CCO June 2021 FINAL
With preferences changing at breakneck speed and the power dynamic shifting to put audiences in charge of their journeys, how can content leaders keep up?
CHIEF CONTENT OFFICER
<strong>In This Issue</strong>
If there ever was a time when you could ignore the old adages ... this isn't it.
People don't care about your business – they care what your business can do for them. Know your customer. Audience first.
You've heard variations on these themes since the day you got serious about a career in content marketing. That doesn't make them any less true.
But they've gotten harder to apply. People's behavior and preferences are changing quickly as the world changes around them. It's harder than ever to figure out what audiences want.
Sure, we're awash in data. But we struggle to unlock its full potential, as our 2021 Content Management and Strategy Survey showed (see the chart on this page and more findings here).
Slightly more than half (56%) of respondents in the 2021 Content Management and Strategy Survey strongly/somewhat agreed their organization extracts meaningful insights from data and analytics, down from 69% last year.
And the winter of our Netflix (dis)content melted into a hot vax summer faster than anyone predicted.
As many of the speakers at our recent ContentTECH Summit pointed out, audiences aren't waiting around for us to figure out what to offer them. They're going out to find what they want.
So, what are content leaders to do? Get to know your audience – all over again. We've pulled together a whole issue full of ideas and advice to help.
Let me know what you think.
It’s Their World. We're Just Working in It
If you ever knew what your audience wanted, you’re probably rethinking it now. And so are they. The only thing to do is work with them.
Ride the Big (Idea) Wave
Like the best surfers, the smartest content leaders read the swells. One thing they're telling us – the time for big ideas is now.
Clubhouse and the Audio Revolution
Are audio apps a lockdown-driven fad or here to stay? Meg Coffey breaks down what makes them so popular – and whether they deserve a place in your content marketing strategy.
Survey Says: Better Experiences Mean Better Research Results
Survey experience is a primary pitfall for original research. A good experience boosts completion and accuracy. Here's how to ensure one.
B2B Content Is Only Boring If You Let It Be
Turn "should read" into "must read" and eventually "did read" by making your content the most tempting option in the snack drawer.
Get in Their Heads (in the Right Way)
Here’s a look at how to use fundamental truths about human nature (in other words, psychological principles) to attract and grow your audience.
Can Anyone Serve Two (or Three) Bosses?
Content marketers have a responsibility to their brands – but also to their audiences and their own ethics. What happens when these interests conflict?
Case (Study) Closed
Andrew Davis dishes out unsolicited advice on the perils of gated case studies – and makes the CMO an offer he shouldn't refuse.
• Editor-in-Chief: Kim Moutsos
• Creative Director: Joseph Kalinowski
• Public Relations & Video Consultant:
• Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org
<strong>It’s Their World. We’re Just Working in It
<strong>If you ever knew what your audience wanted, you’re probably rethinking it now. And so are they. But now they're in charge. </strong>
Meet the New Boss. (Not Quite the) Same as the Old Boss
Know your audience has stood as a content commandment since the dawn of storytelling. And, for just as long, content creators have struggled to live up to it.
Preferences, behaviors, and intent changing at mind-boggling speed as parts of the world reopen. The challenge is that much harder.
Another complication – the power dynamic has shifted. Audiences, prospects, and customers are embracing their roles as drivers of their own journeys, navigating to new experiences whenever the old ones disappoint or grow stale.
How can content teams keep up with these new and shifting expectations?
If you listen to the experts who spoke at ContentTECH Summit, it's going to take experimentation, a close eye on data, and (shocker) a willingness to talk with your new(ish) overlords.
Read on for their specific advice. – Kim Moutsos
Don’t drop the ball
We are quickly moving away from a world where different elements of the customer journey are handled by separate systems.
We must start thinking about the journey in a much more organic way, where technologies are connected, and look to a single source of data.
Every handoff of audience or customer data is an opportunity to fumble.
– Robert Rose, from
AudienceTech – A New
Way To Think About
the Technology of
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sign in to the event platform
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Try new things now
Marketers need to get comfortable being uncomfortable. We’ve been under a lot of pressure to create so many different types of content .... Customer expectations are changing while we’re doing this. It’s very hard to pinpoint exactly what customers need. Use this as an opportunity to try some things you haven’t done.
If you haven’t dabbled in video, maybe now is the time. It might not be comfortable, but it might really resonate with your audience. If you’re not leveraging personalization or testing but have talked about investing in a technology that not many people on the team are trained for, now is a great opportunity to try it. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable and taking those risks … you never know how great the reward is going to be.
– Jill Grozalsky, from
Removing the Content
Bottleneck to Power
Involve the people you’re trying to reach
When you’re working on something, try to identify the people who will be impacted by it but who have little say in that thing you’re working on. Try to give them more say – they’re going to have to live with the thing you’re making. That’s the biggest shortcut to more inclusive content design.
– David Thomas, from
Design for Cognitive Bias:
Using Mental Shortcuts
for Good Instead of Evil
Really get close to your customers. I can’t overstate the value of being very close to your customers. Keep in touch with them, ask them what they need. How are you helping them do business?
It’s really about the ease of doing business with you. Don’t assume you know what they want. Talk to them on a continuous basis and keep the lines of communication open.
Don’t overcomplicate things
Things have changed from that old world of super-high production values where only a few people could make videos. Lots of people still do it that way, and it makes sense for some videos. But not every video needs to be a Hollywood movie. You probably have some incredible storytellers in your company who just don’t have the technical know-how to make videos. If you can help them unlock their creativity in video, that storytelling can go a long way.
– Garrett Goodman, from Say It
With Video – Amplify Your Content
Marketing with In-House Video
Creation to Drive Business Results
Don’t play favorites
Give equal investment and equal attention to data, experience, and technology. They're all necessary. When one falls down, the project falls down. You aren’t able to execute for the audience or for internal purposes without the combination of the three.
– Jessica Bergmann, from
The Tech Recipe: How
Salesforce is Serving Up
Aim for the unexpected
We need to understand that content comes from everywhere across the organization. We all need to work together to make sure we’re producing the best content and that we’re taking the content beyond the expected. Think outside the expected and work together across departments to get it done. CCO
– Megan Gilhooly, from
Customer Experience: How
B2C Experiences Impact
The best piece of advice I got from my
mentor, Julia Child, was to always pay it
forward. This is the best time to use that
phrase and that mindset. We’re in this
together. I love that everybody came
together during COVID. I hope we continue
to do that even after the world opens
up. I hope that we continue to share, to
collaborate, to empower each other and
to inspire each other, to stay connected,
to help each other.
