9 Things That Aren't Free Ebooks to Get More Leads Through Your Website
Content marketing is the kingpin of any business's marketing strategy for getting inbound leads through its website. With content marketing, you are looking for ways to provide increasingly helpful and compelling information to your prospects with the goal of them giving you their contact information in return.
There are many pieces in this process, but the one piece I want to talk about here is what YOU are offering for that contact information. Maybe this is a downloadable content offer (think ebook, checklist or template) that you give out in exchange for a prospect's name and email address. Maybe this is a free consultation you've developed in exchange for in-depth information about themselves or their company to help you assess if they are a good fit. Remember, the more information you ask from them, the more valuable your offer needs to be.
Let's look at some of the different types of content companies like yours are using to generate more leads on their website (that don't include those less-than-effortless ebooks).
Get More Leads with These Different Types of Content
(that are not ebooks)
- Slideshows: Unlike most white papers and some ebooks, this presentation format helps you cut your content into smaller, more easily digestible chunks. Slideshows - or SlideShares using LinkedIn's specialized tool for presentations and infographics - give you more freedom to present your information graphically, rather than in paragraphs of text. This is a great option if you've presented at a seminar, lunch-and-learn or convention and can be a low-effort way to convert attendees and other followers into leads.
- Infographics: When you have information that can be represented visually, infographics are 🔥amazing! In many instances, your website visitors want you to get to the point. Don't make them work too hard to get the information they need. With an infographic, you’ve not only given your audience what they need but you've done it in a way that combats information overload. Plus - you can share bits and pieces of the infographic on your social media, landing pages and relevant blogs to help promote the full creative. As a content creator, any time I can make a plan to reuse materials I've made, that piece becomes much more valuable to me and my clients. Can I get an AMEN?!
- Email Series: Have you spent a lot of time creating custom social media graphics with helpful tips, and tidbits that are highly relevant and helpful for your buyer personas? Maybe you have a guide or checklist that you want to repurpose. Whether you have or haven't already created these assets, an email series is a great place to showcase your helpfulness in more manageable chunks, for you and for your leads. By breaking up your insights into a series instead of one big ebook, you have many days worth of content that your prospects have opted-in to get directly to their inbox for 10, maybe 30, days in a row. Pick a theme, say "25 Dental Website Must-Haves" or "Create a Marketing Plan for Your Construction Company: a Step-by-Step guide" and trickle down the information to them, one nugget at a time.
- Checklists & Cheat Sheets: Showcase your expertise and give your visitors a little guidance by producing a checklist or a cheat sheet. These should ideally be something your prospects would see and want to print and keep on their desk to reference over and over again. A one-page "how-to" cheat sheet or a "don't-forget-to" checklist can be super helpful to your prospects. Get creative. The more visual the better and don’t forget your logo (in case they share with a friend). Personally, I love this social media image size cheat sheet from HubSpot: see it here.
- Templates: Don't just talk about solving a problem - show it! When you help people help themselves, they remember you for it. Give your prospects the tools they need to solve their problems - or at least get started in solving their problems. This is can be a great way to get new leads, help your existing customers and even empower your sales team. You can even provide an example to go along with the template if it's complex. For example, check out this Application Cover Letter Template created by LYNK Capital, a private equity firm servicing the east coast.
- How-To & DIY Videos: There is a reason why people love cooking videos. People remember, like, share and learn through visual content much better than any other format. You don't have to take our word for it. Check out this article on Medium, or this article on LinkedIn, or this one from IdeaRocket for all the reasons why video is key. Before you start creating your videos, get to know your buyer persona’s preferences and pain points and invest in developing a video that walks viewers through a process.
- Original Data & Research: The least expensive way to curate original data is to run a survey with your subscribers, leads, customers and industry professionals and associates. Get your buyer personas and partners involved in your content creation and they will automatically feel valued, heard and bought-in to your brand. Publish the results in the form of a report, study or infographic. This way you get detailed information about your community, and can offer your findings to get even more leads!
- Podcasts: If you really aren't a writer, or really just prefer to sit and talk about a given topic, try podcasts. Podcasts are great because you don't have to be a video editing wiz, or even brush your hair to produce a great piece of content. All you need is the right recording equipment, a topic and you can go to town. The sound of your voice can put personality into your brand and give you the opportunity to make a better connection with your audience. A podcast series can also establish you as a source of expertise when you keep your audience up to date on the latest industry trends. Invite guest speakers to join you, like clients, partners or other industry experts to help grow your community and following.
- Kits: If you've taken the time to create a content strategy and really focused on creating lots of content around a specific topic or problem your personas are experiences, bundle all of those content pieces into a cohesive collection. This can really pump up the value of your offer - and can even be offered for a price. Remember you don't have to give everything away for free - as long as it's valuable.
Create a content offer that kicks butt and put it to work. Post about it on social media. Run ads to it. And don't forget to monitor it. Ask your audience for feedback and regularly check analytics to see how it is performing on your website. The forms, landing pages and more can be optimized over time with every new download or view. Data is your friend. This is where you confirm your research was correct and justify the time you took to create this awesome content.
Track your offer and the eventual revenue it brings in, then do it all over again. Solve a new problem. Make a new prospect happy. Continue to attract more conversions in the process. If you have any questions about content marketing, generating leads through your website or any other digital marketing component, give us a ring or check out our free website guide below.