Before we get into how to create your first lead magnet or why you should, we have to first define what it is.
In the most basic sense a lead magnet is a content asset (ebook, whitepaper, webinar) targeted to a specific audience in order to capture their information to build a list of marketing qualified leads in exchange for said content asset.
It’s a value exchange between you and your audience. They get the information that is useful and helpful to them, and you get a list of contacts you can use for more targeted marketing via email or other communication means.
Why You Should Create a Lead Magnet
So you know what a lead magnet is, but why should you create one?
A part from the obvious reason of creating one for the purpose of lead generation, let's go deeper...
1. Build a targeted email list
The engagement rate on Social Media is on a decline. According to Kevin Systrom, the co-founder and CEO of Instagram, “On average, people miss about 70 percent of the posts in their Instagram feed.”
The challenge with Social Media is that you aren’t in control of who sees (or doesn’t see) your content, you don’t own your followers. By building a targeted email list you can control who and how often your content is viewed by your potential customers, and more importantly you own that list. Furthermore, you can leverage that list later to drive increased sales for your product or service as your list would comprise of people most likely to be interested in what you have to offer.
I use tools such as Converkit to build my email list. They have a 14-day free trial you can check out if you want to give them a try.
I used it recently to create my own lead magnet for an original research I did which saw an increase in my email subscribers of 1300% within two weeks.
2. Create a More Effective Sales Funnel
With lead magnets you can create more effective sales funnel. How do you ask?
Well typically when creating a lead magnet the best ones focus on addressing a specific challenge by creating content around a specific topic. By doing so you can now tailor your entire sales funnel to the exact needs of an exact target audience and their Buying Process.
Take for example a lead magnet I created recently Driving More Sales with Content Marketing. On the form to fill out to download it I ask visitors their Job Positions, with the options ‘Business Owner/CEO’, ‘Marketer’, ‘Salesperson’, and ‘Other’.
I did it as a way to identify which group were most interested in the content so I could know:
Who should I be focusing on targeting more
What type of content would I need to create for this group
This is important because a Business Owner will have different needs and challenges than a Marketer so it’s important to make this distinction.
As of the writing of this article Business Owners have downloaded it more than any other. Therefore, I can now focus on creating more targeted content for Business Owners to help them address the needs they have of how to increase their sales and profits, and lead them through the sales funnel to becoming a customer (if I were to offer a product or service that is).
It makes the process more effective as now I am speaking specifically to Business Owners and their challenges, rather than trying to reach everyone with the same marketing message.
3. Positions you as an expert in your industry
Once you’re able to get your lead magnet into the hands of your target audience and they consume it, it gives you the opportunity to show your expertise in your field and that you know your stuff.
This helps you build trust and confidence in potential customers that you know what you’re talking about, but more importantly that you can help them address their needs through what you offer. Ultimately, it positions you and your brand as the go-to business in your market over your competitors.
It’s what Neil Patel uses to build his authority in the marketing space. Just type in ‘Online Marketing' in a Google Search and his name comes up as the top two.
4. Reduces Costs through inbound leads (and increases profits)
A lead magnet is a great way to generate inbound leads. These are leads that reach out to you for your products and services rather than you having to reach out to them (outbound). According to Hubspot inbound leads are 61% less expensive than the leads you get from traditional outbound marketing.
If you think about how much time and resources are spent trying to get new clients and customers. Attending networking events, spending time cold calling or emailing prospects to pitch to them. Then for the ones who hopefully are interested, there’s the need to do a sales presentation and consistently follow up, which in itself can be frustrating.
A lead magnet drives inbound leads, therefore your customers come to you without you having to chase them for business all the time. Therefore, your lead generation and customer acquisition costs are way less as your sales cycle is reduced, thus more net profit.
5. Great lead nurturing tool
Finally, apart from being a great lead generation asset, it’s also great for lead nurturing.
Here you can show potential customers why they should do business with you through using a lead magnet as a lead nurturing tool to individuals who are already within your funnel. It can be used to not only provide solutions and show your expertise, but also show why your product or service is a great fit for them through webinars with product demos.
Done effectively it can help decrease your sales cycle, thus closing more deals quicker and with less cost to you.
Content Marketing Institute does this all the time with their third party sponsored webinars.
Creating Your First Lead Magnet
Now that we’ve gone through the ‘What’ and ‘Why’ of a lead magnet, let’s go into how to actually create one.
Step1: Identify your target audience
An effective lead magnet first starts with knowing who your intended audience is for it. This is important because you don’t want to have a huge lead list with low sales conversions because the list wasn’t a qualified one.
Create a lead profile or buyer persona that details the characteristics and traits of the leads you want your lead magnet to target it.
Use tools such as Google Analytics to get a sense of the potential customers who visits your website, especially your sales or product pages.
Tip: When you log into your Google Analytics account you can see the top visited pages by going to Behavior->Site Content->All Pages
Step 2: Decide on the topic
The next step is to decide what your lead magnet will be about; what topic will it cover. The best lead magnets are those that offer value to your target audience. Therefore, in order to ensure it delivers value and drives more leads for you, ensure that you do a bit of research on your audience first and the challenges they struggle with that your lead magnet can help them solve.
A key point to note here is that when deciding on a topic ensure that it addresses one specific pain point and not several at once. The reason for this is it will allow your messaging and targeting to be more effective, and thus increases the quality of the leads generated.
Tip: Use Ubersuggest a free keyword search tool to help you choose a topic based on popular keyword searches in-line with your target audience and the challenges they struggle with.
Step 3: Decide on the content format or type
Once you have your topic decide on the content format you wish to use. Is it a video they can watch, an audio they can listen to, or a PDF they can download and read on the go?
By identifying the content format you will then know which medium you should be using for distribution.
Tip: Don’t get caught up in which format you choose. You can also start with one particular format and repurpose or recycle it to another. Therefore, you can start with a PDF but repurpose it into a video with the same information presented in a different way.
Step 4: Decide on delivery method and process
Once you know the format of your content you have to think about how will it be delivered. Will you use Social Media ads to drive visitors to a landing page to sign up? Will it be a pop up on your website that delivers the lead magnet directly to their email?
Think this process through of how you will get your audience knowing about your lead magnet, and the process they will go through to gain access to it.
Step: 5 Create your lead magnet
Now that you have the process in place, it’s time to create your lead magnet.
First create a draft version of your content. Quality of your content is important so this may require investing in video/audio production tools, or really great Content Writers and Graphic Designers.
Once you have created the first draft go over it with your team or someone you trust to ensure that the messaging comes across how you want it to. Get feedback from existing customers if you can to help with this process.
Tip: Use Canva to create visually beautiful graphics for your lead magnet (plus it’s free).
Step 6: Promote your lead magnet
If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it did it make a sound? It did, but the point is no one was around to hear it.
It’s the same with your lead magnet. Creating it alone isn’t enough, you have to put it out there and promote it both organically through your existing marketing channels, and with paid ads.
Derek Halpern of Social Triggers recommends the 80/20 rule. Spend 20 percent of your time creating your content and 80 percent promoting it.
Tip: Think about the communication channels your audience frequents and promote your lead magnet on those platforms. If you decide to go with paid ads use a small amount of your budget to test and see how it responds before investing completely in a full promotion.
My Final Thoughts
A lead magnet is great, not only for the obvious reason of generating leads for your business or company, but it also allows you to attract the right type and quality lead, which is far more important than quantity (at least in my opinion).
A good lead magnet drives more leads, and more leads mean potentially more sales.