Landing pages are specifically designed pages on your website that visitors land on (hence the name) when they click an internal or externally-hosted link to an offer.
The landing page is an integral part of the Awareness stage of the Buyer's Journey, when potentital customers know that your business exists but need nurturing (i.e. education content such as white papers, sample reports, etc.) to get to the next stage: Consideration.
Building a landing page is relatively easy: just treat it like another piece of content that you're building out to enhance your brand. Here's our outline on how (and why) you should build landing pages for your content marketing strategy!
Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing
As we've highlighted many times before, inbound marketing is where it's at.
Inbound marketing means that you're guiding your customers towards your products or services in an unobtrustive and hands-off way. Specifically, inbound marketing techniques include using free informational content (blogs, white papers, etc.) and smart email marketing to help potential customers realize how much they need what you're offering!
On the other hand, outbound marketing comprises all of the more direct marketing techniques: straightfoward advertisements, direct product offers, etc.
While inbound marketing is (typically) something you can do for free (which means a large profit margin for any conversions!), outbound marketing costs money. That Google Ads campaign isn't free!
In inbound marketing, interally hosted links to an offer usually take the form of a call-to-action (CTA). This is typically a button with a strong motivating phrase related to the offer like "DOWNLOAD NOW" or "GET A QUOTE." Clicking one of those CTAs will take the visitor to a landing page where they go from a visitor to a lead to a conversion.
Conversely, outbound marketing uses a more direct approach: externally hosted links via pay-per-click ads (PPC) guide external users to your website (specifically: to a landing page) where they can learn more about what you have to offer.
Both of these approaches are perfectly viable and a truly successful digital marketing campaign will involve a holistic approach!
Tools of the Trade
So once you've decided how you want to get visitors to your landing pages, it might make sense to start thinking about how your're going to make the pages themselves!
Making landing pages from scratch (if you're handy with coding) or using a built in WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) builder plugin in your website development tools are certainly viable options; however, there are also a ton of easy-to-use, free landing page builders out there that can integrate with your website development tools (e.g. WordPress).
Building CTAs and Ads
For building ads, CTAs, infographics, and banners, we really like Canva. It's a straightforward content creating system that features drag-and-drop elements and a ton of great templates for inspiration.
Bannersnack is another fantastic tool to build out your banner ads. One perk of Bannersnack is that it allows you to make multiple banner sizes featuring the same content simultaneously.
Building Landing Pages
When it comes to building the landing pages themselves, our preferred tool is Unbounce.
Unbounce is another WYSIWYG builder, but it has some really cool perks built in. First of all, Unbounce has its own built-in analytics for tracking landing page visits and conversions. You can also do multivariate testing to try out different builds of the same form.
On top of a great built-in user interface and tons of pretty templates, Unbounce also has very accessible integrations for everything from WordPress to APIs for SalesForce and Zapier. That means that you don't need to worry about how you're going to get your beautiful new landing page onto your website!
Whether you use tools like Unbounce and Canva to build your landing pages and marketing campaigns or just do it yourself, taking a little bit of extra time to make sure that everything (a) looks amazing and (b) is optimized for the web (and mobile devices!) will net you big results when it comes to lead generation and conversions.