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How to Successfully Create a Lead Magnet

Lead Generation is certainly one of the hottest topics within the content marketing industry. Of course, this subject has been covered in copious detail, and the chances are high that you are already aware of the basics. It is still important to mention that these very same fundamentals might not always be able to provide you with quality leads. We need to keep in mind that digital consumers may be presented with as many as 4,000 advertisements every day. The majority of these will glide by without further recognition as easily as a droplet of water atop a duck's back.

This is why it is important to take a more proactive approach if you hope to entice the right people at the right times. One extremely effective strategy which is now being leveraged by a growing number of online businesses is known as a “lead magnet”. What is a lead magnet? How is it intended to function, and what are the associated benefits? Are there different types of lead magnets? What steps will you need to consider when creating a bespoke campaign? All of these questions deserve more detail, so let’s jump right in.

Lead Magnets Defined

Those who are unfamiliar with lead magnets will often confuse them with standard landing pages. This is why it is pivotal to highlight a crucial disparity between the two:

  • Landing pages provide potential customers with general and relevant information.
  • Lead magnets are presented in a way that entices the individual in question to take the first step towards future engagement.

Lead magnets represent one of the few give-and-take marketing tools at your disposal. In other words, a visitor will be provided with additional levels of insight in exchange for specific information such as a telephone number or an email address. Some magnets are presented as widgets within an existing web page while others can be downloaded. This is normally at the discretion of the marketer in question.

Keep in mind that we are not necessarily recommending that you give valuable information away for free. On the contrary, lead magnets are intended to provide a small “taste” of what your products or services have to offer. We can think of such magnets as a side sample at a local restaurant. If they are able to entice the individual, the chances are high that he or she will choose to purchase the entire meal. Let’s take a look at an example to further elucidate the functionality of such an approach.

Imagine for a moment that you are looking to generate quality leads intended to target potential home buyers within the London metropolitan area. In this case, perhaps you will employ a lead magnet that offers a host of relevant properties which suit their financial requirements. Before providing the visitor with these details, you will first need to obtain some standard information such as:

  • Their postcode.
  • The current value of their home.
  • How much they can afford to spend on a new property.
  • Whether or not they are a first-time home buyer.
  • Their email address and/or telephone number.

To put it simply, lead magnets provide valuable and actionable information in exchange for basic customer details. Assuming that the individual is interested, he or she will offer up such metrics; essentially pre-qualifying themselves. This enables you to avoid random sales pitches that inevitably fall upon deaf ears.

The Different Types of Lead Magnets

Questionnaires are perhaps the most well-known type of magnets and yet, there are a host of other options at your disposal. While webinars and podcasts are excellent ways to proactively interact with your audience base, we need to keep in mind that these are naturally associated with temporal limitations. This is why effective magnets tend to be those which can be accessed or downloaded at the convenience of the consumer. A few additional examples include:

  • White papers.
  • eBooks.
  • Opt-in offers and similar discounts.
  • Tutorials.
  • Checklists.

This level of flexibility is ideal, as certain methods may be more appropriate for specific websites.

The Benefits of a Lead Magnet

One of the most pervasive fallacies that is still present throughout the world of online content marketing involves the notion of static advertising. In other words, some businesses feel that their presence alone will generate high-quality leads. Not only is this a costly misconception, but even those who are interested might not fit your sales criteria. Let us once again return to the real estate example mentioned earlier.

While many users may visit a website or engage via platforms such as social media channels, only a small percentage are likely to possess the financial means to begin the buying process even if they initially appear to be interested. Think of this as “window shopping” within the digital age. Engaging with what can only be called an unqualified demographic will waste effort that could have otherwise been devoted towards truly viable leads. This is when lead magnets can make all of the difference in the world.

First and foremost, those who provide personal contact information are much more likely to be capable of purchasing a product or service if it is subsequently presented in the correct manner. As some car dealers state, “A customer does not walk onto the lot unless he (or she) is ready to buy.” Thus, lead magnets are excellent ways to establish pre-qualified leads. We also need to highlight that they can help your firm build authority and trust within a specific sector. Some other advantages include:

  • These magnets will increase the number of individuals on your mailing list.
  • They encourage a proactive sense of engagement on both sides.
  • The dissemination of valuable information illustrates that you are not only interested in their money.
  • Prospective customers will be much more open to be contacted by a representative in the future if they have already provided basic details.

If you have consistently failed to develop quality leads or should your marketing campaigns seem to inevitably fall short of the mark, the chances are high that a lead magnet will provide amazing results. So, how can you create a lead magnet from scratch, and what variables should you take into account along the way?

Sure-Fire Steps to Create a Powerful Lead Magnet

The term “magnet” in this sense is quite appropriate, as this form of marketing shares much in common with real-world magnetic properties. Namely, those who are closest to the magnet will be attracted to a greater degree. This is why the first step is to identify your target demographic and buyer persona (always a marketing fundamental). Age, gender, location, spending habits, and previous purchases are all relevant in this sense. A fair amount of research will be required and yet, the resulting dividends are well worth the initial effort. Assuming that you have accurately defined the type of customer you are hoping to attract, a handful of subsequent steps will need to be completed.

Finding Relevant Topics

Once you have discovered the type of individual that will be targeted, it is only logical to appreciate which topics resonate with their desires. There are a handful of ways in which this can be accomplished; the majority requiring a slightly proactive mindset. We can see some common examples below:

  • Automated email surveys.
  • SEO and keyword research.
  • Knowing which online sales channels generate the most interest.
  • Identifying which website pages seem to enjoy high levels of inbound traffic.

