By giving away a valuable piece of quality content on your blog or website, you can not only demonstrate your expert status in a very tangible manner; you can also lure people to your site and encourage them to become part of your community.
If you’ve ever gone to a trade show and come home with a suitcase full of squishy balls, highlighter pens, and t-shirts that you’ll never wear, you know the power of the freebie. And when that freebie is actually useful and valuable, the power is even greater.
Of course, as with any marketing tactic, there are some do’s and don’ts to be aware of:
DO create something of quality
Giving away junk – unedited PLR, a flimsy report full of errors, or other disposable content – won’t win you any fans. You don’t have to write a 100-page report, or a series of 20, one-hour videos; but whatever you do create should be VALUABLE. Internet marketing superstar Jimmy D. Brown often refers to creating “Useful but incomplete” content. The information you provide should stand alone in its own right, but it should also make people want more from you.
DO think outside the box
“The short report” is a common giveaway for online businesses, and they can be very useful. But what about a series of short videos, or a special audio interview? A top-ten list or a template of some sort? A checklist, blueprint, or a mind map? An iPhone app or a free consultation? A set of inspirational stories? Get creative: The more unique your offer, the more attention it will gain.
DON’T deliver before opt-in
Your goal, when people visit your website, is to capture their information so you can continue to communicate with them even after they leave. Typically, this means getting them to opt-in to your email list. Don’t give away the goods before you’ve gotten, at a minimum, their email.
DO follow up
The delivery of your freebie should be just the first step in an autoresponder series to keep your visitors interested and engaged. Feed them into a series of email messages, newsletters, etc., to keep them coming back for more.
DO encourage them to spread the word
Ask new subscribers if they know of anyone else who might be interested in your freebie, or encourage them to forward the giveaway so others can enjoy it. Your goal is to get that freebie into as many hands as possible, drawing attention back to your site. Oh, and be sure you have links to your site in that freebie!
DO reuse the content you create
If you record a series of videos, turn them into a special report to distribute to your affiliates, or break apart a short report into articles or blog posts. Never let any content you create do single-duty; make it work over and over again for you! If you offer a unique, high-quality freebie, and let people know how they can get a copy, your work will speak for itself. You may even find that your content goes viral and becomes the next “must-have” giveaway, driving tons of qualified traffic to your site.