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Beyond Free eBooks: 10 Ideas for Content Offers that Convert

Posted by Loree O'Sullivan

image credit: Matt Cornock via Flickr CC

The digital marketing landscape isn’t getting any easier. Recent findings from CMO Survey report that 77% of marketing leaders believe “rivalry” for customers is growing more intense. 63% believe their competitors are delivering more innovative marketing materials. The pressure is on marketing managers to develop creative and effective marketing campaigns in the year to come in order to stand out against intense competition.

Expanding your company’s resources library beyond basic eBooks can significantly enhance your ability to generate more marketing qualified leads. B2B and B2C buyers may require alternative resources, including case studies, tip sheets, and infographics, to conclude their buyer's’ journey. In this blog, you’ll discover some key insights into the state of content marketing in 2015, as well as ten innovative ideas for content offers that will convert the right leads.

What are the Most Effective Content Marketing Tactics?

The average B2B marketer today uses a total of 13 content marketing tactics, according to the most recent study by CMI and Marketing Profs.  Case studies are adopted by 82% of B2B marketers, which make them the second most common form of custom content.

When marketers were asked to reveal which types of content were driving the best results, respondents indicated the following:

image credit: marketing charts

Webinars, case studies, white papers, and custom research are all powerful tools for B2B lead generation, lead nurturing and more.  In an era where 87% of marketers have at least one offer on their website, creating a wider variety of content can be a powerful way to position your brand as a resource for prospective customers.

To inspire you to include more variety in your content marketing strategy in the year to come, here are ten types of offers that can be powerful conversion and prospect education tools:

1. White Papers

White papers may not be glamorous, but they’re a really effective education and marketing tool. Marketer Angela Stringfellow humorously refers to these topical, data-driven documents as the “unsexy marketing tool customers can’t resist.” Research indicates that decision makers value “depth” in content, and white papers are the perfect way to take a deep dive into exploring a concept.

How to Use: White Papers are a powerful way to showcase data, research, and other topical concepts that are slightly shorter than eBooks in length.

2. Research Reports

B2B decision makers often go crazy over research reports, which hold the promise of true value. Exclusivity is a powerful marketing concept, and the promise of fresh data can convert qualified leads. CMO Council has found that research reports are actually the single most-valued type of content offered by B2B decision makers.

How to Use: Research reports can display graphical and written representations of original data from surveys, customers, or done in collaboration with another brand.

3. Case Studies

Case studies are currently considered the third most-effective form of content marketing, second only to webinars and in-person events. These tools are a powerful way to infuse your marketing with some social proof, and show your brand’s success.

How to Use: Interview your most satisfied customers to quantify and describe their experience using your product or services. Case studies are often most effective if showcased customers resemble your buyer personas.

4. Tip Sheets

Decision makers are often busy people. Tip sheets are one of the first types of “snack-sized” content, which provide a single-page overview of industry trends, product stats, or a concept.

How to Use: Take a data-driven approach to covering a single topic, attractively designed within a single page to provide a printable overview for your busiest prospects.

5. Comparison Guides

The final stage of the buyer’s journey is often spent performing research to make a decision between two or more vendors. Leads are often concerned with selecting the right vendor or product to solve their pain points. Comparison guides can provide the right documentation to seal a deal.

How to Use: Use a table or chart to provide an unbiased comparison between your prospect’s options, using data and benchmarks whenever possible.

6. Checklists

Your prospective leads typically stumble across your website because they have a problem that needs to be solved. A checklist can be a helpful way to provide valuable insight into solving their big problem, using your product, or performing research.

How to Use: Create a simple, valuable overview of how your leads can tackle solving a given problem or applying your solution, with recommendations on how to avoid common pitfalls.

7. Courses

Modern professionals are increasingly invested in internet courses and coaching for professional development and education. In fact, modern companies report that electronic courses are their second most valuable form of training.  Bundling existing or original content resources into an educational series can engage and delight your prospects.

How to Use: Create email workflows to deliver a daily dose of educational information formatted as a topical series.

8. Kits

In an increasingly competitive marketing realm, the pressure is on to provide way more value than your competitors. One ingenious way to wow your website visitors with your thoughtfulness is creating a kit, which is a closely-related group of resources presented as a single offer.

How to Use: Bundle a group of assets, such as a whitepaper, tip sheet, and checklist, and group behind a landing page. Kits can also be an effective means of repurposing and repackaging your existing content offers.

9. Tools and Templates

Can you create an Excel template that your customers will love? Original PowerPoint designs? If it showcases your brand’s value and delights your customers, it’s certainly something to consider. Tools and templates aren’t the right fit for every brand’s products or services, but they’re an exceptional content offer idea for some.

How to Use: Create a template or video guide which can create new efficiencies for your ideal prospects.

10. Podcasts

Today’s busy consumers use podcasts for professional education during gym sessions, long commutes, and other periods of relative downtime. While only 3% of marketers are currently using podcasts as a tool to convert leads, 23% intend to. Releasing offers in auditory form can allow your brand to connect with the busiest of the 2 billion individuals worldwide who own a smartphone.

How to Use: Pick a topic or a niche, and run with it. Provide value to your consumers by interviewing thought leaders within your organization, or external subject matter experts.

Releasing a wider variety of content offers can allow your brand to remain competitive in an age where companies are increasingly choosing to create branded content. By understanding your ideal customer’s preferred research methods and taking an innovative approach to lead generation, your resource library can become one of your most valuable marketing assets.

To learn more about content marketing in Tulsa, contact Sea Monster Marketing’s team of HubSpot experts! 

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Topics: inbound marketing, content creation, content marketing

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