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Inbound Marketing Blog

    5 Ideas for Offers that Aren't the Same Old eBooks

    Posted by Rachel Chapdelaine

    What are some fresh ideas for content marketing offers?


    We love eBooks, but for the love of the digital gods, give us something else!

    Your visitors are begging for it, and by now, you probably are too. Creating unique and valuable content can be difficult, especially when you are trying to provide diverse types of offers. Most inbound marketers seem to fall back on eBooks because they can be visually appealing, simple in design and hold a lot of information.

    Although an eBook is sometimes the best format for presenting information to your visitors, it isn’t always the most appealing, especially when we fail as marketers to create the optimal visual to text ratio for the given content. While educating our visitors with words is important, we should keep in mind that visuals make up 90% of the information we process and are processed 60K times faster than text by the human brain.

    Before you put all your content in the eBook basket, ask yourself the following questions:

    • “What format is best for this content?” Some content is not complex enough or appropriate for an eBook format.

    • What types of offers do I currently have on my website? If you only have a few types of offers, it may be time to diversify. If you’re not sure what’s going on here, take a look at the different types of website content offers at each stage of the buying process.

    • “How do my visitors prefer content to be presented?” Do your buyer personas prefer videos over eBooks? Creating offers relative to your buyer personas is one of the most influential factors in successful lead conversion and segmentation. With that in mind, your offers should target your buyer personas in both message and format.

    • “What types of offers will maximize lead conversion?” Offers are meant to educate your website visitors and convert them into leads. You can review previous offer analytics to see what types of offers have led to higher conversion rates, use a closed-loop marketing approach to help you discover what offers your previous or current customers have downloaded along the buyers journey, and run an AB test on offer types, not just CTAs, to see which offer format is more appealing to your leads.

    So, let’s take a look at some top-of-the-funnel offers that aren’t eBooks.

    1. Slideshows

    You can create slides in your preferred presentation software and publish it in SlideShare or embed your own slideshow.

    This is a great way to make your content more animated and download-free. Unlike most white papers (and some eBooks), this presentation format helps you cut your content into smaller chunks, making it easier for your audience to digest. Since your slide show will be embedded in your thank you page, be sure to include the link in your thank you e-mail for leads to access anytime after they exit the browser.

    The slideshow below has excellent use of graphics, space, information and timing.

    2. Infographics

    Infographics are useful for presenting information in an interesting way that is completely unique. They are excellent for combating information overload because they engage the viewer. In fact, studies have shown that colorful visuals increase willingness to read by 80%, and business that use infographics in their content marketing increase traffic by an average of 12%.

    Yes, infographics typically aren’t placed behind a conversion form because they are images with social sharing potential. But with the time and detail that go into creating a great infographic, why wouldn’t you make an infographic collection offer?

    Here are two examples of infographics that would do well behind a landing page:

    Designer Katie Shelly created a collection of her favorite recipes as illustrations. In the food industry, a selection of infographic recipes is certainly enticing and form-worthy.

    Neomam developed an infographic about infographics that is – wait for it – interactive! This is one of the coolest infographics I have seen. Its content is engaging, educational, unique in design and visually stimulating. How can you make your infographics stand apart from others about your industry?

    3. How To and DIY Videos

    Developing a video in-house can be time consuming, and let’s face it, time is money. Outsourcing video production can cost a pretty penny and delay publication due to revisions, so it’s best to start out simple.

    You probably know that having a video on your homepage is a best practice, but how does one determine if creating a video offer provides the necessary ROI? Are video offers worth the investment?

    Start by evaluating the value of potential leads you believe the videos will attract. Viewers are 85% more likely to purchase a product or service after watching a video about it. If you find the right balance between your investment and the number of leads generated, your effort will be worth it.

    Efficiently optimizing your video all comes back to knowing your buyer personas’ preferences and pain points. Men spend 40% more time than females viewing online videos. 85% of internet users watch online videos, and of that audience, those 25 to 34 years old watch the most. What it the online behavior of your buyer personas?

    4. Templates

    Template offers can stand alone or be bundled with other content. Excel and design templates are an excellent way to educate your customer and help them along a process. If your content is complex, include an example in the download to make your offer a more valuable.

    Content Calendar

    5. Checklists

    You have years of experience in your industry. You know the best SOPs and the dos and don’ts. So, show your visitors a little love and guidance by showcasing your knowledge with a thorough checklist that your visitors can appreciate.  After all, you are an expert in your industry, right? Don’t leave them guessing.

    The Science of Enterprise Lead Nurturing

    image credit: nongpimmy/freedigitalphotos.net

    Topics: Inbound Marketing