You’ve heard it all before. Today’s buyer is skeptical. They don’t want to fill out a form or hand over their email address in exchange for something like a white paper or eBook.
What’s a marketer to do?
Let me back up for a second. I’m Erin and I’m the Digital Marketing Director of Evoque Data Center Solutions. Evoque Data Center Solutions is a data center colocation company, which supports the data infrastructure of growing enterprises throughout its 31 data centers around the world.
Evoque Data Center Solutions is technically a new company, as we officially launched on January 1, 2019 following an acquisition of AT&T’s data center business by Brookfield Infrastructure Partners. With this in mind, our digital presence is still in its infancy – the website is new and evolving, our content pipeline is small (though growing), and yet we have a massive addressable audience to reach and attract into our sales funnel.
As most digital marketers know, building a quality content engine that will drive a sustainable flow of MQLs and SQLs takes time. With that in mind, I knew we had to select a handful of manageable tactics to engage, connect, and still convert the website visitors we do have from PR efforts and general industry word-of-mouth. Like most companies, leads are a big deal and expected to support the efforts of our sales organization.
But here’s the thing. It’s 2019, and we know all too well that conversion rates on gated content are plummeting. I knew that the content we were creating for our prospects and customers should be freely available. Yet if we ungated everything and “made it all free,” I was concerned we’d be missing an opportunity to truly connect and convert qualified leads.
So how were we supposed to walk this fine line and still drive some leads – and possibly, opportunities – into our pipeline?
First, we had to change our binary mindset of either all-in lead-focused or “give it all away” and hope for the best.
Second, we needed a tool to help us walk the fine line and actually still give our leads what they want.
That’s where Drift came into play. We ditched the forms for high intent content.
How’d we do without forms?
We were able to drive double-digit engagement rates with Conversational Content. Here’s how we did it.
Spark conversations, not conversions
For us, Conversational Content is a way to bring content assets to life and enable the person who’s consuming the content to not just read it, but engage with a bot at the same time. And more importantly, it lets that person skip straight to a conversation with someone at the company.
With Conversational Content, we can service multiple needs at once. As much as we’d all like to capture as many leads as possible, that’s not what our prospects and customers are thinking. They want information and they want it now.
As I mentioned, our company is relatively new, which means we needed a quick and scalable way to have conversations with our site visitors. And since we’re a company with a leaner headcount, we wanted to make sure we were spending the most time with the ones who were ready to buy.
Our most high-intent content pieces are our datasheets. So instead of using a form on our datasheet pages, we decided to use Conversational Content. Here’s an example of what that looks like👇
We’ve deployed Conversational Content for over two months now and have seen double-digit engagement rates on average, with the rates even higher for international datasheets. While we still need more time to collect additional data, from what we’ve seen so far, we’ve been able to transform what was once a gated datasheet into an opportunity to spark a conversation – all on our buyer’s terms.
3 Tips for Conversational Content
Since we’ve seen these results we’ve been able to play around with Conversational Content on our site. Here are my three must-do recommendations for getting the most out of Conversational Content:
1. Set Up a Triggered Email
This is a must-have for your flow. Make sure that when someone interacts with your Conversational Content that you’re sending them a follow-up email that delivers a PDF of the content right to their inbox.
2. Tag the Conversation
Conversation tags help you organize and report on conversations in the future. They also give your sales reps insight into what site visitors are looking for on your site. Think about what you might want to measure and keep your tags organized.
For example, we have tags for:
- Rep Requested – This tag signifies that someone has requested a conversation with a rep.
- Brief Requested – This tag signifies that someone has requested a copy of the content brief.
- Location – We have tags based on the location of the brief requested, helping us surface relevant conversations to that geographic area.
Want to know a bonus benefit of tagging conversations? You can tie these tags to lead scoring.
3. Set Up Notifications
This tip takes your Conversational Content to the next level. And beyond that, it’s a fantastic sales enablement indicator.
Here’s an example. If someone is looking at a datasheet, that’s often a buying signal! So what you need to do on your end is set up an automatic notification, or reach out to the appropriate rep and let them know about the interest. This will alert the rep to a change driver for the company.
So far, we have built over 60 Conversational Content pages for various content pieces on our site, with plans to add many more.
Over the last few months, more than 2,500 site visitors have seen our Conversational Content pages and we’ve had an average 11% engagement rate and an average 19% conversion rate.
The best part? In many cases, leads have asked to talk with a rep. In others, they’ve requested that the playbook be sent to their inbox, in which case we capture their email address at a minimum.
Have I convinced you to try it for yourself yet? Check out how easy it is to set up one of these pages here.
Erin Carpenter has built over 200 playbooks in the past year, and proudly proclaims herself as a conversational marketing playbook nerd. When not building playbooks, Erin leads the digital marketing efforts at Evoque Data Center Solutions, and uses her unique background in digital marketing, finance, operations, and aviation to help her think strategically about how marketing fits into the bigger picture of driving leads and revenue in business.