For some, finding a lead magnet to use is pretty straightforward. They can offer a demo if they provide a software solution, or give out a tool their audience obviously needs, like a tax calculator.

But most of the time it isn’t so easy.

You may have a variety of products or a product you can’t demo. Maybe you focus on content and earn money with affiliate marketing. Or, maybe, you just have no idea what your audience really wants.

But there’s no need to go through a long trial and error process. You’ll just waste your time and energy while precious leads leave your site never to be seen again.

Instead, learn and apply a tried and true strategy.

We spend a lot of time working with people like you to create beautiful lead magnets. So, we’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. In this article, you’ll see how to determine what lead magnet to use for your business in five simple steps.

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What Is the Best Lead Magnet?

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to lead magnets

We know you’d love to get a straightforward answer, apply it to your website, and get a huge email list overnight, but sadly, even sites within the same niche can’t answer the question “what is the best lead magnet?” 

It depends on a lot of factors and you’ll need to put in some work to find the perfect lead magnet for your business. We hope to make it a bit easier for you!

How to Choose a Lead Magnet in 5 Simple Steps

Choosing the best lead magnet for your site starts with picking the right topic.

You could take the safe route by merely looking at what your competitors are having success with and emulating them.

However, that’s not how you get the most effective, highest-converting lead magnets. To do that, you must provide real value and a unique solution to their problem.

We’ll teach you how to determine what lead magnet to use in a way that makes this simple. Follow these five guidelines:

1. How Do I Know Which Lead Magnet Works Best for My Audience?

The easiest way to know what your audience wants as a lead magnet is to study the first-hand data you can gather from your own website and social media channels.

Now, we know a lot of you reading this may not have any first-hand data because your website doesn’t get a lot of traffic yet and you don’t have many followers on social media. That’s fine! Just skip this step for now if that’s you.

For others that get some traffic or have a bit of a following, you can use tools like Google Analytics that allow you to collect data and look for:

Your Most Popular Landing Pages

Any first page your visitors land on is their landing page. This gives you valuable tips on what first brought them to your website.

Your Most Popular Blog Posts

Here, you can analyze which blog posts bring you the most visits, which ones people spend the most time reading, and which have the most engagement in the form of shares, likes, and comments.

Additionally, if you already have lead magnets, you should check which blog posts lead to the most subscriptions and try to understand why.

It could be that the post topic perfectly aligns with the topic of your lead magnet. Such lead magnets are known as “content upgrades”. Check out our guide to learn how to create these powerful lead magnets.

Another interesting option here is to gather the most popular blog post series and repurpose them into a lead magnet. Since people are already interested in those topics they’ll likely be happy to get them in a single neat package.

Your Most Popular Social Media Posts

Social media posts follow the same logic – the most popular ones or the ones with the most engagement certainly contain things that your audience is drawn to. 

Always keep an eye on that data!

Newsletter and Email Clicks

If you already have an email list, you should be mindful of what content gets the most opens and what generates the most clicks – that’s what your subscribers are most interested in.

Or Conduct a Survey

Finally, another way to know what your audience is looking for is to conduct a survey – just ask them!

2. How to Decide If Your Target Demographic Will Like Your Lead Magnet

To supplement your understanding of what your target demographic is looking for, you should study third-party data.

You can, for example, go into online forums or groups where your audience is active and see what they’re interested in and what their pain points are.

Another similar option is looking through Amazon’s book categories. There, you can start with a broad topic and niche down more and more to see what books are doing well under each category.

Then, you can read the reviews to see what readers liked, disliked, and what’s missing to give you ideas. Alternatively, you can make something similar but in a different format, like video or audio.

You can also take a look at your competitors’ websites and social media platforms to know what their audience enjoys – we’ll get more into that on the next step.

Another great way to find what your target demographic would like is to do keyword research – this way you’ll know what they’re searching for, which is perfect to understand their problems.

To do keyword research, you need to use a keywords research tool, like Ahrefs or KeySearch, and search for topics relevant to your audience. 

Then, you’ll get a list of related keywords. Among those, you should analyze the monthly number of searches and find a balance between keywords that are relevant enough to your topic but that also have a decent amount of monthly searches.

3. How to Take Advantage of What Your Competitors Are Doing

As previously mentioned, you can get a lot of insight and inspiration from looking at your competitors’ lead magnets – especially if their business is older and more established than yours.

You can create something similar that offers even more value, but never copy. Being unique is a major lead magnet best practice. Try to figure out what they’re not offering that your audiences would like and fill that gap!

Besides looking at their lead magnets, you can search for inspiration on their blog posts and social media feeds. This is especially useful if you don’t have much traffic of your own. 

You should proceed the same way as we recommended you do on your own website in Step 1 – note what the most popular posts are and which have the most engagement to inspire ideas for lead magnets.

4. How to Use Other Tools to Refine Your Lead Magnet Topic

So, by now you have an idea of things like:

  • What your audience likes and needs.
  • What your target demographic searches for.
  • What your competitors’ audience enjoys and needs.

Now, it’s time to refine your lead magnet topic – it’s time to take it from a general idea into something concrete, targeted, and specific.

Some online tools you can use to get to more specific questions or problems your audience and target demographic have include:

Use this information to guide the specific topic of your lead magnet and the questions/needs it will address.

5. How to Choose a Lead Magnet Format

After picking one or more topics for your lead magnet, all that’s left is choosing a format.

There are plenty of options to choose from, including checklists, templates, guides, webinars, audio, etc. To help narrow your selection and find the best format for you, consider the following questions:

What’s the best format for your particular topic?

One topic can be presented in multiple ways. 

Here’s an example: if you want to walk your audience through how to do something, you can choose to use a detailed PDF guide, a tutorial video, or a quick-fix checklist. You must decide what’s the best fit for topic.

Which format is most attractive to your audience?

To answer this question, you need to know your audience fairly well. You should be able to answer questions like “What does their day look like?” and “How much time do they have to spare?”

If your audience is busy and looking for a quick fix, it makes no sense to give them a 50-page whitepaper. Using something easier to consume, like a short ebook, checklist, or audio they can listen to on the go, would be much more successful.

Do you have the skills to create the lead magnet you want?

Finally, you need to be realistic about what you can create.

It takes considerably more effort and know-how to create a video tutorial compared to a checklist. And it takes much more skill to create a professional ebook than an audio recording.

You can create the lead magnet yourself or outsource it. This will largely depend on your budget. For example, using a professional design service like us for the best design may be out of reach for some of you, in which case you may be able to get decent results with lower-priced or free templates or even free tools like Canva.

How to Choose the Best Lead Magnets — A Summary

Crafting the perfect lead magnet isn’t easy and takes time. First, you need to pick a topic that your audience will enjoy and, especially, need.

To find winning topics you can go over your own data, do some research, or take a peek into what your competitors are doing.

After you’ve reached a general topic you’re happy with, you need to narrow it down to something specific, useful, and, if possible, evergreen. Luckily, there are plenty of tools that can help you out.

Finally, you need to choose a lead magnet format taking into consideration what’s the best one for your topic, what suits your audience, and what you can do with your skills, time, and money.

It’s a lot, but it’s worth it!

The goal is to create a lead magnet that grabs your audience’s attention and keeps them interested enough to go through it.  Otherwise, you won’t achieve the ultimate goal: creating trust and a relationship so that they eventually buy your product or service.

As you grow, you’ll see opportunities for and advantages to creating multiple lead magnets.

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