Creating downloadable Ebooks, whitepapers, templates, check lists, or other content offer with information so valuable that people would pay for it is a pillar of effective online marketing or “inbound” marketing. When you create remarkable and useful content, you’re able to build and segment your email lists for more effective marketing and lead follow-up.
But just how do you get from a content offer to a useful email list and lead nurturing process? And how do you get people to sign up for your offer? This process can be overwhelming, but when you break it down step-by-step, nothing gets left out and your content can be a big success! So, let’s get started. You can also download a very detailed checklist here.
Promoting An Ebook or Whitepaper with Marketing Automation
You can promote your content with a combination of programs for landing pages, email and nuturing – and we’ll try to give you affordable options, but we prefer to use HubSpot. Not sure it’s worth the investment? Check out this fabulous case study (or listen to the podcast).
Step One: Images
Create an image or two (or more) to promote your offer. These will be used on landing pages, social updates and calls to action. If your offer is particularly well-suited for Pinterest, you might create an image for each section of your offer, or for each item on your checklist. For instance, if you are publishing a collection of recipes, as we recently did for one of our clients, you could create one (or more) irresistible image for every recipe.
Try a screenshot of the actual image if it’s visually appealing, or use a related image with a caption. We love Canva for creating attractive graphics with little design skill required.
Step Two: Form and Landing Page
Landing pages that convert well have no navigation and are entirely focused on getting people to want your offer. See an example of one of ours that has a conversion rate of 58%. To create landing pages, try Lead Pages or Unbounce if you’re not using a full-service marketing automation program. Make sure your landing page directs form submitters to a “Thank You” or download page, which we’ll create next.
Step Three: Thank You/Download Page
Create another page that will contain the link to your downloadable offer. See an example. You might want to offer more related content links here.
Step Four: Call-to-Action
A call-to-action is a fancy name for an image or button that entices people to click. Use the image you created in step one to craft something motivating. It should tell the viewer very briefly what they’ll get and what you want them to do to get it. You’ll use these in emails, blog posts, etc.
Step Five: Create Follow Up “Nurturing” Emails
When someone downloads your offer, don’t leave them hanging! Follow up with a quick, “Thanks for downloading email” that includes the link to the offer again. Your reader may have gotten distracted from completing a download, or they may have lost it in a sea of documents on their computer.
Now, nurture your leads – building on the interest they’ve already expressed. Create two or more emails that offer related content. You could include a quick tip or a link to a blog post – but make sure the content is related to the offer. For example, if your reader downloaded an Ebook on Pinterest, you wouldn’t follow up with an email talking about lead scoring. Finish up this sequence with an email encouraging them to contact you for a free consultation, a demo, or other offer.
Step Six: Create Your List and Set Up a Workflow
This is where it might get tricky without marketing automation software. You’ll want to keep track of people who download your offer so you can market to them based on their preferences. You’ll also want to send out the follow up emails you created in step five. If you need to, export a list of those who respond to a given offer and keep it updated. For your follow-up emails, you’ll need to utilize an auto-responder sequence, which is a feature offered by some email providers such as AWeber.
Step Seven: Test
Create a list of all the links for all the pages and emails you’ve created. Get a second pair of eyes to review it. Sign up for the offer yourself and make sure everything works as it should. Then do it again!
Step Eight: Write and Publish a Blog Post
Simple enough – whet your audience’s appetite for your fabulous new offer. Add your call to action and publish!
Step Nine: Email Your Contacts
If this offer is general enough to appeal to all your contacts, send out an email announcing it. Focus on the “what’s in it for me?” question. Add your CTA and send.
If your offer is more specialized, and not likely to be of interest to all your contacts, just send it out to people who would like it (see “create your list”, above). If you don’t yet have segmented email lists, you could send personalized emails to those you can think of – or export a list of people who have downloaded a related offer in the past and send it to them.
Step Ten: Share it on Social Media
Update all your social channels to announce the offer. You can send them to your landing page or to the blog post. Make sure to schedule multiple Twitter updates. If anyone else contributed to your offer, thank them publicly – often they’ll be very happy to share it as well. Let your employees know it’s available and that you’d appreciate a share or two!
Step Eleven: Watch the Results, Adjust and Follow Up
Watch your landing page conversion rate. If it’s disappointing, review the 10 Elements of an Effective Landing Page template and adjust. Watch your workflow performance. If activity drops off sharply in the process, see what changes you can make.
Watch who is downloading and decide who will follow up and how.
We hope this step-by-step guide to content promotion and follow-up was helpful. Please do download our check list and give it a try yourself. If you just don’t have the time, let us help – your content is too good to waste!
- 29 Content Strategy Offers Ideas You’ve Never Dreamed Of (business2community.com)
- Ultimate Marketing Automation Cheat Sheet (hubspot.com)
- What is Inbound Marketing?
- Inbound Marketing With HubSpot vs. Without (overgostudio.com)