Generating traffic and generating leads are two distinct strategies. It’s relatively easy to lure prospective customers to your website or platform with an eye-catching piece of content that you tease out through social media or digital ad campaigns. One good hook can pique enough curiosity to get them to cruise over and check it out – for about 10 seconds.
But generating inbound leads willing to surrender their contact information on a capture form takes a little more creative effort. They need to be moved by your content and motivated to get more of it before they’ll take that ultimate opt-in bargain that marketers make with prospective customers.
Below are 11 creative content ideas for generating leads by keeping their curiosity levels high enough that they’ll be happy to opt in to your marketing list.
1. Create a quiz.
Quizzes are always popular, when done right. They can also be a creative way to both capture prospects’ contact information and learn more about their knowledge, personality type or preferences – all important elements in describing your ideal buyer persona.
The method is to “bargain” the result of the quiz in return for their contact info.
An offshoot of the Quiz is an Assessment.
Here, you assess their deeper knowledge about something related to your industry or service area. This is an especially good choice if your target demographic is highly educated.
Assessments of their professional knowledge also yield helpful information about the buyer’s awareness level for future messaging purposes.
2. Host a giveaway campaign.
Giveaways can be very popular but also tricky. If you give away the wrong thing, you can end up with a bunch of junk leads who don’t care about your company or its products.
Giving away one of your company’s products is a great way to attract people interested in whatever you sell. If you make digital transcribing systems, give away a one-year license. If you’re introducing a brand new type of product, give away the premium version of it. Remember the prize for a giveaway needs to be of substantial value or nobody will bite.
Interact offers some easy tools for creating quizzes, giveaways and assessments.
3. Compile some best practices for a challenging task.
Does your company routinely handle a specialized set of work tasks that prospective customers sometimes encounter in their work life and have to figure out ad hoc?
Compile a list of best practices around those operations that can guide the novice. For example, a media buying agency might publish a guide for planning your media spend budget, or how to find and select the best ad channels for your industry.
You will also be reminding them that your company – the real pro solution – stands ready to help if they come to the point of needing to outsource those tasks.
4. Make short help videos that walk through how to do something or solve a problem.
Help videos can solve real problems for potential customers in a format that’s both entertaining and easily digestible. With proper SEO naming and links, they can also generate bonus organic search traffic.
Turn any video into a lead generator by including a capture form part way through or at the end to sign up for a subscription to the series, request more information, or pose a question to one of your experts.
Videos are easier than ever to produce – see my previous article on video marketing that sells.
5. Create a template to simplify an everyday process.
Certain templates are used every day in business — shift schedules, content calendars, meeting agendas — and these can be a pain to build yourself.
Create a simple template for a form that your prospects are likely to need in their everyday work sphere – and dangle your little cheat sheet in exchange for the small favor of getting their name and email address.
Related idea: Create a useful spreadsheet or worksheet
Compiling a spreadsheet takes forever, and people love this easy shortcut enough that they’ll be willing to take your opt-in bargain.
Who wouldn’t love a prepared spreadsheet complete with macros and formulas for their annual departmental budget, or a preformatted project workflow chart that outlines a business process from start to finish?
6. Publish interviews with thought leaders about their secrets for success.
This is a great way to provide unique content value.
Reach out to a thought leader in your industry. By having your expert share their secrets, you prove your own commitment to delivering the best advice for your customers.
Make it a series, and you can capture their lead info to subscribe. Or if it’s to be a one-off, ask the thought leader if they’d be willing to answer (with short written replies) a few questions from readers who submit them on your capture form.
7. Offer a deep-dive answer to a tough question.
There are answers – and then there are the really good answers that represent the pot of gold for internet searchers. Be that pot of gold, and you’ll be flooded with seekers.
Take time to create an in-depth, step-by-step article that answers a burning question that’s on your prospects’ minds.
Offer the first one as a “free look,” and on the same page feature thumbnails linking to other rich content. Then you can require a subscribe form to see more content once they click over.
Companies that provide the best answers will get the business when it’s time to buy.
8. Make a checklist.
A checklist of things to know, things to watch for, or things to avoid can be incredibly useful in the right circumstances.
One company I knew that sold an HR information system offered a free checklist for auditing employee records to ensure no illegal information was being maintained, after a series of EEOC and DOL rulings that increased employee privacy protections.
9. Create a list of useful tools.
You’ve got plenty of content about the tools your company offers, but when you offer up other helpful tools your audience might want to know about, it proves that you really care about their success.
List should be placed on a page with plenty of links to your other rich offerings that require capture forms.
10. Create a valuable email course.
You can repurpose blog content into smaller, more digestible pieces by breaking it down into a “free course” email series.
This approach tends to work well for in-depth topics, and helps people with different content consumption styles get the same valuable information without reading a 2,500 word article.
Leadit Marketing does this with its “Tip Tuesday” series.
11. Offer a free trial.
Free trials help get a prospect halfway down the sales funnel. With digital or SAAS-type products, this is easier than ever.
If the trial proves your product’s value, they’re more likely to purchase the full product and become a customer.
“Touchless buying” is popular with sales prospects who prefer to avoid personal contact with a sales person. They can order it up through a form and test drive it themselves rather than having to sit through a sales demo.
This should be enough to get your own creative juices flowing now; best of luck!
At Leadit Marketing we leverage our deep marketing experience to match clients with the digital content strategies best suited to their company’s brand, personality and industry. If you’d like a consultation, click here.
Shannon Prager is recognized B2B marketing strategist and the President of Leadit Marketing. She is responsible for the daily operations and management of Leadit Marketing as well as the long term vision for the company.
A marketing leader with over 19 years of B2B demand generation and marketing experience, she understands the importance of a fully developed integrated marketing strategy. Shannon’s background includes demand generation, marketing automation, social media, digital marketing, customer marketing, account based marketing and marketing operations. You can follow her on LinkedIn via https://www.linkedin.com/in/shannonprager or Twitter @ https://twitter.com/LeaditMarketing
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