Pssst. Your lead generation strategy isn’t going to be very effective unless you’re willing to give back. We’re talking about eBooks, whitepapers, case studies, templates, and other awesome freebies your prospects can exchange for their email address.
Collecting contact information to build your email list has gotten significantly more difficult as both email platforms and consumers have become hyper-sensitive to being spammed.
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In order to capture the greatest degree of prospect interest possible, you’ve got to have something truly awesome to trade for their names and email addresses.
Research by the Content Marketing Institute has found that as many as 71% of content marketers are currently using offers as part of their content strategy, with case studies the most commonly-reported form. An additional 62% use whitepapers, and 32% are investing in eBooks. However, there’s definitely a reward awaiting the marketers brave enough to think beyond the classic eBook to leverage different types of offers. Investing in visual and creative content can allow you to capture the interest of a different segment of prospects who just aren’t into whitepapers. Here are some creative ideas to help you kick your content strategy for lead generation up a notch or two:
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1. Publish Original Research
Is your company currently surveying your customers on a regular basis? Why not expand this practice slightly to create a new report in your industry? Identify an area in your niche that’s not currently being examined regularly, create a survey, and publish the results in a report. Surveying isn’t for the faint of heart, which is why we recommend HubSpot’s How to Design a Marketing Survey that Yields Legitimate Results.
2. Compile Data
If you’re trying to convert marketers or knowledge-hungry professionals into leads, consider doing some of your prospect’s legwork by compiling the freshest data and stats in your industry. Creating an eBook that’s solely comprised of statistics can be an efficient and effective addition to your content strategy.
3. PowerPoint Templates
Did your in-house graphics whiz create a PowerPoint template that’s truly ready to wow an audience? Share the wealth with your prospects by offering the template for download on your website.
4. Interview an In-House Expert
Even if your boss is allergic to blogging, he or she can still contribute significantly to your content marketing strategy. Record an expert interview on a given topic, and offer a special podcast as a lead generation offer.
Your company’s contacts at all stages of the buying cycle can benefit from a thorough tutorial which details the ins and outs of how to solve common problems, or demonstrates real usage of your product. You can create a how-to document, short video, or slideshow.
6. Resource Round-Up
You know that running document on your computer of the best industry publications, blogs, websites, Twitter feeds and Pinterest boards? It’s not just a valuable resource for your content strategy. Putting the resources list through basic design can turn it into a content offer for your company website.
Sometimes, the simplest way to catch people’s attention is by offering a discount. Limited-time offers can create the impression of scarcity, allowing you to experience accelerated lead generation while the coupon is available for download.
Video conferences which address common questions and hot topics in your industry can be a powerful way to engage visual learners. Once the session is complete, the video recording of the session can serve as an on-demand lead generation resource for visitors to your website.
Repackaging your existing content offers can be a content strategy best practice, particularly if you’re dealing with eBooks or whitepapers which aren’t performing particularly well. HubSpot Consultant Shaun Pinney recommends packaging whitepapers, webinars, and slideshows together into a high-value kit.
10. Excel Templates
You could find that your sales team, or that Excel Whiz in the cubicle next to yours, have amazing resources for your content strategy. Excel templates for content calendars, sales calculations, or project management can be almost instantly converted into content offers.
11. Competitive Comparisons
How does your product stack up against the competition? Comparison sheets have been a powerful sales tool for years. Provide an objective, step-by-step overview that delves a little deeper than price, and your content strategy lead generation could soar.
12. FAQ Lists
Compile answers to your customer’s top questions in a single document, drawing from your blog archives if applicable. Design the answers into an offer, and you’ll have a wonderful tool for capturing prospect interest.
13. Re-Target Existing eBooks
Does an existing content offer only really matter to a certain segment of your audience? Make your general offers more specific, and your specific offers more widely-applicable by re-targeting your existing content resources.
14. Blog Bundles
Creating an in-depth eBook can sometimes be as simple as packaging several of your best-performing articles into a single document. Alternatively, use your blogs to create a training course that’s emailed daily to newly-converted leads.
How long after purchasing your product or service does it take to see results? What actions do you recommend your prospects take, and when? Creating a timeline that spells out the steps necessary to see results is a smart addition to your content strategy.
16. Monthly Email Newsletters
You can still capture the hearts, minds, and email addresses of prospects who aren’t quite ready to commit to a full-on subscription to your blog by offering a monthly email newsletter option.
17. Data Visualizations
Provide an interest and visually-appealing twist on original or trending data by creating an engaging infographic which casts the facts in a new light. For more inspiration and resources to create visualizations for your content strategy, check out 45 Free or Super Cheap Tools for Creating Amazing Visual Content.
18. Customer Testimonials
Case studies can be a power player in your content marketing strategy, but simple testimonials can do the trick, too. Showcase your satisfied client’s thoughts on your company in a slideshow, eBook, or video, and use the final product for lead generation.
If your industry has tons of buzzwords, jargon, and lingo that can be positively overwhelming to prospects, consider making the product research process significantly less confusing by offering a glossary which defines key terms. Keep it simple and short, and consider creating glossaries around each product or service offering if there’s a ton of terms to define.
20. Co-Branded Offers
Partner with a company that offers a complimentary product or service to collaboratively produce an eBook, presentation, or webinar. Depending on the strength of your relationship and their content strategy, you may even opt to promote the other company’s eBooks.
21. Create a Screencast
If your product is web-based, or you’re an expert at a process that matters to your prospects, film a simple screencast which details the ins and outs of the task.
22. Web Comics
Cartoons can be a fun and shareable addition to your content marketing strategy. You don’t need to utilize cartoons for lead generation, but be sure to offer a special subscription to your comic if you turn it into a regular part of your content strategy.
23. Create a How-Not-To List
Address the negativity bias in your content strategy by addressing the thing your prospects are really thinking about: what not to do. Whether you speak to best practices for purchase, or how to best use your prospect, taking a negative spin can result in an irresistible content offer.
24. Debunk Myths
No one wants to feel like a fool. Empower your prospects to educate themselves through your content strategy by offering short whitepapers, eBooks, or video offers which explode common myths, misperceptions, or even rumors.
Every PowerPoint presentation at your company has the potential to become a high-performing part of your content strategy. Recast your eBooks in slideshow format, or turn your sales team’s recent presentation into an offer.
26. Case Study Excerpts
Cater to your busiest prospects by taking the high-points of your content strategy’s best case studies, and publishing these highlights in a mini case-study digest that gets straight to the results.
27. Review Other Products and Services
What apps does your CEO have on his phone? What tools does your content team use for curation? There’s a good chance your prospects are wondering about the technology and tactics used to power your business. Provide a behind-the-scenes glimpse and value by reviewing products and services that aren’t in direct competition with your company.
28. Showcase Your Company
Create loyalty among prospects who are seriously considering purchasing from your company by putting your company in the direct spotlight. Create a list of facts, stats, and quotations that showcase how great your company is, from your team’s weekend volunteering efforts, to your CEO’s affinity for funny hats.
29. Create an ROI Calculator
Take advantage of your office Excel whiz’ ability to write spreadsheet formulas, and create a document which calculates the ROI your prospects can expect if they become customers of your company.
What are some of the most creative offer ideas you’ve used in your content strategy? Share your thoughts in the comments – we can’t wait to discuss!