Content Marketing: Should Your Content Be Free?

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The rise of “content marketing” has generated an overwhelming amount of content. So much so that you may be tempted to take the road less traveled and ignore it. But the reality is that in today’s connected digital world, good content generates interest and leads.


People are willing to give away some of their information in exchange for content that is valuable to them. But they’re also protective of their own information and have a shorter attention span, making them just as likely to go with a competitor as take the 20 seconds it takes to fill out your lead-gathering form.


So what do you do? Do you give them content for free and ask for nothing in return? Or do you entice them with the promise that your content is the most accurate, fastest and best solution they’re looking for—so long as they give up their prized contact information? The answer to both is yes.


First, you have to know your market. By understanding what they need and where their pain points are, you can identify information gaps waiting to be filled.


Then, provide straightforward, unambiguous strategies and insight—for free. Your target audience will appreciate this, making it easier to ask them for some of their own information—and more likely they’ll give it.


Once they’re engaged, this is when to offer them more in-depth content—such as a white paper, eBook or case study—in exchange for their email. Yes, just their email. Ask too much too soon, and you’re more likely to lose that potential lead than to convert them.


Turning a potential client into an actual client takes time and finesse. You need to convince them that the expertise you offer is what they need to solve their specific marketing and PR challenges. This doesn’t happen overnight. Consistently creating content that shows you understand trends and issues of the day, is what will get your foot in the door.