You are only limited by your own creativity.
You don’t like limitations do you?
I know I don’t! That’s probably why I tend to bend the occasional traffic law. Don’t like those limitations on speed and what might be called “aggressive driving.”
Turning website traffic into leads takes creative thinking and well-planned strategies. It doesn’t just happen. You have to implement ways to make it happen. Creating and then building these conversion opportunities is one of the most important marketing strategies for growing your online business.
Want to learn how to do this?
Of course you do!
Let’s first talk about how it works, then we will come up with a few creative ideas you can use on your site to start turning website traffic into leads and customers.
The Fundamentals of an Online Content Offer
A content offer is the foundation of an Inbound Marketing strategy. It works off of a proven psychological principle, the Law of Reciprocity. This law basically says that when someone does something nice for you, or gives you something, you will have a psychological urge to do something nice or give them something in return.
In order to put this strategy to use, you’ll want to come up with something free and of value to give your website visitors. In order to receive this free resource, they will need to fill out some type of contact form, giving you their personal information such as their name and email address. The amount of information you can ask for relates to the value of the free resource and the stage of the Buyer’s Journey they are in. It’s the concept of social currency.
People in the lower levels of the Buyer’s Journey (Consideration and Decision stages) tend to be okay with giving more information because they are more interested in your product or service. For the beginning of the buyer’s journey, the Awareness Stage, it’s typically wise to just ask for their name and email address.
Online Content Offer Ideas
Now that we know what a content offer is and the basics of how it works, it’s time to put on our groovy creative hats and create some marketing magic.
Are you ready?!
Because we are smart and attractive marketers, we base our content offer ideas on data. This means we want to dive into keyword traffic reports to see which keywords, that focus on pain points of our target customer, have the most monthly search traffic. This step is super important and should not be overlooked. It can mean the difference between a successful campaign and one that fails and has you questioning your awesomeness.
Now that you have a list of possible content offer topics based on real data, it’s time to figure out how to deliver that offer. Here are a few ideas and their associated buyer’s journey stage:
Ebooks– Typically Awareness Stage
An ebook format is one of the most common content offers you’ll see. They can be simple, created from a Word or Google doc and shined up with a little graphic design. Export it as a PDF file and you’re ready to go. They can also be huge, complex resources that are hundreds of pages and take months to write and build out. Just make sure the content is valuable to your audience and you’ll have great content offer you can drive people to.
Quiz or Polls– Awareness Stage
Who doesn’t like giving their opinion? I think it’s in our human DNA to let others know how we feel. This makes content offers like quizzes and polls strong tools to convert website traffic into leads. Come up with a set of questions and offer the group answers in exchange for their name and email address. A quiz or poll can also provide a valuable insight into how your target audience thinks and acts, so choose those questions wisely!
Contests– Awareness Stage
Contests are extremely powerful for getting lots of names and email addresses. Who wouldn’t give that information for a chance to win something awesome? The downside of people that enter an online contest is that they aren’t usually a very good lead. Many people will enter and quickly unsubscribe or never engage with your brand again. So be wary of giving away a golden ticket, you might get a lot of Augustus Gloops.
Exclusive Members Only Newsletter– Awareness Stage
People love to feel special and be a part of something exclusive. That’s why clubs can put a cheap velvet rope around a table and call it a VIP section and charge $500 just to sit down. You can do the same thing by creating a Members Only Newsletter or special promotions area on your site. Instead of offering bottle service, you’re offering valuable discounts or information. Think Amazon Prime, it’s the VIP section of Amazon.
Cheat Sheets and Checklists– Awareness/Consideration Stage
Who doesn’t love a good shortcut? You research and learn something that makes you more efficient and smarter. Using your industry or product knowledge to create a cheat sheet or checklist is a great tool, or carrot to dangle in front of people, to get their contact information.
Case Studies– Consideration Stage
A case study is a great content offer to inform people why your product or service is awesome. It’s designed to push people sitting-on-the-fence about your company into become a customer. It demonstrates strong social proof from past customers about why their problems were solved and their situation improved by what you offer.
Events or Industry Talks– Consideration Stage
You and your team have valuable information locked up in your heads. Offering an online or in-store talk about something your customers are interested in is a great way to create leads. Use tools like Eventbrite or Facebook Groups to announce talks.
Webinars– Consideration Stage
Webinars are one of the more popular consideration stage (or middle of the funnel) style content offers. If done right, they are a great way to collect good sales qualified leads. To put one together, you basically create a video voice-over slidedeck presentation. You give an intro, social proof, the main point and close with a call-to-action ask. Promote the webinar using your list of awareness stage leads or you can use paid Facebook ads to really drive sign ups. Webinars are fantastic for building your authority in an industry.
Product/Service Demo– Decision Stage
You’re almost there. The lead knows you can solve their problem. They know your brand. And now they are ready to see what they might be buying. A product or service demo is one of the best decision stage content offers you can provide. This is especially true if your product/service might be complicated or you need to educate people on how it works. A demo can easily be done on video with the use of tools like SoapBox, Loom or even YouTube.
Coupons or Discounts– Decision Stage
While using coupons and discounts might seem like a cheap and overdone type of marketing tactic, they can work for people are who in the decision stage and just need a little nudge to buy. There’s a reason why car dealerships and grocery stories shout their discounts and specials out to the world via mass media. They can work. While I’m not a fan of shotgunning a message out to everyone and anyone, using your list and targeted online advertising can be an effective way to drive sales with coupons and discounts.
Free Trials– Decision Stage
Your product/service totally rocks right? Of course it does! Then give it away for free. Creating a free trial is great way to give customers a taste of what they’ll be getting. Signing up for a free trial is typically one of the strongest Decision Stage strategies you can use to create customers. Just make sure that you offer plenty of support and guidance through the free trial. I’ve seen a lot of free trial failures because there was poor education, follow up and support during the trial period.
These are proven methods for turning website traffic into quality leads for your business. Pretty cool stuff right? While these are the more mainstream strategies, there are mountains of other creative ideas for content you could offer your website visitors. Just remember to give value, solve a problem and be real with people. If you do that, you’ll be on the path for marketing magic, Harry Potter style.