Always pay it forward.
– Cat Cora, from Cooking with Cat Cora
See more great advice from the rest of the ContentTECH Summit speakers in the full version of this article on the Content Marketing Institute blog.
<strong>Ride the Big (Idea) Wave
<strong>Like the best surfers, the smartest content leaders read the waves. One thing they're seeing – the time for big ideas is now.
2021 Content Management and Strategy Research:
Get Ready to Ride the Wave of Big Ideas
Surfers say waves travel in groups of seven. Having the patience to wait for the most powerful seventh wave leads to a great day in the water.
In reality, the “seventh” wave could be any wave. There are bigger waves and smaller waves, but patterns – though they exist – are elusive.
Great surfers can sense when that big wave is imminent. So can content practitioners. And these days, I hear a repeating theme:
“It’s time for big ideas to take shape.”
By Robert Rose
Today, executives are more convinced than ever that content is a strategic function in business. But they don’t quite have a feel for how it all works yet.
Content production has become a bottleneck. Marketing leaders know they need more content assets, but the business can’t quite count the waves.
Owned media properties (like websites, blogs, magazines, and resource centers) enhance the customer experience.
But businesses don’t quite have the hang of managing them as products.
Content practitioners can feel it. They know. They’re paddling out. They understand 2021 is different. They know a swell is coming.
Content as a core business strategy
For the fifth year in a row, Content Marketing Institute conducted its 2021 Content Management and Strategy Survey to get a snapshot of how marketers use technology to help create, manage, deliver, and scale enterprise content and marketing.
The study also examined how content teams use people, processes, and technology to target and engage audiences to provide a better and more valuable customer experience across the customer journey.
This year’s study, which we fielded in April 2021, provides a lens on a unique time in the world of content-as-business strategy. While it’s clear the world is still dealing with the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we see glimpses of optimism and resurgent growth.
But we also can see lingering challenges for the business environment and accelerating changes in the way we live, work, and take our products and services to market.
The main takeaway is a fundamental sense that big change is coming.
Here are a few results that jumped out to us – and the questions they might prompt you to ask.
The struggle to master content tech continues
Like last year (and seemingly every year), around 40% of respondents said their organization isn’t using its existing content technology to its potential. The top reasons for this struggle include:
- Integration issues (56%)
- Lack of training (55%)
- Lack of communication about capabilities (50%)
When we asked a new question about changes to content management technology due to the shift to remote work, we found:
- 67% reported few/no changes
- 33% reported drastic/moderate changes
And 57% indicated their organization has a strong/moderate desire to add new content management technology as it adapts to a post-COVID-19 world; 43% indicated little/no desire.
This desire to add new technologies isn’t surprising. Last year we predicted a much greater need for more collaborative solutions to help content teams work remotely. This trend has been accelerating as more and more businesses demand more and more content.
The growth of freelance networks and content contributors from all around the world also creates pressure for businesses to get their arms around how they engage and facilitate all the work done outside the traditional corporate campus.
It’s about that content experience
Following on that technology question, another finding indicates teams are becoming more focused on their owned content marketing platforms (e.g., websites, blogs) than reacting to internal ad hoc requests.
Consider this: In 2020, we asked respondents to “indicate the typical approach taken by content creators in your organization.” Forty-three percent selected “project-focused” (creating content in response to internal requests), whereas only 14% picked “platform-focused” (creating specific types of content such as blogs or videos).
In 2021, we changed the question to: “Which one of the following most closely describes your organization’s current content operating model (i.e., where the content team spends most of its time, effort, budget)?”
Interestingly, half (50%) indicated a “content products” model (focused on content marketing platforms such as website, blog, magazine, resource center), followed by 32% who indicated a “projects/campaign” model (operating as an internal agency, responding to ad hoc internal requests).
In our content operations consulting work with more than 30 clients in the last 12 months, I can tell you that while those numbers ring true, there is another side of that coin.
While we frequently see the focus shift to direct-to-customer platforms (e.g., publications, improved website, digital magazine, resource center), the pressure on the content team to increase their content projects and ad hoc asset production remains high.
Put simply, many businesses are adding things to the grocery checkout conveyor belt instead of rebalancing the content team’s charter.
Get ready to surf
It’s time to get ready. All the accelerated change we began to see in 2020 is coming. The case is there. It’s time to take action. Here are some things we see that can help you catch that next wave.
There’s a good chance your content team has been in triage mode the last 12 months – or maybe it always has.
If you suffer from too many demands or production bottlenecks or are unable to measure content effectiveness, you probably lack a clear charter and operating model for your content team. Put simply, if you’re not implementing a standard – there is nothing to improve.
Assess your content team’s current operating model and create a roadmap for how to get where you believe you should be. The gaps between where you are now and where you want to be should become the priority initiatives.
De-silo the customer’s journey
Start using technology to connect digital experiences for your customers when and where you can. Trying to de-silo your marketing department may be too big a hill to climb right now.
Instead, explore how your content technology can connect to create one source of the truth for your audience/marketing database. That alone will pay huge dividends. It’s the first step toward having groups like sales, marketing, demand gen, and brand teams work together.
Manage your owned-media properties like products
Your website, blog, resource center, or digital magazine are as important to your customer’s journey as the products and services you put into the marketplace – treat them as such. Each owned property deserves a managing editor and to be budgeted and measured as a digital product.
It’s time. Get your surfboard out, wax it up, and paddle out. Show your executive leadership that you’ve got a feel for the big wave. And it’s here.
We’re about to take on the “seventh” wave. Time to shoot the curl. CCO
Robert Rose is the founder and chief strategy officer of The Content Advisory, the education and consulting group for the Content Marketing Institute. He’s provided content marketing and strategy advice for global brands such as Capital One, NASA, Dell, McCormick Spices, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Follow Robert on Twitter @Robert_Rose.
<strong>Clubhouse and the
<strong>Are Clubhouse and other audio apps a lockdown-driven fad or here to stay?
Are audio apps like Clubhouse yet another platform to add to your content marketing program? Are they a fad brought on by pandemic-related restrictions? Or are audio apps really here to stay?
Meg Coffey breaks down exactly what makes audio apps so popular, how to integrate them into your current strategies, and how to decide whether you should.
