We’ve all been there—a Facebook ad presents us with a free download we can’t refuse.
All we have to provide (usually!) is our name and email address.
That free download you received is called a “lead magnet” or “lead generator.” But that Facebook ad wasn’t free for the business promoting it.
Social media ads can come with a hefty price tag, depending on how many people you want to reach or how many days you want to advertise your lead magnet.
Maybe you have an awesome lead magnet you’re ready to share with the world. You don’t have room in your marketing budget to advertise it on social media right now, but you still want to get the most mileage out of your lead magnet. After all, you put a lot of creative work into it!
We have good news: you can still promote your lead magnet for free with some tips we’re sharing today!
What’s a Lead Magnet?
If you’ve never heard of a lead magnet, let’s break it down first. You want “leads”—or opportunities—to convert prospective customers, right? A lead magnet is 1) a means of capturing a prospective customer’s information with 2) an offer they can’t refuse. (That’s why it’s called a magnet—it’s attractive to your target audience!)
Don’t miss the two important components of a lead magnet.
First, it’s an offer people can’t refuse.
A good lead magnet makes people ask, “They’re giving that away for free?! Sign me up!”
You’ve probably filled out an online form to receive a free Ebook, coupon code, or trial subscription. A lead magnet is usually a free item, service, or discount you give in exchange for someone’s name, email address, and other relevant information.
Second, a lead magnet is a means of capturing a potential customer’s information.
You want this information to continue to build brand awareness, nurture the relationship you’ve begun with your target audience, and persuade them to invest in your product or service.
What can you give away for free? Answer that question, create your lead magnet, and build your welcome series around it.
Now, let’s jump into some ways you can promote your lead magnet without a huge advertising budget!
1. Create strategic marketing assets that support your lead magnet.
If you’ve already created a lead magnet, you want to make it as easy and seamless as possible for prospects to 1) provide their information and 2) receive your lead magnet in return.
The assets you need to accomplish this will vary depending on whether your lead magnet is a free item, service, or discount. We’ll use a downloadable PDF as an example.
For your PDF, you’ll want to create a landing page with copy that tells your target audience what they’ll get in exchange for their information. Your landing page should also include a form that captures prospects’ information in exchange for the lead magnet.
Your email service provider (ESP) will have a form you can embed on your landing page so you can automatically add people who opted for your lead magnet to your mailing list and deliver the lead magnet straight to their inbox. Take this opportunity to thank them for downloading your new resource. While you’re at it, send them a series of emails, telling them more about your brand.
Think about other assets you’ll need—maybe a nice preview image for your landing page, and other graphics, social media story sequences, or reels. Plan and create any additional assets you’d like to use to roll out your new lead magnet in advance, and make sure you have a content calendar so you know when to promote each one!
2. Share your lead magnet everywhere!
You don’t have to pay a lot of money to get your lead magnet in front of your target audience.
Think about the places where prospective and current customers interact with your brand, and put a link to your lead magnet at those touchpoints! Here are some examples:
- On top of your Twitter and Facebook pages, pin the link to your lead magnet’s landing page.
- Create a cover photo for Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms that advertises your lead magnet so people immediately see it when they visit your page.
- Put a banner or pop-up on your website. You can even create a pop-up with a form for gathering someone’s information on the spot!
- Include a link to your lead magnet’s landing page in your social media bios. (LinkedIn makes this difficult, but here’s a great hack for linking to your lead magnet!)
- Add a button that links to your landing page in your email signature. (For example, an employee at a marketing agency’s button might say, “Get Your Free Copywriting Guide Here!”)
- Have a podcast or YouTube channel? Promote your lead magnet at the beginning or end of each episode, and include links in the episode descriptions.
Anywhere you communicate with your target audience, you can find ways to promote your lead magnet. Your target audience needs the value your lead magnet provides, but they won’t know about it unless you tell them!
3. Share your lead magnet year round.
Don’t share it once or twice and hope it will generate a lot of leads, especially if you’re promoting it for free.
You put a lot of time and creativity into your lead magnet, so why not maximize your effort?
Share your lead magnet year round, and get creative about how you do it! If your lead magnet is a PDF, share a link to it one week. Then share an attention-grabbing quote from your new resource the following week. Is your lead magnet a webinar? Promote a short clip on social media.
Is the content of your lead magnet relevant to an upcoming holiday? Strategize a small marketing campaign around the holiday to give your number of lead magnet downloads or opt-ins a boost.
You might not have a budget for advertising on social media, but you can maximize your lead magnet simply by looking for opportunities to promote it throughout the year.
4. Get (more) social!
We’ve covered the importance of sharing your lead magnet year round, but you can leverage social media even more to promote your lead magnet. One way is to encourage other employees to share it, too! Get them excited about the new resource or promotion your brand is about to release, and remind them to promote it frequently on their own social media accounts.
Employees aren’t the only ones who can promote your lead magnet. Team up with influencers, and ask others in your industry to share it.
You should also interact with your followers. You might host a giveaway and ask them to tag people in posts about your lead magnet for a chance to win a prize. Respond to people if they comment on your posts, and look up relevant hashtags to help your posts get more views.
You don’t have to boost posts about your lead magnet with money to get more views and impressions on social media. Just be intentional and creative about how you and your team will organically spread the word on social media.
Bonus: Customize and segment future content based on who’s requested your lead magnet and why.
Want to get extra mileage out of your lead magnet after people have given you their email address?
Look at who’s requested your lead magnet most and why. Every action a customer or potential customer takes with your brand tells you something about them and what they want from you. That includes downloading your lead magnet. What can you learn about this prospective customer? Based on that information, how can you nurture your relationship with them in the future?
Here’s an example. Imagine you’re a solopreneur in the business of helping parents get their children sleeping through the night. You create a lead magnet with tips and a nighttime routine to try for parents having a hard time getting their toddlers to bed.
You’ve been blogging about sleep training for several years. You remember that you also have several blog posts about promoting sleep for toddlers, so you automate a series of emails. After subscribers receive your lead magnet via email, they’ll also get a series of emails with previous blog posts about how to help their toddler go to and stay asleep.
You’ve just made prospective and current customers feel “seen” and given them more of what they’re looking for from you! You’ve also customized their experience to show that you’re the brand they should trust for their specific needs.
Whether your free lead magnet is an item (like the PDF on toddler sleep!), service, or discount, you can always get more mileage out of it by continuing to customize content for your audience. Possibilities are endless for segmentation and customization—you might eventually have multiple lead magnets and “funnels” based on different segments of your target audience!
Although paid ads help, you don’t need a big advertising budget to share your awesome lead magnet with the world. With some strategizing and planning, your team can maximize your lead magnet’s return on investment without spending a dime. We hope these tips help you brainstorm effective ways to nurture relationships with current and potential customers and clients through your lead generator!
Do you have a great idea for a lead magnet but need help executing and marketing it? Our team of creators and marketers loves to help our clients reach their target audience with lead-generating content. Schedule a call today, and let’s talk about how we can work together to get more leads for your business!