As we all know, the longer the sales cycle, the more resources needed to close the deal. For many companies, especially companies with month-to-month subscription packages, it is not economical to have a long sales cycle.
So, what’s a B2B marketer to do?
Enter Interactive Content Marketing
Content marketing provides b2b companies the right tools to increase demand generation, engagement, retention and leads through interactive, engaging content that provides value to prospective clients.
When this first emerged, it was all about providing well-written, unique content. Today, that’s not good enough. Marketers need to rise even higher than just providing well-written content, which is why interactive content was born.
Interactive content is a win-win for everyone. Readers enjoy consuming it more than static content. In addition to it being more enjoyable for readers, it is better for you because you are able to tap into better data.
For example, a poll can help you uncover psychographic data, which is better suited to converting users. No matter how much demographic data you capture, it only goes so far on how it can personalize the content. Knowing the age group and location are great, but imagine if you could find out the person’s favorite color?
Why Static Content Isn’t Enough to Shorten the Sales Funnel
According to Hubspot, 23 percent of people were exceeding their revenue goals. Fifty-two percent were simply achieving their goals, and 20 percent weren’t meeting them at all.
For those who weren’t exceeding their goals, there was one clear pattern to emerge: lack of insight into the leads delivered.
Interactive content gathers all the necessary info so sales team can have all the info they need to close as many relevant leads as possible. This also shores up their time because they don’t have to do research beforehand.
Engaging Content Formats
By connecting with a prospect through engaging, useful, and highly relevant content, you are providing more than just an interesting article: you are helping him or her reach a smarter purchasing decision. When you deliver the message based on a user’s behavior, you are more likely to push that user through the funnel then letting them fly solo.
These are great for B2B as they also serve as educational tools. This allows businesses the opportunity to benchmark their own insights compared to the rest of the industry. These insights are great for knowing whether you need to up your marketing game or not.
Instead of reading static listicles, visitors get to swipe through for a faster and more diverse reading experience.
Bots are great at every stage of the funnel—from first-time visitors to customers in the checkout stage. Here are some examples of using chatbots at different stages of the funnel.
- Welcome Bot. When it comes to marketing, you only have one opportunity to make a good first impression with customers. Letting them know you acknowledge them is a great way to build loyal, engaging conversations.
- Product Recommendation Bot. Don’t lose out on conversions because people can’t get the information they are looking for.
- Customer Assistance. Today, chatbots are most commonly used as the traditional customer support bot. These significantly lower your site’s churn rate.
- Pricing Page Bot. This is likely one of your most important pages on your entire site. This is the fine print that people do actually read, so you want to make sure you have a strong support presence there. This way you can offer assistance and most likely save a sale.
- Exit-Intent Bot. Never miss out on a potential sale! The concept of the Exit Intent bot is to catch a visitor as he or she moves the mouse up the page and toward the top right of the window (like he or she is going to click on the “close window” button). This is a crucial time to reach out to the visitor one last time before he or she leaves completely. It’s a good place to offer an additional discount or to find out why the user is not staying.
Why It Works
Engagement helps marketers learn where the leads are within the funnel. This way, you can send personalized follow up sales emails and drip campaigns. This helps your sales team when it comes to qualifying and disqualifying the leads.
1. Prioritizing Leads.
Every time someone engages with your interactive content, he or she shares information about goals, challenges, etc. Marketers must use this consumer-supplied information to help rank the lead. For example, a poll or chatbot are great ways to qualify leads, so you don’t need to waste time on leads with a low probability of conversion.
2. Delivering SQLs.
Marketers face a high degree of pressure when it comes to delivering high-quality, sales-qualified leads. Interactive content helps solve that challenge. A quiz can deliver a lead containing all the necessary insights about the prospect’s needs. The salesperson now has a clear picture of the prospect’s situation before or she even initiates contact. It warms up cold calls.
By providing audiences with a variety of interactive engagements, marketers gain visibility into the interests and needs of their audiences, helping both sales and marketers align their efforts for more targeted nurturing.
About the Author: Dana Roth leads the marketing activities at FORTVISION.com, a SaaS platform that helps marketers reach their KPIs through personalized user journeys and interactive experiences. She holds a bachelor of journalism from the University of Missouri – Columbia and has been working in the SaaS world for 10 years.