ContentTECH 2021 Full Session: Subscriber Exclusive
Hit play to watch Meg Coffey's ContentTECH Summit presentation.
<strong> If you want better results from your original research, take a hard look at the survey experience.
The survey experience can mean the difference between great research – and wasted effort.
Do you consider the survey experience when you're conducting original research?
- What's a survey experience?
By Clare McDermott
More companies are using research as a form of content marketing – be it survey-based studies that dive deep into an industry trend or analyses of internal user data to show off the brand’s expertise and point of view.
Yet, all that new interest comes with a learning curve. Original research is one of those areas where so much can go wrong, especially if you’re inexperienced. Most problems I see relate to one of two things: poor survey design or faulty statistical analysis.
For this article, I’ll focus on one aspect of survey design – the survey experience.
Survey experience is about how well your survey takers think the questions are relevant, intelligent, and appropriate. Will they be able to (and feel motivated to) complete your survey? Will they answer honestly and openly? Would they answer a survey in the future based on this experience?
While it may seem like a nice-to-have, a good survey experience will boost completion rates and accuracy. A bad survey experience can nuke your survey results (more on that in a bit).
After 20 years of working with clients using research-as-content, I pay close attention to these eight experience elements.
1. Pre- and post-survey considerations
The survey-taker experience begins before they start the survey and after they hit complete. In the invitation to take the survey, be sure to explain why you’re conducting the survey, what you aim to do with the data, and how long the survey will reasonably take. (Be brief in these explanations. You don’t want someone to drop out before they’ve even begun.)
If you plan to collect survey responses from anyone in Europe, even unintentionally, turn on the GDPR opt-in settings available on all survey platforms and provide a link to your company’s data privacy policies.
Also, mind the post-survey experience. Someone who completes the survey should see a custom thank-you page, not the default page provided by your survey platform.
If you collect survey takers’ email addresses, be crystal clear about your intent. For example, at my company, we collect emails from those who want a copy of the final report or to enter the raffle for completing the survey. We never use an email for any other purpose (and in fact, I strip out the email column in my spreadsheet and put it in a different tab to decouple identities from responses).
If survey takers believe their responses will be used to market to them in any way, they will not want to take your survey.
A good survey experience isn’t just a nice-to-have. It boosts completion rates and the accuracy of results.
2. Survey length
Don’t you love the “please-take-our-20-minute-survey” invitation? That’s a hard no for me. Unless you pay someone to take your survey, it should never be more than eight minutes – and even eight minutes is a big ask.
Consider this: Completion rates drop for each additional minute required to answer the questions. In my experience, it begins to fall off a cliff at around the eight-minute mark. Editing for survey length is an absolute necessity, and it’s an excellent way to ensure your survey is tightly focused.
An analysis of survey length by SurveyMonkey found drop-off rises with each additional question — an important reminder to keep survey length as tight as possible.
3. Question length and complexity
Most survey platforms warn when questions and/or answer options are too long. That’s because long questions or answers lead to fatigue, speeding, misunderstanding/error for the survey takers, and they look like hell on mobile. Avoid long questions and answers unless it’s absolutely mission-critical for one or two questions.
Also, beware of the compound question (e.g., “Does your job give you satisfaction and pride?”) Boil down your question to a single idea or variable so that your survey taker can answer easily, and you can report findings clearly.
Your survey pace should resemble a conversation between two strangers. Don’t dive into the most probing, sensitive questions up front. Wait until the survey taker can see your study is worthwhile based on the quality of your survey questions. Then, they may be more willing to share sensitive details. Income is always a sensitive topic, but others also make people uneasy, such as plans to leave a job or reveal sensitive company information.
I advise a few antidotes to this awkwardness: Put those types of questions toward the end of the survey and make them optional (or add an option for “prefer not to answer”). You may even remind survey takers at sensitive moments that their responses will be fully anonymized and won't be used for any other purpose.
Capturing demographic information is essential to ensure the survey sample represents the audience you’re attempting to study. Demographic responses also can expand options for interesting “cuts” of the data, showing you how different cohorts of your study group (e.g., generations) differ.
In recent years, survey designers have evolved how they ask demographic questions to be more inclusive. For example, they ensure questions about sexual identity or gender identification use language that includes rather than alienates — an important aspect of survey experience.
The challenge is balancing inclusivity and brevity. Rather than list a dozen choices for gender identity, for example, I limit answer choices to man, woman, non-binary, and prefer to self-identify (write-in).
The prefer-to self-identify option ensures everyone has a choice that fits. And fewer answer choices make it more likely you will have segments large enough to compare.
Your survey platform can be a good resource when designing demographics questions. (They often have question libraries to draw from. SurveyMonkey’s library is particularly good).
I like to look at what major research organizations like Pew Research Center use for demographic questions. Whether I’m asking questions about gender, race, ethnicity, age, sexual identity, or other characteristics, I consult established surveys to find consensus.
When does this advice go out the window? When gathering granular detail is part of your study’s primary aim (e.g., the research focuses on gender identity) and commonly used demographic questions don’t provide the specificity you need.
6. Self-serving questions
Don’t even think about asking self-serving or promotional questions. Invariably, I work with companies that want to toss in a few questions that not-so-subtly promote their product/service. The problem? Your survey takers are smart, and they will resent the question and even punish you for it.
I worked with a client a few years ago who was adamant they wanted to ask, “Which do you like better?” in relation to an analytics dashboard. They used illustrations of each option. One image was clearly superior (and belonged to the client), and one was the primitive Stone Age option.
Guess what? A third of respondents chose the Stone Age option. I suspect they knew it was a setup. The results were not usable.
Survey takers are smart. They'll resent self-serving questions – and even punish you for them.
7. Survey testing
Testing your survey is the most important thing to do before you release it to the wild. Recruit at least five people (over 10 is better) to take the survey and comment on ANY issue that gives them pause. Testers should be in your target study group so they can gut-test the question wording and answer choices.
This screenshot from the survey tool Alchemer shows how to generate automated tests. Tools like Alchemer allow you to generate dummy responses, an excellent way to test your conditional formatting and piping.
My company pays testers to ensure they take it slowly and record all their questions and concerns. Is any question unclear? Do the answer choices make sense? Are they able to answer every question or do some not apply?
Make sure some testers respond to the survey on mobile and others on a desktop to validate both experiences.
When your testers finish, run automated testing through your survey platform to generate responses. Comb through your summary report. These dummy responses can help pinpoint any problems with survey logic and piping.
