Generating Profits From Freemium Content

freemium content marketingThe internet has been scaring business for some time now.  Not just because it’s giving buyers more purchasing power, but modern sales and marketing practices which appear to be inside out that come with this new territory are really sending shivers up the spines of business leaders.

Just how in the world is any business going to make money when they’re giving all this stuff away in their marketing ?

This is not really an internet phenomena, its one of trust and transparency that’s been going on for some time which has been reaching a crescendo online due to recent scams and cons.

In fact John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing wrote a recent article about the overuse of free content as the main fulcrum point of inbound marketing.

John shared 5 things that are now hurting the creators and consumers of freemium content which should be carefully considered by any marketer looking to use this as part of their strategy and include:

  1. No accountability
  2. Eroded Value
  3. Lowered Expectations
  4. Blocked Revenue
  5. Community Buster

I’d like to explore these areas in a little more detail.

1 – Don’t forget to take some control and sell something.

Having control and losing control in marketing has been in constant debate in recent years.  In fact in the UK we had a show where a street cut itself off from all council (tax paid) services and was left to its own devices.

It wasn’t long before two factions developed, those that wanted someone to take charge and those that wanted to let everybody be responsible for decisions.

Not long after it became obvious that without a leader things weren’t going to happen and those that were wrestling for leadership were not always the best leaders as they were trying to force many personal agendas and not focusing on the whole street.

As well as selling the content engagement, you’ve also got to sell the idea that consuming it is worth while or you’ll end up with lots of downloads sat on peoples hard drives that don’t get read or viewed.

2 – Create content that does what it says and helps your audience.

Content that doesn’t solve a problem, address a need or desire is content that justs not worth producing.  Not only have you got to produce engaging content but you’ve also got to sell it.  Please see point 1 above.

3 – Over deliver on your audiences expectations.

With all the free content that’s knocking around you need to really follow through on your promises and go that extra mile and give more than was expected.

Having people enthused about what they’ve just read or seen is a sure fire way to turn them into champions for your cause that will stimulate word of mouth, even in a rabid or viral fashion.

4 – Be recognised as a high value provider of services or products.

Providing quality content that supports your main theme as well as sub themes on a repeat basis and puts these ideas into a meaningful context and offers perspective and helps your audience will inevitably increase the value of your companies products and services.

Its a short term sacrifice that builds a long term market position that would be difficult to undermine.

5 – Differentiate yourself, your content and your business.

Sure, there’s lots of people out there offering free content, but then there’s lots of businesses and lots of competitors full stop. 

Differentiating yourself and your business by developing a unique voice or story which appeals to others and helps connect your ideas with your key audiences is a solid way to differentiate your business on the front end and its products and services on the back end through association.

How else would you use freemium content to generate a profit ?