Should you give it away for free? (Content, that is.)
When you have something of value, you shouldn’t share it for free. Especially not in business. Right?
Actually, sharing free content may boost your business model.
Free content offers your audience a taste of the advice or services you can offer them. It lets them get to know you during their purchase-research stage, and determine whether they can trust you.
Sharing free content with your audience won’t lead them to expect free services or advice all the time. Instead, your audience will look at your free content and see a business they can trust, but also an authoritative business that’s coming to its audience from a place of goodwill.
1. Free Content as a Marketing Tool
Any marketing strategy demands the creation of content. This content will primarily be in short, 280 character tweets or SEO-loaded Facebook posts, sure, but it can also be long-form content or infographics highlighting your business’ operating strategies.
Why should you give that information away free? Because free content draws in more web traffic and increases your website’s CTR, which, in turn, lets audiences spend more time moving through your site.
You’ll be able to answer frequently asked questions about your business and rely upon your viewing audience to do some of your marketing for you when they share links to your free work.
Naturally, this means any content you share free must be accessible, as well as easy to read on desktop or mobile. Once you’ve started thinking of free content as an additional marketing asset and not a resource loss, you’ll be able to use it to your advantage.
2. Establishing Yourself as an Authority
Sharing free content lets your viewing audience know you’re working from a place of abundance. But what does that mean?
Consider this: You’re sharing posts on your company blog, detailing the different ways your audience can make the most of your product and service, preserving it in the long-term.
This tells your audience that you’re well-informed on the needs of your industry and the longevity concerns of your client, but also that you’re a business with so much to offer that you can offer valuable insights at no cost.
3. Building a Content Buffet
You can also use free content to let your audience know the kind of work they should expect from you. Nearly 81 percent of consumers, online and in real life, research the products they want to buy in advance. By providing your audience with free content to peruse, you’ll allow them to get a taste of your product and the potential ways it can fill a gap in their lives.
Don’t think of sharing free content as a market loss. Instead, capitalize on the free content you can share with your consumer audience. This content brings more eyes to your business, lets your audience come to know you as a reliable authority, and gives them a sense of security when buying your product or investing in your service.