Author: Neil Patel / Source: Quick Sprout If you give it away—offer it free—they will come. This should perhaps be the quote to encompass
If you give it away—offer it free—they will come.
This should perhaps be the quote to encompass the business model of freeconomics.
It’s a model that involves giving away your best content.
Believe it or not, more and more companies are integrating and seeing amazing results with freeconomics today.
At first thought, it may seem ludicrous.
I mean, how can you expect to turn a profit if you’re getting no direct return on your content?
You’re spending loads of time and exerting a ton of energy to earn a big fat $0.00.
It just doesn’t make sense.
But when you look at the big picture, giving away your best content—offering it free—makes total sense.
It’s a catalyst for business growth, and I’ve even had clients who’ve grown their businesses by as much as 290% by going this route.
Allow me to explain.
How content impacts a buyer’s decision
Seldom do today’s consumers whip out their credit cards and blindly make a purchase.
Besides researching the product itself, many consumers want to know more about the company behind the product.
They want to be sure that the company is legit, knows its stuff, and is trustworthy.
But how do they learn more about a company?
Besides simply reading the About page on the company’s website, consumers look at content.
In fact, Demand Gen Report found
47% of buyers viewed three to five pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep.
The report also discovered that
51% of B2B buyers rely more on content to research and make B2B purchasing decisions than they did a year ago.
This means that content has become an integral part of the buying process, and it’s now a trend that’s likely to continue growing.
By making your best content easily accessible to your audience, you can pull more leads into your sales funnel, which should eventually increase sales.
To gate, or not to gate?
This is a question posed by Vertical Response in an article discussing the benefits of giving away content.
By gate, they mean putting an obstacle in front of content (e.g., filling out a form to get it).
Internationally acclaimed marketing and sales strategist David Meerman Scott says that according to his statistics,
a white paper or eBook will be downloaded 20 times and up to 50 times more without a gate in front of it.
And why wouldn’t it?
By removing the gate and making content accessible to everyone free, you’ll naturally generate more downloads.
Joe Pulizzi is the founder of the Content Marketing Institute and one of the most respected names in content marketing.
Here’s a quote from Joe regarding gated and non-gated content:
Let’s say you received 1,000 leads via your white paper download. From David’s numbers, let’s even take a more conservative 10x more downloads if we remove the gate.
This would give us 10,000 downloads with no lead data. Of all those people, let’s say that 1 percent would share this with their audiences (with a VERY conservative audience of 100 people, although most blogs get much more).
With those numbers, the total possible content reach for gated content would be 2,000 people. Non-gated content would be 20,000 people.
When you break it down, you see that gating the content would result in 2,000 people viewing the content, and not gating it would result in 20,000.
By simply giving it away, you’re theoretically getting ten times the leads.
Just think of…