Should You Give It Away?

Content marketing is becoming the norm for modern inbound marketing. A recent study claimed that 99% of software makers rely on content marketing (yeah, I want to see the raw data on that, too). Even if that’s an overestimation, most modern marketers are aware that producing and sharing useful stuff is the basis of the new marketing relationship.

As Mitch Joel puts it in his forthcoming book, Ctrl Alt Delete: Reboot Your Business. Reboot Your Life. Your Future Depends on It, “Give Me Utility (or Give Me Death).”

So we always want to provide content that is useful, interesting, entertaining — or better yet, all three. We always recommend providing this for free. If you have a great tool, a cool app, or valuable information to share with your web visitors, get it out there and prove your value.

But there are other things you can do with content. Save some good stuff and consider using it in these ways:

  • Trade larger or fancier types of content for contact information and permission to contact. This lets you reach out to people who are interested in what you have to offer, rather than relying entirely on their reaching out to you.
  • Use content to track conversions for more analytics insights. If your website is mostly about brand awareness, it can be hard to track the value of various traffic sources. If you give visitors something to click on, download, or otherwise take action on, you can tell which marketing efforts are providing the most value. The same is true for newsletters — if you give readers something to do, you can track your most interested recipients.
  • Give away some content — but with more of a splash. If your target market responds well to giveaways and special events, make sure that some of your content is given away as a prize or a celebration.

A reminder — this doesn’t mean that you can give people low quality content most of the time and save all the good stuff for promotional use. You have to provide good stuff all the time, but save some special things for promotional use. That means you offer good blog posts regularly and longer white papers occasionally, or great content all the time and special tools or apps for people who’ll share their contact information.

Call Julianne at 479.966.9761 if you see how this would benefit your company, but need support in  implementing the idea. We’d love to work with you on putting the technique to work.


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