Marketers around the world are raving about content upgrades and how effective these campaigns have been for their business.
But what are content upgrades?
It is a marketing technique to boost on-site conversions by offering the visitors a bonus content piece for performing a desired action. This call-to-action could be subscribing to your email list, filling out a survey form or social sharing. The bonus content being offered in these campaigns is an addition to the already available free material.
Businesses across different industries are experimenting with content upgrades like ebooks, infographics, spreadsheets, checklists, podcasts, courses, etc and are getting promising results. But all these content upgrades are meant to stay highly relevant to the content piece you’re offering it on.
And how do you create a content upgrade?
Creating content upgrades
First things first – a low quality content upgrade offer is going to get you nowhere. Offering no value to the user creates a bad user experience, which affects the credibility and the relationship with the customer in general.
Here are a few things you must keep in mind while creating a content upgrade:
- The bonus content must be relevant to the campaign that led the user to the upgrade.
- It must offer additional useful and valuable content.
- The upgrade needs to be visually appealing and must deliver a good user experience.
- Don’t include too many steps to get to the upgrade.
Have something in mind that fits the above? Here are the tools you can use to create high quality content upgrades in just a few hours (not inclusive of the time you take for research):
Canva, a free online design tool is a marketer’s favourite. It allows you to create beautiful content upgrades using illustrations, photos, design templates, fonts and styles. Since it is built keeping in my mind the needs of a non-designer, Canva is really easy to use and even offers template sizes that are fit for different content formats.
If you think Canva is too casual for you, Piktochart is the tool for you. With hundreds of templates to use for your upgrade, the tool allows you to easily create ‘professional looking’ content formats – especially infographics. All you need to do is drag and drop elements to your infographic as per need. You can also download optimized sizes for your website or social media from the platform.
3. Free stock images
No content upgrade is complete without graphics and images. And sometimes, self designed graphics are just not a choice. That’s when you need free stock images to back you up! While Shutterstock has the largest collection of images, photographs, illustrations and cliparts, there are also other free options like Death to Stock, Unsplash and Gratisography that we love using.
Prezi is a cloud based presentation software and visual storytelling tool that allows businesses to present ideas on a virtual canvas. The platform uses motion, zoom and spatial relationships that can really bring your ideas to life, and make you a great presenter. Be it an introduction to your business, or sharing industry insights, Prezi serves as a great way to offer snackable yet impressive content upgrades.
Whatfix helps you create interactive how-to-guides on the web. You can create slideshows and video tutorials (flows) within minutes. It allows you to create step-by-steps by simply installing an extension on your browser, after which you can select areas you want to include in the upgrade and carry on with your normal browser functions. Whatfix can also be used for easy user onboarding, improving customer support and reducing training efforts.
6. Exit Bee
Exit Bee is a lead generation and optimization tool that uses behavioural analysis to convert your website visitors with highly targeted messages exactly at the moment they are intending to leave the website.
You can use your content upgrades as baits to abandoning users by creating a beautiful overlay that redirects the the users to a download page. It also allows you to create multi-steps to nudge users to interact with your business in one way or the other – sign ups, subscriptions, social following, etc after which they will be sent a download link to the content upgrade.
7. Google Fonts
Typography plays a crucial part in designing and creating content upgrades. Google Fonts serves as the best free resource for fonts that can be downloaded and installed on your computer easily. But while picking up fonts, ensure that your text remains readable. To maintain a professional look, ensure the fonts used on images and graphics match the tone of your message.
If you can’t figure out a color scheme for your content upgrade, Coolors is the tool for you. Colors directly affect the way you are perceived by your audience. Hence, it is important you spend time choosing the right palette. Coolors is an online color scheme generator that generates all possible combinations as per your choice. You can save the color palettes and reuse them for all your content upgrades.
Another content format that makes for a great content upgrade, are interviews and audio files. But having all the tools required for recording and preparing an audio file is impossible. Audacity is an open source audio file recorder and editor. It is the easiest and the cheapest tool to remove background noises from your audio files. The tool also allows you to cut, splice and mix audio files with effects to create an awesome audio content upgrade.
And lastly, something for all those who either don’t have the time to create a content upgrade or can figure their way with the above resources,
Fiverr is a fast growing website for finding professionals who can help you in creating content upgrades on a freelance basis. Simply search for what you’re trying to get done for the content upgrade to view professionals who have worked on a similar project from across the world. You can alternatively, just post a job and let them approach you.
Have you ever executed a content upgrade campaign? What’s the one tool you highly recommend to those who are just starting off?