Content Upgrades And How To Use Them For List Building

The most effective opt-in strategy I’ve ever used on my blog was the content upgrade strategy. It out-performs every other list building strategy out there. In this installment of our series, we’ll discuss what the content upgrade strategy actually is and how to implement it into your blogging habits.

Episode #58 | Episode Date: February 25, 2015

Well hello… welcome back to Coffee Break Blogging Episode 58!

The most effective opt-in strategy I’ve ever used on my blog was the content upgrade strategy. It out-performs every other list building strategy out there. In this installment of our series, we’ll discuss what the content upgrade strategy actually is and how to implement it into your blogging habits.

Content Upgrade

Now, what is a content upgrade? I think the first place that I came across this idea was; I think his name is Bryan Harris. He is over at Videofruit.com and it is not a new concept but what I got new from Bryan was that he did this on most of the blog posts that he did. Now it is a list building strategy. And basically you could tell by what it is called… “Content Upgrades”. And essentially what it is, is it gives a person an opportunity to upgrade that blog post that they just read to take it to the next level.

What it is, is you have given them actionable information within that blog post and then you can give them a tool that enables them to get it them quicker; an additional resource to help them get it done quicker, maybe just take the information to the next level so you have taken enough to a certain point in the blog post that you can take them a little further in that material in a content upgrade. Whatever it might be but the whole idea here is that it is something that they are going to want because it is extremely, tightly related to the blog post that they just read. It is designed specifically to upgrade the content that they just looked at.

The Idea

Now the whole idea here is it is designed to build your list. So it goes without saying; but I’ll say it anyway, is that you want them to opt-in in order to receive this content upgrade. So it works out really well. Now of course, it is additional work. I mean, if you are going to apply the strategy to every blog post or even a majority of them then it means that you are going have to not only write the post and prep it for the web but you are then going to have to turn it around and create a content upgrade for it.

It pretty much doubles the amount of work that you got to do. But the thing is it is extremely effective as an opt-in list builder. And it really is the absolute, most effective opt-in strategy for a blog. I have not seen anything else that works better than this on the blog itself than the Content Upgrade Strategy. It is a perfect call to action because if they make it down to the bottom of that blog post; quite frankly, not even all the way to the bottom… but it shows they are obviously interested in that topic so you are giving them the perfect opt-in offer by giving them a content upgrade.

So here is what you would need to actually create the content upgrade for your blog post…

A Lead Magnet

First of all, you would need the lead magnet. You have to sit down and make it. It could be a video where you show them something that you were just talking about in that blog post. It could be a checklist to help them get it done quicker; it could be a case study… whatever it is, but the whole idea here is it needs to be highly specific and it needs to be very tightly related to that blog post. Almost to the point; a lot of times it will be to the point where you only made that lead magnet only for that blog post.

Now one little caveat here is that you can’t re-use these things. I mean if you talk about the same topics over and over but just from different angles and different aspects of it; it could be that you can re-use the same lead magnet or the same content upgrade in a few different places, that’s great. It saves you some hassle for sure. But it needs to be very, very well targeted. Don’t just put any old opt-in offer at the end of that blog post. It needs to go together with that blog post like peas and carrots as Forrest Gump would put it. 🙂 So that is the way it needs to work. So you got to create that lead magnet in whatever way, shape or form that it would be.

A Page

The next thing that you are going to need is you are going to need a page of some kind to give them that lead magnet. Now I will say that it is optional. The way that I do it is that I will send them to the opt-in and then the next page that they would get in their browser is going to give them the content upgrade. So in this case, I am not actually requiring double confirmation on the email list to get that content upgrade. You might want to do so… so what you could actually do is you could set up the page that gives them the content upgrade as the success page on your email opt-in form so that they will not get it until after they actually double confirm.

But a cleaner way to do it in that case would be that you don’t set up a page but you deliver it via email… And so this one will work well if it is a PDF. If it is a PDF that you created for them then you can just literally upload it into your Media Library inside of WordPress and then just link in an email directly to that PDF file. And then it saves you the work of having to create a page or anything like that. But obviously if we are talking about a video or maybe you got a few things then you got a video then you got something to go along with it; then you need a page to host it so you need to create a page on your blog for that and it is not a page which is going to show up in your navigation anywhere and they can only get to it through that opt-in form.

