Have you heard about content upgrades? This tactic is used as an effective call to action at the end of a blog post or similar piece of content. The theory is simple: Publish an article about a topic, then offer a free post – specific “content upgrade” at the bottom of the article that connects to a whitepaper, infographic, in-depth guide, or other source that goes much deeper and offers even more value to interested readers. The simple addition can be effective – so effective, some blogs have see a 785% increase in conversions with just a few upgrade options. A 785% increase! Wow! Can you tell how excited we are about that? And just in case you needed a few other reasons to try this out for yourself, we’re going to talk about the other advantages, too!
Sure, those conversions are great, but think about what’s actually happening there: a post-specifc content upgrade typically require some sort of contact information to proceed, usually in the form of an email address or another super-easy form option. Say you roll out an upgrade campaign and find that you are getting 3x more conversions than you used to – at least for the first week. For that week alone, you are acquiring 3x more email addresses that you can use for everything from influencer marketing and newsletters to direct sales via lead management. If your email list is looking a little wimpy these days, upgrades are a great way to bolster them without annoying your clients.
When viewers access the upgrade, they are often more likely to share the original blog article with friends and peers, which means more traffic to your website. If that upgrade is also somewhere on your site, it too will get a traffic boost. If your in-depth content connects to a LinkedIn discussion or Facebook group, there’s even more traffic to your channels. All this is great for your SEO and wins you a whole lot more eyeballs.
Content upgrades do seem a little odd at first glance. “Wait,” some people wonder, “Am I creating a low-quality piece of content just to drive people to my high-quality piece of content about the same topic? That doesn’t seem right.” But good upgrades don’t just reiterate the same information – they add a lot of new, more detailed information to expand on points, and they also tend to move the topics out into other areas. An article on new type of ductwork that’s easy to install can be “upgraded” to a longer piece on all the new products that are cutting down on installing HVAC systems (just one example – you get the idea). The end result here is that clients, leads and influencers see you as more of an authority with rich content and a worthwhile perspective.
When you start working on upgrades, something else happens as well: You end up naturally creating a top-down content strategy with layers of different content designed for different channels. That content can be used effectively at various levels depending on how your strategy changes over time. In other words, it helps you think about content in a healthy, strategic way that pushes for higher-quality effort. These are all good things!
Ultimately, upgrades are all about adding value while being as efficient as possible. Sometimes though, you don’t necessarily need to gain more resources – you just need to use the resources you already have more effectively. The expertise that you used for that one blog? Use it more fully to create a deeper piece! The blog traffic you enjoy? Use it to fuel even more conversions. Do you have any old content that you are proud of but never got much traction? Use it for your next content upgrade! In all, the upgrade tactic helps push you to be as effective as possible, playing at the top of your game with every new content campaign.