Thanks mostly to technological advances, the customer’s journey has evolved and changed how businesses today generate and nurture leads. Gone are the days when well-thought-out plastering of your brand in the local newspaper or TV network is considered the ultimate lead generation tactic. Since the dawn of technology, such traditional media advertising has understandably taken a backseat as digital marketing takes the lead.
Despite facing an apparent paradigm shift, one thing continues to be true: lead generation remains to be both a vital element in marketing yet a daunting predicament. In fact, according to a report by HubSpot, 61% of marketers claim generating traffic and leads is their top challenge.
As digitisation continues to alter how companies attract consumers to them, more and more brands are focusing their efforts on developing sound content marketing strategies. If you’re wondering why, it is because 85% of B2B marketers say lead generation is the primary and most important goal in content marketing. While there is a myriad of ways to market a brand, 93% of B2B companies report that content marketing generates more leads than other traditional marketing strategies.
But, even after narrowing your focus on content marketing, there is still a wide range of content strategies to explore that can generate leads successfully. However, there’s no need to sift through the entire marketing arsenal—one of the surefire tactics is to employ a high-value lead magnet.
In a nutshell, a lead magnet is something of value to your target audience that you can offer in exchange for a prospect’s basic information such as name, email address, and contact number.
It’s one thing to create a lead magnet, and it’s another to leverage its full potential effectively. A targeted, irresistible, and well-thought-out lead magnet will not only result in a significant increase in quality leads but will also boost brand trust by demonstrating your knowledge and expertise on industry-related ideas and topics.
What is a Lead Magnet?
Before anything else, you need to know what constitutes a lead.
A lead is a potential customer within your target market who is also interested in what you are selling, be it a product or a service. To capture this lead, you can offer something of value to them, encouraging them to engage with your brand—this is also referred to as a lead magnet. Say, a resource piece with relevant and exclusive data or a unique and useful guide on tackling a collective problem experienced by your target audience.
A strong and irresistible lead magnet will pique the interest of prospects as it delivers real value to them, organically directing their attention to your brand, products, and services. The primary objective of magnets is to entice individuals to do business with you instead of the competition—compelling them to complete a signup sheet, give you a call, or visit your brick-and-mortar store.
- Why are they so important?
With the rise of the “self-directed buyer,” lead magnets are becoming increasingly valuable.
In the beginning, when content marketing was relatively new, getting people to sign up and subscribe to your newsletter was a walk in the park. Consumers were not too stingy with giving out their information back in the day because they genuinely like to receive news, updates, and exclusive offers about the products and services they care about.
However, as more and more brands are making use of this strategy, it started crowding the digital space, repelling rather than inviting potential customers to your business. Thus, lead magnets that offer real value has become even more important.
While earning a prospect’s contact information such as his or her name and email address doesn’t necessarily guarantee that it will lead to a business transaction, it remains valuable. Lead magnets boost traffic and generate more leads—resulting in conversion rates and revenue to skyrocket.
More than that, it establishes your brand as an industry leader by demonstrating your expertise and genuine desire to help customers, as you continue to provide useful and informative editorial pieces. Also, they help spark a positive consumer relationship and keep your brand top of mind even with the growing number of competitors.
- What are the qualities of an effective lead magnet?
Not all lead magnets are created equal. A lead magnet that was created haphazardly can do more harm than good—it may drive away potential customers and taint your brand image. Here are a few things to keep in mind to successfully leverage a lead magnet:
1. It should be highly targeted
Before anything else, it is essential to identify your ideal customer. In defining who they are and what they want or need, you need to create a highly targeted lead magnet that will surely help put your products and services in front of the right people at the right time.
While you might be tempted to consider a broad targeting tactic to reach more people, in truth, this approach is far less cost-effective compared to focusing on a specific group of individuals. As most people are easily disappointed when you present them with something irrelevant, it could lead to them losing trust in your brand and potentially result in your business wasting valuable opportunities.
When the need for your product or service arises, they may choose to eliminate your brand from consideration. For this, it is vital to direct your efforts toward a well-defined audience.
2. It should solve a problem for your target audience
After establishing your target audience, the next step is to build and communicate a compelling value proposition to entice them to engage with your brand. To avoid the unnecessary guesswork in creating valuable content, flesh out your buyer persona to narrow down your options.
This will allow you to focus on putting forward a viable solution to a problem your target audience is currently facing—leverage it to smoothly pitch a relevant product or launch a new service.
3. It should contain information they can’t find anywhere else
Aside from addressing a specific problem that your consumers are collectively experiencing, your solution, content, or offer must be unique—or better yet, original. While conducting your own research can be beneficial, it’s not the only approach to creating gripping content.
You can create a comprehensive report based on a collection of different sources, publish an original case study, introduce a different angle or perspective on an industry-relevant topic, or use information that is already available and transform it into an entirely different, more interesting format.
