Leads are the lifeblood of any sales organization. In volume markets, website registrations are a vital source of leads. By offering visitors compelling value exchanges, vendors motivate those visitors to take an important step along the progressive engagement journey – moving their relationships from anonymous to trusted. “Offer me something of value and I will tell you who I am” is the essence of the transaction.
Many vendors get this value exchange wrong. Some solicit registrations on assets that simply do not move the dial for visitors. Others opt not to require registrations for high-vlaue assets, leaving precious leads on the table. Here are proven, common sense rules of thumb:
- Content with significant educational value, when properly promoted, will consistently command quality registrations. Examples of such “premium” content are white papers, webcasts (both live and on-demand), and podcasts.
- Content that is perceived to be largely promotional in nature – data sheets, newsletters, customer case studies, for example – will generally not induce quality registrations.
Although well-packaged white papers, webcasts , and podcasts will consistently drive registrations, they are among the most expensive, time-consuming assets to create.
Building Premium Content – Multiple Bites at the Apple
So the bad news is that you can acquire registrations most reliably from assets that are time consuming and expensive to develop. High quality white papers, webcast presentations, and podcast interviews (or monologues) typically require investments from your most prized market-facing resources – CTOs, product managers, rainmaker SEs. And do not for one moment think you can skimp on the quality of your high-value content; substance and presentation are everything.
But think about it. Isn’t a white paper simply a narrative version of a webcast? Isn’t a podcast an audio version of a webcast or white paper, reduced to a Q&A/monologue format? Here is a 3-step formula for optimizing premium content investments:
- Develop webcast content first. It’s faster to build presentation slides than it is to write a 12-page white paper. Promote and deliver your webcasts immediately, then notify visitors who registered but did not attend your live events that a webcast archive is available for on-demand viewing.
- Build and promote podcasts from your webcasts. Although a podcast doesn’t have the visual impact of a webcast, some visitors prefer the podcast medium. Importantly, create and stage text transcripts of the podcasts on your website as well – it’s a great way to enhance your SEO performance.
- Turn your webcast and podcast content over to a professional writer. In a surprisingly small number of review iterations, a talented writer will deliver high-quality white papers that drive many additional registrations and leads.
Although building premium content is by no means a trivial undertaking, webcasts, podcasts and white papers are a critical weapons in the demand generation arsenal. Follow the formula above to get the biggest return on your content development investments.
Which content assets bring you the best leads? Do you offer those assets only to registered users, or do you make them openly available to all website visitors?