your site. It’s that special place where you purposely put all of your high-value educational information.
Guess what? That’s a big mistake. Yep, putting all of your educational content in a resource center, no matter how well you design it and how well you organize it, is a mistake — especially if generating leads and sales opportunities is your goal.
And of course that is everyone’s goal.
You need to rethink your entire approach to educational content and rethink how you use your resource center. Here’s why and what you can do about it today.
The B2C Experience For B2B
I could grab you 10 quotes that highlight how Amazon, Netflix and Warby Parker have trained all of us to expect much better online experiences. This is a reality. Your prospects, even if you’re B2B, are looking for a much better experience on your website.
That brings me to the resource center. While this was an important element back in the day, today it’s a receptacle for your greatest lead magnets, and you’ve buried them deep in that section of your website.
No matter how well you organize it, how well you present it and how well you make it searchable, your visitors and your prospects don’t want to dig through it to find what they want — just like people don’t want to dig through Amazon or Netflix to find what they want.
You have to rethink how you use your educational content.
Instead of making people dig through it, you need to pull the material out and present it to them in context with their buyer journey stage, their role, their industry and their challenges.
This is going to require an entirely new methodology for using content on your site.
I hate to sound like a broken record, but personalization has become table stakes for many of us. When we log into our accounts, we’re presented with options that are just for us based on our profile or online behavior.
Your prospects and customers are expecting the same thing from you, and today’s tools make it easier to deliver this expectation.
Micro-personalization along with the ability to serve fresh, relevant content within the right context and tailored to where a customer is in their journey is now very doable using even base-level technology.
Providing visitors content that similar people are reading is also interesting. People want to know what they might be missing out on, and if other people in similar roles are reading or watching certain items, I’d like to know what those are and I’d definitely like to see them.
Content that visitors have read before that they might want to read again or share within their organization is another way to personalize the experience and drive engagement. While visitors could bookmark or save a delivery email, reminding them of what they’ve already consumed is helpful.
Content that is aligned with what they’ve read before is important. Giving visitors a chance to progress through your content in an organized way makes sense for them and you. Since you read this, you might also like this or that. Again, it improves the experience for all of your visitors.
Content specifically for their role and/or industry is also important. This is personalization 101, but you’d be surprised how many people miss this layup. You should have pages for each of the roles you’re targeting and pages for each of the industries you focus on.
Within those pages, personalize your content to match the people spending time on those pages.
This is more about how you use content and how you leverage a resource section on your website. Many companies treat their resource center like a library, putting everything in there and letting their grab whatever they want.
Other people gate the content, using those items as lead magnets to generate marketing- qualified leads (MQLs).
But today there is another option, one that we’ve found works well to ungate content but still collect prospect information and ultimately convert a visitor into a sales-qualified lead (SQL) without needing a form.
We call it casual gating, and it involves using chat and a chat tool to guide visitors through your content, ask them relevant questions, collect qualifying information and add additional value while they’re reading or watching your educational content. For more on casual gating, read this blog, Gated And Ungated Content Are Not The Only Options Anymore.
Pages And Content Designed For The Buyer Journey Stage
Website pages should be designed with visitors in mind. That’s not earth-shattering commentary, I know. I’ve seen industry pages, even role pages, but we rarely see pages designed based on the buyer journey state.
People early in their buyer journey (the Awareness, Education and Consideration stages) will need different page content and different educational content than people in the later stages of their buyer journey (like Rationalization and Decision).
Designing pages with the buyer journey in mind will deliver a better experience for your visitors. It also will signal you and the sales team as to exactly where your potential prospects are in their journeys. This insight is amazingly valuable for lead scoring and for triggering sales rep follow-up.
Taking educational content out of your resource center and putting it into these pages while creating educational content that is aligned with the questions people have in the different buyer journey stages will increase the website’s conversion rates. More importantly, it will increase the number of leads the site generates.
This isn’t just a possibility; this increases leads 100% of the time we’ve made these changes for clients.
Bundling Content Into Kits
People like mass quantities of content. The more you can pack into a package for them, the more value. A little trick we learned from HubSpot is to take your old content, put it all together by topic and call it a kit. Giving people access to a number of items instead of just one adds a ton of value.
Everything you have on SEO, put into an SEO kit or SEO playbook. Everything you have on social media marketing, package it all up into a social media marketing kit. You get the idea. This gives you a chance to repackage and re-market old content in a new way, and without having to create anything new you can drive more leads with old content.
PathFactory reports that 20% of buyers who hit B2B content consume an average of 4.7 assets in a single session. This is what we call “content bingeing.”
This opens up the opportunity to do some real-time lead nurturing.
Let me illustrate. While people are bingeing on your content, hit them up with a lead nurturing email. Or if you have chat configured, pop up a window with a chat question related to their binge behavior.
You can set up the triggers to easily launch both of the nurturing concepts.
The key here is to set up your content to facilitate the binge experience. Once visitors download one item, offer the next. Present the similar content in one place on the page. Make it obvious that they roll out in sequence.
Think like Netflix — watch Episode 1, Season 1 and then you see Episode 2, Season 1. You could even consider retitling your content to make a longer series:
- Part 1 – The ABCs of SEO
- Part 2 – The 123s of SEO
- Part 3 – The Ins and Outs of SEO
- Part 4 – The Ups and Downs of SEO
This makes it easy for your visitors to binge and stay on your page for an extended period of time. Of course, all of this can and should be tested, analyzed and optimized over time.
Getting Feedback On The Content Experience
If you’re going to invest in a high-quality content experience for your visitors, you should consider getting real-time feedback from your visitors.
Again, it’s not hard to set up onsite pop-up questions that collect experiential data from visitors:
- “How easy was it to find what you were looking for on this page?”
- “Did you find this page helpful?”
- “Did you find what you were looking for on this page?”
- “Would you recommend this page or our site to a friend or colleague?”
- “What could we do better to improve your experience on this page?”
This data is incredibly valuable in continuing to improve the visitor experience on your page and across your site. The better the experience, the better the page will perform, the better it will rank and the better it will push people to other pages. Remember, getting more leads and more sales opportunities is the goal of your website.
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