Best Practices for Building Powerful Folloze Boards
As the boundaries between B2B sales and marketing continue to blur, organizations are looking to empower their sales teams to become “mini marketers” in their own right, and that’s in the heart of our vision for Account Based Marketing. Making this transition doesn’t have to be overwhelming, but it never hurts to know a few guidelines when you’re first starting out. This resource covers our recommendations for creating engaging and effective content boards with Folloze, drawing on customer insights as well as industry research on the science of digital content consumption. Let’s get started!
Purpose Leads to Practice
To come up with some strategies, we first need to break down both how and why Folloze boards get used in the first place. Let’s take an example. Sally is a typical sales rep for a B2B vendor. In a regular day,
Sally interacts with a wide range of prospects and accounts, with each encounter serving a slightly different purpose. Sally’s first outreach of the day involves inviting some current customers to a company-sponsored event. Next, she works on implementing a large-scale campaign targeting hundreds of prospects. That afternoon, she follows up with a few high-value accounts that seem interested in scheduling a call. Lastly, she sends an introductory email to a promising prospect she just discovered.
See a pattern? Each interaction falls into one of two categories: initial engagement
or subsequent follow-up:
It’s a trend we discovered from working with our customers. Time after time, we’ve noticed that when sellers use Folloze boards in a sales cycle, it’s almost always to either engage or follow-up with a buyer. This guide illustrates specific strategies for how Folloze can be adapted to both uses, enabling you to create boards that directly serve your goals as well as the needs of your audience.
The Best Practices Explained
What follows are five simple guidelines for building the best boards possible. We’ve listed the practices we think are most important to know, but we encourage you to leave room for your own personal preferences when implementing them. After all, you know your buyers better than anyone.
Best Practice #1
Capture Attention by Showing Value
When sharing a Folloze board, your first goal is to demonstrate value in 10 seconds or less in order to reduce the probability of readers dropping out, as we established earlier based on research. Having a clear, immediate value proposition is your best bet at hooking people’s attention and getting them engaged.
One approach we’ve seen work well is to put your value proposition front and center in the main banner title. You can then utilize other spaces to amplify the message - for example, highlighting customer pain points in the banner subtitle, or introducing solutions in the promotions area. This will entice buyers to pay attention and start exploring, getting you past the 30-second hurdle we mentioned earlier.
Best Practice #2
Rely on Visuals, Not Text
Earlier, we established that users only absorb around 20% of the material they read without visuals. To help customers remember more of what you send them, try fusing your information with striking and meaningful visuals whenever possible.
Strong images don’t just leave a more lasting impression - they can also help convey your story while minimizing text. As mentioned before, many audiences tend to skim content rather than read line by line. So, the more you can communicate through images instead of words, the more strongly you can hold buyers’ attention while still providing them key information.
For instance, say you upload a video as the leading item on your banner. When you select a shot for the thumbnail, look for a scene that clearly shows what your product does and what industry you serve. Potential buyers then get an immediate understanding of how they might benefit from your solution, all without reading a single word.
Balanced visuals often make for better design. Boards combining strong aesthetics with muted ones (for example, a colorful leading item against a neutral background) often work well, as they’re still interesting but not overpowering.
The promotion area is an opportunity to tell more of your story without your customers having to click into actual content pieces - take advantage of this addition in page real estate.
Best Practice #3
Customize Content to Buyer Needs
As we discussed, long-form content still has a key role to play in the B2B buying process, but should speak to customer needs to be most effective. One way to figure out what buyers want to hear is to reflect on the board’s purpose, using the framework we talked about earlier: am I making this board to engage, or follow-up? The answer will shape which assets you pick.
During engagement, for example, most buyers are still in research mode. That means they’ll probably want to receive educational assets - like webinars or white papers - that highlight common pain points. Meanwhile, follow-ups come at a stage when buyers are attempting to make a final decision. In this case, sellers can help by sharing content that’s more specific and solution-focused, like product demos and technical briefs.
The “Rule” of Threes: Need a shortcut for picking content? We can help. Try starting a board with your “three must-haves” - the two or three assets which you feel are most critical for buyers to read/watch. You can then round things out with “three nice-to-haves,” a set of supporting assets that still have value, but aren’t essential to the message.
To boost content customization, check out our Dynamics Content capability. This tool lets you share content more dynamically by ensuring that individuals in specific roles (buyers, advisors, etc.) only receive certain assets. If you need help with this feature, just email email@example.com.
Best Practice #4
Provide Clear Calls to Action
One great way to guide a buyer’s journey in the right direction is through effective calls to action. A good rule of thumb is to have at least two action buttons embedded on the board in places like the banner or promotions area – just enough to motivate prospects without overwhelming them.
One of the best spots for a call to action is your contact card. This draws attention to your photo and personalizes the interaction, reminding buyers that they’re communicating with a person - not a machine!
Like your content, your calls to action may need to evolve in line with your board’s purpose. A board meant for engagement would probably work best by suggesting neutral actions that encourage buyers to keep exploring: “Watch this video,” “Register for this webinar,” “Learn more here.” By the time you start using boards for follow-ups, however, your goal will be to nudge customers toward making a commitment. This can be achieved with statements like “Request a free demo” or “Schedule a call,” which ask buyers to take that next step in the sales process.
The best actions to emphasize are the ones that get you closest to your goal. If you can pinpoint the most critical step that you’d like the buyer to take right now, then you’ve just identified your main call to action (this is often best placed on the banner). Whatever priority you have after that can then become a secondary action on the board.
Best Practice #5
Put Yourself in the Customer’s Shoes
You’ve pulled together a working version of your board and feel almost ready to share. Now, to finish the process, take a step back and consider how the board would look through a prospect’s eyes.
Ask yourself: Can viewers recognize my value proposition? Will the audience understand what I’m asking from them? And most importantly, if I were a customer, would I find this interesting enough to explore? If you answer “no” to any of these, try reworking some of the main components until you land on a version that looks and feels more effective.
You’ll also want to make sure the board works properly, so that customers don’t hit any roadblocks in their journey. Before sharing with others, click into every item to confirm they open correctly. It’s a quick way to ensure viewers have a simple, painless experience.
Prospects view Folloze pages at two levels: when they look at a full board, and when they click open a single item. To ensure they can connect with you at any point in their experience, you’ll want to incorporate your contact information into both the board and item views.
This consistency is especially useful for setting up a Content Play, an automated campaign timed to a preset schedule. During content plays, prospects receive messages that link directly to an open item - not a board - so it’s important to make sure they still see your information when accessing content this way.
We hope you find these suggestions helpful, but don’t feel like you can’t reinterpret them. As you get more comfortable with Folloze, we encourage you to be flexible and creative in how you apply these practices to different buyers and accounts - some of whom might require their own unique approach. Now, get out there and start building some boards!
Here’s an example of a board we consider powerfully put together:
Need more? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll work
together on helping you jumpstart your campaign.