How To Create A Lead Magnet Or Content Offer For Every Buyer Journey Stage
As an Inbound Writer for Lean Labs, Melissa writes about high-converting websites and customer-centric marketing. She's an avid traveler, with trips to Iceland, Ukraine, and Portugal under her belt. She currently resides in Wilmington, North Carolina with her dog, Morrie.
When's the last time you actually downloaded a lead magnet?
What was worth trading your personal information for?
Where is that asset now?
I'd be willing to bet that there are two options at play here. The first is that you can't remember the last time you downloaded an Ebook or worksheet. The second is that the offer was a resource you thought would be exceptional by the title or cover, but didn't provide much value.
The truth is it's hard to create a great offer or lead magnet. Sometimes, it's felt like a never-ending game of cat and mouse. Despite good writing and intriguing titles, some offers don't seem to gain any traction. You get little to no ROI from your efforts and it can make you doubt your entire marketing strategy.
However, through more than a few humbling content creation experiences, I've learned one hard truth. When you don't know how to create a lead magnet or content offer that aligns with your buyer journey, it typically won't perform very well.
How To Create A Lead Magnet Or Content Offer For Every Buyer Journey Stage
Making a lead magnet or content offer that aligns with a specific stage of the buyer journey helps you be much more strategic. Visitors will find it intuitively. The next step will seem natural. Nothing will feel forced. To create this type of asset, you want to start from the beginning of your customer strategy, and ensure you understand what the customer wants and when they want it.
#1. Pick Your Persona & Target Problem
When creating a lead magnet or content offer, the first thing you want to do is select:
- The persona you're targeting
- The primary problem or challenge they're trying to solve
I recommend going back to your buyer persona documents for this exercise. Here's a buyer persona that we use, Harriet The HubSpot Customer. Harriet represents a lot of our clients, and we use these insights to build out more impactful, relatable material.
Basically, you want to go through this template and complete each section. A few key sections that always help me with content include:
- External Struggles
- Internal Struggles
- Increase/Decrease In Status
- What's At Stake
For Harriet, struggles and triggers tend to revolve around:
- Not sure how to proceed with marketing strategy
- Struggling with a low-performing website and stagnant growth
- Getting her brand's website and marketing in order
She needs an offer explicitly catered to one of those challenges.
By selecting only one persona and one challenge, you avoid writing content that's too vague or tries to accomplish too much.
#2. Refine Your Buyer Journey
A lot of brands have a buyer journey filled out... somewhere.
However, to effectively use a buyer journey, you need one that's accurate and up-to-date. If your buyer journey is not up to date, hit a pause on content. Return to the buyer journey and go through stage by stage and ensure that every step is correct.
Otherwise, you will risk creating an asset that doesn’t match the expectations or needs of your potential customers at critical conversion points.
Using your buyer journey, go through each block and ask:
- Awareness: What content will attract your target customer to your site for the first time?
- Interest: What would your target customer find irresistibly exciting or helpful?
- Reel: What content will scratch the lead's itch and make them want to learn more about working with you?
- Consideration: What is the best way to help customers understand the value of what you do?
- Decision: What call to action will entice your target customer to come to the table?
Once you answer all of these questions, you'll have a list of potential lead magnets and content offers to work with for every stage.
#3. Choose A Lead Magnet For TOFU
The goal of TOFU content is to address a broad question or solve the problem of your target audience.
Remember, at this stage, you must only focus on solving a problem for your customer or giving them something they find valuable.
TOFU content is all about giving. The only benefit you want in return is permission to market to them (aka, a conversion).
One of my favorite TOFU offers is HubSpot's website grader. All you need to do is put in your website and email address to start. It does everything a TOFU offer is supposed to do, such as:
Answer the customer's question(s) and provide options to move forward.
Provide real guidance that does not push your product or service (trust me, this is not fooling anyone.)
Provide expertise and education that makes them feel they’ve learned something interesting and new.
Give something of value to get them started.
