Click To Close: How Marketers Are Supercharging Online Campaigns
As offline advertising dollars continue to be diverted to search and other online campaigns, B2B marketers are spending billions of dollars to drive that click. But what marketers have also learned during this evolution is that even the most strategic online marketing campaigns do not always equate to a sale. Some 98% of site traffic goes unrealized, with a roaming "silent majority" moving in between search engines and sites without ever filling out a form or picking up the phone. This equates to a huge loss for businesses that have carefully planned, tracked and catalogued campaigns to drive eyeballs to their Web site.
So how can marketers go beyond statistical data to turn anonymous Web traffic into real prospects, converting that traffic into paying customers and effectively short-cycling the sales process?
Basically, what do marketers do after the click?
Fortunately, there is an emerging cottage industry focused on this very issue, picking up where the click leaves off. Welcome to the wonderful world of post-click marketing.
The biggest mistake companies make is to think the end goal of an online campaign is to drive traffic to a site. Click-throughs are an important tracking metric, but traffic alone won't bring home the proverbial bacon for most companies. Savvy customers now want a personalized experience--they want to know that you can fulfill their needs, yet they are not likely to fill out lengthy surveys to help show you the way.
By simply integrating some additional layers to your existing campaigns, you can open a whole new world of promise that becomes available after the click. Opportunities can be harvested from Web traffic simply by reaching out and focusing marketing and sales efforts on the companies that have visited your Web site, rather than taking a spray-bullet approach that gets you right back to that wasted marketing spend.
First, marketers must create compelling Web content that creates a call to action for those who have taken the step to click in the first place. Instead of increasing your advertising spend (and really, who can afford that in today's economy?), optimizing your Web content and directing traffic to specific promotional landing pages will help increase conversions and improve on the overall effectiveness of marketing campaigns. Factor in the stickiness of your site's content to track customer and prospect interaction with each page.
Second, consider the ways you are maximizing Web site analytics to better integrate your marketing and sales efforts. Are you tying analytics to specific landing pages or just the home page? Attaching analytics into specific pages gives you a firsthand view into what is working, what is not, and how you can up the ante to convert site visits to paying customers. Clicks alone are not enough. You need to look at your visitors by market, company size, and more. Do you know what percentage of your visitors is from your target markets? Are you extending these solutions outside the walls of the marketing department to enable your account executives to sell more effectively?
Last, get to know who is visiting your Web site to turn that anonymous traffic into a known quantity. Consider: Are you leveraging solutions that allow you to view and act upon traffic in real time? Have you identified your target customer at each company prospect, so you can immediately capitalize on that company's visit to your Web site? Do you know the exact search terms that landed them on your site? You can easily implement cost-effective software options that go beyond statistical data and clicks to assign value to your Web traffic. These options allow you to really get to know your visitors: who they are, what they are looking for when visiting your site, and what brought them there.
The benefit of all of this? More selling opportunities and higher marketing ROI.
That fact is, with corporate America tightening its belt, companies simply can't afford NOT to know who is visiting their sites, how they found you and what they were looking for. Marketers leave a lot of money on the table by not capitalizing on the silent majority who click on search ads and meet the target profile, but do not convert (and are therefore never identified). In order to be truly effective, marketers must take the next step to reach out to these qualified prospects, maximizing the dollars they have already spent on search marketing and other online programs.
This does not mean that marketers need to reinvent the wheel with their next campaign, but they can super-charge it by taking advantage of all opportunities available to them--especially after the click.