Your sales funnel depends on website leads, convincing prospects to hand over their contact details in a form—most often to receive content that’s caught their eye. So the $64,000 question often becomes, “What content will compel my ideal customer to fill out that form?” In this article, we’ll share some tried and true content formats you’re probably already aware of, plus a couple that you’ll wish you’d thought of sooner!
Tech firms have been publishing white papers for a long time, but in the era of TLDR (too long didn’t read), you may be asking, “Are these still relevant?”. Yes, B2B buyers will still read a white paper when it identifies and solves a real problem they’re having. A survey of B2B buyers determined that 71% had used white papers to help make a buying decision. This isn’t surprising when you consider that tech tools can often overlap, and no one wants to unknowingly buy, or be challenged for buying, duplicative technology.
DON’T: Obsess about page count. Complex topics need a more in-depth take, so there’s no hard and fast rule about how many pages. That said, edit, edit, edit. Make sure every word counts.
DO: Use pictures, illustrations, charts, photos and other graphics. A picture is worth a thousand words and will help make your white paper more digestible.
eBooks are versatile and provide longer form content, usually a mix of visual and written, that’s easily read in a digital format, on phone, computer or tablet. Hubspot says, “Lead magnets come in many forms, but the ebook still reigns supreme.”
DON’T: Worry about using specific tools to create them. Today, ebooks run the gamut from simple presentations that have been PDF’d to files packed with visual content and embedded links.
DO: Provide high value content that helps readers be better at what they do. Playbooks, tips and tricks, market insights, product insights, and how-to’s are just a few of the topics or themes that perform well.
Survey or Market Report
Within your business or product, you may be sitting on all kinds of market data and insights. Perhaps you can shed light on questions that your target customers have, like what types of threats are on the rise, or common causes of data leaks in 2023, that can be pulled from your aggregated usage data or by polling your customers and prospects.
DON’T: Skimp on the stats. It’s even okay to incorporate outside data points that confirm your findings or help tell the story, like referencing the Verizon Breach report or another well-regarded study.
DO: Try this tactic – and be prepared to make it an annual thing! Make sure there’s a strong story, not just a random array of data points. Incorporate strong visuals to convey the impact of your key findings.
Visual in nature, infographics combine short statements of information and data in an easy-to-understand graphic.
DON’T: Create friction by asking for an overabundance of personal info.
DO: Use these to help get people signed up for your mailing list. Or leave ungated if showcasing a couple findings from a bigger eBook or market study that you have gated.
Assessment of Self-Evaluation
“Comparison is the thief of joy,” according to some, however it’s clear that in B2B, everyone wants to see how they stack up against best practices. Whether it’s delivered as an interactive quiz, ROI (or savings) calculator, or presents some simple Maturity Model profiles, buyers appreciate these tools especially as they work through the consideration phase. Done well, an assessment can serve as an effective qualification tool, helping capture key data about qualified prospects, and allowing unqualified buyers to see why they’re not a good match for your solution.
DON’T: Make it an overlong time commitment. Like the click-bait slideshows we all get drawn to, think 8-12 points.
DO: Capture an email address to send the results of their assessment/analysis.
Webinars use video to educate your audience about a specific topic. They can also boost the profile of your speakers and establish/re-affirm them as credible industry experts.
DON’T: Get fixated on how long it should be. Attention spans are based on the importance and quality of the topic being addressed.
DO: Post the recording after the live event. If it’s valuable content, your prospects will appreciate getting access on-demand.
Take it from this writer, there’s little scarier than a blank page. Therein lies the appeal of a template. You give prospects and customers tactical, actionable info that provides a head start. Extra points if the template helps them to see your product might make things even easier.
DON’T: Skip past this one. Hubspot estimates the perceived value of templates to be much higher than an ebook and uses them liberally in their own campaigns.
DO: Think about this tactic for the consideration and decision stage of the buyer journey.
Clearly, there are many types of content that can be successfully gated to help generate leads. What they have in common is they are targeted to be well-suited to your audience. And don’t forget that a strong landing page will help to feature your content in the best light and increase conversions.
Need Help Creating Compelling Content?
Whether you want to brainstorm new content pieces or need support to bring your vision to life, Katzcy can help. Contact us to discuss your content, creative, and campaign needs.
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