Product marketers like you create content all the time. But how is content creation different when you’re a PMM? In this series, we’ll explore the nuances that product marketers must consider when writing for different mediums.
If you’re creating, managing and reporting on product marketing campaigns, you’ve likely got landing pages on the mind. According to MarketingSherpa, 48% of marketers build a new landing page for each marketing campaign. There are tools out there that can make it easy for you to automate your campaigns, but even automation tools still aren’t this savvy yet: product marketers still need to produce the content and overall strategy for these conversion points.
Although the substance of your marketing campaign has more to it than a single landing page (and if it doesn’t, here’s a resource to help you create more effective marketing campaigns), this asset should weigh heavier on the scale than most in terms of importance to the success of your campaign. Even if your reader has already decided to fill out your form (more on that later), your landing page is a place they can’t ignore while they take action in your campaign.
Read on to find out how to create effective landing pages as a product marketer.
As a product marketer, the landing pages you create may fall into several different categories. One type of landing page would be top-of-the-funnel topical campaign content about your industry, product or service. Another might be middle-of-the-funnel product content that’s educational and shows off your brand. Sometimes, you may even create an asset like a white paper or case study for folks in the bottom of your funnel to convert into paying customers. No matter what type of page you’re creating, you’ll need to have this checklist of assets:
- Creative brief: Spending time to develop a creative brief for your campaign before you create your landing page will make your whole life a lot easier. It makes creating the content necessary for the landing page easy, since you’ll take chunks of copy from your creative brief and edit it to make it work for the type of writing and style of your page. Creative briefs answer questions like what the problem is you are solving, why does it matter and what does it do for me (the reader).
- Page assets: Beyond the content, a landing page requires a form, a call-to-action (CTA), and some type of follow-up for the reader after they submit the form on your page. Following up on a submission could include a simple in-line thank you, a new thank-you page that loads after submission or a follow-up email, depending on the content (for example, follow-up emails are a good option for webinars, where someone may need to reference a time-sensitive link in the future).
- Next steps: Somehow, your reader arrived at your landing page – from social media, from your website, from a blog post or another type of content. They came via a call-to-action (CTA) that was enticing enough to earn their click. It’s up to you to make what happens after the click clear to your reader. How will they receive the content? Are there any special details about the content that are important to reader? Being clear about file types (.csv or .xls) and time zones (your broadcast starts at 3:00 PM EST) can cut off any confusion, and maybe a complaint, about the experience on your landing page.
Reader expectations and questions
If you’ve spent time creating content that’s valuable enough to be gated by a form on a landing page, it’s reasonable to expect that you know what types of questions or expectations a reader might have of your content, especially if you’re writing about a product or service. For example, someone who is going to download or ask for your content might have questions about time commitment, type of subscription needed from your company if necessary, or other credentials that may be specific to you. Here’s what readers are asking themselves while reading your landing page:
- What am I going to get? This is your favorite question, because you can easily solve this for your reader via images on your landing page. Somewhere on your page should be a visual of what you’re offering to your reader. An image is meant to be a sister to the copy; an effective way of illustrating the point of the content. Even if you sell virtual software or a hammer, your should be able to visually express what the reader should expect. If all else fails, a logo could work, but it’s not the best option.
- Why should I do this? In the copy of your landing page, this question need to be answered. Here’s why: not only does answering this give the reader the information they need to make a decision, it should also validate their reason for giving your their information in exchange for your content. If you want to think about this question simply, ask yourself this: why did you spend time creating this content? What are you hoping to influence? The answer could be something like number of demos or number of trials. If so, how does what you’re offering to the reader connect to that? Knowing this will make your copy clear.
Tips and tricks for effective landing pages
Now that you have everything you need to plug into your landing page to make it a viable conversion point for your campaign, you have the ability to influence your audience on the topic of your campaign and content. It’s time to take your information and create a process for creating your pages. Here are some tips and tricks for writing effective landing pages:
- First relate, than educate: If someone arrived at your landing page and read the first sentence, why would they stay on your page to read more? To fill out your form? To submit their information? Fortunately, it’s true what they say about first impressions. Spend time on your introduction to really grab the reader and draw them into your world.
- Short and sweet: One of the hardest things to do as a product marketer is take the explanation of how your product and service works and cut it down by 10 words, 20 words, 30 words – and leaving it to simply 10 words. However, it’s a great exercise because it forces you to be clear and succinct in your writing. Try to incorporate both of those attributes into the copy of your landing page.
The “1-2 Punch” Sentence: I totally, definitely made up the name 1-2 Punch Sentence, but it makes sense, I promise. If you know your reader wants to know what they’ll be getting and what they’ll learn from your content, including this sentence in your landing page copy will help: “In this [type of content], you’ll learn [the problem you’re solving by creating the content].” An example of this might be, “In this ebook, you’ll learn how to prepare and run effective broadcasts for your marketing campaigns.” Now, there’s no question what the reader will have learned from your content before they’ve even accessed it. The 1-2 Punch Sentence!
Image from Flickr Commons
Maggie Hibma works on the Product Marketing team at HubSpot, the world’s leading inbound marketing and sales platform. At HubSpot, Maggie specializes in the platform’s marketing automation, social and mobile apps, and frequently blogs about the HubSpot software. Before coming to HubSpot, Maggie was a Product Manager at LogMeIn where she grew the brand through social media and worked directly with U.S. and international development teams to design, test, and launch product features. Follow Maggie on Twitter at @MaggieHibma