If you're looking for new ways to generate leads in 2016, you really should consider premium content. Effective lead generation strategies provide prospects with something of value, not just a pitch. Great content to keep them coming back for more.
What is Premium Content?
Premium content is anything you put on your blog or website that is more than just a blog post. It’s something that you spend additional time, resources, or research developing, and it’s not something that you create overnight.
Premium content offers enough value to your visitors that, if you have a lead generation program, you expect those interested will “pay” for it by filling out a lead generation form. The better the premium content or offer, the higher the conversion rate of visitors to leads should be.
Examples of premium content include:
- White Papers
Converting Visitors into Leads
It’s a well-worn analogy, but having good calls-to-action (CTAs) for premium content is like pouring gas on a fire.
Utilizing premium content and a simple download form that visitors fill out to access premium content, you can create a powerful lead generation campaign. When someone fills out a form and downloads content from your blog, you know more information about them than most analytics software can provide.
If It’s So Valuable, Why Give It Away?
I love this question: “If it’s so valuable, why give it away?” It’s okay to give this premium content away for free as long as you are asking for something in return from your visitors. You're asking that they provide you with some basic information that’s included in your lead generation form. Because the content that you are offering your visitors is more than just a blog post and includes information that they can’t get anywhere else, they are more likely to fill out the lead generation form than if it was simply a contact form with no special offer.
Another side benefit of producing and giving away premium content is that people will often share it LinkedIn, Twitter, Slideshare, Pinterest, Facebook, and other social sites. If it’s good content, your visitors will want to share it with their own network.
What If I Don’t Want to Use a Lead Generation Form?
Even though this blog post focuses on using premium content to drive lead generation, you don’t always have to have a lead generation program attached to your premium content. I will be the first to say that great content for the sake of great content is a worthwhile endeavor itself, because it will bring more website traffic to your site or blog and will help with your search engine rankings. However, if your goals include generating new business and capturing leads, your chances are much better if you ask for the lead—versus expecting visitors to seek out your contact form and email you to say they are interested in your products or services.
Premium Content is the Large Boulders in the Jar
For some reason, when I think about premium content and how it fits into a blog and content strategy, it reminds me of the example of the best way to fill up a jar with rocks—using the big boulders first and then filling the rest of it with pebbles. In this example, the boulders are premium content, and the pebbles are blog posts. There are many more pebbles in the jar, but the boulders take up the most space and create the biggest impact. This is how you too should think about your content strategy. Fill it with great premium content that you spend time and resources on, and post less frequently. Then use regular blog posts to fill in the gaps.
Regardless of whether you use a gated approach for your premium content (a lead generation form) or just include it on your site, the chances of getting more website visits, comments, shares and higher search engine rankings certainly exists when using premium content on your site. I won’t say you are missing out by not including a lead generation form, but I will say that you won’t have as in-depth analytics and won’t know the true level of effectiveness of your premium content without including a lead generation program. It’s important when producing premium content that you can get an accurate gauge of the ROI so that you can determine the emphasis to place on podcasts, videos or white papers in the future.
If you would like to receive some help with determining what an effective content strategy is for your business, we would be happy to help. We firmly believe that a solid content strategy and premium content is the best ways to engage your website visitors, convert visitors to leads and leave a lasting impression. We have a team of Inbound Marketing Consultants on staff that can assist you.