What Is a Lead Magnet?
The first question is obvious: what exactly is a lead magnet?
In online marketing terms, a lead magnet is a free offer you make to customers in order to encourage engagement. In most cases, brands will offer this incentive in exchange for a visitor’s email address. For instance, a digital marketing firm might offer a free e-book giving a crash course in SEO tactics. All that the customer has to do to get a copy of the e-book, is to simply provide a valid email address. In this case, the e-book is the lead magnet; it’s an incentive that customers want, and are willing to join an email list to get.
Here is an example of a lead magnet:
The second question is benefits: what advantages can your business get by employing a lead magnet strategy?
After all, isn’t a lead magnet essentially just a bribe to get visitor contact information? And wouldn’t you be better off trying to sell a product upfront, rather than getting an email address and spamming your leads later?
The truth is that the average customer won’t make a purchase upon his or her first-ever website visit. Instead, customers prefer to browse your site, find out about your products and services, look at what your competitors are offering, read up on your brand, and consider the pros and cons of buying with you. If you are only pitching product sales on your website, you risk missing out on all of these more hesitant buyers.
By using lead magnets, you can accomplish two things. First of all, you get qualified leads to join your email list willingly. You can use this information to pitch product sales later or to provide your prospective customers with information they might find useful. Secondly, you give your visitors a complimentary incentive that is inherently linked to your brand. In other words, you start laying the groundwork for a positive brand-customer relationship, which can drive profitable interactions later.
Building Great Landing Pages with Lead Magnets
One of the important things to understand about lead magnets is how many different variations they can take. The “incentive” you offer as a lead magnet can be an e-book, as discussed above, but it can also be a free software trial, an email course, a webinar, a helpful checklist, an infographic, a video tutorial, a free consultation, or a free product sample. Truly, you can get as creative as you want with your lead magnet.
Many of the most successful landing pages on the web are the ones that put a lead magnet front and center. Typically, these landing pages will include three key elements: a button or link the visitor can click to access the lead magnet, a call to action, and a bit of information about what they will get out of the lead magnet.
Consider this HubSpot page, where the company encourages visitors to download a free e-book about internet marketing.
All of the details discussed above are there. The call to action is “Learn the building blocks for successful online marketing.” There is a “Continue” button that users can follow to provide their personal details and download the e-book. And there is a bit of information about what visitors will gain from downloading and reading the book—including sample pages from the e-book and a bullet point list of the key topics covered.
Since this particular lead magnet is not hosted on the HubSpot homepage, there is also a brief description at the top of the page that explains what HubSpot actually does as a company. Other times, the lead magnet will be baked right into the home page.
Consider the Spotify landing page; set against a colorful, eye-catching background, the above-the- fold part of the page is just the words “Music for everyone.” with two buttons provided underneath.
The first button (“Get Spotify Free”) is both the lead magnet and the call to action. If you click it, you will be directed to a page where you can either provide your email address to set up an account or create an account through your Facebook username.
If you scroll down the Spotify homepage, you will find more information about the service it offers, as well as another lead magnet link.
This strategy is another element of successful landing pages: they provide lead magnet and call to action links at both the top and bottom of the page, to maximize the number of engagements.
Landing pages and home pages are just two of the places you might position your lead magnets. You might promote them in blog posts, at the bottom (or even in the middle) of the content. Email newsletters, social media blasts, or even cover photos on your brand’s social profiles can also be effective spots to put a lead magnet.
Tools to Get Started
If you are trying to build better landing pages and get more traction out of your lead magnets, you’ll need the right tools to get started.
We are partial to LeadPages and Unbounce.com, both of which offer templates, drag-and- drop functionality, A/B testing, and other tools you will need to build and optimize your landing pages.
The importance of Content in Lead Magnets
“Content is King” has long been one of the most popular mottos in the world of marketing, but what does this mantra actually mean—particularly in the world of modern marketing? Specifically, how can your business use content marketing to grow and reach customers more effectively? Read on to learn more about what content marketing means for your brand.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is simply defined. When your business implements a content marketing strategy, the first part of what you are trying to do is create relevant, interesting, original, and high-quality content. The second part involves distributing and promoting that content, so that it reaches your target audience and converts readers into paying customers. For more on content marketing see our how to become a digital marketer complete guide.
