Most discussions and best practices about landing pages are tactical in nature: keep your forms short, test to find the right headline, make the call-to-action simple and clear, etc. But there’s an important level above that — the strategy of landing pages — that needs more attention.
Landing page strategy starts with the principles of marketing strategy, such as:
- product/service differentiation;
- market segmentation;
- complementor and channel relationships;
- competitive dynamics;
- growth strategies;
These high-level principles are essential to planning one’s online marketing strategy, primarily because they provide a mechanism for making fast and consistent choices. The tremendous speed and flexibility available in search marketing, for example, can be wonderful — but only if you have a compass by which guide your choices. Otherwise, it quickly devolves into “try anything” chaos.
The fast feedback loop of online marketing also provides a way to influence and adapt marketing strategy from the bottom up. This may be one of the greatest strategic advantages of online marketing, although the velocity by which this communication travels upstream in the organization often could use improvement.
The heart of landing page strategy is to connect post-click marketing to a firm’s overall marketing strategy, answering questions such as:
Who are the different audience segments we reach with our online advertising and email marketing?
How granular should we be in our online marketing segmentation (how far do we go down The Long Tail)?
How do customer goals and challenges differ within these segments and microsegments and how can we best address them with post-click marketing?
How tailored should our landing page content and experience be to each of these segments in different campaigns? (What should our landing page ratio be?)
In which advertising scenarios can we infer respondents’ intent and context, and in which scenarios do we need to disambiguate after the click?
What is our relative investment between acquiring clicks (advertising) and converting clicks (post-click marketing)?
To what degree are landing pages creatively part of the advertising vs. part of the site?
Who decides when new landing pages should be created and how quickly can those decisions be implemented?
How is our team organized to produce, deploy, and adjust landing pages?
How do we improve cycle speed and performance in our extended online marketing team?
What is the balance between landing page experimentation vs. landing page optimization (innovation vs. iteration)?
How does our post-click marketing compare against our competitors?
How do we learn about our market from post-click marketing metrics and analysis?
These are the sort of strategic issues in post-click marketing that have a far greater scope and impact than the nitty-gritty tactics of individual landing pages. It’s time for the conversation about landing pages to shift in this direction.