9 Ways to Incorporate Product-Led Content at Every Step of your B2B Marketing Funnel
When most companies become product-led, they spend a lot of time and energy enhancing the product, getting it ready for free trials or freemium plans.
But what’s often forgotten is how to publicize these new and improved features.
How will your ideal customers know that your product exists, let alone is the one for them?
Product-led marketing content uses its best features as a lead magnet. Allowing the product to speak for itself at every stage of the B2B marketing funnel generates more interested, excited, educated prospects and converts them to paying customers faster.
Below, we’ll cover nine examples of product-led content and highlight where they can produce the best results within your existing B2B marketing funnel.
Top of Funnel: Awareness
The first stage of traditional marketing lead funnels is about piquing interest. You want people with no prior knowledge of your product to be intrigued enough to visit your site.
Here are three ways to grab their attention by putting the product front and center.
1. Blog posts
Blogs are a fantastic way to build up your SEO presence and guide your visitors with little to no strings attached.
Instead of just writing about a topic related to your product, use blogs as an opportunity to show prospects exactly what you mean and why it should matter to them.
Fivetran does this exceptionally well.
In this blog post, they announce a partnership with Databricks. As opposed to a traditional press release, this post serves as a mini product walk-through.
Alongside product screenshots, the Fivetran team touches on the problems data engineers face and explains how they’ve worked with Databricks to make the process more seamless and less time-consuming.
They even end with an explainer video to ensure the reader knows what to do to set up the integration.
The SEO tool Ahrefs takes this idea a step further, using their product to illustrate the main points of their posts. In What is Content Writing? 11 Tips For More Organic Traffic and Readers, Ahrefs screenshots show up in 5 of the 11 tips.
Although that may sound overly sales-y, the Ahrefs team naturally weaves product examples into their article. Their tips are genuinely helpful and get readers thinking about how to apply Ahrefs to their content strategy.
2. Social and PPC ads
These days, it’s near-impossible to acquire new customers without paying for ads. But if you’re designing ads anyway, why not incorporate the product?
Include screenshots, gifs, videos, or interactive product tours to demonstrate the product’s value. Showcase new features, product improvements, and specific use cases that cater to your ideal customers.
At Navattic, we’ve seen success with this in our Google ads.
Inserting a “See Navattic for Yourself” site link to our ad encouraged people to see the value of our product on their own time, rather than waiting to talk to our sales team.
We've seen a 10% - 12% click-through rate for the sitelink, over five times higher than the industry average (1.91%).
Don’t just take our word for it. Kyle MacDonald, Director of Operations at Force byMojio finds that using videos and screenshots in ads are “the top two ways to accurately describe what it is we do and how we can help other businesses.”
He goes on to explain that, “while B2C marketing can be more vague and flashy, successful B2B marketing should be more data-driven, explanatory, and product-led.”
The CEO of RoverPass, Ravi Parikh, agrees, adding that, “by leading with the product, we’ve seen shorter sales cycles, lower customer acquisition costs, and higher revenues per employee.”
Beyond achieving those results, Ravi also finds that “product-led ads encourage every aspect of our organization to focus specifically on the product一creating a culture built around crafting the best possible product for the customer.”
3. Outbound campaigns
When buyers receive hundreds of cold emails and messages a day, it’s hard to make yours stand out.
Letting your product do the talking for you can be much more effective than sending yet another slide deck or whitepaper. Consider embedding gifs or screenshots of your product as a teaser and ending with a link to a product tour.
Unlike a generic demo request or free trial call to action, product tour CTAs enable your prospects to get hands-on with your product without the hassle of setting up their account or speaking with a salesperson.
Xometry knows this first-hand.
“Prospects that come inbound as a result of our outbound emails have a much better understanding of our product and have been far more qualified than leads that come through other traditional channels. The leads we get through product demos have been the best performing leads.”
They cut their sales cycle in half after sending outbound emails that directed prospects to a product tour.
Leads who went through a product tour could already envision its value to their organization. When prospects don’t feel pressured to buy and are confident that your product can solve their problems, talking to sales becomes a no-brainer.
Middle of Funnel: Conversion
Convincing potential customers to enter the deal cycle is one of the most challenging and most important stages of the B2B marketing funnel.
People have heard of your product, but are not convinvced they need it for their organization. So your goal should be to educate prospects to the point where they are ready to meet with sales.
4. Freemium or free trials
One of the hallmarks of PLG companies is a free trial or freemium offer.