The reason that many people get confused about content marketing is that the word “content” itself can mean so many different things. A blog post on your website is content. A video that you share on one of your social profiles is content. An outreach post on another website or blog is content. Even a television commercial can qualify as content—though it is also advertising.
Here is an example of content marketing, in the form of blog posts, on Web Courses Bangkok’s website.
The goal with content marketing is to take all of these different types and definitions of content and blend them into a campaign that is bringing value to your target audience across the board.
Content marketing is creating rich, informative blogs and articles that people want to read, discuss, and share with their friends. Content marketing is generating fun videos with the potential to go viral. Content marketing might even mean building a TV spot that is so innovative, engaging, inspiring, or visually compelling that customers not only watch it when it comes up on their TV screens but also go looking for it online.
With content marketing, you can promote your brand in a positive fashion without coming across as overly promotional. With so much advertising at every turn, consumers want brand promotion to be less one-sided. Most adverts just bombard customers with information about brand product and services, trying to encourage a purchase.
While the customer could potentially benefit from those products and services, he or she isn’t benefitting from the advertisement directly. With content marketing, consumers are getting something from the brand that they consider valuable—be it a blog, a podcast, or a video guide. In turn, they have more positive brand associations, and are more likely to become paying customers of that brand in the future.
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Examples of Great Content Marketing
Because consumers want less overt advertising and more mutually beneficial promotion, content marketing has become wildly popular over the past few years. That growth has made strategies like SEO and social media marketing more competitive, because every brand is trying to make its content more visible. Luckily, it has also brought a wealth of high-quality content for consumers to engage with and enjoy.
Indeed, if you are looking for inspiration for your company’s content marketing strategy, all you really have to do is start browsing the web. Whether you look at the world’s biggest brands, or your closest market competitors, you are bound to find engaging, innovative content.
Need a great example? Consider Farmers Insurance, which curates a content page on its website called Farmers Inner Circle.
The Inner Circle is a complete content hub, where Farmers frequently posts articles, blogs, and tutorials that provide helpful insight and tips about insurance, finance, protecting your investments, and more. Lots of brands will start their content strategy with a blog. Not many are as innovative as the Farmers Inner Circle hub, which goes beyond insurance to cover a vast variety of topics about life’s many twists and turns.
Another brand that is doing great work in the realm of content marketing is Vinyl Me, Please.
A popular record collector’s club, the company is built around a monthly subscription service where members receive one limited-run, collectible of vinyl each month. However, Vinyl Me, Please also runs its own online music magazine, providing album reviews, “album of the week” columns, list based features, interviews, podcasts, and more. The pieces are detailed and long-form, providing readers with plentiful content about the joys of record collecting and the pleasures of listening to music in general. In other words, the content is there to promote and glorify the record collecting hobby—with the goal of encouraging readers to buy a Vinyl Me, Please subscription.
Finding Ideas for Your Content Marketing Strategy
These are just two examples in the big, big sea of content marketing. You may be able to use their ideas and tactics to help you plan your own content marketing strategy. If you feel like neither brand is particularly similar or relevant to yours, don’t worry. There are plenty of tools out there to help you get ideas for great content. You might just start with Google, looking up brands in your industry, and seeing what types of content tend to rank highly in your searches. Alternatively, you can try BuzzSumo, a tool that lets you search specific keywords or topics, and find out which pieces of content have performed best in terms of social shares.
You can also use BuzzSumo to look up specific competitors and see which content pages of theirs are performing best.
Don’t Forget the Title!
The last thing you need to remember about content marketing is how important titles or headlines are. You can have an awesome video or a detailed, well-researched blog, but if you don’t have a great title, you are handicapping your content. A great title should be short, sweet, accurate, keyword-optimized, and engaging. You need people to see the value in your title right away—whether they see it on your site, on social media, or in a Google search. If you can manage a great title, you’ll get more clicks and see better results from your content marketing strategy.
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