4. It should demonstrate your expertise and unique value proposition
For an irresistible lead magnet, you should publish content pieces that will help prove your knowledge, skills, and expertise when it comes to industry-related ideas. Also, boost brand trust and strengthen your relationship with your prospects by offering a unique and compelling value proposition that can turn leads into paying customers.
- What are the different forms of lead magnets?
Like many digital marketing tactics, lead magnets come in a myriad of shapes and sizes, as this approach covers a broad scope. They can take the form of relevant and downloadable whitepapers, ebooks, discount coupons, toolkits, resource lists, and similar assets. Although there are many forms, every lead magnet functions the same way: to attract quality leads and secure their contact information.
While browsing through the search results, have you ever come across an interesting piece of content, but upon clicking on it, it only features a brief overview of the article?
Guides are one of the most common lead magnet formats out there. Usually, to gain access to such free guides, you’ll be required to give your email address. Although some may think twice, most people will willingly give their contact information, believing that the guide will be of value to them.
Since only interested people and potential customers will voluntarily give away their contact information, you don’t have to sift through acquired emails as they are all most likely quality leads—you already know that they are.
- Exclusive Reports and Case Studies
Exclusive reports and original case studies are lead magnets that are especially valuable for B2B organisations. However, these lead magnets can also be helpful when used in data-driven industries, or those that rely heavily on raw numbers, statistics, and actual market research.
Some people can’t stand to read guides, case studies, reports, and other long-form content mainly because of its length, especially when they’re about complicated concepts. With a one-page reference—or cheat sheet—they can skip through the less vital part and go straight to the most critical information.
As cheat sheets save a great deal of trouble and time by providing a clear, concise, and handy summary of key points, it often compels your audience to opt-in to your mailing list.
- Video Training
Some people like to consume written content, but others prefer to watch a video to gain information on a relevant topic—businesses like it, too, as it is known to be a highly-engaging format. Because consumers are compelled to view more video content than ever before, 87% of today’s marketers leverage video content to meet their business goals. Don’t be left behind—take your lead magnet efforts further by posting an educational video your target audience can’t resist.
- Free Trial or Discount
It’s one thing to tell your audience about your product or service, and it’s another to show them the value of what you are offering. Notice how Netflix and Spotify leverage this tactic by providing prospects free limited access to their app’s premium features, even for just a short amount of time?
People innately want to try a product or service before they buy to avoid wasting their hard-earned money, which is why free trials or discount coupons are highly effective in enticing your potential customers to give your offerings a chance. In the process, you’ll definitely have the opportunity to get their contact details and gain quality leads.
- How can you successfully create effective lead magnets?
While we’ve briefly touched on a few qualities earlier in the article, here is a step-by-step guide that can help you create a sound lead generation strategy:
- Identify your buyer persona
According to a study released by eMarketer, over half of the consumers surveyed expect personalised promotions from companies. As personalisation takes centre stage, a well-crafted buyer persona is a must for businesses across the globe. You must have a well-defined profile of your ideal customer as it will allow you to connect with your audience and thrive in the ever-competitive economic landscape.
There is no denying that having a great product or service is no longer enough, and neither are top-notch marketing copy with attention-grabbing graphics. Why? Because if no one is seeing and appreciating them, then you are just wasting valuable time, money, and assets. For your to rise above the digital noise, you must create a buyer persona that includes who they are, what they do, where they live, and what their interests, goals, pain points, and buying patterns are.
- Determine your value proposition
To define your value proposition, you must be able to identify the primary reason why prospects should do business with you rather than with your direct competitors. As it is one of the most critical conversion factors, it must be clear to your target market.
To develop a strong value proposition, start with listing all the benefits of your products and services—from there, draw up statements as to why these benefits are advantageous to your target audience. Once you’ve identified them, you can then connect it back to your customer’s main problem.
- Decide what type of lead magnet you will offer
As discussed earlier, lead magnets come in all shapes and sizes and knowing the most common types is essential—but more importantly, you must learn how to effectively use each one of them throughout the buyer’s journey.
According to HubSpot, there are three stages involved in the buyer’s journey: Awareness, Consideration, and Decision. To appeal to your potential customers, you must know where they are in the buyer’s journey so that you know which type is the most effective to them at a particular time. Although there is no definitive, one-size-fits-all solution, bear in mind that you should keep your lead magnets simple and easy to understand and consume.
- Create your lead magnet
Now that you have a clear idea what lead magnets are and how to put them to work effectively, it’s time to actually create them to amplify your content marketing efforts, generate more quality leads, and propel your business to success.
Indeed, 61% of marketers claim that generating traffic and leads is their top challenge—but don’t let this stunt your brand’s revenue growth and conversion rates. As having a steady stream of quality leads is fundamental in thriving in today’s market, it is imperative to incorporate lead magnets into your overall marketing strategy.
However, if you’re still struggling to attract the right kind of lead or unsure with the type of magnet you should create to capture your target’s attention, you can always partner up with SEO.uk and get help from a reliable digital marketing agency.