The point of a content upgrade is the same as any other piece of content you provide to your audience. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a free opt-in offer, or a paid product or service, you should be aiming to over-deliver on the value your customers and clients are receiving from you.
The main difference between a content upgrade and another type of product is the immediacy of it. When a person signs up to receive your upgrade, they are putting their hand up to signal they want more information on the topic they’ve just read about. And if you do it right, it will be content they consume immediately after reading your blog post.
So what type of additional information should you provide them with?
The general consensus is that something short and easily consumable is best when it comes to content upgrades.
Short attention spans are the norm these days when it comes to content consumption. So you want to present your additional information in a way that it doesn’t take your readers a ton of time to get through, but still provides value to them. That’s why short form content such as checklists and other types of lists make such great content upgrades.
Short content such as checklists makes it much easier for your reader to use too, especially if they are consuming your content on a mobile device. It’s much easier to work with a 1-2 page list on your smart phone than it is to slog through a 20-page report to find the main points.
In addition to being easily consumable, your upgrade should also be easily actionable — yet another reason why lists work best.
Think for a moment about why most people read blogs. They are searching for information. Chances are they have a problem that needs solving, and have landed on your blog assuming you have the answers they need.
Providing answers in your blog post is the first step to building a relationship with them. So they read your post, find out that you have what they need, but they want more. At this point they’re excited to get started solving their problem with the information you’ve already given them.
You offer them a checklist with all the steps in one place that they can download and print out. This makes it much easier for them to take action right now while they’re still excited about finding your solution.
You don’t get that same type of excitement and engagement from offering e-books and reports as content upgrades because they take more time to read through and pull out the needed information. A reader with a short attention span is more likely to the next site in search of easily consumable content. If they do download your report, there’s a very high chance they will file it to look at later, and never go back to it.
Short, consumable, actionable content makes the best upgrades.
It’s really all about instant gratification for your reader. Giving them a quick win means getting the relevant information to them in a way they can put into action immediately without going through a lot of fluff and filler. Putting it into printable form means they have the answers they need in a format they can refer back to again and again.
It’s a win for you too, when you stop and think about it. It takes much less time to create a list than it does an e-book. You also get higher conversions on your opt-in form, and you add another follower to your list. This means you get to engage with them and provide even more information on a regular basis.
To see an example of a list-style content upgrade in action, grab my “Content Upgrades That Work” list below:
This is Part 3 in a 5-part series on creating content upgrades.
- Is List Building Really Like Fishing?
- Are Content Upgrades Right For You?
- Short or Long: Which Works Best for Content Upgrades? (This post)
- Make It Easy for Readers to Find Your Content Upgrades
- 4 Ways to Use Social Media to Promote Your Content Upgrades