8. Survey feedback
Make sure to include an email address in the introduction, on disqualify pages, and at the end for people who have questions.
If you’ve designed a great survey experience, you likely won’t receive any emails (we rarely do). But providing the option can serve as an early warning system to any survey problems missed in testing.
(Note: You can’t substantially edit a question once you’ve gone live, but you can either choose to restart the survey or drop the offending question.)
Better survey experience brings big benefits
Why does experience matter so much?
A frictionless experience increases your number of completes and your sample size – boosting your study’s credibility and making it more likely that you can tell interesting stories.
A frictionless experience increases the number of completed surveys and your sample size.
Plus, a good survey experience signals to survey takers that the research is worthwhile, which is critical when you ask customers or other audience members to participate. CCO
Clare McDermott is the founder of Ravn Research and former editor of CCO magazine. Follow her on Twitter @clare_mcd.
<strong>B2B Content Is Only Boring If You Let It Be</strong>
<strong>How to turn "should read" into "must read" and – eventually – "did read."</strong>
Don't Settle for Boring B2B Content
It’s hard to measure the percentage of white papers and e-books that are downloaded but never read. Don't let yours be among them.
It’s a common refrain: “We’re a B2B company. We can’t do the same things those B2C funsters get up to.”
Another good one is: “Our product/industry/niche is just too serious and boring for content marketing.”
But it’s worth pointing out that shedloads of content are published every day for which “boring” might be a polite description (“predictable” and “unnecessary” would be others.)
I regularly see reports, white papers, and articles that would require me to stab myself repeatedly in the leg with a fork simply to stay awake beyond the opening paragraphs.
I’m sure the marketers publishing this content wouldn’t say it’s boring. Perhaps they don’t realize it is. Perhaps internal feedback convinced them the world is desperate for an academic thesis on interlocking flanges … or something.
Perhaps the content was written to satisfy an internal audience – a C-suite eager for the brand to appear smarter than the competition.
Meanwhile, prospective customers just want to solve a problem or learn something new without feeling like they're studying for a Ph.D.
“Aha,” I hear some of you cry. "Boring doesn’t necessarily mean bad! Lots of things can be boring and still offer value. People don’t download and read a white paper on flanges to be entertained, right? They download it because staying on top of flange technology is useful in their jobs."
And, finally, this: "If lots of people are downloading the white paper or whatever it is, perhaps being boring isn’t really an issue."
Let me rebut by getting up onto one of my favorite old soapboxes.
Surely the goal of all these white papers, reports, and e-books isn’t to capture unqualified leads whether or not anyone reads the content.
That’s like a movie studio claiming its new blockbuster is a raging box office success despite audiences walking out of the cinema after the first few scenes. Marketing may have sold tickets and put bums on seats, but the content still needs to hold the audience’s attention until the credits roll.
The goal isn’t to capture leads regardless of whether anyone reads the content. A movie isn't a box office success if audiences walk out after the first scenes. The content still needs to hold their attention until the credits roll.
Jonathan Crossfield (@Kimota)
The white-paper fruit bowl
My wife is always at me to eat more fruit. I’d like to eat healthier too – or at least I know I should.
Good intentions fill my fruit bowl each week. But good intentions don’t mean my snack preference is a plum or a banana.
I just finished off a packet of wine gums someone (read: me) recklessly left near my desk (read: purposely put in the drawer ). Those good intentions aren’t working too well right now.
Eventually, I’ll throw out the uneaten and overripe fruit before stocking up again with more of what I should eat – but probably won’t. Cheesy and sugary snacks never seem to reach their use-by date in our house.
I’m the same with white papers. I regularly download interesting-sounding reports and e-books, filling my
iPad with content I “should” read. The information they promise is directly relevant to my work or the research is pertinent to my areas of interest.
But when I have a few free minutes, I’m far more likely to choose something I want to read rather than what I feel I should read.
Those worthy and good-for-me reports and white papers stay unread until the information within them gradually passes the best-before date.
It’s 2021. That detailed report on digital trends for 2019 is probably not that useful anymore. Delete.
So how do you turn “should read” into “want to read” and eventually into “did read?"
A matter of perspective
Your content shouldn't be only relevant or even only interesting. It also should be compelling and irresistible.
How will your white paper make the reader stop whatever they’re doing to devote time to it now? Or, failing that, what will make the reader unable to resist returning to it later?
If the topic, product, or industry seems boring to you, of course, it might feel impossible to produce interesting, creative, and engaging content.
And when you’re working on the business side, you may be asked to focus on what the product is rather than what it does. Viewing a product primarily in functional and technical terms can be quite different from the customer’s viewpoint.
But remember: Products and things aren’t inherently interesting. People make them interesting. People give them meaning.
That’s why a central tenet of content marketing is that the product isn’t the story – people are. B2C marketers know this. B2B marketers sometimes have trouble thinking the same way.
Is your content about things? Or is it about people and what they can do with those things? Instead of writing in the abstract, place your content in the real world. Their world.
Or, if the real world of people working with flanges is still a tad too pedestrian, take your content a step further. Blend some fiction in with your facts to create a hyperreal world your audience will happily spend a little time exploring.
Blend some fiction in with your facts to create a hyperreal world your audience will happily spend a little time exploring.
Jonathan Crossfield (@Kimota)
Content too tasty to ignore
I don't often get to write lines like this in B2B content: “I’m sure we’ve all had days when carefully laid plans suddenly change, and you unexpectedly find yourself defusing a nuclear device while hanging upside down out of a brothel window in Marrakesh.”
Doesn’t sound very B2B, does it? It’s from one of the most fun projects I’ve worked on, a collaboration with Sydney agency McCorkell & Associates (M&A) on an e-book for Oakton (now NTT) to promote its business intelligence tools.
Oakton asked the agency to come up with a content-led strategy that would stand apart from the myriad data service organizations targeting the same audience of CMOs.
Sam Marks at M&A suggested a secret-agent theme that drew an extended analogy between James Bond’s Q Branch (which equips agents with the gadgets and intelligence they need in the field) and the data management capability within a large organization.
Supported by a series of sponsored LinkedIn posts and a LinkedIn Pulse article, the campaign easily exceeded its target for landing appointments with high-value leads.
Every little pun, every unexpected twist, every wry joke may help to make the content more memorable. Humor can be a great tool to maintain a reader’s attention.
