From the Ultimate Spider-Man to ultimate frisbee, anything bearing the title “ultimate” has come to be known as the final word on a given subject. But, like anything, the meaning of the word becomes diluted over time with misuse and oversaturation. In marketing circles, the “ultimate guide” has become standard fare for gated content and lead generation. But honestly, we’re over it. (Please note the eyeroll in the title.) Slapping an “ultimate guide” label on a piece of content feels a little meaningless when it’s lost in a sea of other ultimate guides. And no matter how many exclamation marks you add, no matter how bold you make the font, your guide has to compete with the guides of all your competitors, all clamoring and claiming to be the most-ultimate-of-all-the-other-ultimates.
So, it’s time to ditch the ultimate guide. What you need instead is disruptive, relevant, attention-capturing lead gen content that converts and delivers. Lucky for you, we’ve put together an epic list of lead gen content ideas that don’t include the words “ultimate” or “guide.” Dare we say it’s our Ultimate Guide to Non-Ultimate Guide Lead Generation? Actually, no, we don’t. Let’s stick with EPIC LIST. And here it is:
If Buzzfeed has taught us anything, it’s that people love a good quiz. Actually, they love terrible quizzes, too. From What Type of Potato am I? to What Does My Favorite 90s Jam Say About Me?, quizzes are engaging, interactive, and irresistibly clickable. You may choose to keep your quiz fun and light, or you may use it as a tool to help customers choose the right product or service. Just be sure that your quiz includes a form fill for data collection, typically before they receive their much-anticipated results.
There’s no shame in owning the fact that math isn’t your strong suit (uh, right?). And just like 11th grade calculus, the most powerful tool you can use is one that will help you visualize and understand the numbers. Calculators are great lead gen assets that aid customers in seeing the cost savings your product offers, or help them tabulate their ROI should they utilize your services.
Does creating spreadsheets really spark joy in anyone? Okay, maybe some.But the real joy comes when someone else (i.e. your business) has done the heavy lifting to create a clean, visually appealing and easy to customize spreadsheet template. From planning calendars to sales tracking, the possibilities are endless, especially for B2B customers who want something that will genuinely make running their business easier.
Giving customers something tangible that reminds them of your brand is harder to do in our digital age, but you can be sure that if someone goes to the effort of downloading and printing your content, it’s going to be put to use. Printables can be fun and entertaining, like branded coloring sheets, origami, recipes or motivational posters, or they can offer more substance, like worksheets, practice tests or at-home learning.
Speaking of at-home learning, in 2020, e-learning has become more widespread than ever before, and it isn’t just for kids. Many professionals are looking to expand their knowledge, grow skills and use their newfound time at home toward something productive. Offering an email, video or live course is a great way to attract and nurture leads who are already interested in your areas of expertise.
Radio might be dead or dying, but podcasts are giving audio content a whole new life. They are wildly popular, relatively easy to produce, and if your content is meaningful and relevant, will attract subscribers that will come back for more.
You’re an expert on something, or else you wouldn’t be in business. Webinars are a great way to share that expertise with motivated leads who want to know more about a subject. You can host live webinars with free registration, and then offer downloadable recordings to bring in even more leads.
Thought Leader Content
If you’re in B2B marketing, you know that professionals are hungry for thought leader content. In this case, it’s less about the format or platform, and more about the quality and value. Thought leaders are the voices of their industry, taking bold stances on topics that matter. From LinkedIn articles to AMAs (ask me anything), providing thought leader content will not only generate leads; it will also make you a respected and trusted expert in your field.
Producing quality video content is easier and more cost-effective than ever, and it’s also one of the most engaging ways to deliver content to your customers. If you’re a products-based business, tutorials and how-tos can win you very warm leads that could easily convert to sales, and eventually, to loyal return customers.
White papers can seem a little stuffy and stodgy, but if they’re delivering meaningful content, they can be a great tool for lead generation. The best white papers include expert commentary, interviews, Q&A, current research and relevant statistics. Jazz them up with eye-catching design and infographics to bring them into the modern age.
Your most valuable tools might also be your customers’ most valuable tools. But if they don’t know where to find them, they may not know how to use your product or service to their full advantage. The best resource compendiums include both third-party sources and content created by you. Be sure to always give clear instruction on how to use the resources you provide for maximum value.
The key word here is “relevant.” Sure, you can give away a YETI cooler and get hundreds of entries, but many of those leads won’t actually be qualified. Be sure your giveaways and contests are drawing in the right audience by providing rewards that tie into your offerings and allow opportunities to upsell.
So simple, yet so effective. We all know there’s nothing more satisfying than checking a to-do off your list. Offering a checklist on a useful topic (getting started with your products, using them effectively, etc) is a great way to gather leads at the top of your sales funnel, and help move them through.
Keep this in mind: any research you distribute should be original, and should uncover new data, statistics and insights. This can also help position you as a thought leader, and build your reputation for being a business on the cutting-edge of industry advances and innovations.
You don’t need to be able to write a novel or snag a deal with a major publisher to create and distribute an ebook. Think of them as long-form white papers, with robust, well-researched content that will appeal to customers or clients who want to dig deeper into your business. Just make sure to find a reliable editor to catch any errors and make sure the final product reflects the quality and tone of your brand.
Free Trials and Demos
These are pretty standard in the world of lead generation, but you can liven up your trial and demo game by offering limited time promotions for things like extended trials, first month free, or personal demos via phone or Zoom.
More than a simple how-to, a cheat sheet offers insider tips on ways your audience can maximize your products or services. Content like this should make them feel like they’ve got the inside scoop, and that not everyone knows these tricks. Include workarounds, troubleshooting, upgrades and tips from other users.
You may offer your infographics as ungated content, but even so, these attention-grabbing visuals are key to lead generation. They are highly shareable across social media, can give you backlinks from other blogs, and can put your brand in front of a much wider audience.
Kits are digital packets of multimedia assets gathered around a common theme. They can include a wide variety of downloadable and printable materials, like motivational posters, notecards, sticker template sheets, instructional videos, and much more.
If you have a B2B audience, presentations can be a hot lead gen commodity. You can offer presentation templates on a variety of industry-related subjects, or offer your own SlideShare presentations to download and share.
In this WFH age, virtual events are becoming more commonplace. They offer a great way to connect with your audience, build relationships, and position your brand as an industry leader. Conferences, roundtables, TED-style talks and networking events help you achieve those goals.
So, that’s our Ultimate Guide to - wait, no. This was our EPIC LIST of lead generation ideas that aren’t ultimate guides. Need help bringing these ideas to life and creating a lead gen strategy that works? Our experts are here to take you and your business from “ultimate” to “epic.”