Getting targets to come to your website is one thing, but if they are not ready to convert or buy, then how do you keep them hanging around until they are?
It’s a key concern in the central part of any B2B sales process, as I explained in a post last week.
Enter sticky channels.
These are ways in which you can stay in touch with anyone that has shown interest in your brand (or motivation to use another term from my earlier post) until they are ready to buy or take the next step.
So what is a sticky channel, how do you build them into the sales process and how do you make them as effective as possible?
What is a sticky channel?
It’s essentially anything where someone can ‘sign-up’ or ‘subscribe’ and then receive ‘updates’ from you at a certain point.
An obvious example is email. Using an email newsletter as a way to have an ‘opted-in’ relationship with a customer or prospect is a great way to stay in the loop.
But email isn’t the only channel you could possibly use. Social channels are clear candidates. If someone follows your brand on Twitter or likes your page on Facebook then they will receive your future updates.
It doesn’t have to stop there. You could encourage them to join a forum or a community, or how about encouraging them to sign up to your RSS feed so that any new content you create will appear in their RSS reader of choice?
How do you integrate sticky channels?
The key step here is to make it as easy as possible for visitors to subscribe to your sticky channels and then to make this call to action as clear as possible so they can’t be missed. Prominent ‘sign up to our newsletter’ or ‘follow us on Twitter’ links could do the job.
But you’ll also want to include these calls to action elsewhere. For example, when someone downloads a whitepaper, why not ask if they want to subscribe to your email newsletter at the same time? And also give them the option to provide you with their Twitter username so you can follow them (and hopefully they’ll do the same).
How do you maximise the effectiveness of sticky channels?
Simple really: great content! If you can create a stream of great content, you are more likely to get engagement and are more likely to stay front of mind. Of course, it’s not just about creating the odd report every few months, you need quality but you need quantity too.
A constant stream of short, high quality blog posts will have as much of an impact as a big, one-off hit.