You’ve almost certainly heard the term “lead magnets,” but what does it mean? And do you need it? We get these questions from clients, and it’s understandable why. There are so many marketing tactics at their disposal, and they’re just not sure which are actually worth their time and energy. Here’s a deeper look at gated content, and how it fits in the larger content marketing picture, so you can see how it can help you capture – and convert – more leads.
What Are Lead Magnets?
Whoever came up with this term initially was spot on; it describes this concept perfectly. A lead magnet is a piece of content a business offers to its customers and prospects for free in exchange for some of their contact information. It’s something that should be magnetic to your leads – which is where these also often fall short. You can’t just slap any old content up on your site and ask a visitor to give away their personal details for it. It needs to be something interesting, valuable and relevant to them. For example, an ebook about “15 Unusual Ways to Use Essential Oils in Your Home to Improve Wellbeing” would be perfect for gating, while a blog post about “Our Top 3 Favorite Essential Oils” is best as a free, ungated blog. The value of the former is greater and more unique, which is what makes a good candidate to be behind a gate.
Why Are They Important?
Lead magnets are extremely useful tools when used well. They can encourage otherwise hesitant visitors to give you a way to follow up with them, which then gives you a chance to convert them. They can turn a casual website passer-by into someone who is in your email nurture sequence, and ultimately a customer. They’re also a great tool because they’re virtually free. We say virtually, because creating quality content does take time and time is money. But, if you have a content writer on your team or on your marketing team’s staff, you can simply shuffle around their priorities and add this type of content into their workload. Then, you post it on your website and gate it behind a form, asking for some basic information. The visitor gets the content, you get a new lead in your system. Boom.
Of course, like with most marketing methods, using gated content to attract and capture leads isn’t a silver bullet. Here are some key factors to keep in mind in order to make your efforts successful:
- Know when to gate – Do not gate every piece of content. We repeat: don’t gate all your content. The only content that should be used as lead magnets are in-depth resources, like ebooks, instructional videos, white papers, etc. Your blog posts should always be free, and we recommend ungating a long-form piece of content or making your form optional every so often, too. This way, visitors feel you’re giving them value and not always holding the materials they want hostage until they give away their personal details. Then when you do gate a lead magnet, they’ll be more willing to input their information.
- Your content must be high-quality & relevant – Use an actual content writer who knows the nuts and bolts of proper spelling and grammar, as well as how to make written pieces engaging. Also, don’t underestimate the importance of relevance. If your topics aren’t useful to your audience, and related to your business, you won’t have luck getting people to fill out your forms.
- Explore various formats – Not every piece of content needs to be limited to written text; feel free to switch it up! Use video for a tutorial, an infographic to accompany copy, images where appropriate and so forth. It will keep things interesting and heighten engagement.
We’re big believers in using lead magnets strategically and have created many ourselves. Check out these resources here. You’ll notice our topics are all comprehensive, and either about current trends or about diving deep into a specific subject. We’d love to help you get started using lead magnets to attract, capture and convert. Just give us a call!