A few popular types of lead magnets to create for the TOFU stage are:
- A Printable Checklist. The same real estate company could provide a free “The Homebuying Checklist” download (and many do).
- A PDF eBook. Companies like Mint.com could provide a Personal Finance eBook in exchange for filling out a form and giving your first name, last name, and email address.
- An interactive Typeform quiz. A website selling vacation packages could run a quiz such as Where Should You Go On Vacation, and require the person fills out a form before starting.
- An Editable Script Doc. A video marketing company could provide free script templates.
- A Tool or Toolkit. Many digital marketing companies provide toolkits with nifty resources and ideas to get people started.
- A Worksheet. A recruiting company could make personal goals worksheets for candidates to fill out.
Overall, you want to provide something of tremendous value, gain the visitor's trust and move them forward in the buyer journey.
#4. Brainstorm Content Offers for MOFU
When creating a content offer for MOFU, you want to focus on your ideal customer. It should be a little more specific (in terms of the problem it's solving) and perfectly tailored to your lead.
For instance, if you’re a real estate company and you provide a free homebuying checklist, your MOFU offer could provide guidance and expertise for homebuyers that are pre-approved for a certain amount, which helps you weed out TOFU leads that aren’t a perfect match.
Our SprocketRocket training, while helpful to a lot of people, are built for startups and businesses that want to invest in HubSpot. While someone using Marketo would gain value from the courses, we want to make it crystal clear that we specialize in HubSpot, and only bring on clients that use it.
These MOFU offers give you more in-depth insights about your leads. We use this information to create more personalized messaging and outreach, strengthening the relationship with potential clients and moving them further through the funnel.
For MOFU, a few additional types of offers that work well include:
- A webinar that explains how to do something specific attracts qualified, hungry leads who are ready to get started. A digital marketing company could do a webinar about how to use a particular element of HubSpot to score/qualify leads.
- A white paper can provide the necessary research and stats that leads can use to educate stakeholders on the importance of solving their problem. A personal finance company could show data/stats about retirement, stressing the importance of starting a retirement fund.
- Video training are opportunities to build rapport with a more personalized, fun approach. The company selling vacation packages could do an exercise about properly budgeting for a family vacation.
Now, when gating a MOFU asset, make sure you ask questions that help you acquire more information about the customer. You want to go beyond first name, last name, company, and email and ask more qualifying questions that can help you determine whether or not they're a fit.
#5. Determine Content Offers for BOFU
Leads that engage on BOFU content offers are very likely to become customers. They check off most of your desired criteria for a customer, so they’re a fit for your organization. At this point, you want to design a BOFU offer that expresses urgency and makes the lead want to act.
These assets should show them exactly how to use YOUR product specifically to solve their problem.
When you’re creating a BOFU offer, it should help your contact:
- Use your product to the best of their ability
- Help them see the value in your product
- Make them want to keep working with you
- Answer/resolve any friction that occurs with your product or service
A few examples of exceptional BOFU content offers are:
- A recorded demo - Not the actual demo.
- A guide to effectively using your free trial.
- An EBook explaining how to measure success using your product.
- A case study that shows how to use your product to drastically improve their results
Basically, your BOFU content offer could help you lose or gain a customer. It’s what will hopefully make your lead open their wallet and come to the table.
To choose the perfect content offer, you can go through customer feedback or talk to sales.
Lead Magnets, Content Offers, and Inbound Marketing
Your ideal customers are actively seeking ways to make their lives easier. They're not overly invested in who you are, what you do, or what you can sell them. They just want to solve their problems and move forward. That's why content assets are such an important part of your inbound initiatives.
Without this content, it will be difficult to build trust and gradually pull customers through your funnel. However, when you create exceptional content offers that fit seamlessly into a robust inbound marketing strategy, you can finally get the kind of performance you've been waiting for.
To learn how you can get the best results with lead magnets and content offers, check out our guide, Conquering The Inbound Marketing Mountain.