You’ve probably noticed an Internet marketing trend: offering a freebie. All kinds of business offer their customers or potential customers free resources as a way to give them a sample of what they can do, become a valuable resource and build their reputation as an industry expert.
In fact, I’ve blogged before about how businesses can decide if they should offer a free resource and how to make sure the freebie will bring benefits and value to the business. But, once you have decided that offering a free resource should be part of your Internet marketing plan, what kind of freebie should you offer?
Identify your “Thing” or What you do Best
Your freebie should help you define your brand. It should show off what you do best and give your market something only you can give. This doesn’t mean that you can’t give away an ebook because lots of other businesses are doing it. It means that you should choose a topic and then provide information at a high level of expertise, or from a new angle, so your ebook is the best one on the subject.
Choose something that defines who you are and what you offer so that your market can get a taste of the benefits you provide. Your freebie can also help you build your brand and reputation, so choose carefully what kind you offer and what kind of content it includes.
Think like your Market to Find Value
The best freebies provide value to the market they are designed for. Think about who you want to target and what would be valuable to them. In most cases, your free offer will target potential customers. Think about what these people are looking for, that you can provide, and then use that as the theme for your freebie.
The value needs to be big enough that people will take the time to download your freebie and use it. This is especially true if you are asking for something, like an email address or social media “like,” in exchange for the download.
Choose your Format
The type of freebie you use will depend on the value you are providing and the market you are targeting. Some groups of people may respond better to a how-to guide than a template and some businesses can provide more value with a free app than they can with an ebook.
Some common types of freebies include:
- Audio Books
- How-To Guides
- Plugins or Code
- Resource Lists
- White Papers
- Online Classes
This is just a small list of ideas, so get creative and choose a freebie that highlights the content and information you want to share and that works for your market.
Don’t Give it all Away
When you provide a freebie, don’t give away proprietary information or all of your services. You still want people to come to you as customers, so be careful that you provide just enough information to be helpful and capture interest without losing customers.
Remember that when you offer a freebie you are building your reputation and telling your market what you can do, what your value is and what level of expertise you have. Use freebies to your advantage to build your brand and attract more customers.