If you’re looking to increase engagement and improve conversions on your website, content upgrades are an effective strategy. These are extras such as downloads and printables, which your audience can use to supplement your regular content.
Content upgrades, also known as “lead magnets,” are extras added to your blog posts or other website content in order to “upgrade” it.
There are dozens of content types that you can offer as additions or bonuses in this manner. The most common options include (but are not limited to):
- Resource lists
- Cheat sheets
- Quick start guides
While it’s no doubt extra work to add these types of content to your blog, there are many benefits to doing so. Most often, they’re used to make a request of your readers (such as asking for their email addresses) without seeming pushy. After all, you’re offering something of value in exchange.
Content upgrades are also a perfect way to increase the value of your blog posts, which is great for bringing in more traffic. When offered for free, they can help you build a better relationship with your audience. Ultimately, your ingenuity is the only limit when it comes to finding useful ways to leverage these little extras.
Since a lot of blogs and other sites already use content upgrades, you’ll want to be strategic about the way you implement this technique. Choosing to use content upgrades that set you apart from your competition is vital, as it can help you generate more traffic and increase the perceived value of your offerings.
With that in mind, let’s look at three lesser-used but valuable upgrades you can offer on your site.
Podcasts are a perfect way to supplement your blog posts and website content, a series of audio-based episodes focused on a certain topic (such as digital marketing). Podcasts are often used as an extension of an existing blog or website, as they offer a more personal and in-depth look at a subject. However, they can also be used as an addition to your regular content.
There are many reasons to offer podcasts as an upgrade on your site. Most importantly, they provide a different format for your audience, and this can increase your content’s reach. They also offer a unique way to engage with your audience, which is critical for traffic growth.
If you’re just beginning to consider adding podcasts to your content, here are a few things you should do first:
- Consider the tools you’ll require. You’ll need more than just an audio recorder; you’ll also have to be able to edit and distribute your podcasts. You can do this with free, open-source software such as Podcast Generator.
- Poll your audience. If you’d like to add podcasts to your older content, you can add a poll to a specific blog post to see what topics your readers are interested in. This will ensure even more conversions (i.e. email signups) from the resulting podcast.
You can even use podcast upgrades as a “teaser.” For example, you can offer the first episode of your podcast series for free, and then require a membership or payment for all additional episodes. This is a smart way to draw your readers in to your premium content.
2. White Papers
White papers are in-depth, research-backed reports that offer a more comprehensive look at a particular topic. They let you provide comprehensive information for your most interested audience members.
One of the primary reasons to offer them as an upgrade is due to their length. As white papers are longer than the typical content upgrade, they will provide greatly-increased value to your readers.
Additionally, a white paper gives you a place to expand on an important subject in a separate location. This way, highly-interested readers can get the most from your content without your regular blog posts or articles getting bogged down in too many details.
Writing up a white paper is a lot like creating regular content, just more involved. To get started, you can:
- Use a free tool such as Scribus. This solution provides you access to all the necessary features (such as typesetting and multiple formatting options), with the added bonus of being an open-source option.
- Expand upon a specific topic. You can make your white papers useful by expanding on a more difficult topic related to something you’ve already covered in a blog post or other piece of content.
Above all, remember that a white paper should ultimately be solution-focused, and include helpful tips and techniques that your audience can use. This will increase its value, as well as help you show off your expertise.
3. Exclusive Interviews
Text, audio, or video conversations with industry experts which provide your audience with further insight into specific topics can be included as a download on a related piece of content. They usually follow the typical question-and-answer format, although you can take as formal or informal an approach as you’d like.
Perhaps the strongest reason to offer exclusive interviews as an upgrade is due to their scarcity. Since interviews take a lot of time to set up and conduct, you may be one of the only bloggers in your niche to offer this type of content. If you interview knowledgeable and/or well-known figures, you can provide a lot of perceived value to your audience this way.
If you’d like to offer interviews as a content upgrade, we recommend that you:
- Reach out to your network. Your network will likely include industry experts who are willing to participate in your interviews. As an added bonus, they may even agree to share the post that contains the interview upgrade with their own audience.
- Offer a variety of formats. As we mentioned, interviews can be offered to your readers in various formats: text, audio, or video. You can use all of these formats, or just one or two, in order to provide plenty of variety.
To engage your readers more fully, you can even ask them to provide some questions to be included in upcoming interviews. This can be done via social media, or on your website using a submission form.
Content upgrades are a solid addition to any website, as they enable you to offer more value to your readers while also receiving something in return. The more unique your upgrade offers are, the better your odds of conversion will be. That’s why it’s a smart idea to get creative about the types of content you provide.
Do you have any questions about content upgrades, or how to offer them on your site? Let us know in the comments section below!