Why won’t anyone download my free guides?

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Come on, admit it – you’ve downloaded a PDF guide to something in the past and not bothered to even open it. I bet you would download a free guide even now without any true intention of looking at it.

In fact, I bet you’ve done that several times. Naughty.

Only, is it? Really? These guides, eBooks and reports are there for one reason: to grab our email addresses for marketing purposes. The people who create them are under no illusion that the vast majority of downloads rarely go much further than lying dormant on hard drives.

Despite this, you might be in the relatively unique position of wanting your own lead magnets (that’s the technical term for these mis-used forms of content) to actually be engaged with.

Bravo! Here are a few tips for creating lead magnets that will actually be opened, digested and, hopefully, shared.

Readable COntent to download

Define what your audience wants to download

This is a tip that’s given out so often in content marketing, but for good reason. Far too many lead magnets are created without a solid idea of what the audience wants.

If you know what your existing and potential customers want to consume, content-wise, you can give them just that.

Go right back to your original business or marketing plan and look at those buyer personas (you created some, right?). What are their core goals and challenges? How can you create a piece of content that demands to be read by them?

Memorable to share

Get creative with your download

A PDF download might not cut it for your audience; they might respond far better to content that’s interactive and fun to engage with.

Don’t be tied down to one form of content for your lead magnets. If you have an idea that you think deserves to be presented in an inventive, creative way, the time spent on such a project is completely worth it.

Memorable content will encourage people to share it, and it’s far more likely that your brand will live longer in their memory.

Advice becomes outdated

Update it, regularly!

You might be tempted to dust your hands off after creating a download for your website in the belief that you won’t have to do anything more to it.

It’s free leads from that point onwards, right?

Not quite.

As your business grows and its market matures, your downloads will need to follow suit. Things change, new statistics emerge, and once-accurate advice quickly becomes outdated.

Make a promise to yourself that you’ll revisit each lead magnet you’ve created every quarter and update them as required.

Lead Magnet Performance

Make sure you can track the performance of your lead magnet

Encouraging a website visitor to download a guide or eBook is usually just the start of their journey to becoming a customer.

This is why it’s imperative you can track the performance of your lead magnets. Who downloads them? When are they downloaded? Do you have evidence that they’ve been shared thereafter?

Much of this analytical insight can be gained from tools like Google Analytics, but if you invest time in interactive content, make sure you build in ways to take a bird’s eye view at how it’s being used and how effective it is at ushering people along the sales path.

Wrapping up

Never again will you create a lead magnet for your website that doesn’t get used – providing you lean on the tips above.

No matter how often people tell you “it doesn’t matter what you put into your downloads – the aim is to grab their email addresses”, we’d live in a far more interesting world if everyone put some effort into their lead magnets.

What will you create that is of genuine use to your audience?

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