MarketingSherpa reports that 60% of marketers have fewer than 10 landing pages on their website. But the more landing pages you have, the more opportunities you have to generate leads. So what gives?
Well, before you generate leads, before you create a landing page, before you even craft your call-to-action, you need something to offer your leads. You know, something worth redeeming in exchange for their contact information. The problem is, creating content takes time, which might be why so few marketers are utilizing landing pages to their fullest extent.
So what's a time-crunched marketer to do? The time for excuses is over, because there are ways to create valuable marketing offer content quickly; it just takes a little out-of-the box thinking. Use these shortcuts to create new offer content, quickly build a new landing page, and start generating more qualified leads for your business!
If you're a dedicated inbound marketer, you're probably blogging on a regular basis and have built up a great arsenal of short-form content. And while each new blog post you publish continues to work for you in search engines, eventually they get buried with all the new content you publish. A blog bundle -- a compilation of your best blog posts around a given topic -- is a great way to resurface your best blog content and simultaneously create a new lead-gen offer.
Select a theme around which to structure the blog bundle, preferably around a topic that aligns with leads that convert at a high rate. Innovative Marketing Resources, for example, might not (depending on our analytics, of course) want to choose "inbound marketing" as a topic for a blog bundle; not only is it far too broad to be helpful, but perhaps leads that download content about inbound marketing as a general concept don't close at a very high rate. But let's say leads that find Innovative Mrketing Resources via search terms related to SEO and download content about SEO convert at an extremely high rate -- that'd be an excellent topic to select for a blog bundle offer!
If you use tags on your blog to categorize content, simply search the tags to pull up all of your content related to the topic you select. Alternatively, you can perform a site search by typing site:www.insertblogURL.com "insert search term" into Google to locate the content. Choose only your best blog content, and try to select a mix of blog posts that cover all angles of your subject.
It sounds sacrilegious, but there are inbound marketers out there that would rather have a tooth pulled than create a piece of content. That puts them in a pickle when tasked with creating offer content. But research and data -- especially when it's original -- is a content goldmine that makes for a fantastic offer with very little writing required.
Do you perform your own research about your industry that you could share with leads? Do your partners or affiliates? Alternatively, do you stay up-to-date on third-party research that would interest your audience, like analyst reports? Combine all of this interesting research and data into a lead gen offer (just make sure you have the permission to first). For an example of offer content centered around data, check out Hubspot's 100 Awesome Marketing Stats, Charts, and Graphs, or the annual State of Inbound Marketing in 2012 Report.
So you just gave an awesome presentation to your boss, colleagues, clients, or even at a speaking engagement. Don't let those slides go to waste. Turn your powerpoint into an offer for those who couldn't attend the live presentation, or who would benefit from consuming the content in your presentation. All you have to do is edit your slides slightly to be applicable to a wider audience!
For example, your presentation may have proprietary internal data, or perhaps you customized it with your client's logo -- audit your presentation for these details so the content appeals to a general audience. Then go through each slide and ask yourself whether the content of the slide is self explanatory. If you made heavy use of the "Notes" section or explained many concepts verbally, edit the slides to include that extra information that those who didn't hear your presentation live would need to get value from the slides.
Instead of starting from scratch, why not make the offer content you already have more targeted by better aligning it with your buyer personas? This will not only help you generate new leads, but also drive more reconversions in your lead nurturing -- in fact, Aberdeen Group found a 10% improvement in conversion rates for more personalized lead nurturing emails.
Identify the best offer content you have, ideally one in each stage of the sales cycle -- awareness, evaluation, and purchase. You'll be able to identify which offer content is best by visiting your marketing analytics, and selecting those with the best conversion rates. Content from the awareness stage should have a high visitor-to-lead conversion rate; content from the evaluation stage should have a high rate of reconversion; and content from the purchase stage should have a high lead-to-customer conversion rate.
Once you've identified the best offers, you can simply update the language and layout to cater to each persona's interests and needs. For example, you might change an offer targeted at a C-suite executive to be shorter, use a more professional tone, and provide less tactical and more strategic advice. On the other hand, the same offer targeted at a mid-level manager might go into more detail, use less industry jargon, and focus on the nitty gritty tactics of your solution.