Jonathan Crossfield (@Kimota)
Colorful analogies like these can be effective ways of explaining otherwise boring technical concepts. They can also make the content irresistible to read.
Better still, every little pun, every unexpected twist, every wry joke may help to make the content more memorable. Humor can be a great tool to maintain a reader’s attention.
Laughter, or even mild enjoyment, is associated with an increase of pleasure hormones like dopamine, which aids the creation of memories, and a reduction in stress hormones like cortisol, known to impede memory.
Does all of this seem less professional and more frivolous than it should when targeting enterprise decision makers? Professionalism isn’t defined by a tone of voice – serious, formal, and academic – but by how effectively the job is done.
If everyone gives up on your white paper after two dreary and boring paragraphs, how can it be classed as professional?
Why so serious?
The next time you’re admiring the impressive download results from your latest white paper, ask yourself how many of those people actually read it.
How many people acted on the information and advice contained in it? How many people made it to the call to action on the final page?
Too often, content teams want white papers to appear valuable whether or not they deliver on their promise.
Focus instead on the reader’s natural interests and behaviors. Add a little more creativity. That way, your next piece of content will have more chance of being plucked from the fruit bowl while it’s still fresh. CCO
Jonathan Crossfield describes himself as a storyteller because writer, editor, content strategist, digital marketer, journalist, copywriter, consultant, trainer, speaker, and blogger wouldn’t fit neatly on a business card. He has won awards for his magazine articles and blog posts on digital marketing, but that was so long ago now it seems boastful to keep mentioning it. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @Kimota.
<strong>Get in Their Heads
(In a Good Way)
<strong> Use fundamental truths about
human nature to attract and grow
Psych Your Audience Up (Not Out)
Anchor your B2B strategy on human psychology and you'll see more conversions and engagement.
How often do you consider psychology principles when creating content and CTAs?
By Wesley Cherisien
Content marketing tactics and times change, but one thing remains constant – the underlying principles that drive people's actions.
That’s why psychology triggers are invaluable in marketing. They get into the unchanging essence of unchanging human behavior. By anchoring your B2B strategy on human psychology, you will attract and convert more members of your audience.
Here are 10 principles that are especially useful in B2B lead generation.
Principle 1: Reciprocity
You’ve heard this: One good turn deserves another.
It stems from a deeply entrenched human inclination to respond to a positive action with another positive action. When someone does something nice for you, you want to return the favor.
Offer free stellar content. Generously give prospective customers free ungated content with no strings attached. Make sure the content is valuable and entertaining. The more you give, the more they will feel indebted to your brand. By the time you offer them gated content, they won’t hesitate to give you their details because you’ve front-loaded the relationship with generosity.
Give away product samples. Freebies aren’t equal. People deem some gifts more valuable than others. For example, a webinar is more precious than a blog post. An e-book seems more valuable than a checklist. Up the ante by giving product samples to prospects who match your buyer personas. Because product samples are higher up the value chain, prospects are more likely to repay you handsomely by buying the full product.
Free access to SaaS products. With SaaS products, give prospects free access to your product for a limited period. By the time the trial ends, they'll appreciate the value of the product and be more likely to upgrade to a paid subscription because you triggered reciprocity by granting them free access.
Principle 2: Scarcity
Fear of missing out (or FOMO) is one of the oldest marketing psychology principles.
Nobody wants to miss out. It’s a bitter sinking feeling people avoid at all costs. That’s one reason purchases skyrocket when their cart is about to close. Customers just can’t help themselves when a deal is about to disappear.
Here’s how to evoke the scarcity urge into your lead acquisition campaigns:
Run limited-time offers. Open-ended campaigns don’t compel prospects to act. But when people know the offer isn’t forever, they are more likely to act immediately.
Display a countdown timer. It’s one thing to be told the time an offer ends, but it’s another to see the clock ticking. It can create a physical reaction. Prospects act instinctively to grab the offer.
Say how many slots are left. To drive quick action, tell prospects how many spots are up for grabs. This idea works well for webinars and consulting calls.
A word of warning: Scarcity only works if you tell the truth. You can’t tell people an offer is closed only to reopen it the next hour.
Principle 3: Authority
Authority is the tendency for people to follow the recommendations of people more knowledgeable than they are. Try these ideas for how to exploit this bent positively.
Certifications. On your landing page, display any certifications your brand has earned. Elevating your company in the eyes of prospects makes them more likely to complete the requested conversion – download a report, book an appointment, etc.
Awards. Recognition from outside sources reinforces your authority in your niche and, therefore, earns your audience’s trust. Movavi’s home page shows one example of how to do this (see image at right).
Influencer endorsements. If you’ve worked with industry leaders, ask them to endorse your brand. Showcase their seal of approval on your site or other marketing materials.
Experience. Got vast experience in your field? Don’t let it go to waste. Infuse your veteran credentials into your content. Experience and longevity prove your authority in your space. Prospects are likely to take your word more seriously.
Principle 4: Novelty
We hate being stuck in the same ol’, same ol’. Something in our psyche salivates when something new hits the market. People want to dump the old and drape the new. Everybody loves to keep up with the latest trends in town.
Use this strong bias for something new in your lead-generation drives. Here’s how:
Improve your products. Don’t let product design stagnate. Improve your products. Once you do, make noise about it in your landing pages and email campaigns. Expressions like “new and improved,” “announcing,” or “give our new product a try” come in handy when crafting lead-gen copy.
Psychotactics, a B2B consultancy, leads an email campaign promoting their free report by using “announcing” in the headline to point out that the report is new.
Invent trailblazer lead magnets. If you promote the same lead-gen resources your competitors use, prospects ignore you. To stand out, chart a new trail. Walk where nobody in your space has walked.
It’s not as difficult as you think. Experiment and develop a fresh way of doing a task your prospects
struggle with. Or find a faster way to do something. Then package your solution as a lead magnet.
Refresh your lead-gen asset cover copy. Sometimes, all it takes to convince prospects to sign up is to refresh your cover copy. Marketers turn some slow-selling books into bestsellers by simply changing the title.
Tweak your titles and cover designs. The fresh look may be the boost your struggling campaign needs.
Principle 5: Paradox of choice
You might think more choice means more freedom and happiness. But human psychology doesn’t work that way. Having too many options is stressful. People get overwhelmed when the number of choices increases.
When faced with too many options, they freeze and end up doing nothing. To work with this truth, you could try to:
Reduce the choices. Cut down the options you present to the barest minimum. For instance, when you ask questions so you can segment your lists, don’t have too many group options. Your prospects likely won’t end up picking any of them.
