Content marketing is an extremely valuable tool – and a great content marketing strategy takes quite a bit of time and effort from your marketing team.
Because of this, many companies are tempted to commit the #1 sin of content marketing – walling all of their content behind e-mail address forms, consultation signups, and other “gates”.
But wait! At first glance, this seems like a good idea, right? After all, you’re putting so much time and effort into creating high-quality, consistent content – why would you give it away for free?
In this article, we’ll look at three reasons that consistent (and free!) content is critical for a successful content marketing campaign.
1. Free Content Is Downloaded And Viewed Up To 50x More Than Gated Content
Here’s the thing about “gating” your content. You may get a few solid leads, but you’re totally minimizing the audience that can see your content, which is the opposite of what you want!
If you create fantastic content, you want to share it with everyone – and according to marketing analyst David Meerman Scott, free content receives anywhere from 20x-50x the views that “gated” content does.
Think about it – is getting a few extra email addresses worth missing out on a 5000% traffic boost? Probably not.
2. More Views Mean More Shares – And A Bigger Audience
This goes hand-in-hand with point #1. The more people see your content, the more likely it is to be shared – further increasing its reach in an organic way. However, this is nearly impossible with a “gated” article.
Even if people are interested in your content, they’re unlikely to sign up just to read it – even if a well-respected industry professional has recommended it.
However, if your content is free, they’ll certainly engage with it, and they may even share the post with their friends or colleagues, further increasing the reach of your content!
Getting your content in front of the largest possible audience should always be the end goal of your marketing strategy – so don’t destroy the viral potential of your content by locking it behind a gate.
3. Consistent Content Ensures User Engagement
Free content is important – but consistent content is just as crucial. Think about the last time you saw a great blog post from a company. You probably went to their blog, hoping to find some more informative content to engage with.
Lo and behold, that blog post was the only one written within the past year – all of the others are outdated and old. You may have clicked one or two, then navigated away from the site, never to return.
This is why consistent content is just as crucial as free content. Once you hook someone to your content, you don’t want them to leave – so you must have a comprehensive content strategy that allows you to produce high-quality, totally-free content on a regular basis.
Consistent, Free Content – Your Key To Marketing Success!
It may seem silly to give away your content for free – but you have to think of this as a long-term process. You may not be getting email signups and other leads right away, but as you keep pumping out consistent, high-quality content, your company’s profile will grow – and your business will grow alongside it. There’s a right time to gate your content, and it’s certainly a critical part of lead generation, but don’t hide it all.
So get out there, create great content, and give it away for free – the impact on your business will shock you.