The money is in the list.
While you may be marketing your business through SEO, paid ads, and social media – nothing is quite as secure as having and nurturing your email list.
That’s because you OWN your list. If Facebook were to spontaneously shut down or Google Ads close up shop, you would still have your email list to market to and generate sales.
Don’t let growing your email list be an afterthought – or simply rely on asking people to join your monthly newsletter. There is a much more creative and effective way to grow your email list, and that’s through Content Upgrades.
What is a “Content Upgrade”?
A Content Upgrade is a content marketing tactic that involves giving website visitors an interesting, more enticing piece of content in exchange for their email address.
When users land on your blog posts from search engines and social media, you can include special offers that they can sign up for. These can include a free ebook, access to an exclusive interview, or a wide range of creative ideas (more on this later).
As you likely know from experience, it takes a lot to hand over your email address. Just like you, users are wary of getting spam or being bombarded with sales pitches.
The key to having a great content upgrade is making your content so irresistible that they jump at the chance to get it.
Make the Most of Every Blog Post
If you’re taking the time to write engaging, SEO-friendly blog posts, you want to make the most of the traffic you bring in.
Standard blog posts may be packed full of information, but they typically include a short call-to-action at the end and that’s it. Or, they include a generic call to “Join Our Newsletter” and leave it at that.
Your blog posts can work to generate leads for your business too, not just traffic. With Content Upgrades, you make an attempt at capturing users every time someone reads your blog posts.
Grow Your List, Get More Leads
If you want to get more subscribers, leads, and sales for your building materials manufacturing business, then Content Upgrades are a great way to do that.
By enticing users with even better content, you can add even more contacts to your email list.
You can then segment your email list based on the kind of content they were interested in, follow up with them with relevant email campaigns, and retarget them in Facebook ads and the like.
You can generate a stream of leads from your blog content by simply using Content Upgrades to grow your email list.
How to Set Up a Content Upgrade
In order for your Content Upgrades to be effective, you need to have a solid understanding of what your audience is looking for and have a system for delivering that content in exchange for their email address.
Though the type of Content Upgrade you use will depend on your business and conversion goals, the steps for setting them up are essentially the same.
1. Choose Your Blog Post
First, determine which blog post (or several) is fit for including a Content Upgrade. This will likely include a post that already gets a decent amount of traffic and engagement. That’s a good indication that you should try to capture those readers’ email addresses.
Or, you may consider creating a completely new post that is oriented around the Content Upgrade. For example, if you have a great webinar that you think readers will be interested in, you can write a blog post to draw them in, and then grant them access to the video by opting into your email list.
2. Do Market Research
Your Content Upgrade only really works if your content is so enticing that users can’t help but sign up for it. Doing market research will help you figure out what that perfect piece of content may look like.
Ask existing customers or social media followers what kind of content would be of interest of them. Also, check out which of your pages and posts are getting the most traffic or engagement. You can also look to see what kind of content is working for your competitors.
You should come back with feedback on what your potential customers may want to see. Maybe they want tutorials on how to use your products, or to see interviews from industry experts. They could want templates for DIY projects. All of these ideas could easily be turned into Content Upgrades.
3. Design Your Content Upgrade
Once you have determined what kind of content you want to create (ebook, video, template, etc.), it’s time to bring it to life.
If creating videos or designing graphics is not your forte, work with professionals that know how to create functional, professional-looking content.
Remember, this content will serve as a lead generation tool for your building materials business, so it’s worth investing in quality content.
4. Incorporate Into Blog Posts and Collect Email Address
One of the most important steps of this process is making your Content Upgrade system functional.
Again, if this outside of your expertise, you can work with a web developer or content marketing expert to incorporate your content into your blog posts with a email opt-in option.
With an attention-grabbing call-to-action, users will be drawn to your content. They’ll then enter their email address to receive your content. Finally, the content will be delivered to them in your chosen format.
Once users sign up for your content, their email address will be added to your email list to be marketed to later.
5. Deliver Your Content to Users
Services like MailChimp and ConvertKit can be used to deliver content to users via email once they have joined your list. This is the easiest way to send your blog readers thinks like infographics, ebooks, and videos.
Sometimes you may choose to protect your content behind an “email wall”. In that case, users enter their email address on your website and are then directed to another “secret” page on your website that houses your content. No one is able to access this without the URL or entering their email address.
