But in order for your content marketing efforts to work, you need to consider the user experience of the resources section of your website.
Tips for a great website resources page:
- Make it easy to sort content by pain point and topic, rather than type of content
- Have compelling content and a user-friendly layout
- Simplify downloads with short forms and progressive fields
- Engage the user with thank you pages and follow-up emails
Now, let’s dive into each of these best practices in a bit more detail.
1. Make it Easy to Sort Content by Pain Point and Topic
When you consider the keywords people might be searching for in relation to your company’s product or service, “ebook” or “white paper” probably don’t come to mind. Rather, they’re searching for long tail keywords related to their pain point, goal, needs, etc. They don’t know if their question can be answered by an on-demand webinar, eBook, white paper, guide, or template. What they know is they have a question and it needs answering. So, be sure it is easy for website visitors to sort content by pain point and topic. If you can also make it easy to sort by type of content, that’s great too. But, sorting by pain point or topic should come first.
Take a look at HubSpot’s resource library. On the left side of the screen, you’ll see a column that makes it easy to click through to the topic you want or, below, type of content. Each resource in the library is tagged with both topic and type. That makes it easy for users to differentiate from content piece to content piece.
Finalsite, a B2B SaaS company in the education market, filters their resources page by type of content, topic, or both. The dual filter allows users to say, “I’m looking for an eBook on web accessibility,” which puts website visitors in total control of their search experience. Visuals are missing from Finalsite’s resource page and makes the experience much less appealing for visitors.
In both cases, you’ll notice a user-friendly grid/modular layout that mimics the user experience of Pinterest and other scrolling sites. This is an optimal and recommended UX for resource pages.
To make the user experience even more personal, you could ask website visitors to identify with a particular persona or end-market, as Gather, a B2B event management platform in Atlanta, does on their resources page.
2. Write Compelling Landing Page Content
If you’ve led a prospect to the resource section of your website and prompted them to click, you’ve made it 2/3 of the way! But, you still need to earn the conversion.
Your resource landing page should include:
- H1: This single heading should briefly describe the contents the resource itself.
- H2: The H2/sub-heading should consist of a value proposition or key learning point from the resource itself.
- An answer to the “why”: Why does this piece of content matter to your prospective audience? This can be anywhere from three sentences to two short paragraphs. Just remember to get to the point quickly!
- List of key learning points: Create a bulleted list with at least 3 of the major takeaways from the resource so that individuals know what to expect.
- An image of the resource: While you may think a picture of an eBook is boring, adding an image to your landing page helps with visual hierarchy and creates a more engaging user experience. Salesloft is a B2B tech company who does this rather well. The visually engaging header includes an H1 and high-resolution image of the eBook.
Scroll down, and you’ll find an H2 — the styling is subtle, just italics, but the H2 shows up for search purposes. Salesloft then includes two short paragraphs and a list of key learning points.
Salesloft added their form to the bottom of the page, rather than on the right side which is standard practice. A form on the right side that stays sticky as the visitor scrolls, keeps the form stays visible throughout the persuasion or education experience on the landing page.
3. Simplify Your “Download” Forms
Remember that content download forms are not lead qualifying forms! Your website should make it easy for website visitors to download content by limiting the number of fields required to download a resource. About five form fields (or less) are appropriate for a resource download.
For example, AssureSign, a e-Signature B2B tech company based out of Atlanta, does a nice job keeping their forms short, and focusing on what matters.
What happens if you want to collect more than five pieces of information? This is where progressive fields come in handy! If you use a marketing automation platform with progressive fields, you’ll automatically be able to “sub in” new form fields to collect new information, without making your form any longer. Progressive fields only work if your website visitors enable cookies.
4. Send Them to a Thank You Page with More Content
Thank you pages allow you to capitalize on the momentum of a conversion, without requiring an extra click. Because website visitors should automatically be sent to a thank you page upon downloading a resource, you have the opportunity to engage them even more (and if you have progressive fields enabled, learn a little more about them!).
For example, Winmo, a B2B sales intelligence platform, serves up the requested piece of content first, and then suggests further resources based on their download. The personalized tone and approach is likely to earn more conversions.
5. Be Sure You Have a Follow-Up Strategy in Place!
While your follow-up strategy won’t impact the front-end user experience or increase the number of downloads in your resource section, it will help with your inbound marketing efforts.
Put some automated email efforts into play to further engage downloaders and inform your sales team. You’ll need:
- A single, simple “welcome” email that is sent when you gain a new contact via a resource download.
- Lead scoring set up in your inbound marketing software so that content downloads can move individuals down the funnel from a lead to an MQL or SQL.
- Bonus: a lead nurturing campaign set up for particular content downloads.
The resources section of your website has the potential to be a new-contact-converting, lead-generating, nurturing, retention-building machine. Sharpen the user experience and expect great things.