Generate Leads with These 5 Clever Content Ideas

Inbound Magnet for LeadsContent marketing is tough work. Determining who you're trying to sell to and what they are searching for takes effort. Then you put all that knowledge into content, publish it where you think they'll be and hope for the best. It takes time to see results too which makes it even tougher!

Once you've got all that done, and some visitors come knocking, you want to invite them into your sales funnel to become a lead. Here are 5 ideas, from the Content Marketing Institute, to help you do just that.

1. Produce an e-book

According to an industry forecast by PricewaterhouseCoopers, total revenue from e-book sales are expected to hit nearly $8.7 billion in 2018, an increase of over 3,000% since 2008. What’s more, the United States is expected to reach 112 million e-book readers by 2020.

All of that represents a huge market just waiting to be tapped, which is why creating and releasing an e-book is a strategy that has proven to be highly effective at capturing leads.

Obviously, you don’t need to charge for your e-book. As a free resource, it provides value up front, increasing the likelihood of introducing leads into your funnel. I like e-books because they let me do three important things cleanly and efficiently:

- Educate potential leads
- Let me show what I know
- Capture leads in the sales funnel

Let me walk through each of those points.

A well-written e-book should offer something of real value to readers who can walk away with specific answers to questions that urged them to read the material.

The e-book usually is the first contact point between you and the reader, so it’s absolutely critical that you deliver the information you promised in your landing page or email, otherwise you’ll end up killing your reputation and any relationship you might have had with your audience.

Show what you know

Do you want to show people what you know about a certain subject or industry? Then write it down in an e-book. Unlike blog posts — even long ones — an e-book really lets you discuss a subject in an in-depth manner. The deeper you go into a topic, the more information readers will get from you. This, in turn, will increase your e-book’s value.

People will see you and your e-book as rich sources of information and will expect to get more valuable information from you in the future.

Capture leads in the sales funnel

Perhaps the most overlooked aspect of making an e-book is that it allows you to collect your readers’ email addresses, effectively putting them in your sales funnel. The success of this phase, however, ultimately depends on your landing page, which is where you let readers know what information is in your e-book, why it’s worth their time, and why it’s fair to ask for their email address in exchange.

When creating a landing page for your e-book, I like to refer to a summary of the basic elements of a great landing page, similar to the example by Wishpond.

2. Host a webinar

I’ve been blown away by the sheer power of webinars to produce an avalanche of warm, targeted customers. Like e-books, the success of a webinar will depend on whether it offers anything of real value to people.

Only when a webinar is considered to offer value will people happily give you their contact details and information. Of course, in exchange, you have to provide real hands-on training, examples of real-life applications, and real expertise — all while they sit in the comfort of their homes or offices.

If you’re looking to host a webinar to generate leads, I strongly recommend asking qualifying questions on the webinar sign-up page to see what your participants want from the activity. You can ask questions to gauge their interest in your products or services or questions about where they are in the sales cycle.

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