PandaDoc whittled down to four offers to make the choice easier. This makes it easier to attract tons of leads through their freemium product (see image).
Bundle offers. If you have many offers, don’t present them as individual choices. Bundle together several options into a single offer.
Make one offer per campaign. When running a campaign, make only one offer. Multiple offers in one campaign split the focus of your audience. A split focus leaks conversions or, worse, leads to inaction.
Principle 6: Liking
The concept of liking in marketing revolves around people swayed by people they like or who have traits they admire. Here’s how to massage the liking principle into your lead generation campaigns.
Tap into influencer marketing. Partner with influencers who are admired or loved by your target audience. You don’t need to focus on pricey celebs who have millions of followers.
Partner with more affordable micro-influencers with smaller but highly engaged – and relevant – audiences. You can offer affiliate commissions as an incentive when negotiating rates.
Build a likable brand. Strive to cultivate likability. From your website colors to social media posts, from blog articles to emails, from the handling of negative reviews, appear friendly.
Dollar Shave Club has built an irresistible brand. Whether it’s a social media post or an email, their laid-back humorous style shines through:
Emphasize similarities. People like people who have similar attributes. Highlight the things in your content with what your brand has in common with your prospects – interests, opinions, etc. They are more likely to feel a fondness for your brand.
Principle 7: Loss aversion
People have a natural bent to avoid loss rather than attain gain. Psychologists say the sting of loss is two times more powerful than the elation of gain. To profit from this predisposition, put prospects in a position where they could lose.
Gamification fits the bill perfectly. Here are three ways to do it:
Create engaging quizzes. A high-quality quiz dares participants to up their game to avoid defeat at all costs by providing relevant info about themselves. Also, people enjoy the self-discovery nature of quizzes. Finally, quizzes provide highly personalized experiences that appeal to audiences.
Reward task completion. Let’s say you are running a webinar. Promise a special gift to those who stay until the end. Because they don’t want to lose the offer, many will stick around, boosting attendance and engagement stats.
Make the rewards generous. To motivate participants, offer them lavish rewards. You can award points, virtual trophies, and badges. The higher the rewards, the greater the loss if they don’t take part.
Gamification makes lead generation fun. By so doing, you also increase lead acquisition as more potential customers consume your content. SkilledUp hiked their email subscriber rate by a staggering 2,400% by gamifying their content.
Principle 8: Herd mentality
People have a propensity to conform. Humans are social beings that follow the lead of fellow humans. Here are some ways to tap into that impulse:
Show the number of downloads. Show visitors the popularity of your content, including the downloads-to-date number. (If your downloads are low, don’t reveal the number; otherwise, you will trigger a negative herd mentality.)
Show visitor activity. Similar to download popularity, show your site traffic numbers if it’s busy.
Display testimonials: To supercharge the power of your testimonials, display them in the content surrounding your lead-gen asset. When potential customers see the swarms of people who endorse your lead-gen asset, they are more likely to join the bandwagon.
Principle 9: Confirmation bias
One more B2B lead-generation principle that drives conversions is confirmation bias – the tendency to lean toward information that supports or confirms your beliefs while rejecting information that contradicts them. Here’s how to work with confirmation bias:
State your company values. Don’t keep your company values private. Weave them into your logo, core messaging, and slogans, so people know what you hold dear.
Create belief-based content. Some content types are values-driven by nature. A manifesto declares in no uncertain terms what your brand believes in. Such content nets many admirers and leads as people learn those values.
Comment on trending social issues. Be smart when social issues erupt. Use the moment to take a stand on the trending subject. Prospects who support your view on the topic will develop a strong affinity for your brand.
Naturally, you’ll turn off those with an opposing view, but that’s OK as long as your position on the matter anchors on your values.
IBM knows how to affirm its followers’ values as this Instagram post shows:
Principle 10: Information gap theory
The human brain loves wholeness. Whenever something disrupts this innate desire for completion, our brains go into a tailspin. We get a strong, irresistible pull to find the missing piece. This compulsion is called the information gap theory.
Try these tips to draw prospects into your funnel:
Craft curiosity-evoking headlines. Create headlines that spark curiosity so prospects can’t help but click your call to action to find out more. Here are a few standard phrases to help:
- The Secrets Of/To [Desired Outcome]
- Little Known Ways To [Desired Outcome]
- What Everybody Ought To Know About [Topic]
- Surprise Gift Inside
Use lead-generation quizzes. A quiz evokes curiosity. As your audience goes through the series of questions, their enthusiasm builds until they get to the results.
Make them wait for the big reveal. People want to know all the details right away. By creating a series of steps to the big reveal, people are more likely to follow along to get to the payoff.
MarketingProfs used this principle for a recent webinar invitation. While the headline touts “seven tips,” the landing page doesn’t reveal all of them.
Drip content also suits this approach. By the time the next content installment arrives, your audience will be eager to gobble it up.
Psych up your audiences
Bryan Kramer’s book title is right: There Is No B2B or B2C: It’s Human to Human #H2H. Your content is a conversation between two humans.
Don’t fight human psychology in your marketing efforts, work with it. You’ll reap the handsome rewards. CCO
The scarcity principle (aka FOMO) only works for marketing when
you tell people the truth.
Wesley Cherisien is a speaker, trainer, entrepreneur, and tech investor who has penned hundreds of articles, books, and training guides for Fortune 500 organizations, consultants, and authors spanning multiple industries. Chief Editor of WesleyCherisien.com, Wesley is a creative and highly innovative thinker with 10+ years of experience writing for online publications.
<strong>Can Anyone Serve Two (or Three) Bosses?
<strong>Content marketers have a responsibility to their brands – but also to their audiences and their ethics. What happens when these interests conflict?
It’s not always easy to be an ethical content marketer.
It's our job and our responsibility to create messages that help our employers attract attention and, ultimately, sell products or services.
But we also have a responsibility to the audiences we create – and to our personal sense of right and wrong.
By Gina Balarin
Brands face more pressure than ever – from consumers, employees, and shareholders – to “do the right thing” when it comes to societal issues.
Our words are scrutinized, shared, commented on, and acted on. And they should be.
Which leads me to ask: Are brands wielding that power responsibly? And what does responsible use of content’s power look like?
What happens when a brand's values don’t align with the audience’s best interests? What happens when our values as content leaders don’t align with our employer’s values?
