How to Strike the Right Content Balance for Maximum Reach

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Every marketer knows the name HubSpot. Thanks to its blog posts, webinars, e-books, video content, and social media, HubSpot has established itself as a go-to resource in the industry. The company’s success serves as a case study in how to leverage content to grow a company.

Audiences today have unprecedented control over what they consume. They can customize their media experiences, and they have little tolerance for irrelevant content. Marketers must not only be creative in what they present to audiences, but also in how they deliver it.

HubSpot accommodates all of its readers by producing high-quality content across several platforms. At DivvyHQ, we also market to marketers, so we know the importance of diversity. An interesting mix of information and delivery methods attracts new customers, retains current clients, and educates your community.

Striking the right content balance comes down to knowing your audience. Any two customers might have radically different interests and ways of interacting with your brand. Once you know the individuals in your community, you can create a content strategy that resonates with each of them.

Great Strategies Begin With Infrastructure

Content isn’t worth much until you understand your audience. Before you put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), develop buyer personas based on your market research. These customer profiles should dictate every aspect of your strategy.

Don’t write a single line of content until you’ve built the right infrastructure. Let the following principles guide your content planning:

  • Sustainability: Before starting a company blog, video series, and monthly webinars all at once, ask whether you have the manpower to follow through on all three. If you’re a small company with a one-person marketing shop, you may want to stick to weekly blog posts or a quarterly webinar for now. Sustainable quality trumps one-off quantity.
  • Frequency: Establish a publishing schedule, and stick to it. Put out valuable content on a consistent basis so your audience comes to rely on your insights.
  • Experimentation: Small teams often have ideas for five marketing channels and the resources for one. Start with the strategy most likely to resonate, and test others as your capabilities grow. By incorporating new tactics slowly, you maximize your results while maintaining quality and frequency.  

Variety Is the Spice of Content

Once you set a publishing schedule, build variety into your publishing platforms and the content itself. Here are the three key areas in which you want to diversify your approach:

 

  • Your Mission: Each content channel may serve a different purpose. Maybe you’re using email to promote a product, a blog post to educate, and a tweet to entertain. Whatever the end goal, the content and tone should reflect each channel’s mission.

 

  • The Format: Know whether your audience favors long-form articles or videos — or both. Let your research guide the types of content you produce to ensure you’re reaching your entire community with the format they’ll love.

 

  • The Channel: Identify which delivery vehicles stand the best chance of reaching your audience. Do your top prospects frequent Twitter or Pinterest? Are they more likely to act on an email or a video ad?  Marketers have access to countless media platforms, so experiment with a mix of channels, and document which ones best engage your target market.

People expect brands to create content that speaks to them on the platforms they prefer. You strike the right balance by knowing your audience and learning how best to communicate with them. The more adaptable you are as a marketer, the more likely you are to connect meaningfully with audiences on behalf of your company.

 

Brody-DorlandBrody Dorland is the co-founder of DivvyHQ, the ultimate content planning and production workflow tool for high-volume teams.

A Guide to Generating More Leads with Incentives

It was meant to be so easy, huh?

You heard about the importance of building an email list. How it helps build an audience. Nurture leads. And develop relationships with them too.

And they said it’s so simple. Just put up a form on a site and watch signups rolling in.

Yeah, right…

It’s just that a month later you still haven’t had even a single subscriber.

You see, lead generation isn’t that simple. For one, most visitors need an incentive that will compel them to sign up.

In this post, I’ll show you exactly how to use incentives to generate more leads.

But first…

Why Incentives?

The easiest way to define an incentive is as something that motivates a person to take action. Study after study has proven that we respond predictably to positive or negative incentives.

But why do incentives work? It’s quite simple – they make taking the decision to perform a certain action easier.

When it comes to online marketing, an incentive is typically some attractive element like a bonus, offer or promise designed to stimulate a desired action.

And it works.

Marketing Week, for instance, reports that 40% of web visitors are willing to sign up to a mailing list in return for something of value.

But what incentives should you offer?

Typically, incentives (otherwise known as lead magnets) can come in a variety of forms, including:

eBooks

I know what you’re thinking – who has time to write an eBook?! But your blog is bursting full of articles that can be combined and repurposed into an attractive eBook.

Checklists

A checklist is a brilliant opportunity to turn your content into actionable advice. Combine a how-to article with between 5 and 10 steps for putting your suggestions into practice.

Content Upgrades

A content upgrade is one of the quickest incentives to create since they should enhance a piece of content that already exists. So if you have a blog post that you had to edit down because it was too long then offer the full, unabridged version at the end of the article. Your readers will already be primed for this type of content so they are more likely to opt-in to read more detail.  Some marketers have been able to increase opt-in rates by 785% with a simple content upgrade.

Email courses

Most marketers underestimate the amount of knowledge that they have amassed over their careers. Email courses are a great way to showcase your knowledge about your industry to people who be new to your space. Because a course occurs over a longer period of time you don’t have to write all your content at the start – just plan the general topic and write as you go.

Why do these work?

The examples listed above could all be considered educational incentives. They generally work because:

  1. They offer knowledge the person lacks.
  2. Promise to solve a particular problem.
  3. Are easy to consume almost right away, providing an instant gratification after signing up.

How should you present these incentives?

Once you’ve selected the type of incentive that suits your content best, it’s time to serve it to visitors and convert at least some of them into subscribers.

To successfully generate leads with incentives you’d need a data capture form to get a visitor’s contact details. There’s a number of ways you can do this, including:

Displaying a static ad in the sidebar

This is the most common way to offer an incentive and because of this, many people have become blind to this method.

 

IncentiveUsing a scrolling ad

The problem with a static ad is that once the reader scrolls down the page, it disappears from their sight. To overcome it, you could use a scrolling ad, one that moves as readers goes deeper into the content.

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Display a HelloBar

HelloBar allows you to place a colored bar across the top of the browser’s window to communicate whatever incentive you offer.

Incentive

Using a Pop-Up

This is another highly common method. Use a pop-up that will display after a visitor has spent a certain amount of time on a page or performed a specific action.

Incentive

Banner Under the Post

Finally, many sites also display banners under the post – this is the perfect position for a content upgrade. Some of these include signup form right away, others link to the landing page.

Incentive

Conclusion

If you offer your readers something of value before asking for anything in return you’ll be doing more than a good deed – you’ll watch your opt-in rates rise and your lead generation accelerate.

What sort of incentives have you had the best results with? Tell us in the comments so we can add them to our list.

 

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Kevin McGrath is a co-founder at Beacon, an online tool that helps small business owners to quickly create content incentives like eBooks, checklists and upgrades without hiring a designer. When not working, you’ll find Kevin either playing or watching football.