You can learn more about how to adjust the content of your existing offers in a Hubspot blog post that covers how to tailor lead nurturing content to different buyer personas.
Just as you can update existing content to be better targeted, your old offers should be updated and relaunched, positioned as a more current piece of content. Even your most evergreen content will likely need to be polished up as data and statistics become out of date and new advancements are made in your industry that would be useful to add to the content.
Valuable content comes in forms other than the written word, so here's another idea for those inbound marketers who don't fancy writing. Record an interview, either on video or, if you're camera shy, just audio. As an example, HubSpot did this on the subject of whether content should be behind a form in the video: HubSpot Debate: Should You Put Your Content Behind Forms? In the video, Hubspot CMO Mike Volpe and Marketer-in-Residence David Meerman Scott discuss whether it's better for content to be form-free; the discussion lasted about a half an hour, but yours certainly doesn't have to. Simply take 10 or 15 minutes to tackle an interesting topic with a co-worker or industry expert, record the discussion, and create a landing page that summarizes the points that will be covered in the recording!
So you can't find a chunk of time long enough to devote to ebook writing? Or is the prospect of doing an indepth treatment of one topic too overwhelming? Take the FAQ approach to your next piece of long-form content. The FAQ approach is a common one used when writing blog posts -- after speaking with our Sales, Support, and Consulting departments, I aggregate questions that customers commonly ask and jot them down for future blog topics.
You can take this same approach for an ebook, too! Ask associates who are on the front lines with prospects and customers every day to jot down common questions they receive and send them your way so you can progressively write your ebook; alternatively, ask them to write down their answers to the questions, leveraging the power of the team to create your next piece of offer content (I call this the Tom Sawyer approach). Soon, you'll have "[Your Company]'s Answers to [Your Industry]'s Burning Questions." even the title is ready made!
Many marketers get hung up on length when creating offer content, but length is never an indicator of quality or usefulness. In fact, it's important to create content in different formats, since not everyone consumes content in the same way. So take your how-to, action-oriented content, and turn it into a downloadable checklist.
Repurposing a how-to guide on blogging for example, into a checklist format with a call-to-action that says, "Download Your Business Blogger Interview Guide" is a perfect way to repurpose how-to content in a way that's quick for you, and helpful, bookmarkable content for your reader.
Just as checklists help your leads perform recurring tasks with more ease, there may be templates you can create for your leads in Excel, Word, Photoshop, etc. that would help them do something easier or better. For example, a tax accountant might prepare a spreadsheet with formulas that helps calculate common deductions. Our admissions marketing calculator is an example of a template-tool in Excel that helps our schools marketing prospects estimate the inbound activity they need to achieve their enrollment goals. HubSpot's CMO Mike Volpe created a template for marketers to complete their leads waterfall graph, you can find this tool here. Ask yourself what problems your leads and customers encounter, and whether there are templates / tools you can quickly create and offer for download to make that job easier.
You may not have all the answers, but perhaps you have trusted colleagues, industry contacts, or even followers and fans on your social media accounts who do. Select a controversial topic or difficult problem many in your industry face, and ask your network for their take on the issue. Then bundle their responses and advice into one piece of content.
Next time you host a live presentation or webinar, be sure to record it so you can leverage the offer well after the live audience disperses. This is some low-hanging fruit content that should be turned into a lead generating offer. Remember, not everyone can attend your presentations live, but it doesn't mean they're not interested in the content.
And if your webinar didn't go as well live as it did during rehearsal, no worries. You can always set aside an hour to re-record the presentation that you turn into the offer -without the live audience and technical difficulties.
If you're short on time, why not divide up the responsibility of creating offer content with someone in your industry who is looking to get exposure to your audience? This approach works well for other content formats, too, particularly webinars. Partner up to host a webinar with someone in your industry whose audience you'd like exposure to. You can use the recording to generate leads on your own site, and include a call-to-action at the end of the webinar to encourage action from the new audience to whom you're speaking.
If you can't find the time or inclination to create offer content, you can always outsource content creation. You can build all the calls-to-action and landing pages in the world, but without valuable content to make redemption worthwhile, your lead generation will quickly dry up.
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