I have folder on my desktop packed with slideshares, ebooks and webinar recordings about marketing, social media, and copywriting. The folder keeps getting bigger and bigger.
I used to write “listen to webinar” or “review PDF report” on my to-do list, but I have been so busy, that I stopped scheduling time to sift through these materials.
This conundrum got me thinking about the value of free content. How does marketing with long form content like an ebook, case study or webinar compare to marketing with blog content. How can businesses more effectively market with long form content? Here are three content marketing tips that will help to engage more readers.
Content Marketing Tip #1: Always capture data
Put free content behind a quick sign-up form to capture an e-mail address and a few data points about your reader. This allows you to re-market to them in the future. Maybe they’ll download your slideshare, save it in a folder and forget about it (like I did!). But if you e-mail them again in a few months with more compelling content, they might have the time or a greater interest in your offering and you’ll grab their attention the second time around.
Content Marketing Tip #2: Repurpose long form content in a blog post
If you’ve got a new case study, white paper, ebook or webinar available on your website, create a quick 700 word blog post around this content. A blog post is more attractive to readers because it is less time-consuming. By adding a blog post, you will reach more people than with a white paper or webinar alone. The blog post also acts as another SEO-friendly page (aside from the content landing page) driving traffic to your white paper or webinar. The blog post shouldn’t try to directly sell the long form content, instead it should encapsulate the main points or takeaways for the reader. If you are marketing with an ebook maybe summarize a few pivotal sections. For a case study, summarize the main challenges and results.
Content Marketing Tip #2: Create unique relevant and compelling headlines
Treat the headline for a special report or ebook like the subject line of an email. You have to grab the reader’s attention and say something that resonates with them or they’ll lose interest. Having a great headline also makes it easier to market your free content via social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Use unique, powerful words like “secrets to,” or “crash course,” instead of “guide.” Try to put the title or role of your target audience in the headline and let that person know how this content will make their life easier. If you can, include metrics or percentages in the headline.
Here are 15 examples of powerful case study headlines, many of which can work for ebooks, white paper, webinars and slideshares too!
1. IT Executive Shares Secrets to Mobile Application Development Success
2. How IT Managers Can Increase Conversions by 50 Percent with Personalized Landing Pages
3. The Secrets of A Successful Lead Nurturing Strategy for Sales Managers
4. Leveraging Educational Content: What Online Marketers Need to Know
5. E-Commerce Retailer Generates 500% ROI Using Facebook Targeted Ad Campaign
6. Fortune 500 Executive Uses Project Management Software to Increase Employee Productivity by 20%
7. How Small Companies Can Double Sales with E-mail Trigger Campaigns
8. Lessons from a Brand Manager: How to Build Loyalty using Twitter
9. How to Optimize Your Logistics Program without Breaking the Bank
10. Testing into Social Media Results In 1000% ROI for Chain Store
11. Publisher Generates New Revenue Stream With Webinar Hosting
12. 3 Steps for Marketers to Build Brand Loyalty through Social Media
13. Using Video to Create Traffic and Conversions: A Crash Course for E-Marketers
14. 10 Recession-Proof Tips for Generating Online Holiday Sales
15. How Point-of-Sale Promotions Improved a Restaurateur’s Bottom Line
(These headlines are excerpted from a guest blog I wrote for SmartBug Media.)