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How to solve problems with your free content

Why give your content away for free? To sell.


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Put yourself in your customers shoes for a moment. 

They have a problem and need options to help them solve their problem. They're interested in knowing more about solutions. 

A solution that you have the perfect product or service for. But what's the first thing they will look for? 

Free information or content. 

How else can they make a rational choice about which of the many options they should go with to solve their problem? 

Build trust and authority​​​​ with your free content


So how do you attract these customers to your product or service over your competitor's offerings?

It comes down to creating the right content, for the right people, at the right time. 

To do this well it is important to understand your potential customers. Know their problems, the answers they need and the way they find a solution.

This is the buyers journey.

Awareness


In the early stages your customer is aware that they have a problem and need information on how they can solve the problem. 

This could be a blog post or article, an eBook, a how-to video, tip list or checklist. 

At this stage content doesn't have to just written content. Think: videos, infographics, social media posts, podcasts if you have one. 


People enjoy learning in different ways. By offering a number of content options you're widening the net and appealing to more potential customers.

Your content will build trust in what you have to say and if the content is as good as it should be, will help them to see you as an authority on the solution to their problem.

Evaluation


You've captured their attention with the free content you've offered and your customer is starting to feel comfortable with what you have to say. 

Now it's all about relationship building. Developing their trust and showing how your product or service is a good fit and can help solve their problem. 

They're evaluating your product or service...

This is also the point where you want them to see if you aren't the best fit. Convincing a potential customer that your offering is what they need can cause you problems further along with retention and refunds, especially if it isn't exactly what they are looking for.

Now your customer wants to be educated. 

Think: expert guides, comparison white papers (your offering versus your competitors) that look at features and benefits and scripted webinars that can be used as an in-depth FAQ.

Purchase


Their decision is almost made, your customer wants to buy but not necessarily from you. A gentle nudge might be all they need to hit the buy button and make the sale. 

If the content you've offered at the other stages of the buyers journey was appropriate and that content was helpful, informative and exceptional, then a little more imaginative and helpful content should help get the sale over the competition.

At this point your potential customer wants facts and proof. 

Think: detailed product or service literature, case studies that share success stories of other customers with similar problems, trial offers and product or service demonstrations so they can see it in action.

This content doesn't want to be dry or stodgy but entertaining and easily digestible.

What else is all your exceptional, free content is for?


Before you are the company that gets the clicks, the company that is seen as the go to authority, you need to get to page one of the search rankings.

This needs keyword optimised, relevant content that delivers on its promise to solve a problem in a user-friendly way.

Increasing engagement with Lead Generation content is a great way of getting potential customers on to your email list. 

Once they are on your list, you have a captive engaged audience who want to be educated, entertained and also sold to. Win, win.

Content that ranks in the first few spots on page one of Google tends to be long form, in-depth content. According to Brian Dean of BackLinko, the average Google first page results are 1890 words in length. This content still needs to be great. 

Long form garbage will damage your ranking.

Variety in content, as in life, keeps it interesting


A content strategy that offers variety above and beyond traditional blog posts or articles gets clicks.

Listicles, free training video's, how-to guides on your product or service, Infographics, even fun quizzes related to your industry will increase engagement and get traffic to your site. 

No traffic, no sales.

Ensure that your content is shareable and then promote it on all of your social media accounts, the more people who see it and share it, the more potential visitors.

The single most important takeaway from this is that any content that you produce, no matter what it is, has to be exceptional. Well thought out, informative, addressing your customers problems and a pleasure to read.