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, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • Smart! And pretty simple to execute? I like this character.

  • Great tips Ms ginidietrich 

    Gini is never content
    When it comes to Content

  • Smarty smart smart smart. Also, THANK YOU!!! LOL 😉

  • Wow Gini!  I couldn’t have said it better myself.  🙂  
    I’m truly honored that you attended my session and wrote it up here on Spin Sucks.  

    Your closing keynote was fantastic!

  • stevesonn

    This is awesome! So often we think in terns of length of content, but it’s really insights and value that generates leads. It doesn’t have to be a long piece. Thanks for the post and the landing page resources. I’m going to check those out.

  • Wow, talk about straight talk and simplicity. Exactly why so many of us consider you the ‘lead’ and a ‘magnet’ for great content. Never repelling, always attracting and delightfully pulling us in!

  • I’m glad you talked about ebooks. That seems to be the advice du jour, and while it can be highly effective, it (like any other lead gen tool) is not the only road to take. The idea of the “lead magnet” is definitely something to chew on.

  • belllindsay You’re welcome! LOL!!

  • Russ Henneberry Why, thank you! I really got a lot out of your session. When you got to the content upgrades, I think I actually muttered aloud, “That is such a good idea!” So thank you.

  • stevesonn You are very welcome! It’s something we are going to try, too. So let’s compare notes.

  • annelizhannan You and your puns make me laugh nearly daily! I seriously laughed out loud at you on Twitter last night. So funny!

  • ClayMorgan Man, Clay. I thought you’d be way more excited about this. I guess I have to work harder.

  • Howie Goldfarb Look at you and the play on words. Smartie! As to your email, I get about three days per month of work. Right now, lkpetrolino is killing me. SO MUCH TO DO.

  • Eleanor Pierce Super simple to execute. I don’t often leave conferences with blog content. I was happy I attended his session.

  • ginidietrich ClayMorgan I am excited. You didn’t see the happy dance I did on my desk this morning. It is actually a lot to chew on in terms of how to make it work for us.  There’s a lot of depth to this one. 

    It does show we’re moving in the right directions!

  • ginidietrich

    AnneJanzer I should hire you to write Twitter headlines for me!

  • ginidietrich

    coledouglas7 You are always so good to me!

  • ginidietrich That’s all I have, not punny either 😉 I do enjoy reading people’s way of writing, word choices and structuring of sentences. It tells me a lot about them. So many I would like to meet in person.

  • AnneJanzer

    ginidietrich Ha! I think you’ve got that skill down already. Thanks.

  • ginidietrich Howie Goldfarb lkpetrolino This seems like an appropriate place for a #PetroPower hashtag!!

  • ooohhh I love this! I’ve already sent this post to several of our clients who are working through this process now. It’s really easy to get caught at the bottom of the funnel, and forget that we’ve got to get the prospect their to begin with. I love this process of thinking through the CTAs and targets.

  • coledouglas7

    ginidietrich you always write wonderful content!

  • ginidietrich

    coledouglas7 I’m totally going to favorite that tweet.

  • ClayMorgan Next time please record the happy dance.

  • annelizhannan I would kill to meet you in person!

  • LauraPetrolino You’re welcome.

  • ginidietrich Might have to be an intervention with the kill and gunning references but I am game if JB is the mediator as always a sucker around the grey ghosts 😉

  • Yes, yes and yes!

  • NancyMyrland LOL!!

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  • Gina V. Dunn

    Build it and they may not come. Build it poorly and they won’t stay once they get there. These are my key takeaways from the last couple of posts in emails I’ve recieved. Thank you! The emails are providing actionable steps.

    • I want to quote you on this! It’s brilliant.

      • Gina V. Dunn

        Lol. Thanks! Feel free.