We’ve all been there. You’re reading a blog, really enjoying it, you scroll down, and BAM! You’re hit with it. A box bumbles down into your viewing area, and you are offered “an exclusive” offer, promising to all but make you the most successful person walking the planet.
If you’re like me, you might scan it, or, if you’ve only been half-heartedly scanning the blog, you quickly click off, muttering something to yourself about annoying ebook offers.
Only the thing is, as an inbound marketer, or a business owner or blogger, you depend on those content offers to bring you in more leads and, in the end, more customers.
So how can you make sure that people will actually want to download and read your content offer? In this blog, I will give you the 3 keys to success.
Key 1: Make Sure Your Leading Content Doesn’t Stink
In short, make sure your blog, or whatever content leads the potential customer to your offer doesn’t stink. If your content is badly written, hard to read, poorly designed, or just plain boring, your readers won’t be readers at all, they will be skimmers. And skimmers don’t download free offers full of promises.
So, how can you make sure that your content is actually enjoyable? The English nerd in me wants to say, “Take a writing course at your local community college,” but I’m probably not allowed to say that on here. There is a slight ring of truth to that statement from my snarky self in that, though. Make sure your writing style is not only enjoyable, but easy for your target audience to read. If your target audience is reading below an eighth-grade level (which 50% of US adults read at), then you need to write at that level. If your buyer personas read at a college level, however, write to them.
Simply put, write using the language your target audience uses on a daily basis.
Along with making sure that your content is readable, make it lovely to look at. Add graphics, make sure there is plenty of white space (but not too much), and add a compelling call to action – which leads me to…
Key 2: Don’t Add Fairy Tale Promises
I don’t care if your offer is the best thing since sliced bread. Do not, I repeat: DO NOT fill your call to action with empty promises that you don’t intend to keep. Avoid using words like, “The Best,” “The Only Guide to____You’ll Ever Need,” etc. Your reader will see right through that. And you’ll look like a cheesy car salesman. Your content is better than that, you and I both know that.
Be honest with your readers. I’m not saying that you should down-sell your piece of awesome content, but please, please, PLEASE do not make your call to action read like a cheesy romantic movie where you know the ending before you’ve even watched the opening credits.
A good call to action will tell the reader what they are getting without giving away too much information (everyone hates spoilers) and will be easy on the eyes.
After you’ve decided your call to action copy, match it up with irresistible design – a compelling image, coupled with the right font mix.
Key 3: Your Content Offer Should Be Something You Would Introduce to Your Parents
Is that a weird way to describe your offer? I know it was, but hey, it got your attention, didn’t it? That’s exactly what your content offer should do: grab your readers’ attention, so that they absolutely have to download it. Isn’t that what marketing is all about, though?
I like to think of a new offer like a shiny new car. You need a car, you go through your options, figure out the best one, do a test drive, get handed the keys (and a car payment), then you drive around and show it off to your friends proudly.
You need content offers to grab new leads, so you go through your options: ebook, infographic, whitepaper, podcast, etc. You figure out which one fits your needs best, then you write it, rewrite it, and decide you love it. Then you publish it to the web and market it to the world, showing off your shiny new piece of content like a proud parent, er, marketer.