Why YOU Need Free Content

by | Jun 2, 2016 | Blog, Content Creation, Marketing, SEO

The way we live and do business has changed beyond recognition in the last 20 years. No longer is business about having that key location on the High Street or big corporate offices with everyone chained to their desk from 9 to 5. Increasingly we live in an online world with a new way to operate and a new way to deal with customers.

Let’s talk about a traditional business for a moment.

Imagine you want to buy a new car. You do some research into the models that interest you and then when you have a shortlist of cars that match your criteria you head to the showrooms for a test drive.

Now imagine a scenario where as you enter the car dealership and talk to the sales person about test driving the car you are interested in they say, “sure, how many hours would you like to hire it for?”

It would be a confusing situation wouldn’t it?

As car buyers we expect to be able to test drive a car for free, not to be asked to pay for the privilege of doing the final research for our buying decision.

Car dealerships know that one of the best ways to get you to commit to buying a car is to get you to drive it. To experience what it feels like to own it. As part of this process you also spend time with the sales person and in the dealership, getting to know them, like them and trust them.

Let me give you another scenario. Imagine you are walking along the street and someone you’ve never met before walks up and offers to give you a gift. There is just one condition… to give you the gift they need your name and address so they can arrange delivery.

Would you give your details?

Having asked this question when speaking on stages throughout the UK, I know most of us say ‘no’.

People assume there is a catch and are reluctant to give their details to a person or company that they know little or nothing about it.

So why do many companies assume we will behave differently online?

Think about it. How many times have you clicked on a link on social media only to discover that to get the content you are interested in you need to give your name and email first?

Often business skip this step altogether and go straight to ‘buy my stuff’. I’ve lost count of the number of websites I’ve closed because an unknown organisation is instantly asking me for £47. This is like asking someone to pay for a test drive – very few people will say yes.

It is now a widely held belief that people need to consume at least 7 hours of your content before they know, like and trust you – 7 hours of freely available content.

When I say free, I am talking about content that is COMPLETELY free, with no payment or contact information required.

The internet provides entrepreneurs and business owner with a multitude of tools that enable every business to becomes its own media outlet. By creating and publishing YouTube videos, blog posts, podcasts, tweets, Instagram images and even live streaming content using tools like Facebook Live, it has never been easier to deliver value to your audience and show them your expertise and experience.

No longer should you waste money on expensive advertising that most people ignore; to engage your audience and build trust, it is time to give high value content for free.