Coming to grips with how to apply ethics to everyday content and marketing decisions is hard. There are no easy answers.
That’s why I’ve gathered various pieces of insight, advice, and a few examples to help you choose a path that feels both responsible and ethical to you.
What does the responsible use of content’s power look like? Are brands wielding it responsibly?
Why bring ethics into content marketing?
I’m willing to bet most content marketers want to feel good about the work they do and the impact they have on their audiences. I know I do.
Whether we know it or not, we live by a code of ethical conduct – at work and home. Our ethic compass points toward “good” behavior.
But what are ethics, really?
Ethics.org.au defines ethics as “The process of questioning, discovering, and defending our values, principles, and purpose.”
Unfortunately, even the definition of ethics isn't easy to pin down. Or is it?
Trent Moy, a marketer-turned-advisor who runs a consultancy specializing in ethics, culture, and corporate responsibility, believes the definition of ethics in marketing is simple: It’s how we make a decision when something important is at stake.
And since we make decisions all the time, Trent says, ethics permeate everything we do in business and marketing. Fortunately, he says having the desire to make quality decisions means you’re already behaving ethically.
Is marketing ethical?
Wordsmiths have the power to inspire change – especially behavioral changes – and that makes ethics especially important, says Simon Longstaff, author of Everyday Ethics.
But it's easy to cross a line. “Marketing at its best informs and inspires, but it doesn’t manipulate,” he says.
Not every marketer succeeds in drawing the line in an ethical place. In the foreword to Chris Arnold’s book Ethical Marketing and the New Consumer, Kelvin Collins writes:
“For some, the word ‘marketing’ seems unethical. After all, it’s the driving force behind churn and this instant, disposable society we live in.”
Brands (and marketers who work for them) can’t afford to lie today. It’s too easy to be found out – and it’s definitely not profitable.
Sometimes, though, “truth” isn’t easy to establish, and marketers have to make decisions based on murky information.
That can lead to a moment when the best intentions go horribly wrong –a moment I call the "Oops!”
Two recent content examples perfectly illustrate the oops feeling when brands don’t stop to think about their ethics or don’t believe they’re important.
Consider the Clorox ad called Playground, which was well-intentioned when it first aired in December 2020. The ad shows a child running eagerly toward a playground only to stop to wait while a teacher sprays Clorox disinfectant on a cloth to wipe down the equipment.
Viewed today, though, it misrepresents a situation that could spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt. As an article in Marketing Brew pointed out, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control recently said the chance of contracting COVID-19 from surfaces is low.
“It got us thinking: Is Clorox advertising addressing valid concerns or playing on our fear?” asked Marketing Brew writer Ryan Barwick.
When the ad debuted in December, disinfecting was still part of the recommended approach to reducing the risk of contracting COVID-19. The choice to keep running the ad seems questionable, as Christine Alemany, CEO of creative agency TBGA, said in Marketing Brew:
The campaign “leverages the fear that parents have of school reopenings.”
It “ignores the overall safety of outdoor playgrounds that fresh air and sunlight provide, which misrepresents the risks around COVID-19 and may harm a brand’s credibility,” she explained.
The second example illustrates the power struggle between an organization’s leader and employees. Cathy Merrill, CEO of Washingtonian Media, wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post arguing that employees who want to continue to work from home are risking their jobs.
The D.C.-based magazine’s leader wrote:
"I estimate that about 20% of every office job is outside one’s core responsibilities – ‘extra.’ It involves helping a colleague, mentoring more junior people, celebrating someone’s birthday – things that drive office culture. If the employee is rarely around to participate in those extras, management has a strong incentive to change their status to ‘contractor.’
"Instead of receiving a set salary, contractors are paid only for the work they do, either hourly or by appropriate output metrics. That would also mean not having to pay for health care, a 401(k) match, and our share of FICA and Medicare taxes – benefits that, in my company’s case, add up roughly to an extra 15% of compensation."
That piece prompted immediate backlash from The Washingtonian's staff.
Nearly 25% went on strike, refusing to publish content on the magazine’s site the day after the op-ed appeared. They told The Washington Post that they read the op-ed as a direct threat.
Did someone on her team, a content writer, or a PR team member help Cathy craft that piece?
How did the poor writer get stuck in a situation where they had to support what amounted to an attack on their job? What would you have done in that situation?
How to ensure ethical content decisions
Marketing should be an inherently noble profession because, as Trent Moy says, it’s about meeting someone else’s needs – providing a customer or stakeholder with the best possible option they can choose.
Trent suggests that you’re already behaving in a way that meets the definition of everyday ethics if you are asking yourself questions such as:
- Are we meeting someone’s needs?
- Are we considering how to make things better?
- Are we considering multiple viewpoints/opinions?
- Are we serving a higher purpose or just the purpose of profit?
- Does the company’s ethics align with my own?
Would asking these questions have helped the content producers make different choices in the oops examples I mentioned? I hope so.
How did that poor writer get stuck in a situation where they had to support an attack on their job?
Make them cry (in a good way)
Marketing results increasingly show that when marketing puts audiences’ hearts and minds at the forefront, passion and creativity create strong chemical reactions that engage audiences, encourage customers, and make prospects want to buy.
Neil Patel has talked about how emotional targeting converts more leads. As an example, Conversioner increased the number of paying users for one of Asia’s biggest online dating sites by 340% simply by sharing photos of a diverse range of happy people (their potential users).
Conversioner increased the number of paying users for an online dating site by sharing photos of a diverse set of happy people.
Connect, don't manipulate
There’s a fine balance between using emotions as manipulative tools or for genuine human connections. How do you tell the difference?
The authenticity of truthful human stories brings on a feeling of overwhelming pride. When done well, content marketing helps a brand’s ethics shine.
Two examples come to mind. The first one still makes me cry when I watch it, eight years after it launched. That’s the Dove campaign for Real Beauty and its YouTube video: Dove Real Beauty Sketches.
In this video, they don’t just embrace diversity; they help people be more conscious about how they judge others and themselves. Watching the video forces viewers to ask, “Is it OK to judge women harshly? Is it OK to judge ourselves like that?”
In doing so, the viewer goes through the “process of questioning, discovering and defending our values, principles, and purpose.”
The second example comes from a campaign I worked on. Mercer’s consultants recorded a video about their work improving careers for special education teachers in Singapore (click the image below to watch on LinkedIn).