A “Call To Action” Image

Now the next thing that you are going to need (and this is optional as well); this is the way that I like to do it, is to have a “call to action” graphic and you will literally embed this graphic, this image, right at the end of the blog post. Now what I like to do with the image; it needs to look professional, it is full-width for the blog post and usually what will show is a little image of what they are about to get… the content upgrade itself but it is kind of faded in to the background and then over at the top of it I will have “Access this video or watch this video or download this PDF” in big text, with the icon and so if it is a PDF that they are about to get, I will literally put the PDF icon on there. If it is a video, I will put a little play button on there that makes them want to click on it. It increases the click-through rates on the image, and just put that right there, embedded to the post.

An Opt-in Form

When they click on that graphic, here is the next thing that you got to make… They need to get an opt-in form. So here is the thing… you could create an opt-in form and have the email field and the submit button right there inside the blog post. You could do it; it would probably work just fine.

What I personally prefer to do is give them a link, or in my case; an image that they can click on and then it triggers the opt-in when they get it. So the easiest way to do this is to use the Lead Boxes functionality which is built-in to Lead Pages and that will allow you to do the content upgrade strategy. You can either give them just a simple link at the bottom or you can create this graphic that I was just telling you about. Either way, they click on it, it triggers the opt-in and then they can opt-in and get them that content upgrade.

An Email Follow-up

Now the last thing that you probably should put in there is some type of an email follow up so that when they get this thing; this content upgrade, you follow up with them via email in a day or two with something that makes sense. And it could be as simple as “Hey what do you think; let me know… Shoot me an email or give me some feedback” it could be that you put them into a marketing sequence for some related product. Whatever it might be, you should probably have some follow up. Do not put them on your list and then they would not hear from you after the content upgrade; that would be a waste of your time.

So that is the general strategy. Create a lead magnet. It is going to be small in nature. I am not expecting you to create a 50 page eBook here and in fact I highly recommend against anything of the sort. A good lead magnet is going to be highly, highly specific. But then you create that for that blog post and then you set up these little funnels for it.

Now if you want to figure out and get some help on Creating The Perfect Lead Magnet in order to speed this up; because here is the thing… if you are going to execute on this content upgrade strategy, you got to be able to create lead magnets quickly. If the idea of creating a lead magnet is as really daunting thing to you, it is going to be really hard to do the strategy. So I have created an Action Plan over at the Academy and it is simply called Creating An Effective Lead Magnet. It is sitting over there for you, it has got an incredibly low price point on it because I really want this want to get into as many hands as possible because everything that we talk about from this point forward; the entire funnels that we are going to talk about; your whole business model depends on getting people to opt-in to your list from your blogs and that lead magnet is extremely important. So I have made the price point like just bones did; small on that. I don’t do that with all my products but on that one I did for a very specific reason. So go check it out. That is at blogmarketingacademy.com/leadmagnet and you will learn all about that particular action plan. It also happens to be one of my more popular Action Plans and I am not surprised by that.

Okay, so that is the Content Upgrade Strategy. It is highly effective in terms of building your list from your blog.

One little comment I will make at the very end:

Obviously, if you are going to create a lead magnet for every blog post, it does increase your work load. So a good solution to this is to reduce how often you actually post to the blog. That way you are not having to work more. You will work at the same amount as you do right now; you just got to post less often. It is not even a problem; it is a good thing. The thing is, every single thing that you put out there is going to be highly effective for you. It is much better to put out less blog posts but each one is really optimized to grow your business than to put out more of them and it just kind of go out into the wind then get read by a few people than fall back into your archives. That is not an effective use of your blog post. Each blog post that you create should be an asset for your business and an asset that can last for a while after you have written it. And this Content Upgrade Strategy is one way to make sure that that happens. Okay? 😉

So hopefully you found that useful, I will see you in a few days with Episode 59 of Coffee Break Blogging and we’ll talk a little bit about User Testing of all these blog stuff that we have been talking about all month here on Coffee Break Blogging. Okay? So I will see you then! 😉