Why your best content should be free
Isn't it funny how you don't really notice something until it happens to you? Lately, I have been finding a lot of content I would like to read is hidden behind either a pay wall or a subscription form. I have to sign up or give my details to read a full article, or I have to pay to get to the good stuff. It is very frustrating!
I have come to the conclusion that this is not necessarily a great marketing tactic. I am guilty myself of publishing content that then asks people to subscribe to access more. After all, we want marketing to lead to action.
However, I am going to try hard to follow my own advice about content in the future and offer more for free. Here's why...
It helps Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Content is king. There is no doubt about it, the more high-quality content you can offer to your audiences, the better. Publishing content that includes the right keywords will help your website be found by the right people.
You build trust
It can feel strange when you have worked hard to produce engaging content to then simply give it away for free, but I think this is an important part of the journey someone has with your brand. It takes time to build trust and loyalty, but it can be built and if you are freezing people out before the journey even begins, you are starting from a place of disadvantage.
It leads to more website views
The more interesting and useful your website is, the more likely people are to visit it. By offering your best content for free, you showcase your expertise and people will come back again and again.
You gain loyalty
Data capture is important, and it's not something I would recommend abandoning, but by giving away content for free you are showing that you care about your audience. You are putting them first. In turn, I believe this leads to higher levels of engagement and ultimately, increased loyalty.
I understand that not everything can be free - wouldn't it be a different world if it could be! But more and more, brands will need to demonstrate added value.
I think now is a great time to start.