Getting people’s attention and, even more importantly, their name and email address can be challenging for B2B marketers. People are very skeptical these days with all the calls of fake news and data breaches on Facebook and other platforms. In research shared by Bright Funnel, it takes on average 17.5 touches and 512 days for a lead to convert to revenue. With all these obstacles it’s critical to maximize when and what you share with prospects. Timing is everything. You need to make your best guess to determine where your prospect is in their buying journey and offer them the most appropriate content based on their estimated stage. Research conducted by Forrester reveals that companies that excel at nurturing leads accordingly generate 50% more sales at a 33% lower cost.
To better understand what the best piece of content to offer prospects is, I decided to review content performance by conversion rates across Obiilty’s Google Ads MCC. We analyzed 34,626 conversions for SaaS companies across 150+ accounts. In an attempt to make this analysis as scientific and as useful as possible we categorized campaigns into either top, middle, or the bottom of the funnel. Types of campaigns were grouped this way:
- Display: Top of funnel
- Remarketing: Middle of funnel
- Competitor search: Middle of funnel
- Branded search: Bottom of funnel
- Non branded search: Middle of funnel
I also categorized the various assets offered on landing pages into 1 of 9 different categories:
- Analyst Report
- Buyer’s Guide
- Free Trial
- How to Guide
- Research Report
- White Paper
By and large, the results aligned with what I expected but there were also some surprises and interesting insights. I’ll start by reviewing each stage of the funnel and how each offer performed in terms of conversion rate.
Top of Funnel Offer Performance by Conversion Rate
Notice the huge gaps in performance from offering high-value assets like E-books and How To Guides compared to a Demo. The top of the funnel is the start of the journey for a prospect and you need to offer something valuable for them to give up their personal contact information. Conversion rates at this stage tend to be low and you’re likely trying to build awareness of your service or product. You need to offer a prospect something that grabs their attention.
Middle of Funnel Offer Performance by Conversion Rate
Offering prospects a Third Party Analyst Report at this stage performed 949% better than offering prospects a Demo. This stage is where many prospects are doing research and evaluating different options. Offering a Third Party Report at this stage can build trust and credibility. Third party reports and reviews can be expensive to develop but have shown to lower barriers from prospects and increase the likelihood of converting to a lead.
Bottom of Funnel Offer Performance by Conversion Rate
You can see from the data that an E-book and How To Guide still were high performers at this stage but this is the appropriate time to offer a Demo, which was #3 in terms of conversion rate. Remember, a Demo had a very poor conversion rate in earlier funnel stages. Prospects at this point are doing a query for your branded keywords and are much more likely to convert. This is the perfect time to offer them a Demo or another aggressive call to action like a Free Trial.
Offering prospects the right piece of content at the right time can have a large impact on the number of leads your campaigns produce. A marketing team’s time and resources are best spent on developing assets that are of high value, quality, and relevant to your target audience based on their stage.
If you have limited resources to develop content I’d recommend you focus on creating an E-Book or How To Guide. These assets had above average conversion rates across all stages of the funnel.
The White Paper has long been the standard of B2B lead generation but I’d suggest it’s time to get more creative and offer higher value assets. It’s time the Martech industry steps up and offers higher value assets to prospects and in return, you’ll get more leads.