Let’s not waste time with a tedious introduction. We’re here to talk about the idea of “premium content” and how to use it to generate leads for your business.
We can all agree that leads are important, right? Properly managed, leads become customers and eventually work their way down the buyer's journey before closing.
Premium content is different from the general type of content you find freely available on any website at no cost.
Premium content comes at a price, either via a literal financial transaction or, more commonly, in return for personal information - usually an email address. In the latter case, why would a marketer give away valuable information?
Here’s the critical part to understand. Often there is more value to be found in giving away premium content than charging for for it. Here’s why.
Filling Up the Sales Funnel
To make a one-time sales of a piece of premium content is fine, but the real value comes in using it as an exchange for information to begin nurturing leads.
Since most customers need to be exposed to a sales message multiple times before they buy, the most important goal of all becomes the capability to contact them multiple times, and with offers for a variety of products, until they buy not once, but twice and more.
Creating invaluable premium content will help you generate countless leads and begin filling your sales funnel where it eventually becomes a numbers game with your conversion rates.
What is Premium Content?
What exactly is premium content? Let’s take a look at the most popular types and how savvy online marketers use them to generate leads.
Whether you charge for your premium content or trade it for contact information, the thing that sets it apart is perceived value. In other words, it holds real value that makes people want access to it.
By now, we all should know what an eBook is. Longer than an article or report, digital eBooks are the cornerstone of premium content for countless businesses.
An eBook is easy to produce and distribute. More importantly, internet users are comfortable with the idea of of either purchasing them outright or trading their email address for the information contained therein.
The trick for the publisher is to figure out what kind of information is valuable enough for someone to fill out a form and download it.
Once the eBook is produced, the mission is to prominently feature it on social media, in ads, in guest posts etc. A good title, attractive cover, and ad copy that triggers interest in the offer will have people finding their way to your landing page to download.
Video is continuosly gaining popularity. So much so that YouTube receives over 30 million visitors per day. It used to be that these websites were no more than the center of an unending stream of funny cat videos, but things have changed in recent years.
Savvy marketers and YouTube content creaters have combined to create the idea of channels, where a series of topically-related (often personality-driven) videos serve as premium content that keeps people coming back for more and even subscribing to be notified of new posts.
Video-based tutorials and educational series have become so popular that it seems there are more and more entrepreneurs choosing this platforrm to get their message out and connect with their audience.
Welcome videos are becoming more commonplace on websites. This video often encourages you to sign up for a series of videos that will teach you all about whatever the topic is. All you have to do is supply your email address and away you go.
Though creating videos used to require a level of technical expertise most of us didn’t have, times have changed.
It’s easy for anyone to create interesting whiteboard-style videos with nothing more than a computer or smart device and the brain in your head. Create a series of quality videos that explains something your target audience is interested in and your email list will explode.
It’s hard to go anywhere online without running into multiple offers asking you to attend a webinar. Which begs the question, what is a webinar anyway, and how is it different than video?
Think of a webinar as a seminar conducted over the internet. Video is certainly an important part of the process, but students can also communicate in real-time with the presenter through typing messages in chat.
A webinar can serve as an excellent type of premium content to market your products or services. There are plenty of companies that specialize in hosting webinars, and most of them allow you to record the presentation.
This means you have the power to offer a single presentation over and over to other groups of people as often as you like.
While the interactivity aspect goes away on subsequent viewings, webinars remain a powerful premium content format. As with eBooks and videos, use webinars to primarily provide insight in exchange for contact information.
Carrying over from the pre-internet days, whitepaper is a term used to describe an authoritative - and sometimes lengthy - report on a topic.
The main difference between whitepapers and eBooks is in the name. A clever marketer understands calling something a whitepaper makes it known that this report is more substantive than a simple article.
Some businesses sell whitepapers outright, while still collecting an email address in the process. Others exchange it for contact information, with no other cost involved.
The Bottom Line
One way to think of the differences between ordinary and premium content is to consider how a reader reacts.
Although ordinary content should still warrant interest and provide value to the reader, premium content goes above and beyond providing enough value to make the reader want to exhange information in return.
The idea of premium content should be an integral part of your inbound marketing strategy. If done correctly, you’ll begin generating more leads and growing your email lists.