By Mary D’Alatri-Ward
VP of Accounts, ion interactive
Let me first begin by acknowledging the fact that the idea of “no more landing pages” is somewhat radical. Particularly for my audience of conversion optimization experts, people who have presumably staked the success of their careers upon the success of their landing pages. I’m staking my success on being able to convince you that “landing pages” can no longer be the basis for conversion conversations.
Just this past year, I had the pleasure of presenting an entire topic around getting more bang for your paid search buck through the use of optimized landing pages. In my previous session, and in most others at conferences across the country, we discussed the need for campaignspecific pages, dynamic content, segmentation, and reducing friction.
I pause again to acknowledge that in theory, these topics are still somewhat advanced and achieving them will be the 2014 goal of marketing teams around the world. In reality, these features are already outdated must haves and in realizing that, it becomes even more apparent how outdated even the idea of a “landing page” is.
The problem with landing pages, regardless of how hyper relevant and conversion focused they may be, is that your modern 2014 visitors don’t want to “land” anywhere. Having been inundated with smart designs and optimized forms, they’re now beginning to wise up and demand more. Like most things in life, we gave them an inch and they’re demanding a mile. In place of landing pages, we’re presenting highly sophisticated, personalized, and engaging Marketing Apps.
Marketing Apps are part of a new wave of Digital Marketing, one of deep engagement, interaction and utility. Content marketing overload is everywhere and it’s diluting efforts to the point that many are questioning its value. Marketing apps can transform your static content into a useful digital experience. Cut through the clutter—reduce bounce rates, improve engagement and increase conversion rates with useful content.
In order to provide value, and rise above the clutter, we can leverage tactics to significantly increase the usefulness of our digital experiences. The opportunity for the modern marketer lies not in generating more and more and more landing pages. The opportunity lies in putting those landing pages to work—making content more engaging, and more useful, for those who interact with it.
Now for the million dollar question. What, exactly, is a Marketing App? Marketing apps leverage usefulness to turn static pages into applications that engage and convert your audience into leads and sales. It’s a form of utility that transforms content into something customers actually want to interact with because it’s useful, memorable and valuable.
So it’s time to get inspired. Inspired to ditch the static landing page and provide that higher value experience, reap more online leads and become engaging.
There are countless varieties of marketing apps, but to get started, I’ve highlighted a few of my personal favorites.
Idea 1: Quiz
Quizzes are a great way to engage and educate, giving valuable insights and advice while marketers get high-value visitor profiling data. For quizzes to work, particularly from a conversion standpoint, they must offer rich information. For example, asking visitors multiple- choice questions in an assessment and subsequently giving participants written recommendations based on their series of answers.
Idea 2: Games!
Games are entertaining ways to engage, educate and convert prospects. For example, “Guess Which” games are great follow-on uses of survey data. Rather than answering survey questions for themselves, participants guess which answer was most popular amongst their peers. In answering, they are exposed to shared pains, problems and solutions that drive demand. Simple guessing games provide another way to communicate strategically compelling information- for example, guessing how much time is saved, on average, by users of a solution.
Idea 3: Configurator
Configurators are specific types of wizards that allow participants to assemble or package products and/or services. By answering a series of self-evaluation questions, they can be presented with a more targeted and specific offering. This data can be used in marketing automation programs as well as in personal selling to cater messages and offers. This makes sales and marketing smarter, more likely to satisfy visitor expectations, and more likely to convert traffic into business.
Idea 4: Calculator
Most organizations have something that can be calculated using an engaging app-like experience. The most obvious example is pricing. Price “ball parking” lets you price-qualify leads without giving them personal pricing. It uses some basis axis upon which to assess and offer a price range or ball park. This provides the immediate gratification that B2B buyers crave while allowing sales to continue to build value prior to delivering a specific price quote.
User expectations are quickly evolving with regards to how they want to interact with brands, and with the information they are consuming. An app-like experience is increasingly what your audience is conditioned to expect. It’s what they want.
Because of the explosion of mobile apps, and mobility in general, we’re used to interacting with our devices, inputting information on the screen and having it do something.
It’s not at all hard to see how these app-like experiences deliver much more than an opportunity to “land”. They provide a springboard for allowing visitors to deeply engage with your brand and product in a way that will convert more leads and generate more revenue.
About the Author
Mary is the VP of accounts at ion interactive, leading their client services and production teams. Mary brings a strong understanding of the online space and the opportunities it brings to marketers. Prior to joining the ion team, Mary served as the Director of Client Services and Development for an online marketing agency focusing on search engine optimization and paid search. This has given her extensive knowledge of the entire online buying cycle and how to create a high-impact integrated marketing plan.
See Mary Live!
Join Mary in her session on “Marketing Apps: The End of the Landing Page?” at Conversion Conference San Francisco 2014, March 17-19. Follow Mary on Twitter for some pre-conference networking. You can also ask her for a promo code to save more on your pass!