Maybe a decade or more back, this question wouldn’t even make sense. That is because landing pages were, realistically, the only viable option in giving good insight into an application in a short amount of time. However, today that isn’t 100% the case. The marketing aspect of the internet is a much more evolved space today, and the channels of old are no longer the most dominant avenues to reach the masses.
As the internet progressed and continued to develop, the way we consume information online has completely changed. As a prime example, look at any type of long-form content(blogs, articles, etc.). There once was a time when this content online was like gold. If you wanted consistent reach, and interest, start some form of blog and just stay consistent. Today you may get a marginal amount of continued interest, but not much. So this leads back to the original question. Do landing pages still matter?
New Primary Information Channels
Today, there is a new hierarchy in terms of where people primarily get information online. On top, you’ll find social platforms(Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc.) and video streaming platforms(YouTube). In contrast, you’ll find the old channels(Blogs, MicroBlogs, long-form article sites, etc.) that we once viewed as the gold standard.
With respect to this, the way people are accustomed to grasping information is different. Posting the right slideshow on Instagram, or a compelling enough video on YouTube will go much farther than any landing page today.
Information Needs To Be Compelling
Information just for information’s sake is no longer of interest. There needs to be something compelling, or easily engaging, to keep people’s interest. In conjunction with that, the degree of compelling said information allows you to figure out how long it should be. For example, a video on YouTube that includes an interview of a founder like Steve Jobs or Elon Musk can be much longer than a series of Instagram posts covering the same topic.
This is so because a set of pictures, no matter how compelling, can only maintain interest for so long. However, a video can maintain its original interest as long as the content maintains or gradually increases it.
Reading vs. Straight To The Point
For content that isn’t a video, it all boils down to how long you can convince someone to continue along until the end. Social media marketing works well because it mostly matches the content format typically found on said platforms. Think of a sponsored Instagram post for a second, for the most part, you really can’t tell the difference except for the sponsored flag.
Taking this back to the landing page discussion, most landing pages don’t work well today simply because that just isn’t how people gain information today. You’ll have much more success having a sponsored Instagram post, which then leads you to a Linktree, small splash page, or a route that automatically detects which app store redirect you need to download the app.
Traddional Web Is Regressed User Experience
At the end of the day, the goal of user experience isn’t to optimize steps to accomplish something. In truth, it’s to reduce the process to as few and simple steps as possible. So when thinking of how most internet content transitioned from long-form content to straight-to-the-point social content, it seems like everything is evolving as it should.
Today it is much simpler and more acceptable to convey a message in easy-to-digest and small mediums. Instead of being viewed as an aftereffect of shrinking attention spans, another angle would be that we have made great strides in the UX of delivering content with the internet.
Honestly, these are just a few points, but they do highlight well why having a landing page in today’s internet environment isn’t really needed. Yes, it is always good to have some form of website that goes over whatever it is you’ve built/provide. That will always be the norm and standard.
However, in terms of marketing, you’ll have more luck with targeted social media sponsored posts that follow the typical flow of said platform. Today’s best online marketing approach is not to rebuild the wheel to your liking, but to use the already established wheel, become compatible with it, and bring people over to the matching vehicle it fits so perfectly with.