Measure twice, cut once

Tips to keep your lead magnet fresh and effective

Yellow and gray circular saw operated by a right hand, with a yellow and black tape measure on the board beside it.

Everyone with a saw knows this advice. Because if you only measure once, before long, you’ll end up cutting twice. Accidents happen. It’s the same way with content marketing. You’ve probably created an informative document for website visitors to download after they give you their contact information. Call it a lead magnet, call it evergreen content, call it bait on your marketing hook. But have you checked that bait lately?

A few days ago – in 2019 — I downloaded a major company’s lead magnet on content marketing. It was a 102-page pdf, beautifully laid out. And on the front cover, it boasted “Updated for 2016.” I didn’t even open the pdf. Content marketing is different now than it was in 2016. The company was re-promoting what was probably once a helpful piece, without paying attention to the details or thinking about the need to update the content.

What does that mean for you? If you have a lead magnet – or any other piece of long-lasting content – that you promote, here are some tips to keep the document fresh:

1. The document title. I’ve found some excellent documents that download with just an internal working title. “Marketing_guide_2019_final” or “pqz_mkt_7715498” might work for your staff, but if you name it something like “Storyteller Content Marketing Tips 2019” or “Guide to Content Marketing StorytellerBC 2019” your client will be able to identify it in her files, and your company name will be obvious.

2. The URL. Is the URL attractive and descriptive? This falls to whoever posts the piece on your website, but be sure to replace spaces with underscores if, for example, the document file name is the URL. is easier on the eyes that

Also, consider whether any outside sources link to your existing piece. If they do, you’ll want to keep the URL the same, replacing the old version with your updated document. There are several other ways around this – let me know if you need a hand.

2. The date. Search the document for any indication of a date. Unless there is an obvious purpose, eliminate the date or update the content and add a new date.

3. Graphics. Do you include charts or graphs that indicate a time period, or that refer to something current in the culture? If so, consider updating them periodically to avoid looking dated. If it’s 2019 and your piece refers to 2018 events as future events, rework the wording.

Red and gray horseshoe-shaped magnet attracting small metal balls.

4. The content – and the context. Remember that person in your office who is great at finding errors? Put him to use, even if he’s unfamiliar with the topic. Ask him to point out anything that seems odd or that he doesn’t understand. Another set of eyes on your project is rarely time wasted. You might even find errors that escaped you the first time. And getting the original author’s input is usually helpful.

5. SEO. Does your document use current search engine optimization techniques? Google changes its algorithm frequently, sometimes punishing tactics that it previously rewarded. Getting the opinion of an SEO expert is a good idea.

6. Links. Does your lead magnet link to other websites or to other pages on your site? Those links can be helpful to search engines if they are still accurate. Be sure to check each outbound link individually and correct any problems. While you’re at it, why not add some links to other pages on your site that address similar topics or services? Google will love it, and so will your readers.

A dynamic lead magnet can be an effective element of your content marketing strategy. Do yourself a favor and check yours today.

Storyteller Business Communications exists to help you connect with your prospects and clients. We create memorable copy that pulls them into your brand story and leads them to take the action you’ve chosen. Learn more about us here, or contact us now to start a conversation.