Content offers are a cornerstone of inbound marketing. Having an amazing content offer for your company can help you get leads, build trust with your target clients/customers, and keep your brand front and center in the minds of business leads who download it.
Given how important content offers are for your inbound marketing efforts, and how much time, work, and resources go into making them, it’s only natural to want to get them right.
So, what can you do to make sure you’re creating an amazing content offer that will entice website visitors into becoming leads and, eventually, customers?
What Makes a Great Content Offer?
Before we list how you can make a great content offer, what are the parameters of such a thing?
Great content is:
- Educational and/or Helpful. If the content offer doesn’t broaden the customer’s knowledge or help them with a specific issue, then it’s just another piece of white noise in an ocean of static. If your content is going to be remembered, it has to provide some kind of education, assistance, or entertainment value.
- Optimized for the Customer’s Needs. Part of making sure that content is helpful or educational is ensuring that it is optimized for the needs of your customers. We’re not suggesting that you use personalization in your content offers—just that you optimize each piece of content you make for customers who are in different phases of the buyer’s journey.
- Relevant to Your Business/Industry. Here’s a surprisingly common misstep businesses make: writing a piece of content that has absolutely nothing to do with them or their industry. A fluff piece might get clicks, but it doesn’t attract a loyal audience that needs your products/services.
Step 1: Do Your Homework
One of the most basic steps to create a great offer is to do your homework. Get to know who your best customers are, learn their pain points, and what they’re looking for when they come to you.
This is going to take some dedicated buyer persona research. A buyer persona is a kind of profile you assemble about your most profitable customers—who they are, what they do, where they go to gather information.
Having this information is immensely useful for optimizing content for a specific persona so it will have a bigger impact.
Step 2: Audit Your Existing Content
Odds are that you already have a content offer or two somewhere on your website. Take a few minutes to go over the existing content on your site and answer some questions.
For example, what kind of content offers do you already have? What personas do they target? Could they be written better? Is the information inside still current/accurate? If you blog, which blogs get the most views & engagement?
Getting the answers to these questions can help you establish what kinds of content you need to fill the gaps in your website’s content catalog.
Step 3: Pick a Topic Based on Your Research
Now that you have some data on your audience and the content you already have, pick a topic to write about!
Try to focus on topics that are relevant to some major pain point or are focused on a particular stage of the sales funnel that you don’t already have content for.
Step 4: Recruit Some Help!
Even if you plan on doing most of the writing for the new content offer yourself, be sure to enlist a little help. Recruit a team of content creators to support your efforts.
Good recruits include:
- Any experts you have on the subject you’re writing about;
- Writing specialists; and
- People who work with your customers on a daily basis (customer support staff, sales, etc.)
Experts on the subject and any staff you have that interact with your customers on a daily basis can provide invaluable insights into the topic and your audience. Writing specialists (both inside your company and freelance writers/editors) can help you structure your content and point out key improvements you could make.
You don’t need a ton of people helping you out—just one or two extra pairs of eyes can be more than enough.
Step 5: Write!
Write the text for your content offer. It might help to start with the basics, such as an outline, before committing to writing the whole thing.
If you’re having someone else write the offer, be sure to supply them with resources to guide the content. Bullet notes for important points to include, useful research links/books, and other resources can improve the overall quality of the content offer you’re having written for you.
Step 6: Edit!
Once you’re done writing the offer (or having it ghost-written by a professional writer), put that thing through an editing process.
If you wrote the offer yourself, have your content creation team give it a read so they can point out any major changes it needs. If you had a professional writer make the thing, give it a read yourself, then have the rest of your team make their suggestions.
Having someone who didn’t write the content offer review it is important—it’s often hard to spot mistakes or missed opportunities in the work you’ve already put so much time and effort into.
Step 7: Design!
After you’ve gotten the text for the content offer sorted out, start designing it. Many companies hand this task to an outside agency or contractor if they don’t have an in-house designer.
When the design is finished, review it and make sure that there are no major errors/omissions from the design process. You’d be surprised how often a paragraph mistakenly gets deleted or repeated in a content offer’s design.
Step 8: Plug Your Offer into a Campaign
It’s not enough to just write and design an offer—you need to create a landing page, call-to-action (CTA), and a full campaign to help promote that offer so people can find it on your website.
Write blog posts and promo emails related to the content offer. Then, put a CTA linked to the offer’s landing page in each related post or email. This helps guide website visitors and existing leads to the offer so they can engage with it (and, by extension, your brand).
Step 9: Connect with Your New Leads and Repeat!
It’s important to have a content offer for each of your buyer personas at each phase of the buyer’s journey, from awareness, to research, comparison, and decision. Once your offer’s out there, repeat the content creation process until you’ve built a full library of special content.
Of course, be sure to give yourself and your team the occasional break from creating content to focus on other things—like reaching out to your existing leads!
Need help with your content creation? Check out some handy resources from Bluleadz today!