To the short list of life’s certainties, add this: a page on a sponsored property’s website that invites contact, through a form, an email address or a phone number, to learn more about sponsorship opportunities.
To that short list, add a second, related item: the sponsorship solicitation page is not the endpoint or destination of a curated, structured journey through the property’s website intended to prompt action.
Most websites are Swiss Army Knives – communication tools intended to meet the various needs of a wide range of disparate visitors. They provide information. They sell tickets. They register attendees. They sell products or services. They invite involvement. They solicit donations. They attempt to initiate a sponsorship conversation. They even (always with very little success) solicit sponsorship.
“They throw everything at a wall and see what sticks,” says Randy Milanovic, CEO of Kayak Online Marketing in Calgary. They want to attract as many eyeballs as possible, because they believe eyeballs stand as one proof point of their importance within their market niche. Milanovic says that misses the mark. He says the objective should be to attract as many of the right eyeballs as possible.
“We don’t want to grow visitors. We want to grow conversions,” he says. “Quite often that means losing the lesser-qualified or the tire-kickers.”
Milanovic says he works with clients to develop a list of ideal clients and top influencers; not influencers in the conventional sense of media personalities with large social followings, but key individuals or categories that the ideal client turns to for advice on important decisions.
“That leads us to the type of content that is required to grease that wheel or make that sale,” he says.
Ideal clients are arranged in a hierarchy. The most important gets prime real estate on the home page. The others follow in descending order. But each client is directed onto a distinct pathway.
“The idea is to stage your information through your website, through your social media channels, to drive interest step by step,” he says. Each journey through a website should follow a plan.
Causes, for instance, need to think of the information needs of prospective sponsors and prospective donors. They’re not the same. Each has distinctive motivations for seeking to become involved with the cause, and different information needs. The cause’s website should provide easily navigable pathways to meet those needs.
If it’s done right, says Milanovic, organizations can then track how visitors navigate their way through the website, allowing it to be tweaked to improve information flow.
“All of this leads to better sales and more informed visitors,” he says.
This post is adapted from the May 1, 2019 issue of The Sponsorship Report.