Our Approach to Content Marketing: Conversational

We recently launched a new book: The Definitive Guide to Conversational Marketing for Salesforce. It’s a one-stop-shop about the value of Conversational Marketing and how it fits into your Salesforce-powered business. 

As we kicked off the book project, we felt solid about the content. We knew the story we wanted to tell and had a good grasp on the design portion. But, the website experience was unclear. What was the ideal content marketing website experience in this new conversational world? 

For over a decade, B2B companies have been gating content behind forms in an effort to generate top of funnel leads. But today’s buyers expect everything, including how they consume content, to be easy and instantaneous.

We went on a mission to figure out the best content marketing website experience. For our website visitors, we wanted the book to be easy to discover and read. For our own demand generation purposes, we wanted to capture leads and engage readers in real-time sales conversations. 

We set out to redefine how B2B companies do content marketing -- the conversational way. Here’s how it went.

First, we did our research: 

A core pillar of any B2B content marketing strategy is publishing and gating long-form content (guides and ebooks) to generate top of funnel leads. We went to dozens of our favorite B2B websites to understand how they delivered guides and ebooks. Although each company had a slightly different path, they all followed the same playbook: 

  1. Promote: Market top content pieces throughout their site
  2. Give a sneak peek: Show a cover page and summary to pique readers’ interest
  3. Gate the content: Before you could view content, you were asked to fill out a form 
  4. Release the content: After submitting your information, you were redirected to a webpage, a PDF, sent an email, or all of the above

We took note of what we liked and didn’t like from these experiences. 


Dislike 🚫

Our solution: Conversational Content Marketing

We drew out our dream content experience that would help us get our book in front of our readers, maximize engagement, and capture leads.

Our vision was an ungated book with an always-on Conversational Marketing component. Our vision was “Conversational Content Marketing"

Qualified's vision for interactive Conversational Content
We sketched out our dream content experience

We wanted our Conversational Content Marketing experience to include these core elements: 

Conversational Content Marketing: How We Built It 

Now to the fun part … let’s get into the weeds of how we built our Conversational Content Marketing experience.

Step 1: Rethinking the Website Experience

First, we designed the website experience. We developed a webpage that would house the ungated book on the left-hand side of the page, and leave room for the Qualified messenger on the right-hand side of the page. That way a reader could scroll through the book and engage with our messenger at any time. 

Conversational Content step 1: map out the website experience
We designed a webpage that would house the ungated book on the left-hand side and leave room for the Qualified messenger on the right-hand side

Things to note: 

Step 2: Building the Chatbot Experience 

Once the webpage was in good shape, we built our Chatbot experience. This is the content that would appear in the messenger the moment visitors arrived on the page. It would also serve as our vehicle for capturing leads.

We started with a personalized greeting, then invited readers to:

  1. Download the PDF
  2. Receive an email with the book
  3. Chat with a human

Of course, the experience has different rules and branching that allow for readers to do any combination of these options. 

Here’s a high-level view of what the Chatbot experience looks like: 

Conversational Content step 2: build the Conversational Marketing experience
At its core, our Chatbot experience has 3 main paths, and gets more complex as readers go down different paths

We designed a webpage that would house the ungated book on the left-hand side and leave room for the Qualified messenger on the right-hand side

Things to note: 

Pro tip: Not every visitor should have the option to talk to sales right away. Consider only inviting qualified leads to talk to sales. For us, people reading the Salesforce book match our ideal customer profile, so we included a sales offer.

Step 3: Configuring the Mobile Experience

Once the desktop experience was ready, it was time to think about mobile. We get a fair amount of mobile traffic, especially from our LinkedIn campaigns, so this was an important piece to nail.

We knew that we wanted our mobile readers to be able to easily scroll through the book. We didn't want our messenger to disrupt the reading experience, so went with a minimalist approach.

Conversational Content step 3: build the mobile experience
Our mobile Chatbot experience is short and sweet

Things to note: 

Step 4: Cross-Promoting the Book On Our Site

In addition to including this book in our resource center, we also wanted to promote it via Conversational Marketing on relevant pages, like our Salesforce page since the book is hyper-relevant for that audience. 

When visitors land on our Salesforce page, they see a prominent call to action promoting the book. Check it out.

Conversational Content step 4: cross promote the book
We're cross-promoting the book on relevant pages

Here's a behind-the-scenes look at how we built this experience.

Cross-promotion Conversational Marketing experience
If visitors engage, a chatbot quickly grabs their email, creates a lead in Salesforce, and then redirects them to our Conversational Content Marketing experience.

Step 5: Defining Sales Rep Rules of Engagement

Last but definitely not least, we primed our sales team for the book rollout. We defined our “rules of engagement” for our Conversational Content Marketing experience:

The Finished Product

After that, we were live! Here's what the finished "Conversational Content Marketing" product looks like.

Conversational Content: the finished product
Voila! Here's what our first Conversational Content Marketing experience looks like

We put targeted display ads into the market on Google and LinkedIn, and sat back and watched readers consume our content. Since launch, we’ve been pleased with the results. 23% of our book visitors convert into leads, as compared to the average B2B website conversion rate of 7% (Source: Marketing Sherpa).

Want to see it in action? Go ahead and give our Conversational Content Marketing experience a spin

Ready to Tackle Conversational Content Marketing?

We hope you’re feeling inspired for how you can do Conversational Content Marketing at your own company. This Conversational Content Marketing functionality is available right now for all Qualified customers. Ready to get started? Talk with our team right here on the site and we can kick things off!

Posted on
April 22, 2020
Kraig Swensrud

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