Why Website Engagement is the New Marketing “Must-Have”
As a marketer, you only have a few minutes—or less, to capture the attention of a website visitor with engaging content. Since prospects are often quick to judge the value and relevancy of your content, each blink of an eye can make the difference between piquing their interest in your company, or sending them back to Google for another search.
How crucial is website engagement to revenue generation? The 2014 B2B Procurement Study from Acquity Group found that company websites are the most popular channel for conducting online research (according to 83% of respondents!).
Although company websites were found to be the most popular channel, buyers are not satisfied with the level of information offered; only 37% of B2B buyers think websites are the most helpful channel for this purpose. This demonstrates that companies must focus on providing targeted website content to educate their prospects and generate more qualified leads.
Delivering the right message, at the right time, to the right person, is a prerogative for any marketer looking to make a meaningful connection with a website visitor. By featuring content that prospects not only find educational, but also relevant to their pain points and challenges, a website can effectively nurture prospects, generate more qualified leads, and help to effectively move them down the funnel.
Your Marketing Efforts Need to Be Where Your Prospects Are
While digital advertising, email marketing, and industry conferences are bastions of the marketing arsenal, it’s time to realize that website engagement is just as crucial for nurturing and lead generation. Why? Primarily, because of potential audience reach.
For example, based on the Marketo customer database, most company websites attract tens of thousands of visitors per month. This works out to approximately 100-200K visitors per year—which is certainly not a number that any marketer can afford to disregard. In this context, chances are that most of your prospects are at the top of the funnel, a stage where website engagement is vital.
In the first stage of the buyer’s journey—the awareness stage, audience volume is the highest. If you fail to invest enough effort to engage prospects at this point with custom content that captures their attention quickly, you may risk losing much of your audience before they reach the next stage, the middle of the funnel. Relevant content can also ensure lower bounce rates, and lead to higher conversion rates.
Not All Website Visitors Were Created Equal
Can you imagine visiting a website, and only seeing content that matches your industry, job function, or demographics? Wouldn’t that be grand?
With website personalization technology, marketers can now engage prospects on the most personal level, with customized CTAs, case studies, and offers that fit their interests and challenges.
According to Marketing Sherpa, 67% of prospects find content targeted to their job function valuable, while 82% value content targeted to their specific industry. These stats demonstrate that people not only want—but even expect—a company to develop and serve content that matches their individual attributes.
Every buyer segment has an exclusive “DNA” made up of demographics, industry, location, and more. It’s a marketer’s responsibility to ensure that every website visitor is served content that aligned with his or her DNA, to increase potential engagement.
Even though most companies have created substantial amounts of content, they still don’t have the ability show it to the right people, at the right time. Real-time website personalization, provides the opportunity to deliver a targeted and customized experience that increases your chances of converting a prospect into a lead.
2015: The Year of Website Personalization
While the last few years have substantiated the value of content marketing, as 2015 takes off, personalization will undoubtedly be at the forefront of marketing trends. As more and more content becomes available, it will be increasingly important to stand out from the crowd. Engaging visitors on your website with granular-level content and messaging is an excellent way to achieve this, and maintain top-of-mind preference.
Not only does this approach heighten the chances of prospects staying on your site for longer, but it also encourages them to read more content to educate themselves. This will help secure your company’s position as an industry thought-leader, and encourage prospects to return to your website multiple times to educate themselves about your offering and differentiation—ultimately becoming truly qualified leads.
How do you incorporate web engagement into your marketing strategy? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below.