Gini Dietrich

Use Lead Magnets to Generate Qualified Leads

By: Gini Dietrich | October 8, 2014 | 

Use Lead Magnets to Generate Qualified LeadsBy Gini Dietrich

Last week, I attended a session at Content Jam called How to Build a Lead Magnet.

Led by Russ Henneberry, the director of editorial at Digital Marketer, he talked about lead magnets, landing pages, and traffic sources.

When I go to conferences, I consider them a success if I can get a blog post out of the sessions I attend and Russ did me good.

Here is the big takeaway (and then I’ll break it down for you): You don’t have to write an eBook to drive leads.

The same goes for white papers, webinars, catalogs, or other gigantic pieces of content we think we have to create to generate leads.

What you can do, instead, is deliver pieces of the larger content instead…called lead magnets.

For instance, we have a client who has a 95-page eBook. It’s done really well for them at the bottom of the funnel, where people are ready to make a decision to buy.

Where it doesn’t do so well is with those gathering information and trying to decide if they’ll buy. It’s way too much information at that stage of the buying cycle.

So they can take pieces of that 95-page eBook and deliver that instead.

What they want to think about are the things inside that book that are going to solve the problems of their audiences.

Perhaps there is a list of 10 solutions inside the book. They will now have 10 lead magnets.

Lead Magnets for Lead Generation

To generate leads, you have to have lead magnets, a landing page, and a traffic source.

Lead Magnets

To create lead magnets, you should do the following:

  • Choose one specific segment. It can be based on title (chief marketing officers or chief of corporate communications), industry (food, fashion, SaaS, manufacturing, whatever you specialize in), or specialty (media relations, crisis communications, reputation management).
  • Identify one specific problem. It can be the question prospects ask you in meetings nearly every time, the questions your sales team needs your help creating content around, or something specific to a communications program.
  • Identify one specific solution. What is it that you do better than anyone else? What solutions do you go back to time and again for your clients? How does your organization win new customers? Choose one of those solutions and go with that.

Then you will take your problem and solution that you’ve created for your one segment and create the content.

It should be nothing larger than a toolkit or a resource list.

For example, a list of 100 blog post ideas works really well if your audience is bloggers.

Don’t make it more complicated than that. Your goal is to make it as easy as possible for your prospects to actually read, watch, or listen to the content.

A 95-page eBook is too overwhelming so start very, very small.

Landing Pages

Landing pages, for most of you, aren’t going to be anything new.

If you don’t already have content behind a landing page, you’re going to want to make that a priority.

If your site is on WordPress, you can use Unbounce, OptimizePress, LeadPages, or Premise (which is what we use).

All four of these are fairly inexpensive and can be installed with a plugin.

No need for a designer…any old communications professional can do it.

There are two things you want to be sure are included in your landing page:

  • Contact information and one quick question that allows you to segment; and
  • Tell people what they are going to get (Hint: This is your lead magnets).

In the second part, be very specific. You have this problem? This content will help you solve it.

Traffic Sources

There are two parts to using traffic sources to distribute your content and bring more qualified leads to your site.

The first is what’s called a content upgrade.

Occasionally you’ll see that in the middle of a blog post. It’ll say, “want more?” and drive you to a landing page to download more in-depth content (cough, your lead magnets, cough).

So, go into your analytics and sort by highest traffic posts.

You can add content upgrades to those.

I know, for instance, the post I wrote about the one page quarterly plan was pretty popular.

I can do a content upgrade in that post (and most likely will) that has the actual downloadable template to use for your quarterly plan.

Super helpful for you and gives me more of you to market to in interesting ways.

The second part of distributing your content is to test some advertising.

It’s super expensive to test on LinkedIn, though it works extraordinarily well. If you have the budget to test there, do it.

If you don’t, Facebook advertising isn’t as effective, but it does let you target very specifically and it’s more cost-efficient.

Russ also suggested content discovery platforms, such as Outbrain.

I’m not a huge fan of those services because—while your content will end up on the front page of Yahoo!—it’s not super targeted traffic.

So, unless you are working with or for a large consumer brand, save your money.

Putting it all Together

Let’s use my one page quarterly plan as an example.

The actual Excel sheet template is going to be my lead magnet.

I am going to choose those of you who run businesses or are soloproneurs as my segment.

The problem I am solving for you is making it super, duper easy to plan for your quarter and hold yourself accountable to results.

I’m going to put that bad boy behind a landing page that I build in Premise (as easy as creating a blog post).

And then I’m going to do a content upgrade to that blog post from a few months ago.

The traffic sources I’m going to use are:

  • Our social networks;
  • Our monthly newsletter (to be revived in January); and
  • Some sponsored content on Facebook.

Voila! An easy way to generate leads by providing something super valuable to you.

What do you think?

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, the lead blogger at Spin Sucks, and the host of Spin Sucks the podcast. She also is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.