Many people cringe when they hear the word marketing, and with good reason. Marketing has earned a bad rep thanks to a vast number of businesses following less than pleasing tactics. How often have you received an SMS or email that you never signed up for? Not only would you never actually buy anything from the sender, but would also develop distrust towards them.
Rather than using unsolicited marketing tactics, we can change people’s negative attitude towards marketing with the help of downloadable content. Marketing is a necessity for every brand. Without it, no one would know a product or service existed and what it can do. What is required is for brands to inculcate a code of ethics in their marketing practices that is based on authenticity and customer well-being.
Getting your audience to choose you
We’ve already established that spamming is not cool. You can’t buy email addresses and phone numbers and randomly send marketing messages to people. What works much better is getting people to opt-in to receive messages from you. This happens in retail all the time when online and brick and mortar shops ask you for your phone number when you buy something from them. This is easier for online stores that require your contact details to ensure that your order reaches you without a problem.
Brick and mortar stores have to be more creative and generally get customers to provide their phone numbers under a loyalty and rewards programme. Your phone number then becomes your membership ID and the store takes the liberty of texting you to keep you informed of new products and special offers. Almost everyone is now aware that relinquishing your phone number is equated with an invitation to be sent promotional messages. The good thing here is that the customer can always say no to giving their number and no one can insist that they do.
When it comes to online businesses, marketers still often hit a stone wall when trying to gather contact information. People click on online ads, visit websites, browse the content, but leave without signing up to receive email updates. A majority of websites have a sign-up form that pops up when a visitor is about to leave the site, but more often than not, these forms go unfilled. Without visitors voluntarily providing their information, it becomes difficult to build a database of potential customers. So how exactly can an online business get people to opt-in for email updates?
Give something to get something
An effective tool to leverage for more sign-ups is downloadable content. Several brands are already using this method with successful results. Very often, it is found that more people are likely to sign up if they are getting something in return. This is a good thing because now you have a chance to build your database and showcase your services. Potential customers get a taste of what you are offering and if they like it there is a better chance of them making a purchase.
For example, if you were in the fitness industry and someone visited your website, you could offer them a short fitness training video in exchange for them signing up. Your chances of getting the visitor to opt-in are considerably high. There are three reasons for this; one, they are interested in what you are offering which is why they visited your website, two, the video download is free, and three, they have instant access. And here is your moment to shine. If you produce a video that is engaging and useful, you have increased the possibility of getting a second visit and a sale. It’s not just videos that you can offer visitors in exchange for signing up, e-books, audios, images, and any type of downloadable content, could work.
The dos and don’ts of downloadable content
Deciding to provide free downloadable content is only the first step. Along with that comes determining what is included in the content and how it is presented. These tips should help:
Keep the content relevant to your brand and the product/services you are offering
Provide your visitors with useful content that will have a positive impact
Make sure that your videos, audios, etc. are of excellent quality
Give incomplete information in an attempt to make them come back to the site
Provide content that is different from what is promised
Use the content to hard-sell your product or service
Downloadable content gives marketers a strategy to build databases while respecting the customer’s choice. This method can be used across brands and across industries and can be instrumental in acquiring the trust and loyalty of the customer.