If you’ve taken the steps to switch your organization to an inbound marketing strategy, you probably already know that content is critical to generating new leads. However, like most marketing tools, using premium content to attract leads isn’t something that you can simply publish on your website and expect people to find it immediately.
Luckily, we have a few tips that will help your prospects notice your premium content and jump-start the lead-generating machine your content is meant to be.
What is Premium Content?
Before diving into the tips for attracting leads, let’s get on the same page as to what premium content is. Sure, it can include the typical smattering of whitepapers and downloadable PDFs, but that’s only the beginning.
Premium content encompasses anything you can use in your inbound marketing strategy to generate leads. It includes content that’s so appealing to your website’s visitors that they’re willing to give you something as valuable as their email address, name, company information, job title, or firstborn in exchange for reading it.
Okay, one of those might be a bit unrealistic—they definitely wouldn’t give you their job title in exchange for your content. But, there are plenty of different types of content you can use beyond the usual suspects, including:
Exclusive press releases
Your Contact Us page
Newsletters and their sign-up pages
Why Premium Content Matters
The phrase, “if you build it, they will come,” may apply to some things, but lead generation isn’t one of them. Just getting a lot of visitors to your website isn’t going to affect your revenue or grow your customer base; you also need to take steps to help them convert.
To get your website visitors to become qualified leads your sales team can work with, you need to have the pieces in place to make it harder for those visitors to leave empty-handed. Premium content allows you to make them an offer in exchange for their information.
Here are five tips that will help you make sure every piece of premium content you use attracts the leads you want.
1. Make Your Premium Content Relevant
From the moment you even begin developing your premium content, make sure it fits the interests of the person you’re trying to attract at the time they need or want it the most.
The easiest way to do this with every piece of content you use is by creating a target persona. While this persona could be based closely on your customers and is usually semi-fictional, it helps you better understand the pain points and needs of your leads and customers. It’s also the basis you can use to produce content that answers their questions and fulfills their needs.
It’s common for businesses to have multiple target personas, and they can get fairly detailed depending on the questions you ask when surveying your customers. Your target personas can also be in different stages of the buyer’s journey at any given time.
For any piece of premium content, you produce, know which persona you’re writing it for and what stage they’re at in the buyer’s journey. The greater the relevance to their current situation, the more leads you’ll generate.
2. Social Media is Your Friend
It might seem contrived, but it’s contrived for a reason. Although social media isn’t necessarily the backbone of promoting your premium content, it’s still important. Think of it as a leg or an arm instead.
We’re not recommending you create just one post promoting your premium content on every social platform out there. That somehow manages to both go too far and not far enough at the same time by falling into that “set it and forget it” mindset and potentially not meeting your target persona where they are.
Instead, we recommend not only promoting your content on social media but also using your platform to engage with your audience and educate them in these same places.
Posting with a purpose and context is more important than ever. This is not your cue to spam links to your content on every group or page you have access to. Instead, find where your prospects are and use your content to answer questions or comment on a related post. Not only will this promote thought leadership for your brand, but it’ll help you stand out.
3. Optimize and Analyze Your Landing Pages
One of the key elements of promoting premium content is making sure it’s converting and getting into people’s hands (or Downloads folder). This means reviewing your conversion rates on a regular basis and making small revisions to your landing pages.
To test different revisions for their efficacy in increasing landing page conversion rates, we recommend using A/B testing if you’re able. Whether you’re using all-in-one marketing software like HubSpot or just by creating two separate but similar landing pages, you can see what moves the needle for conversions on your pages with just a few minor tweaks.
While doing any form of A/B testing, the most important thing to remember is that even a 1% increase in conversion rates can make a huge difference in how many leads you capture.
When you’re A/B testing to improve conversions, we recommend making small, subtle changes to these parts of your landing page:
The copy: See if you can explain your offer more clearly, without going overboard on adding too much new copy.
The graphics: Resize the graphics you’re using as a teaser for your premium content—being able to see what you’re offering can make a difference.
The form: Have more questions on your form than a CIA background check? Maybe take a few of them out. Otherwise, experiment with the questions you’re asking.
Most of all, make sure you keep track of your landing page metrics regularly. Keep the page maintained so you continue to get the activity you want to see.
4. Promote Your Content Everywhere
Social media shouldn’t be the only basket you put your promotional eggs in. Within reason, you should promote your premium content across every platform you use for your marketing efforts. Furthermore, each piece of content needs its own separate marketing initiatives, paired with an aggressive campaign.
We use numerous tactics to promote content for our clients and ourselves, but here are a few of our favorites when we’re running a campaign:
Promotional emails to your current customers. Yes, they might have the same questions as your prospects, and it could potentially lead them to reconvert down the line.
Promotional emails to your prospects. Because, of course.
Inclusion in your monthly newsletter. Newsletters are extremely helpful for customers, whether they’re monthly, quarterly, or at another cadence.
Explicit calls to action (CTAs) on your website and blog. Put these anywhere and everywhere they’re relevant for your premium content.
Email signatures—everyone in your company should include a link to the landing page in their email signature.
5. No Seriously, Keep Promotion Your Premium Content
You’re probably sick of us saying it by now, but your premium content isn’t something that you should let gather dust after your initial promotional push. Even after the first few aggressive weeks or months of the campaign are over, continue to promote the content. After all, this is how you continue to get leads over time, no matter what stage of the buyer’s journey they’re in.
If nobody sees your premium content after a few months, that’s how long it’ll take for that piece to stop generating leads for your business. Give each piece of content you publish the attention it deserves from your marketing strategy, and that will boost its value for both your business and your prospects.
*Editor's Note: This blog was originally written in 2015 and has since been updated.