"Copy is so pivotal to the success or failure of your landing page that it's easy to take it for granted. No matter how valuable your offer or beautiful your design, it's the actual words on the page that will ultimately persuade prospects to click, or drive them to bounce."
Dan Levy, Unbounce
As B2B marketers, we're probably all guilty of treating landing pages as a bit of an afterthought – an add-on to the main content creation process.
For example, we write an eBook and then want to share it with our target audience and acquire new leads. So, having set up our landing page, we swiftly write a couple of paragraphs of copy and send our content out into the world.
However, this is clearly not best practice. And that's because a landing page acts as the gateway to your content.
If a prospect doesn't enter through the gate, they won't ever reap the benefits of your carefully-crafted work. But to unlock the gate, prospects don't need a key – it's their contact details the gatekeeper is after. Therefore, it's vital to spend time honing copy for your B2B landing pages.
At the crossroads
We can also think of a landing page as a crossroad in the buyer's journey.
When a visitor to your website ends up on one of your landing pages, they have a choice: to fill in the form and continue along their journey towards your organisation or to take another route. You need to convince them to choose the first option.
The words we use on a landing page largely determine the number of leads it produces. They need to be the right words.
Let’s consider this quote from Modernist writer Virginia Woolf: "The art of writing… can be learnt… by imagining that one is not oneself but somebody different" ("A Letter to a Young Poet", 1932).
To persuade potential customers that your organisation can solve their problems and relieve the pain they are experiencing, you need to show that you understand them and their situation. You need to imagine that you are them; to put yourself in their shoes.
That’s why buyer personas are so important. They help us to get under the skin of our target audience. And we need to keep them in mind when we're writing copy for conversion paths.
So, what are some general tips for landing page copywriting?
The dating analogy
Think about dating – the first date, actually.
Someone you like has agreed to go out with you. There is an interest and an attraction. They are on your landing page. But how do you get a second date? How do you get them to fill out the form? How do you create a relationship worth talking about?
Let's look at things in a bit more detail.
Use a strong headline
First impressions count. It can be hard to recover if you get off on the wrong foot. You don't have to tell your life story, but what are you about? Why are you worth getting to know?
A headline is the first thing a reader sees on your landing page, so it needs to capture their attention and make them want to find out more.
You need to convince your date that you're worth investing time in. How will they benefit from dating you? What can you offer them? This isn’t meant to be cynical – it's about finding the right match; the right "fit".
So, why should a visitor to your website give you their information? Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that the eBook you're offering is a well-researched document that focuses on all the key aspects of the topic they have been researching online. In other words, it's exactly what they have been looking for.
Keep your buyer personas in mind
It's no good talking about yourself all night and boring the other person to death. You have to show them that you're generally interested in them and what they care about; that you can make their life better.
Similarly, you need to convince your target audience that you can help them; that you hold the answers to their questions and the solutions to their problems.
Promote a single action
If you like the other person, you want to get a second date, right? That’s your aim. Therefore, you need to pour all your efforts into bringing this about.
With a landing page, you want people to fill out the form. As the Compare the Market meerkats would say: "Simples!"
Tell a story
Anecdotes and stories about your life help to build up trust and foster a relationship that goes beyond the superficial.
Don't be afraid to inject some personality into your writing. A touch of humour and titbits here and there will help to keep your reader engaged and interested, increasing the likelihood that they will convert.
Be yourself and remember that you're talking to another person. They'll soon suss you out if you pretend to be someone you're not.
The same goes for landing page copywriting - even in the B2B world, we're all just people at the end of the day.
As you can see, there are a number of parallels between dating and crafting copy for landing pages. Ultimately, it comes down to authenticity. In order to secure that second date; to generate those leads, you have to show your target audience that you are the right choice for them.
Your date may not be "the one" (you can't account for chemistry, after all!); your newly acquired leads may not turn into customers - but you've secured a second date.