Answering Service Experts — Putting Out Free Content Will Help You Make More Connections
If you’ve been reading past posts on this blog, you are likely aware that a compelling content strategy is vital for your business to succeed online. It will help you engage with existing customers and clients and acquire new ones, and make people aware of your products or services. While you may feel compelled to charge for something like a professionally written eBook or well researched article, you need to be aware that there are many situations where it makes more sense for you to give it away for free. Although this many not be your first instinct, keep in mind that there many benefits to giving away your content for free. Here are some of those benefits and reasons why you should consider giving away your material in order to attract new business and build an authoritative reputation within your industry or niche.
Free Content Helps You Connect with Potential Customers and Clients
The number one reason to put together blog posts, social media infographs and eBooks is to attract an audience that grows your business. No business or brand just shares content without their products or services in mind. Free content can help you attract a specific target audience within your industry. As long as there is a call to action at the end of many of the pieces of free content that you release, it will help bring awareness to your products and services and encourage potential clients and customers to opt in to your email marketing campaigns. This email marketing can more directly encourage potential clients and customers to try your products and services, and ideally should offer promotions and discounts to get them interested.
However, if all of your content is hidden behind a paywall, there would be no compelling reason for potential customers and clients to read it in the first place. They will also likely never sign up for your email newsletters and move on to free content that they find elsewhere from one of your competitors. There will also be fewer opportunities for visibility on social and digital media, which will hurt your brand voice in becoming a relevant authoritative voice within your industry or niche.
Free Content Shares Your Name and Reputation Within Your Industry
Releasing free content is not only to attract new clients and customers. You also want to attract your peers and industry insiders, who may connect with some of your ideas and be compelled to share some of your content. However, they are unlikely to do so if your content is hidden behind a paywall. They may even say nice things about your products and services, but people will not be able to identify with your brand message, as your exposure will be limited due to the paywall. Any revenue you do generate from consumers purchasing your content will easily be offset by the many potential customers and clients who are turned off by this idea, and move on to other businesses or brands for their needs.
Instead, you need to create content of value that speaks to the core message of what you do and how you do it. If you have some good ideas behind what you are saying, it is also likely that people within your industry will share your content and potentially help you to attract new business. Instead of thinking of your content as paid material, think of it as a form of interactive advertising that directly engages and connects with people who are looking to purchase the types of products and services that you offer. Just like you wouldn’t expect people to pay to watch television spots or view billboard advertisements, you can’t expect people to pay for information with a marketing bent that they can find elsewhere for free.
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Originally published at www.ringsavvy.com on April 13, 2016.