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Internet Marketing Tips: 3 Reasons to Give the Gift of Free Content

December 3, 2013 / by Paige Gilbert

Giving giftYou’ve heard the phrase “it’s better to give than to receive,” and while this may be true when it comes to the well-being of our souls, it may not be the case when it comes to content marketing. St. Francis of Assisi said, “For it is in giving that we receive” and the same can be said for giving away free content to consumers – because offering quality, custom content that they find relevant and helpful could help you get new business. Here are some internet marketing tips for why you should offer free content.

 

Engage on Social Media

 

People connect with content that is attractive to them. When you create a new blog post or free downloadable offer push it out to the social media platforms you use. Think about what resonates most with your audience and incorporate that into the posts. For example, you could add humor or a video, offer an incentive, or ask a question. You just want to make it valuable to them and unique so that they will want to share it with their friends as well as engage with you and take the time to read a post they see from you. Social media engagement will also help lead them to your website or a specific landing page.

 

Social media sites and blogs reach 8 out of 10 of all U.S. internet users. (Content Marketing Institute)

 

Build Relationships

 

Once someone has started to engage with you on social media they’ll have the opportunity to be taken to your website or a landing page. When someone visits your website or is taken to a landing page, you want them to hang around long enough to get to know you a little better. It may be the only opportunity you’ll get. The average visitor will only stick around for 59 seconds or less. The Daily Egg calls this the 59 Second Rule. If you can just get them interested, you can show them that you have something valuable to offer. This means you have less than a minute to get their attention with an attractive call-to-action that directs them what to do next, like this one from a property management company:

 

Hignell CTA 

 

If you’re looking for ways to help repair your leaky faucet, and you see the call-to-action above, you’d probably be interested to find out if it’s something you can do yourself or if you in fact are in over your head and need a professional.

 

By offering a free guide to download you are offering helpful free content and building trust, no strings attached! If the consumer likes it, they will remember you next time they’re looking for something similar.

 

7 in 10 consumers say they prefer to learn about a company through a collection of articles, rather than in an ad. (Marketing Tech Blog)

 

Convert Leads

 

Once a consumer trusts you enough to download a free piece of content they’ve become a lead. Now it’s up to you to nurture them through different internet marketing techniques. This is most effective using an email nurturing campaign where follow up emails are sent based on timeframes you set, thanking the consumer, directing them to other free content like your blog, and offering the download again. If you don’t get any further interest, it’s okay to “break up” with them after awhile – you don’t want to become obnoxious or spammy. But keep them in your email marketing contacts list so you can send them a valuable offer again later.

 

The average cost to generate a lead through inbound marketing ($143) is about half the average for outbound marketing ($373). (Hightable)

 

It’s not selfish to give away free content in the hope that you’ll get new customers. The internet marketing tips above simply help you understand why it’s important – providing interesting, relevant content will help consumers engage with you on social media and build trusting relationships with you so that they will eventually become a valued customer.

 

What type of free content do you find most valuable?

Topics: Content Marketing

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