A Line from Greenline

Is Downloadable Content Dead? 4 Insights on Online Offers

Struggling with lead generation? You’re not alone; 68% of B2B businesses have this same frustration. When it comes to generating inbound leads, downloadable content opens the door to connecting and collecting information about your audience. Offering the right content to your clients is the key to generating leads and increasing conversions. For people looking to gain insight into your industry downloadable content can be the ticket.

What is Downloadable Content?

Downloadable content includes anything you can use to generate leads through your digital and inbound marketing efforts. This is content that grabs the attention of site visitors, so much so that they will willingly provide information in exchange for content. Downloadable content is often referred to as gated content or offers. This type of content usually requires a ‘trade’ of sorts – typically in the form of an email – in order to gain access to the content. ​​(This is likely because email is the most effective lead generation tool for driving ROI.) So, first things first, this type of content has to be really insightful and/or impactful in order to be successful. I mean who’s going to hand over their personal information for something they can get ‘free’ somewhere else, right? Some of the most successful downloadable content comes in the form of reports, research, expertise information, exclusive news, or guides.

Downloadable content can be accessed and made available in many places. Providing links on social media, your website, and email messages are all great ways to lead your contacts to the information. If building your email list is the priority, 49% of marketers believe offering downloadable content in lead generation emails is an effective tactic. Around 50% of marketers reported that this was an effective tactic, and it’s a great way for the audience to engage with your website, or via email. If you have content in forms like newsletters, reports, or studies, offering calls-to-action within your email content is an additional way to spike engagement.

4 Insights into Creating Stellar Downloadable Content

With downloadable campaign strategies, there are a lot of paths to venture down. Start with a top-of-the-funnel offer that focuses more on non-branded information. Your content should help them learn or do something to improve their experiences or lives, while casually introducing them to and connecting them with your business.

1. Understand Your Customer

Understanding what your audience wants is the sun that the planets of inbound efforts revolve around. This is especially important to think about with downloadable content. It’s a lot to ask for someone's info, so the only way to get them to provide it is by providing something that they want. 56% of marketers say that compelling content at each stage in the buying process is the key to B2B success.

2. Play to Your Strengths

Offering value within the content that you create is obviously important. But with downloadable content, there’s no messing around - 55% of successful content marketing strategies focused on improving the quality of content. You have to know what you are talking about and truly be the expert on the subject, especially with written content. Imagine forking over your information to a site and downloading the content to find that the information isn’t relevant or beneficial to you in any way, although it was staged to do so. Ask yourself, “can they Google this and find it elsewhere?” or “is this offered by someone else for free?” If the answer is yes, then it’s likely not best suited to be a downloadable offer.

3. Offer Something Unique

Research shows that 78% of CMOs believe custom content is the future of marketing, and downloadable content has to be extra special. This type of content requires the audience to go the extra mile to be able to access it, so the content has to be powerful, next-level insightful, and most importantly, original. Downloadable content holds the attention of the viewer for longer because it’s more of an investment for them to initially get to it. If your content is unique, you will create more credibility within your brand.

4. Stay on Brand

Nothing is worse than clutter. Make sure your content is organized and connects well with your brand both visually, and content-wise. You don’t want to overwhelm your audience, especially when it comes to downloadable content, because they are already taking the extra step to access it. They are giving your business a chance to show off what you know, so don’t blow it by being unorganized. This is going to be a turning point for a lot of site visitors into the next stage in the buyer’s journey, so creating a strong correlation with your brand in this content through the design is important, because after all, you should still be focused on introducing them to your brand subtly through inbound methodologies.

Not all content is created equal, and downloadable content definitely has more pull when it comes to generating leads and creating new client connections. Downloadable content is often the little push that your prospective clients need to get the wheels turning. Now that you know the fundamentals about downloadable content, you can get your wheels turning even faster with this great post by Shortstack.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Marketing Strategy