March 20, 2018 | Max Willner

Best Practices for Content Offers

 

What is a “content offer” and how exactly could that be beneficial for your business?

First of all, content is a pretty vague term with a lot of categories under its umbrella. For every form of media, there is content. Your organization exists because it excels in a particular field of industry, and its combined experience can be translated into content. An educational podcast, an ebook, etc. You can use these items to draw in additional business and build your brand (not to mention it's great for your SEO). Enter the world of content marketing.

 

Coming Up with Offers

Before you go full-steam, you need to find the interest for what you’re offering. Start small and experiment with your offer to gauge the interest levels. Checklists, tools, and resources lists are all viable and safe options to start with.

The question is, how does one craft such an amazing offer with the perfect message? Market research, plain and simple. Build out your buyer personas and never stop revisiting them for updates. Build up your base of brand advocates, and, eventually, aim for your company/organization to have “1000 True Fans.”

 

Your content offer should encourage engagement and propel your audience forward in the buying funnel.

The promise of quality content should encourage your buyer persona to keep moving forward.

 

Offer Types

There are dozens upon dozens of options when it comes to providing a great content offer. It can be as small as a list of links to helpful websites or as intricate and involved as a series of educational videos. An effective inbound marketing strategy makes full use of the content and skills available. Check out the list of options below:

  • Workbooks provide a great quick win, especially if people already know everything they need to fill them out
  • Ebooks
  • Whitepapers
  • Worksheets
  • Checklists
  • Guides
  • Cheat Sheets
  • Resources List
  • Written Content
  • Spreadsheets (the highest converting offering according to Noah Kagan)
  • Q&A Sections
  • Venn Diagrams
  • Original Data and Research
  • Calendars
  • Weekly Planners
  • In-Depth Lessons / Video tutorials / Courses / Webinars
  • Podcasts
  • Case Studies
  • Q&A
  • PDF Packs
  • eKits
  • Trials/Demos
  • Contests
  • Email Series - finite number of emails
  • Email Subscriptions - the emails keep coming, unless you unsubscribe
  • Templates
  • Tools
  • Free apps

 

So, you've got a lot of options. Your expertise is your magic - put it out there and bring in some quality leads. 

 

Offer Content

A solid content offer can be rolled out in as little as four parts: a professional cover page (or whatever best fits your media), an introduction to the team/organization, the content offer itself, and the thank-you with an included CTA.

Part 1: Focus on presentation. First impressions are everything when it comes to content offers - in the digital landscape, you have mere seconds to captivate somebody’s attention. That’s why you’ll want to start off with a well-done PDF cover page, or something that will establish the quality of the offer and of your brand. A professional presentation helps to build trust with your audience and advertises that the content you’re offering is top-notch stuff - a lead magnet.

Part 2: Say hello! A welcome page will give your audience a preview of who they’re dealing with and what they’re about to get into. Maybe they’re familiar with your brand, maybe they’ve never heard of you. Tell them a little bit about yourself and your organization. Throw in a picture of your team or something similar - especially if the offer is top of the funnel. This is a great first step towards building brand awareness. 

Part 3: The setup looks good. Now it’s time to introduce that super-valuable content. It can be an epic checklist with thorough details or something as in-depth as a 30-page ebook. If you can solve their problem with less, do it - it’ all about how much is necessary for your topic. The primary focus you should have when providing this content is getting them from step one to step two. It’s incredibly helpful if you can assist them in addressing a pain point before even purchasing your product. Your goal is to provide them with the means to get from one stage of the buying funnel to the next. Don’t just throw out resources - your content can do some of the work for them. You could link to discounted versions of popular online tools or tutorials you’ve made on how to use said tools - interactive elements are awesome. 

Part 4: Here’s where you’re not just concluding what your audience has learned, but prepping them them to click on the CTA. Be sure to always include a final page with a closing thank-you for downloading, what their next steps should be, and a link to your paid product/service.

You gave them something valuable, and it took you a lot of time and effort to create. If you’ve done your job right, chances are good that they won’t mind clicking that CTA. And if your offer isn’t quite ready yet, you can always link to a preorder page. Just keep ‘em moving along that funnel.

 

Delivery Method

Make sure the delivery method is super-smooth. Don't let your leads get hopelessly lost when all they came for was the content you promised. This should be streamlined and as simple as possible.

Tom Hanks, stranded in the movie Castaway. Don't leave your audience stranded when they're looking for a content offer. "They told me the ebook would be here. WHERE IS MY EBOOK?"

For the content you’re offering, it’s far better to link to that content instead of making it available for download. People are less likely to go back to their downloads folder or email inbox and reopen it. It's the best chance you’ve got for getting them to take action is right away, so get them to open that content in a tab. Strike while the iron is hot! That way, they’re more likely to come back and read it later.

Try different kinds of content to see what works best for you. With a little A/B testing, you'll find a groove that resonates with your ideal audience.  

Max Willner

Max Willner

In his role as Digital Marketing Manager, Max provides digital ad strategy, campaign management, and SEO support for our clients. To help build ads and other content that engage visitors and improve ROI, he applies data-driven insight that allows us to create incisive, effective plans that boost clicks, conversions, and sales. His desk plant, Bob, provides fresh oxygen for impromptu yodeling competitions.

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