Content is King (but Context Rules)

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At the end of the day, B2B is ultimately a form of P2P communication. And as a result, how content resonates with any individual depends a lot on context.

In the Content-is-King era, marketers have been laser-focused on generating quality content – and many are doing a great job of it. However, with quality content now in abundance, the context in which it is offered becomes a key differentiator – and a crucial tool for lead generation.

Online advertisers know the concept of contextual relevance well: target moms reading about infant nutrition, and you’ll sell more baby food. In the B2B world, contextual relevance is more nuanced – but it can significantly reduce bounce and improve lead conversion for your business.

Here are just a few contextual elements to keep in mind as you generate and deliver all that great content:

Where is your traffic coming from?

The source of the traffic you generate can influence how visitors consume content. Someone who enters your site via an ad campaign may have less patience than someone referred by an industry peer; and a paid visitor may know nothing about your company or service.

Who is your visitor?

First-time and returning visitors are two different animals. Returning visitors likely know the elevator pitch and are ready for in-depth info, success stories to validate previous impressions or even prices. They’ve given their contact information before, and may well do it again.

Where are they in the funnel?

Visitors at different stages of the conversion funnel are looking for different information – and are likely ready for a different level of interaction with your organization. Try to envision a logical expected buyer journey and engage users accordingly. For example, one contextual path might be:

  • Enters your blog to read a blog post
  • Moves on to read white papers or specific product materials
  • Gathers details and supporting facts via case studies, solution briefs or ROI tools
  • Fills out a lead form to ask for a demo or download and becomes a known prospect

Keep in mind that much of a B2B buyer’s decision making is conducted while they are still anonymous; revealing themselves is done late in the game.

Are you on the same page?

Contrast visitors to your 'About Us' page to those arriving at a landing page. What you want a visitor to do next is quite different depending on the page they’re browsing. A more generic company or product category page is a place to pull the user deeper into the funnel with as much relevant and engaging information as possible. On a landing page, however, you want that user laser-focused on one thing: the form or other conversion point that will take them from anonymous user to known lead.

How we approach these two types of pages at BrightInfo is telling. For generic, information-gathering pages, we recommend to our clients an ever-present content recommendation box that offers multiple personalized options for content that user might find relevant – all based on their behavior, entry point, and context, of course.

On a landing page, however – where the visitor stands on the cusp of conversion - plentiful options and distractions are not a good thing. Our landing-page- specific recommendation box, therefore, appears only when it is clear the visitor is about to bounce; and at first it displays only one highly relevant content alternative. The idea is to prevent an imminent exit without distracting engaged users from that all-important CTA.

The effectiveness of our contextual strategy says it all. Those last-minute content recommendations we propose for landing page visitors? They salvage a remarkable number of quality leads from people who would otherwise (as the data shows) bounce forever:

  • On B2B pages as a whole, 60-90% of landing page visitors bounce (and 98% never return)
  • Last-second alternative content recommendations on landing pages re-engage 4-9% of those potential bouncers, as much as doubling your total leads. (In other words, they stick around to view alternative content.)
  • Most remarkably, 35-65% of those potential-bouncers-who-re-engage ultimately convert. That margin can be huge. Simply by presenting well timed (i.e. contextually appropriate) content alternatives to a visitor, B2B marketers can skim a significant number of quality leads from a pool of abandoning visitors.

Context is really about the right information at the right time – connecting with an audience in the ideal mindset when they have the highest propensity to convert. Content quality is crucial, but so is strategic context. Manually aligning the two may seem daunting, but there are plenty of automated solutions (like BrightInfo) that make targeting by context far simpler than you think.

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