Sometimes known as a lead magnet, a content offer is an irresistible piece of content that provides value to your prospects in exchange for their contact information. The goal of a content offer is to capture interested, qualified leads that you can pass to your sales team to be nurtured until they’re ready to purchase. Offers are typically placed on a landing page and promoted through various marketing channels like email, social media, and sometimes paid search.
Intriguing content offers are paramount to the success of your lead generation efforts and they hinge on people being willing to hand over their contact information in exchange for something they deem valuable. Prospects click on the call to action (CTA) on your landing page, sign up with their contact details, and receive the content as promised.
The best-performing offers add value by answering a question or solving a problem for your prospects. In order to be effective, your content offer needs to be highly relevant and its relevance is dictated by who you are targeting.
Start with your Buyer Persona
Identify which buyer persona you’re trying to target with your offer. The problem you are trying to solve for them should tie into the product or service offering you’re promoting. If your offer isn’t relevant to your prospects, they’re not going to download it, and your efforts could have the opposite intended effect and push them away.
Secondly, consider where your prospect is in their buyer’s journey. This will dictate whether your offer is focused on the problem itself, ways to solve the problem, or solutions to it.
There are several ways to come up with topic ideas for your content offer. Here are some of our favorites:
- Buzzsumo is a great tool for finding highly-shared content. By entering a specific topic you can determine the number of shares that topic had on social media. This gives you a feel for the most popular topics.
- Competitor websites can be a great source of industry information. What topics are they writing about? Look for ways that you can cover topics that haven’t been addressed, or cover them in more depth. If people are reading and sharing content from your competitors' sites, there's a good chance they'll read and share similar content on your site too.
- Google can be used several ways to help you come up with topic ideas.
- Search for your keyword and see who appears on the first couple of pages. Then use a tool like Ahrefs to see how many backlinks those sites are getting. This tells you the types of content the most influential companies are sharing.
- You can also use the autocomplete function to get an idea for what people are searching for in regards to a certain topic. Start by typing in your keyword and see what appears in the list. Add in simple questions like “What” and “How” or verbs like “Is” and “Are” and jot down the results.
- Google Trends is another valuable tool for showing you “which topics the world is searching for.” While you won’t see the number of searches, it will show how interest in a particular topic is changing over time.
- Reading top industry blogs is a great way to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in a particular industry. You can also read through blog comments to look for common questions.
- Sales and customer support teams can be a rich source of information. Ask them to give you a list of the most common questions they get asked by customers.
- Use social listening to find out what your customers are talking about.
Consider the Content Format
The most common formats for content offers are eBooks and How-to Guides, however think again about your buyer persona and how and where they like to consume information. Also consider the amount of time and resources you have at your disposal. Lastly, which content formats are getting the most shares? Depending on these answers, you could create alternative formats.
Create a Compelling Offer
Once you’ve brainstormed topics and determined your format, the next step is to create your offer. Start with a working title which can later be turned into a catchy title or headline to capture your audience’s attention.
Next, create an outline for your offer. This will vary depending on the content format you’ve selected, but in general it helps to jot down a logical thought progression for your content story. These can be chapter headings/subheadings, a video storyboard, or whatever you need to help get your ideas down on paper.
Then, go back and fill in the sections. Just remember to keep your buyer persona and their problem in mind as you write. Here are some tips to make your writing more valuable for your prospects:
- Use research or data to add weight to your ideas.
- Ask your management for their unique perspective.
- Add quotes or interviews from industry experts or influencers.
Perfect Your Title
Finish up with a solid intro and conclusion, and then go back and finalize your title or headline. 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 will read the rest according to Copyblogger. A good headline will ensure that the hard work to spent creating the content won’t go to waste.
When you’ve finished a rough draft of your content offer, find someone to proofread and edit it for you. It always helps to have a fresh pair of eyes, but if you’re on your own, that’s ok too. Just try to give yourself a little break before you begin editing.
After you’ve finished the editing process, it’s time to focus on design. Pay particular focus to your eBook cover or video thumbnail design as these will serve as mini advertisements for your offer. According to Buzzsumo, articles with images every 75-100 words tended to get double the social media shares of articles with fewer images. Adding in unique imagery or videos will capture your reader’s interest and increase its shareability.
Creating an intriguing content offer is just the start to growing your business. In order for anyone to ever set eyes on your offer, you need to develop a campaign of emails, blog posts, and social media posts to drive traffic to your landing page. Learn how to generate leads and use other inbound marketing strategies with our free ebook "How to Run a Successful Inbound Campaign with a Small Marketing Team."