You are creating and using lead magnets, right? If not, you should be. And here are some best practices to put your efforts on target.
Lead magnets, those stand-alone premium content offers also known as sign up offers, “freemiums”, or content upgrades, are nothing new in the world of content marketing. But if you haven’t yet used them, they can be a new way for you and your brand to generate leads.
A dynamic and simple way to find new customers for your product or service, lead magnets are also a valuable investment.
So what, exactly, is a lead magnet? As we noted in a previous post here, a lead magnet is simply something free - usually some type of content - which a website visitor receives in exchange for their email address.
A great example is a “cheat sheet” – a one page PDF that contains valuable tips and information on a specific topic of interest to a prospect. It might be a simple eBook – also in a PDF form – that provides actionable data or information for a customer or potential lead.
Here’s an example of one from our company:
As CMO at Proposify, Patrick Edmonds, put it,
“A lead magnet is essentially a gateway drug or a bribe to coax your target audience into your marketing or sales funnel. You ‘bribe’ a prospect with a specific piece of value in exchange for their contact information that you can then use to nurture a relationship that hopefully leads to a sale.”
Other types of value content used as lead magnets include:
- Recorded Webinars
- Case studies
- White Papers
In this post we will focus on lead magnet “best practices.” In our follow-up post we’ll cover a round-up of the wide variety of lead magnet types you can make use of.
The primary purpose of a lead magnet is to persuade a visitor to give you their contact information. But to accomplish this seemingly simple goal, a lead magnet has to meet certain criteria.
Five Best Practices for Your Lead Magnet Strategy
Here are five “best practices” that should be implemented with any lead magnet strategy. There are probably others, but without these essentials the effectiveness of this tactic will be greatly diminished.
1. Be Obvious and Specific
You do not want to simply toss off a generic piece of content and hope to engage leads. You might get bites, so to speak, but unless your offer is something that clearly leads to your product or service, you will lose. Whenever possible you want to equate your lead magnet to the problem your prospect wants to solve. Vague, shallow and generic have no place in a high value lead magnet content offerings.
2. Create Lead Magnets With Impact
This requires knowing your audience, your market’s avatars, intimately. This deep knowledge and understanding generates a kind of “magic” that enables your content to engage with impact. By triggering a positive emotional response with your content you also trigger the first steps of a relationship. Part of the “magic” of creating impactful content is also evincing genuine authenticity. In other words, be yourself and be original.
Your content must also provide value immediately. This is easier with short pieces such as cheat sheets, infographics or even short video courses. Longer form content needs to be designed to provide value gratification up front.
3. Make it Easy to Get
One of the cardinal rules of effective marketing is to make it easy for your prospects and customers. And this applies to lead magnets. Don't make it difficult for your target audience to experience the value of your lead magnet. Have an obvious and clear call-to-action. And another thing to avoid is having too many fields in your lead generation form. K.I.S.S. - "Keep It Simple..." You know the rest.
Some marketers feel they have to get a ton of data up front. The fact is, if your content works, you will have plenty of opportunities to gather more data about your new prospects.
4. Make It Easy to Share
Got a killer infographic or tip sheet that you want to offer as a lead magnet? That’s great! But wouldn’t it be nice if you could get more mileage out of each download? You can by making your offer engaging enough that leads, or prospects, will want to share it with others. In fact, using your website traffic to multiply your marketing efforts should be a standard tactic in your content marketing strategy.
You might be thinking: “But if someone shares my lead magnet with someone else, I won’t get that person’s contact information.” This is true, but think about the exponential impact of all that sharing. Think of it as “passive marketing.”
5. Start a Relationship
Offer something that helps prospects make a purchase decision. While your lead magnet itself may be a stand-along content offering, this should be seen as the beginning of a nurtured relationship. Whether this triggers an email series, a subscription to your weekly email newsletter, or even a follow-up phone call you should leverage your lead magnet to move a prospect along your marketing funnel.
Notice we did not say to try and “sell” your prospect something right away. That’s not a relationship; that’s digital assault! Instead, you want to gradually provide more and varied content offerings that enable your prospect to experience a taste of your product or service.
[Bonus Tip] Offer Great Value and Demonstrate It
While this is a list of five things you should always do when building a lead magnet strategy there is one primary element that is absolutely essential. In fact, without this one thing, all your efforts will fall flat despite your “best practices.”
Building lead magnets into your content marketing strategy can communicate your brand’s value to new prospects. But not if your offerings lack value in themselves.
When you design and develop your lead magnets you need to focus on creating value for your prospects. And remember that value is determined by your audience: only what your prospects and customers deem valuable has value.
Another “value added” benefit of a strong piece is that it can serve to help your recipients understand what your brand can do for them. A lead magnet should function like a “free sample” that helps demonstrate the value of your product or service.
Always keep in mind that a person who has a problem your product or service can solve should find your lead magnet to be a first step towards your product or service. Your lead magnet should be something of value that attracts your audience, engages them, and has value they will want to share with others.
In other words, create a piece of content that people would pay for, but has great value because you nice enough to give it away.
Your Content Creation Partners
An additional tactic for creating and publishing effective lead magnets is to get outside help. A digital marketing agency such as BroadVision Marketing can offer expertise and tools that the typical business owner or marketing manager may not have.
In addition, it often helps to have a professional marketer's perspective to assess your overall inbound marketing strategy. Acquiring the insights of a third-party professional is an investment that can bring a quantifiable return.
BroadVision Marketing offers all this and more. Get your Free Complimentary Inbound Marketing Session to help you make an informed decision or call BroadVision Marketing at 707-799-1238.
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