The problem with free trials/ freemiums is they require a top-notch onboarding experience. Instead, prospects often get bombarded with outdated product tutorials or lengthy help articles and they just give up.
For example, MonitorQA had a free trial offer, but many potential customers ended up abandoning their accounts.
After adding an interactive product tour to their setup guide and follow-up email sequences, MonitorQA saw a drastic decrease in abandoned accounts.
Autobound experienced this phenomenon as well. By adding a product tour to their site, they found that users are three times more likely to make it all the way through their onboarding process and are much more receptive to taking sales meetings.
Interactive product demos can be a more engaging way to inform prospects about high-value features during the first few days of their trial. And when prospective buyers realize the benefits of your software quicker, the quicker the sales cycle.
5. Retargeting ads or emails
As people click around on your website or product, you gain a better sense of what they need and want. This information is gold for retargeting ads or emails.
"For an accounting tool for mid-level saas, we mapped the lifecycle journey and dropped various events to our tracking pixels so we knew when an event was reached. This allowed retargeting leads through each lifecycle step.
If they had just joined but not even added clients or made a test quote, then we showed product screenshots of how to do this, how simple it is. Other steps like taxation setup implied work from their CA. We would show ads with specific instructions and links to guides of instructions for CAs.
Doing this type of retargeting over normal ads or just calling clients to check up on them, increased trial to paid conversion rates by 59% and reduced support calls by 25%"
At Navattic we have experimented with product-led retargeting as well by sending an email campaign to leads that expressed interest in personalization.
We saw a 20% click-through rate on our retargeting emails一 ten times higher than the 2% industry average.
You can also retarget prospects with a follow up email after they interact with your product tour.
Ask them how it went and share additional product tours that include more advanced features.
6. Product tours for conversion
While static graphics on your website may look nice, they are probably not spurring action. That’s because marketers don’t want to just see your product一they want to see it in action.
A product tour can provide immediate time to value and underscore which features and tour journeys produce the best leads.
Taplytics has taken this to heart, adding an “Explore Product” element to their website’s navigation bar that launches straight into their interactive product demo.
Since Taplytics added Explore Product to the homepage navigation bar, 35% of the opportunities that went through a discovery call touched the product tour at least once.
And when users tried out the Taplytics product, 65% converted.
Adding a product tour to Navattic’s front page had a similar effect: our lead to MQL conversion hovers around 40%.
Putting product tours on your website can reduce the number of low-quality leads that take up your sales team’s time and increase the chances of you booking a meeting.
Bottom of Funnel: Qualifying
At the bottom of the funnel, leads know about your product, they’ve engaged with sales, but haven’t purchased yet. Now is the time to let your product really shine.
7. Product tours for prospect education
Unlike product tours that drive conversion, these product tours aren’t form-gated. They are simply there to solidify the prospect’s decision to buy.
Front’s product tour exposes users to more complex features like integrations, collaboration mechanisms, advanced sharing, and more.
Giving them a more in-depth look at how Front works offers already informed propsects another perspective on how it could weave into their day-to-day flow一without.
8. Post demo leave-behinds
Does your sales team hears crickets after most demos? If so, you’re not alone.
Rafay, a Kubernetes infrastructure platform, was struggling with this very issue. They passed along pieces of collateral and call recordings, but as you might expect, barely any prospects perused the material and even less referenced the hour-long replays.
But transitioning to an interactive product tour leave-behind turned this around. When equipped with a customized product tour, Rafay prospects clearly understood their value proposition.
Champions want to communicate the magic they saw in a demo and evangelize your product to the rest of their department.
Sending videos or product tours immediately after a demo is a recipe for generating more qualified leads.
9. Sales enablement
Create a library of pre-made email templates with product videos, tours, and one-pagers for popular use cases.
Here at Navattic, use our own product tour to spotlight some of our best features like capture collection, flows, and checklists.
We also enable our sales team with prebuilt product tours that address commonly asked questions. For example, we have a tour that walks users through the value of piping data into a CRM like Salesforce.
Having additional tours at the ready enables sales to introduce other benefits of the product and proves how easy it is to put those aspects into practice.
Scaling a PLG company is about putting your product first in every aspect of your business一especially, marketing. As you continue to grow, keep these tips in mind on how to incorporate product-led content across your marketing channels.
2022 Growth Trends: Building a Community with Chris Walker
Chris Walker - CEO at Refine Labs, a demand accelerator for B2B SaaS companies that helps businesses dominate categories and unlock major growth opportunities.