If I had a quarter for every time a client asked me why we need a landing page, then I’d have enough to hire someone else to explain it. But alas, it turns out that nobody actually pays to ask questions, so I guess I’ll just have to do it myself. That doesn’t mean I can’t be grumpy about it.
Before I delve into the festering guts of this answer, perhaps we should first waste a little time musing over why this confusion even exists.
My best guess is that digital marketing is still a relatively new thing. Sure, it’s been around for a few DECADES now, but so have most software programs, and yet Microsoft is still throwing updates at you like a plastic surgeon wooing the ladies at a bridge club.
This relative newness of digital marketing is further complicated by the ease with which businesses can do it themselves. Google understands the lure of not having to hire professionals, and they exploit it shamelessly by making stuff simple AND free. Bastards.
But it’s NOT Actually Simple!
This is the point. Digital marketing is, in many ways, more complicated than the old “throw an ad against the wall and see if it sticks” method. And doing it right (meaning effectively), takes some actual expertise. And landing pages. It takes landing pages also.
Why? Simple. Because people need somewhere to go.
See what I mean? The answer may sound simple, but that doesn’t make it any easier to understand. So let’s talk landing pages.
Flying is Easy. Landing is the Hard Part!
Out there in the freewheeling frontier wilderness of the World Wide Web, your unsuspecting customers are clicking around willy-nilly, enjoying themselves or whatever people do online. Then, as luck would have it, they happen upon your digital ad, and click on it.
Instantly, their wild romp through the Interwebs comes crashing to a close, and they are trapped within your domain. But where are they? Where do you lead them?
Oddly enough, many people think the answer is “to my website,” which makes me wonder if they have any idea what this article is about. Don’t be one of them. You’re better than that.
Yes, the answer is a LANDING PAGE. One that you have constructed specifically for this purpose. To capture consumers like a roach motel for clicks. And now they are completely under your control. (insert maniacal laughter)
The Trap is Sprung!
Of course, there’s always the back button. But you should probably not bank on them forgetting how to use it.
You see, if you’ve spent some time doing digital marketing, or even being marketed to online, it probably won’t surprise you to learn that consumers aren’t very easy to control. THIS is exactly why you need a landing page.
Think of it like this: Your prospective customer has made a critical tactical error. They have clicked on your ad. In doing so, they have revealed a degree of interest in whatever you have baited them with. But rather than leading them to your website, where they can just laugh off their foolish impulsiveness in clicking your ad, you’ve led them into a trap. Now they have to face the consequences of their actions.
Unlike your website, which talks about your business, your UVPs, your customers, your locations, your favorite colors, and is filled with buttons and distracting lifestyle photos and icons and other junk that designers like, landing pages are strictly business.
Hitting Them When They’re Down!
To the average person, a landing page looks exactly like a website. But it’s not. Landing pages will have your logo and some pictures and some copy, all of which is used to assure your customer that they are still safely on the Internet.
But there won’t be any distracting menus to help them click away. There won’t be fluffy positioning copy, but rather straightforward content and a strong call to action. Your customer will soon realize that all they can do is convert, or run away.
A good landing page will convince them that conversion is the best option.
What conversion actually is depends upon your business and your ad campaign. For example, if you sell hotdog warmers, then your landing page should convert them into buying them right then and there. It’s okay if you have to send them to your actual website to complete their purchase. Your landing page just needs to get them to decide.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t actually sell products online, so long as you have a goal for your digital marketing campaign. A real goal. A conversion.
For example, perhaps you own a service business that cleans chewing gum off the bottom of chairs. Unlike a product you can just sell and ship, you’re probably going to need some interaction with your customers to close on your service sales. So how does your landing page convert them?
The answer is: Lead gen!
Not “legion,” but lead gen. Lead generation. You convert them from being a landing page vagrant to being a viable lead for your weird chewing gum cleansing operation.
Lead gen landing pages usually feature a simple form (the simpler the better) that gives your captive, er, I mean “customer” a means of being found by you, usually by ponying up their email address. They have to decide to do this, and once they do, you have them right where you want them.
For larger enterprises, this kind of conversion will add your prospect to a CRM, where they can be further funneled into doing business with you. But it could just as easily go to your email, leaving you to reach out to them personally.
We’re not here to tell you how to do business. We’re only here to help you land some.
Here at DAMN GOOD we set our own traps, sometimes in the form of fun, witty blog articles that lull audiences into a state of submission before hitting them with a sales pitch that reminds them we do things like digital marketing campaigns and landing pages. True story.