Inbound marketing, at its core, depends on lead generation. Your efforts should focus on attracting visitors to your website, where they can give you their contact information - which you use to nurture them toward becoming clients.
Without an effective strategy to support and maintain this flow, your company will have difficulty growing its business.
But how can you get your audience to give you their contact information?
That question is difficult to answer. You need to provide something of value to your audience in return, taking full advantage of the reciprocity principle.
In inbound marketing, that typically means gating free, long-form content behind a sign-up page.
Unfortunately, in the competitive and rapidly changing world of technology, achieving that 'value' is easier said than done.
What you put behind the sign up page will determine the success and failure of your inbound marketing efforts.
You need to make sure that it's unique, and positions you as credible while distinguishing you from your competition.
To achieve that goal, the below 5 lead magnets can drive your company marketing efforts to success.
1) An In-Depth Case Study
Storytelling is key in any content-based marketing. Showing the success of an existing client that has used your product or service to overcome a challenge will resonate more than simply listing your clients or talking about your expertise in hypothetical terms.
Of course, most companies recognize this fact, which is why testimonials and short case studies are already an important part of business websites in this industry. Gated content allows you to dig deeper.
While still following the problem > process > outcome model, you can use a white paper or eBook to show exactly how you helped a typical client resolve an important pain point through your technology.
At their best, case studies showcase your experience and expertise.
They help advanced clients understand what differentiates you from your competition, and less technology-inclined audience to make your core competency more relatable. That's what makes them so effective as lead magnets.
2) Original Research
Of course, statistics can also help to sell your company. Here, though, you should be careful not to simply regurgitate studies completed by others in the industry.
The vendor for a procurement SaaS solution might want to highlight examples of just how successful automation can be in this process.
But if they simply quote commonly available studies, chances are similar solutions will look to do the exact same thing.
Instead, put some time into original research. Run a survey among your current clients or within your industry that highlights points your audience might find relevant.
Comprehensive research, especially once it goes beyond a small sample size, will help you not just attract leads, but inbound links from other industry sources who now use the statistics found within as evidence to build their own credibility.
3) Insights From External Experts Attract Potential Customers
Are you looking to build credibility in a competitive environment? Few things work better than aligning yourself with industry names that your audience already associates with expertise and valuable insights.
Get a few of these experts on board, and stage a virtual roundtable to discuss issues relevant to your industry.
The format of this type of content depends on your capabilities. A simple, written white paper may suffice, but could fall victim to limited attention spans.
A video adds a crucial visual component. Ideally, look to combine the best of both alternatives by hosting a webinar in which experts and audience can interact in real time.
Require pre-webinar sign ups to generate leads from the live event as well as subsequent viewings of its recording.
4) Comprehensive Trend Analysis
In most corners of the technology industry, change happens so rapidly that it can be difficult to keep up.
Even if your audience subscribes to relevant newsletters and websites, getting a full picture of where the industry and its various sub-strands are heading.
One way your business can help in that endeavor is by pulling the various news and trends into a comprehensive narrative.
In other words, it makes sense to devote some time to analyze the various directions, and pull them together into a single piece focused on the issues your audience cares most about.
You've probably seen examples of this on your own. For instance, X industry trends for 2018 is among the most common content headlines you'll find around this time of year.
Your goal should be to not just duplicate this content, but build it into a larger narrative that includes a tangible takeaway: what does a given, major trend in your sector actually mean for your audience's way of conducting business?
5) Tutorials and Walkthroughs Generate Sales Leads
Finally, this type of lead magnet adheres most closely to the 'value' that effective content has to provide to your audience.
Within your core area of expertise, you should be willing to share insights and tips to your audience for free. Doing so engenders goodwill, while also helping you grow your lead generation efforts.
Most commonly, you will see these types of content as tutorials and walkthrough. To stay with the above procurement example, you may want to offer a series of steps that a procurement office can go through when implementing automation software.
The goal here is not highlighting your own software as ideal - though that message is certainly implicit.
Instead, it's an opportunity to convey your expertise on the subject matter, and position yourself as a value-added service in the eyes of potential clients.
To be successful in inbound marketing, especially in a competitive space you have to be able to provide unique value to your audience.
The above five types of lead magnets can help you get to that point. Each of them is an opportunity to separate yourself from your competition, convey your credibility and expertise, and encourage lead sign ups.
You might need help in developing the exact type of content your audience actually wants to read. In that case, contact us.
We know how to build lead magnets that audiences in actually want to read, and would love to share that expertise with you!