The Art of the Download: Why & How Downloadable Content Helps Gauge Interest


Imagine how much easier your sales process becomes when your prospects demonstrate an active interest in your products and services. How amazing would it be if qualified prospects came knockin’ on your door?

That’s the beauty of downloadable content: You can use an enticing download offer to capture qualified lead information. Awesome downloadable content is your ticket to flooding your sales pipeline.

This is the Consideration phase of what we like to call Growth Cycle Marketing: Your customers are Aware of your business and your products and services—and now they’re hungry for more relevant information. This is your opportunity to offer up your priceless expertise in the form of a free eBook, whitepaper, infographic, brochure, or detailed technical spec sheet.

WHY would you give away priceless information for FREE? Because free downloads your customers love turn your sales pipeline into a goldmine! Look, 90% of B2B customers do some kind of online research before they ever talk to a human at your company. Downloadable content is often the nudge they need to push them oh-so-much closer to the sale.

But HOW do you know what downloadable content interests your current and potential customers, and HOW do you use it to nudge them toward the sale? The secret is in all that precious customer data you collect…

Creating Cool (Downloadable) Content

Every online marketing campaign starts with strategy. Your first step is to determine who you’re looking to target with your downloadable content (we suggest creating buyer personas), then create content that market segment will find relevant, helpful and informative. Yea, it sounds cliché, but it’s no joke: Get in your ideal customer’s shoes. What do they want? What do they NEED right now? What advice can your company provide that will not only provide helpful information, but will make that potential customer feel relief?

How great do YOU feel when you find information online that solves your problems? That relaxed sigh of relief? THAT is what you’re going for. For example, if your company sells children’s party supplies and your target market segment is parents of 6 to 10 year olds, you could create a branded eBook download titled Rawr! Throwing a Dinosaur-Themed Party Your Kid Will Love! You want that parent thinking, Score! This is exactly what I need. …whew!

Who You Gonna Call? (…or email!)

Now you’re going to put that downloadable content to work. You know you’ve created content your customer wants. Badly. To get that content, you need a little something from them, like their email address and a little bit of information about their interests (for B2C) or their business (for B2B). This lead data is the key to the success of your marketing efforts.

Now you know some interesting information about your potential customer. For starters, you know they’re interested in the information you’ve provided. You also know a bit of key demographic information to help you gauge interest in future products and services, potentially for long-term email marketing campaigns. That customers is only a well-timed call-to-action (CTA) away from customer Acquisition! Think about it: Your parent who downloaded your dinosaur-party eBook? How about shooting out an email the very next day offering a special on your dinosaur-themed all-in-one party pack? Zing!

This is Measurable Marketing

Marketing SauceEnter marketing automation. Sure, you can keep track of each and every download and lead entry manually, but with so many marketing automation tools available, why waste your manpower? Marketing automation is your freakin’ Secret Marketing Sauce. Behold!

Marketing automation allows you to track potential customer interest by measuring certain clues hidden in each website visitor’s behavior. Tracking the conversion rate on your dino download informs your team whether or not that particular piece of downloadable content is an effective sales and marketing tool. If you’re getting a lot of free download traffic, but very little sales as a result—it’s time to change up your downloadable content. Go back step one, and revisit what your customers truly want and need.

In addition, a handful of marketing automation platforms, like Marketo, offer “intelligent” global forms you can place across your website. While each individual form collects specific data and measures the success of that trigger point, over time the forms also “remember” each unique visitor’s specific information, asking additional questions along the way, resulting in a wealth of info on that qualified lead.

The overall idea is to continue to create helpful content that nudges your lead pipeline toward the sale. Based on your lead-to-customer conversion rates, the customer data you collect and analyze will help you further refine your buyer personas, your downloadable content creation, and your overall marketing methods!