Lead magnets allow you to attract new prospects for your business with only minimal effort. What makes them such brilliant and powerful marketing tools is their ability to get prospects to hand over their contact information in exchange for something valuable you have to offer.
These 12 lead magnets are not, by any means, the only kind of lead magnets you can offer for your business, but they work extremely well as text-base downloads that generate leads for your business. You can also use audio or video content to generate leads, but these text-based lead generators are powerful and easy to produce for any type of business-to-business organization.
12 Lead Magnet Ideas for B2B Businesses
To generate leads for your business, you have to create a compelling offer. Your offer should be something valuable that your target audience wants and is willing to give up some personal information to get. The length and type of that content offer depends on your industry, the demographic of your target market, and other factors. As an expert in your field, you should have an understanding of your audience and what it is they want. Then you can create your compelling offer.
The following types of lead magnets are excellent content offers for B2B businesses.
Checklists are easy to create and easy to consume. That’s because they distill everything you know about a particular topic into an easy-to-read and easy-to-digest list.
A successful checklist should have three qualities that make it a great content offer download for your target audience:
- Must be digestible in a single sitting
- Must be simple and easy to follow
- Must contain actionable steps toward a useful goal
A good checklist lead magnet should be easy to read in one session, simple, and easy to follow with actionable steps toward a worthwhile goal. It should be no more than three pages, though 1-2 pages is optimal, and it can be published in a PDF format. Like this one from Your Accountant.
Print books and e-books both make great lead magnets. Print books are a little more difficult for making an online offer if you’re trying to acquire email addresses for future marketing. They do, however, make great calling cards that you can hand out to people at events you attend in person. So, if you’re a public speaker, a 10-12 page print booklet–or even a full-length book–can be a great lead magnet for networking events. If you include your contact information at the back of your print book, your prospects can contact you at their convenience.
An easier “sell” online is the e-book download. Short books work better. They make great authority documents because they present your expertise in a solid format that is easy to read. The optimal size is 6-10 pages.
An e-book that gives readers an introduction to your vast knowledge in your area of expertise is a great lead magnet. That’s why I wrote “Why I Wrote This Book.” It’s a lead magnet on lead magnets.
3. Sample chapter
If you don’t want to give away an entire book, or you’d prefer to give away a sample of a long book, a single chapter makes a great lead magnet. If your book is 300 pages, for instance, you might give away a sample chapter that is only 10-15 pages in length.
You can give away a sample chapter of your non-fiction book and promote the full book at the end of that PDF chapter download. This makes a great lead magnet for authors because you are promoting the work that makes you an authority, and you get an email address so that you can market that book and future books and authority documents to your audience.
4. PDF version of a blog post
Like a sample chapter, a PDF version of a popular blog post allows your readers to feel like they’ve got something valuable from you with very little effort. This only works if your blog post is popular. So take your most popular blog post, convert it to a PDF document, and put the link to your download at the end of the blog post. You can cross-promote it on other blog posts. Popular blog posts can be used to generate leads for your business.
5. White papers/special reports
White papers and special reports are one of the types of authority content I recommend in “14 Types of Authority Content.” B2B businesses generally benefit from white papers whereas B2C businesses often call them special reports. They serve the same purpose.
These are the second most influential type of content for B2B decision makers. That’s why so many businesses publish white papers, which are in-depth reports on a specific topic related to your business. White papers are different from books in that they typically focus on a single narrow topic while a book may have a broader focus. I recently wrote a white paper on private lending for one of my clients. At right is the cover of another white paper I wrote for the same client a couple of years ago.
6. Case studies
While white papers are the second most influential type of content for B2B decision makers, case studies are third. They provide a single-case scenario or perspective on your product or service. The idea is to interview someone who has benefited from your product or service and tell, using data and analysis from the client herself, how they solved a problem. These are powerful marketing tools because they rely on the words and experience of your client. James Toolbox has used case studies effectively to market its marketing membership site for attorneys.
7. Market predictions
Regardless of the niche you find yourself in or the audience you serve, one way to establish yourself as a bona fide authority is to predict the direction of the market. Rather than publish a once-a-year market prediction blog post as most other predictors and prognosticators do, turn your market predictions report into a special report that you offer as a download. Instead of predicting the market for a single year, try to forecast the next 3-5 years, or decade, of your industry, which will make your report much more valuable and interesting. Treat it like a white paper and use government data, research from universities and other public databases, and give it real stand-out appeal. After all, you are trying to establish yourself as an authority in your niche.
8. State of the industry
Similar to a market predictions report, a state-of-the-industry report takes a hard look at your industry as a whole and uncovers the trends that other industry leaders may be overlooking. You can perform interviews, look at hard data published by governments, universities, and research institutions to back up your claims about your industry. If you’re the first to point out the direction of your industry, you’ll prove yourself an authority and a thought leader in no time.
The beauty of of an e-course is that it can be delivered in any number of popular electronic formats, including email. In fact, the best e-courses tend to be in email format. And you can re-purpose your content in other formats to fit the email format.
For instance, you can take a book you’ve already written and re-format it as an electronic course you deliver by email. Same content, different audience.
10. Gated content
Gated content is any content you put behind a secure wall to be accessed only by those who have the proper authorization. You can sell it as premium content or give it away in exchange for email addresses so that you can generate leads for your business.
Gated content can appear in a number of formats. You can take a single blog post, for instance, and publish half of it publicly while allowing access to the best part by premium access only. In other words, publish a part of a long blog post for anyone to read, then allow access to the rest of it only when your readers give you their email addresses first. Cryptocurrency platform Coil allows its users to create gated content.
Another way to use gated content is to offer premium access to exclusive content that can only be accessed by special persons. In this manner, it could be a membership website or simply premium content, such as multiple e-books, that members gain access to when they sign up for it. Freelance Writers Den (affiliate link) is a membership site for freelance writers.
Infographics are powerful marketing tools because they present your expertise in graphic form. One way to use this authority content format is to create the infographic and give access to it only when your audience is willing to give you their email address. To sweeten the pot, offer to allow sign-ups to republish the infographic, and when they do, they’ll be publishing your branding along with it. A huge win-win for your authority image and your sign-ups.
12. SlideShare presentation
SlideShare is a website owned by LinkedIn that allows you to present your knowledge and authority in a slideshow format.
SlideShares are powerful because your audience can experience your expertise in a format that they have some control over and can consume in short bite-sized pieces but which serve information in a visual way. An effective slideshow only needs to consist of 10-12 slides, but it’s powerful and effective as a lead magnet because you can create the slideshow and put it behind a secure wall to be accessed only by authorized persons willing to give you their email addresses. Or, you can publish it publicly with your branding attached to it.
One way to make this enticing is to publish the first two or three, or half dozen, slides publicly, but to gain access to the whole show requires your audience to opt-in. Draw them in, then lock them in.
Thanks to these 12 B2B authority content types, you can establish yourself as an authority and generate leads for your business with powerful and effective lead magnets. And you can start on this right away.