Recently I attended a local spa opening. Along with the free food and cocktails, the spa offered free massage and facial vouchers handed out to the first several people through the door. I don’t routinely frequent the spa, so I wasn’t necessarily in the market for the services this particular business was offering — yet it’s amazing how something becomes a hot commodity when it’s free. I ended up with a voucher for a free 50-minute massage. There were hundreds of people in attendance that evening and it was clear the event was an overwhelming success.
How Free Content Can Help Your Business
I couldn’t help but view this from a marketing perspective. Giving away free items isn’t a new concept, but when executed correctly it can help elevate your business. Providing free content to readers can serve you in a similar fashion, but don’t just create content for the sake of content.
Create content that provides real value to your customers. It’s an amazing opportunity to showcase your expertise and help them out without asking for anything in return. This strategy allows you to attract a user base without costly ad campaigns or a traditional sales force.
Here are four benefits to giving away free content and how it can help your business stand out.
Free stuff generates buzz.
The power of word of mouth and social media can’t be underestimated. With the spa grand opening, it wasn’t long before people were “checking in” on Facebook and tweeting about the event. People were texting their friends to hurry on over in hopes of landing a free service voucher.
Providing free content to readers can have the same effect. All of the sudden you’ve created buzz via social media or word of mouth and people are taking note of your business. While visitors are there, be sure to offer them more free content by subscribing to your newsletter. This gives you the ability to market to them in the future.
Free content entices people to try your product/service.
People are much more inclined to try something they normally wouldn’t if it’s free. Like I said, I don’t hit up the spa regularly but I’m not going to turn down a free massage. A lot of businesses do this — think about the complimentary trial period Amazon Prime offers, or the free class presented at the gym to people contemplating membership.
This allows you to showcase what you have to offer and it’s what sets you apart from competitors. The hope is that your content is so appealing that they stick around and purchase your product or service.
Free content builds positive association to your brand.
We already know people love when something is free, no strings attached. Landing freebies makes people happy so it’s easy to capitalize off this good mood. By offering free content, you’re creating a connection to your brand that is positive. Customers will remember the value they received while interacting with your brand and be more inclined to become a customer.
Don’t think of free content as you giving away your best kept secrets but rather you’re showcasing your expertise. A great chef could give you all the ingredients to his secret sauce but without the expertise to use the right amounts in the right order you wouldn’t have the same end product. This same idea can be applied to your business. Just because you are publishing content that gives away value doesn’t mean people are going to go do it themselves.
Free content can establish a buying habit.
By giving something away for free, more people will be inclined to give your business a try. Once people try your business, they are more likely to remain loyal customers, assuming they’ve had a positive experience. Gaming companies are a great example of providing extremely valuable strategy content to their customers for free. This allows users to learn tips and tricks to win and keep playing longer.
Consumers tend to be creatures of habit and stick with what they know. If you’ve enticed them with a freebie, it’s likely you’ll have a repeat customer on your hands.
The virtues of offering free content are vast. You may not be offering free massages, but you’ve got plenty of great content that can be shared free of charge in order to drive traffic to your business – and build your reputation in your industry. 🙂