6. Follow Up with Targeted Emails
After you add a user to your list, don’t just let it sit. Even after you have sent them the Content Upgrade, you will want to nurture them through email marketing.
Each Content Upgrade to lead to its own segmented list. Since you know what kind of content they opted into, you have a good idea about what they are interested in. You can then send them more relevant content, promotions, and offers in hopes of turning that lead into a sale.
This is not your chance to send them a generic newsletter or spam them with information about your new products.
You want them to feel as though you have their interest in mind. Write your email campaigns like you are talking to them one-on-one (even if you are sending them en masse). You want to warm them up, meeting them where they are at in their Buyer’s Journey, until they are ready to buy.
Content Upgrade Ideas for Building Material Manufacturers
Even though you now know the process for creating a Content Upgrade and how to build your list, you may be racking your brain trying to think of content ideas for your industry.
While the niche of building material manufacturing may seem specific, there are actually quite a few types of content you can use to get more subscribers, leads, and sales from your blog posts.
Here are some Content Upgrade ideas for your building materials manufacturing business:
Who doesn’t like a discount? Have users opt into your list for access to exclusive offers, discount, and coupons on your products.
Infographics are used to consolidate a bunch of information into one, easily-digestible image. Use infographics to outline the features of your products, explain how to use them, or any other type of written tutorial. Then, users can download them as a PDF or even print it at home.
Quick-Start Guides and Tutorials
Don’t give away ALL your best info for free. You can mention access to helpful tutorials in your blog posts and encourage users to join your email list to get them delivered right to their inbox.
Sometimes users want a resource they can refer back to time and time again. An ebook is great way to thoroughly cover a topic in a well-designed online “book”. For example, you could create an ebook on “How to Redesign Your Kitchen from Start to Finish”. This would be amazing content for readers interested in design and kitchen remodeling.
Sink? Check! Countertops? Check! Mirrors? Check!
Help readers keep track of important steps by creating a helpful checklist for them to download.
If you sell materials to homeowners, a “Free Bathroom Remodel Checklist” might be just what they are after.
Whether you sell to homeowners, contractors, businesses, or all of the above, you know that there’s a lot involved in building projects.
Help your potential customers out by creating an entire resource page of helpful tips, blog posts, and links just for them. Of course, you want them to join your list before they get access to this goldmine.
If you have an existing product catalog that people rarely get see, it may be worth it to turn it into a Content Upgrades that users can get via email.
For one, they will be happy about getting special access, and they are more likely to skim through it if they get it sent right to their inbox.
Video or Audio Recording
Create new videos or repurpose old ones to be used as Content Upgrades. For instance, if you did a Facebook Live or a webinar that users may be interested in, send them exclusive access for joining your list. You can even write blog content around it to draw them in through SEO and social media.
Reports and Case Studies
Potential customers want to see the results you have gotten for past clients before they decide to buy. Instead of showcasing all of your case studies on your website, prompt them to opt-in for detailed reports, success stories, and testimonials.
Going the DIY route can be hard and your blog readers may need the extra help.
You can create specially-designed templates to help them with a variety of projects – from interior design to painting, to building a new deck.
Call on industry experts to share their knowledge with your audience.
With not-to-be-seen-anywhere-else content, you are sure to hook them in – and maybe even inspire them to share your content with their own network.
There are tons of online tools that help with lead generation through prompting users to enter their email address. Or, you could create an entirely new tool yourself.
For example, maybe you find or create a calculator for determining how much a building project will cost. You do the computing for them, and then send them the results via email.
At first glance, a free trial may not seem like a content upgrade, but this is one of the most effective ways to draw users in from your blog posts.
by offering them a free test run of your products or services, you not only give yourself a chance to impress them, but you gain a new lead that you can market to later.
Remember to make your free offer as enticing as possible so that they can’t wait to sign up. A free consultation, a free mini product, or free quote are all perfect options for this type of upgrade.
Get More Subscribers, Leads, and Sales with Content Upgrades
Make the most of your blog posts with Content Upgrades that are made to convert.
With the right research, design, and implementation, you can turn your traffic into leads fast.
Now, you have a solid list of ideas for your niche – it’s just a matter of putting the plan into action.
Of course, if you want to take your lead gen strategy to an even higher level, reach out to the Lead Generation Experts today. It’s what we do.