The Importance of Having a Well Defined Lead Magnet Strategy

Having a well-defined lead magnet strategy is essential if you want to see long-term results from your content creation efforts. Here’s what you need to know:

Why Do You Need a Lead Magnet Strategy?

Unsurprisingly, when developing your lead magnets you don’t want to just throw things out there and see what resonates with readers. You also don’t want to just rely on your gut, as even if you’re successful you’ll have a hard time replicating that success. Instead, you’ll want to create a set of processes that help you in the creation, distribution, targeting, and evaluation of your lead magnets. In short, you’ll need a lead magnet strategy.

The Basic Elements of a Lead Magnet Strategy

There are four basic elements to a lead magnet strategy, each one fundamental to its success.

Element #1: How Will You Pick the Right Topics?

Figuring out the right topic for your lead magnets is incredibly important, since it decides whether or not you’re even creating something people will be interested in getting a copy of. There are a bunch of ways to pick a topic, but there are three that we’ve found can really help strengthen this area of your lead magnet strategy:

  1. Existing blog posts
  2. Reader demands
  3. Customer feedback

Each of these surfaces new ideas in different ways. You can look at existing blog posts to see what people are reading and interested in. You can look for demands from readers (often via social media or questions sent via email) that hint at what they’re looking for. Or, you can look at customer feedback to see if you can turn their issues into topics for lead magnets. These sources help your ideas bubble up organically, rather than having to reverse-engineer what people are really interested in learning about.

Element #2: How Will You Promote Your Lead Magnets?

As with picking the right topic, figuring out how you’ll promote and distribute your lead magnets can depend on your exact industry. Not everyone’s customers will be reached on LinkedIn, nor will all readers be discovering your site via a search engine. That’s why you need a fair amount of flexibility in approaching promotion.

That being said, there are four methods of promotion that work in most contexts:

  1. Social media posts that announce the new lead magnets
  2. Email newsletters that share news of lead magnets
  3. Referrals from existing leads to people they know who may be interested in your lead magnets
  4. Landing pages that can connect to paid advertisements

There’s a whole world of experimentation out there to make sure the promotion aspect of your lead magnet strategy will be successful.

Element #3: How Will You Target Your Lead Magnets to the Right Kind of Lead?

It may sound odd, but you really don’t want all leads, since not every email address is a potential customer. One big problem that comes up with lead magnets is that you end up collecting email addresses for people who aren’t part of your target customer base. This can be a problem, since you’ll devote time and resources to converting them, despite the reality you’ll never see a dime of revenue from them.

The best way to target your lead magnets is to use the right messaging and focus it on problems that only your target customer will have. For example, let’s say that you sell a software tool designed for financial institutions. You could create something about financial risk that would be useful, but it’d also be useful to a dozen other types of companies. You need a topic that will apply exclusively to your target customers, for example a targeted lead magnet about hiring people with backgrounds building finance companies.

Element #4: How Will You Evaluate and Learn From Success and Failure?

The last element of a great lead magnet strategy is arguably the most important. It’s one thing to publish a lead magnet that is successful, but it’s another thing to do it time after time. It’s a tricky problem that becomes even harder if you don’t have a system in place for evaluating the outcome of your lead magnets.

You need to figure out what your conversion goal is, be able to connect every lead with a lead magnet, and then determine the ROI for every lead magnet you publish. Only by doing this will you be able to tell what’s working and what’s not, and then be able to make changes to your lead magnet strategy.

Once you have your strategy down, one of the big things you should focus on is the design of your lead magnet. Here’s a handy checklist to get you started.

The Role of Lead Magnets In Acquiring New Customers

We’ve said it before, but it’s worth bringing it up again: lead magnets are the primary means of getting contact information from unknown readers. However, it doesn’t just end there. Lead magnets are also crucial for building a profile of who your leads are and qualifying them as high-intent leads. Sure, having an email address is great, but being able to rank every one of your leads based on their quality is even better.

Without getting too off track, what this means is that lead magnets are a great signal for lead scoring and signaling intent of possible customers and users. If you’re curious to learn more about lead scoring, Hubspot has a great intro post on it here.

When to Start Defining Your Lead Magnet Strategy

When deciding on whether or not to create a lead magnet strategy, there’s a good chance you instinctively think one of two things. It’s either that you should define your lead magnet strategy early, so you have it ready right away, or, that you should wait until you see some results from creating lead magnets.

In our experience, neither approach is correct. Instead, while the type of strategy you create will change as your marketing strategy changes, At the end of the day the fact remains that every serious content creator needs a lead magnet strategy Click To Tweet

Option #1: Early, But Lightweight

The first option is ideal for an early-stage blog or site. You don’t want to create dozens of incredibly detailed documents on your process if you haven’t published a lead magnet yet. Instead, you want to keep track of what you’re experimenting with so you can look back and see what worked and what didn’t.

This should be a lightweight system that answers the questions about topics, distribution, targeting, and evaluation, but which doesn’t spend a ton of time going into detail answering them. Think of it this way: in the beginning, you’ve got a bunch of hypotheses about what strategy will work for you, not a proven thesis

Option #2: Built Out, With Great Demand

The second option is to really build out your lead magnet strategy, including all of the details, the processes, step-by-step instructions, etc. These are very valuable documents, but that’s only because they’re so time-intensive to create.

You should only build out your lead magnet strategy in this way if there is demand for it. That means you either have a team of people working on your content and lead magnets that need detailed instructions on how to do it, or that you have so many things going on that you need to have the strategy written out so you can reference it in the future.

Once your lead magnet strategy is starting to take shape, make sure to think through your design approach. Here are some tried-and-true suggestions.

The End Goal

In the end, a well-defined lead magnet strategy is all about one thing: repeatable success. Having a one-off lead magnet that brings in 90% of your leads can seem great, but it’s not sustainable. What you want is a process whereby every lead magnet you put out is published via the same process, with predictable results. That way, you can calculate the ROI on your lead magnets and invest accordingly, which is fundamental to any overall content or marketing strategy.