The video illustrates the process the consultants followed on the project. You can see how this work helped them identify and define their values. You can sense the pride they shared. You can see the purpose they found.
You can even sense the struggles they overcame, personally, while consulting on an ethically challenging topic, namely, how special education teachers are rewarded.
This video captures how Mercer consultants overcame personal struggles while working on a project about how special education teachers are rewarded.
To take a phrase from the video, “Through this project, the public will know that even students with special needs deserve teachers of the highest quality.”
Use the power of words to effect change
Trent Moy says that the most practical way to address ethics in business is to be conscious of the values used in making a decision.
That’s what the leaders of recipe site Epicurious did when they stopped featuring recipes that use beef:
"For any person – or publication – wanting to envision a more sustainable way to cook, cutting out beef is a worthwhile first step. Almost 15% of greenhouse gas emissions globally come from livestock (and everything involved in raising it); 61% of those emissions can be traced back to beef. Cows are 20 times less efficient to raise than beans and roughly three times less efficient than poultry and pork. It might not feel like much, but cutting out just a single ingredient – beef – can have an outsize impact on making a person’s cooking more environmentally friendly.
"Today Epicurious announces that we’ve done just that: We’ve cut out beef. Beef won’t appear in new Epicurious recipes, articles, or newsletters. It will not show up on our homepage. It will be absent from our Instagram feed.
"We know that some people might assume that this decision signals some sort of vendetta against cows – or the people who eat them. But this decision was not made because we hate hamburgers (we don’t!). Instead, our shift is solely about sustainability, about not giving airtime to one of the world’s worst climate offenders. We think of this decision as not anti-beef but rather pro-planet."
Interestingly, Epicurious stopped publishing beef recipes almost two years before it announced the change. And once the team was ready to explain it, they took care to anticipate and address reader questions and concerns:
"Some of you will have questions (we’ve tried to anticipate those questions and answer them here). Some of you will wonder if Epicurious has become a site with an agenda. Rest assured, the beef recipes that were published in 2019 and before are still on the site; they are not going anywhere. Likewise, Epi’s agenda is the same as it has always been: to inspire home cooks to be better, smarter, and happier in the kitchen. The only change is that we now believe that part of getting better means cooking with the planet in mind. If we don’t, we’ll end up with no planet at all."
Now that the word is out, they might lose readers. But they’ve taken action based on their values and what they see as the best interest of society at large.
Perhaps they don’t need to worry too much. Brands like Patagonia and Ben & Jerry’s have big content plays based on their ethics that could have worked against the business – and yet both are still admired, healthy brands.
What if your company’s ethics don’t match yours?
Making conscious decisions also means being prepared to challenge thinking we disagree with rather than going with the flow. Here’s what Trent suggests:
"Be aware of what shapes our decisions – social conformity, external pressures, and so on. Make conscious decisions – don’t just go with the flow."
Be ready to challenge the status quo
None of this is easy. The bigger a company is, the harder it is to ensure ethical decisions are being made consistently.
Let’s be practical, though.
Many brands can be viewed as ethical in some areas (see Apple’s new app tracking transparency feature) but fail miserably in others (Apple has a woeful history with environmental and human rights concerns.)
And let’s be realistic. Not everybody’s in a position to risk their employment to stand up for their values. In that case, an ethical decision might mean thinking through the consequences of saying something vs. the consequences of saying nothing.
If you’re the team leader, the responsibility rests heavily with you. Marketer and author Luvvie Ajayi Jones addressed this point in her talk called Speaking Truth to Power at Content Marketing World 2020: “If you’re the person who’s been at the company for 15 years and has amazing job security, what’s the consequence you’re afraid of?”
Ultimately, you’ll want to do something
As you think about the ethical considerations of what you write, it’s possible to find yourself in a situation where your ethics conflict with your employer’s ethics.
In that case, you face a choice. You can try to make a change from the inside or choose to move on (as nearly one-third of Basecamp employees said they would after a controversial memo from the company’s founder.)
You don’t have to change the world with every piece
It might be enough to write content that doesn’t disappoint your audience or to market with greater empathy.
The important thing is, as Trent says, to do something. “Doing is important. Maybe even more important than deciding.”
As wordsmiths, we have the power to change the world: One sentence at a time. But if you, as a content marketer, feel like you might be too small to make a difference, I’ll leave you with these words:
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead CCO
Gina Balarin isn’t just an inspirational TEDx and keynote speaker, storyteller, and B2B marketing leader, she is an MCIM Chartered Marketer, with a master's of education in management communication and a member of the Professional Speaking Association. The author of The Secret Army: Leadership, Marketing and the Power of People, among numerous other texts, Gina’s goal is to magnify the impact of her clients’ influence through her expert guiding hand, visionary consultancy, and authentic storytelling prowess. Connect with her on LInkedIn.
<strong>Case (Study) Closed
<strong>Andrew Davis schools a B2B software company on the perils of gated case studies. </strong>
Welcome to Unsolicited Advice,
in which Andrew Davis dishes out
content marketing guidance
to one unsuspecting target –
whether they want it or not.
This month’s advice goes to a
marketing leader at a
B2B software company.
Executive Vice President, Marketing
Dear Mr. Molenda,
Maybe there's a good reason you've locked your case studies behind a form asking for six pieces of my personal information, but I can't think of one.
A trusted colleague of mine recommended I check out your AI-based relationship management software platform. So I did. I read all about how Introhive saves the average employee 7.2 hours a week and enriches sales data while we sleep.It sounded too good to be true, so I decided I'd download one of your case studies. That's when your website experience fell off the rails.
As soon as I click the Free Download button and prepare to read your in-depth case study, you ask me to give you some personal information.
I get it. You want a lead. But there's no way I'm trading $120-worth of my personal information for a case study.
Bart, you've got it all backward. The burden of proof is on you, not me.
You need to prove that your software does what it says it does – delivers cost savings and revenue to companies like mine. You need to prove that you provide value. You need to prove Introhive is for real.
Then and only then will I trade my data for more information – and maybe even schedule a phone call.
Look, if you want to build trust with prospects like me fast, let me download your case studies for free. Take down your forms! (Unless, of course, your software doesn't work.)
Here's the deal: If you remove the forms from all your case studies, I'll happily read one. And, if that case study is good, I promise we'll set up a 30-minute call to explore some next steps.
What do you say? Do we have a deal?
Whether you wanted it or not,
Host and author, The Loyalty Loop