With excellent content being the new google gold dust, it’s imperative you know not only how to put together a fantastic content strategy – with excellent ideas and content writing – but that once you have that content gold mine running you get enough attention.
And what’s the single most important way to do that? Free Content.
Free content is, nowadays, what is going to make your brand or product achieve its goals. You have to begin with free content and romance your customers from there. The free content is what builds the trust, authority, and relationship necessary for people to commit to spending money with you or hiring you.
Think of free content as asking your customers to dance, you have to take the leap of faith to trust they will “get” your message and have such a good time, that from that initial point you’ll be dancing a jive together in no time. And in order to work, your free content has to be good. And it has to be authoritative so that people will trust it and will share it. As Copyblogger says:
“Generosity is sexy. When your free content is so valuable that it makes you a little uncomfortable, you know you’ve got the mix right.”
It’s All About Relationship…We Want to Be Together
That free content is what will provide the impetus for people to buy from you, or to share your stuff, and personally recommend you to friends. It’s really important that you get this right, that the free content you choose to offer is of genuine value, really interesting to, or problem solving for your target market, and establishes you as the go-to resource for the expertise or product you offer.
Customers are now pretty much allergic to traditional ads, and go to great lengths to avoid them on TV, Youtube and pretty much everywhere else – free content is the game-changer when it comes to advertising . But the key is that it mustn’t be salesy or seem like advertising. Don’t even include a call to action, unless it’s a very subtle one hoping to share more information and problem-solve further on the reader’s behalf, or asking them to share along. Copyblogger recommends “a high ratio of valuable content that seemingly has no sales agenda, mixed with periodic promotional messages”.
Studies show that people respond best to solution-creating, problem-solving, interesting content as the body of communication. Once this is established and your customers are properly converts to your team you can intersperse the message with information (in a non salesy manner) about your products or services. But for now, your opening gambit should be good clean generosity and willingness to serve.
Sharing’s Caring When It Comes to Content Love
Chances are that if you fulfil this description then you’re halfway to creating great customer and client relationships and you’re probably also halfway towards the important thing, which is getting your content shared. After all, attracting attention to your free content is what it’s all about and how you build your presence and brand online.
Here are four tips to help you draw attention to your free content:
1. Create Cornerstone Pages
Cornerstone pages are like landing pages for your content. Make sure the page is optimised for your keywords, write a great piece of content which naturally summarises your information skillset, then curate your best or most relevant posts into the page. This creates a go-to page, which is highly search-engine friendly and user friendly, combining all your knowledge and expertise in any given area, and thoroughly establishing you as an expert.
This will drive more traffic, but also massively engage visitors more deeply in the breadth of your content. And while these pages should be optimised, don’t forget your content is the rockstar. According to Scribe: If your content isn’t good enough to attract good, natural links, it doesn’t matter how “optimized” that content is.
2. Use Great Headlines
Headlines are critical to attracting attention in general, and for your free content your headlines have to be totally topnotch. This is your content cold-calling card – you don’t have a relationship with these people you’re trying to catch, so you need excellent headlines to reel them in and establish a beautiful thing.
3. Social Media Frenzy
Social media has truly changed advertising, and probably how we do business forever. Social media puts in your hands theexposure power that previously was only available to the upper eschelons of big business and celebrity. Use it don’t abuse it, get great content out there, encourage sharing, and wait for the quality of your work to drive user-generated popularity and for the resonance of your words to reverberate across the web driven by friends and family. Power to the people.
4. Comment Marketing
Again, community’s where it’s at, in every sense of the word. And one of the best ways of getting attention to your free content, and subsequently driving engagement with your brand is still through comment marketing.
Hang out on blogs of other people in your niche whom you respect and who have values you appreciate. Relating is the difference between success and failure in this day and age on the internet, so make sure you’re actually doing it: conversing, replying, banter and repartee, all the myriad human interactions are there to be had, and you will build relationships and traffic to your own endeavours through your relationship-building in other arenas.
Don’t forget to check out my previous post on content ideas, so you can make sure your content is excellent, and make sure you make your passion and expertise shine through whenever you’re putting content out – that gold dust will keep working for you day in day out if it’s good enough, and the best bit? It doesn’t cost you a penny.
QUESTION: What free content are you creating at your website and in your business? answer in the comments…