It is also wise to analyse the strategies espoused by your competitors. Not only will this help you to determine which are the most effective, but you can avoid creating a design that appears to be nothing more than a carbon copy. Once the most palatable topics have been discovered, the physical implementation process can begin.

Are Certain Online Marketing Channels Better Than Others?

We need to remember that lead magnets are highly specified by their very nature. This is why the marketing specialists at Izea stress that appreciating which marketing channels to utilise is just as important. If you intend to target the Millennial generation, portals such as Facebook and YouTube may be the most appropriate. On the contrary, B2B and more professional sales interactions may be suited for other channels such as LinkedIn or Xing. This is a highly subjective analysis, and it will naturally vary between different companies. The main takeaway point is that finding the most effective digital “anchors” for your lead magnet campaign is key from a long-term point of view.

Choosing the Right Type of Lead Magnet

What type of lead magnet is best suited for your marketing requirements? This can be a bit tricky, and once again, a modicum of planning will go a long way. As we pointed out earlier, there are a plethora of designs to choose from. It is therefore wise to answer a series of questions:

  • What issues or problems are you looking to solve?
  • How detailed will the content need to be?
  • Which method is able to provide the most value to the end-user?
  • What is your ultimate goal? Common answers include conversions, basic contact information and product promotions.

Regardless of the lead magnet eventually chosen, remember that it should be straightforward and informative.

The Undeniable Importance of Content Creation

Before moving on to discuss the physical implementation and presentation of a lead magnet, we once again need to stress the role of curated content within its overall design and layout. The tonality and “feel” of this material should reflect the personality of the website in order to ensure a sense of uniformity. However, it must be stressed that the length of the material will naturally vary (a white paper of 2,500 words obviously provides much more information than a quick questionnaire).

Keyword research and common SEO tactics will likewise come into play (as always). Remember that there can be times when the lead magnet may appear within SERP results; further boosting the exposure of your website and what it has to offer. This why working with a professional team of content marketing specialists is crucial if you hope to take full advantage of such strategies.

Design and Marketing

The next stage involves the design and implementation of the lead magnet in question. It only stands to reason that the template and digital presentation are both important in order to ensure superior levels of functionality. Additionally, make sure that the magnet can be viewed on mobile devices as well as standard computers. This is also a great opportunity to include company-relevant branding such as a logo, a mission statement or specific colours. In the event that you do not possess the expertise or in-house staff to produce such a design, it could be better to outsource these efforts to a third-party firm or to utilise free templates such as those offered at Canva.

Marketing is the final step in the entire process. This largely involves many of the recommendations presented earlier. Decide upon the most effective online sales channels. Consider the use of referral partners to spread the digital word and to enhance your existing levels of online exposure. It is also a great idea to include a widget embedded directly within the homepage of your website. This is a quick means to engage with potential customers, and the presence of such a magnet will inevitably allow the website to appear more professional. Let’s never forget that digital interaction is one of the hallmarks of success in this day and age.

For Better or for Worse?

The creation of a lead magnet will not automatically ensure that you experience success nor that qualified leads are set to inundate your current sales campaign. Much like any other marketing strategy, you need to gauge the success of a lead magnet on a regular basis. Here are some useful questions which should be analysed and interpreted:

  • What percentage of website visitors choose to interact with the lead magnet?
  • Within this proportion, how many actually took any recommended actions (such as downloading an article or requesting a callback)?
  • Is the lead magnet generating more inbound hits to your website?

The ultimate purpose of a lead magnet is to cajole a user into taking a specific action such as providing you with their contact details. This is why the efficacy of the tool itself is critical if you hope to make the most out of what it has to offer. Google Analytics and similar platforms can provide you with an additional level of insight, although there is nothing wrong with offering a small proportion of your audience a quick survey in order to determine if any changes are warranted. Always remember that lead magnets should maintain a sense of flexibility; enabling them to be adapted around the needs of the end-user.

Providing the Ability to Opt Out

One interesting piece of information that is often lacking within articles devoted to lead magnets is that they fail to mention opt-out clauses. Potential customers need to feel confident that they can terminate this type of interaction at any time. There are two very important psychological reasons behind this observation:

  • They will appreciate the fact that your firm is not looking to “hook” recipients from a long-term perspective.
  • This strategy taps into their competitive nature (“If I refuse, what might I be missing out on?”)

Opt-out clauses can actually provide your brand with a greater sense of digital clout due to the fact that they display a superior level of transparency.

An Undeniable Digital Trend

There is absolutely no doubt that lead magnets can represent powerful marketing tools when used in synergy with the content bespoke creation services offered by Textbroker. As Neil Patel highlights, a staggering 61 per cent of businesses state that low-quality leads are their most profound concern. Lead magnets are able to provide you with a much-needed competitive edge while supplying quality results within a fraction of the time that would otherwise be possible. Please feel free to use this article as guidance in the future or to contact a customer service specialist at Textbroker in order to fully appreciate how we can provide your business with a truly “magnetic” online presence.

About our author

Ron first arrived in Barcelona, Spain in 2007. Although initially pursuing a career in wealth management and finance, he learned that the content writing community provided the highest level of personal satisfaction while still being able to personally help clients. He has been a full-time professional writer since 2011. Some of his other interests include martial arts and bodybuilding.

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