One of the most effective forms of content marketing is the giving away of free things, these are typically free Reports and eBooks. They can help build your business fast by helping you spread your knowledge, establishing your authority and expertise and best of all helping you to collect email addresses for your mailing list. And despite what many may think, email marketing is still the single most effective method of online marketing that exists.

Target your Free Reports and eBooks to your Target Customer

When creating the reports and eBooks to give away, it’s important that they are highly targeted towards your target customers because you only want to attract the right audience. If you give things away to too wide an audience you will create a larger email list, admittedly however it won’t be as valuable as a smaller, and more targeted email list. This means you have to be very particular about the content you create so that you get the right people on your email list.

Make It Easy for Your Audience to Obtain

One of the most common mistakes business owners make is requiring their target audience to jump through hoops to obtain their free report or eBook. This typically means they ask for all manner of business details and personal details which results in their target audience having a knee jerk reaction and deciding that they don’t wish to share this information, no matter what is being given away. When carrying out this form of marketing you should instead ask for an email address and perhaps a name only to start with.

Make It High Quality and of High Value

The aim of the content you create to give away is to help engage your target audience and get them hooked on your content and to start associating your business as experts within your niche. This means that the free items you give away need to be real quality items that people actually appreciate and would potentially have paid for, as it serves as an example of what your business can do.

Make It Obvious Where It Came From

When creating your report or eBook pay particular attention to your branding, you want to ensure your logo and contact details are included within it, so that anyone reading it knows where it came from. Many people download things to read later so this branding, links, and information about your business is an important part of the free gift that you give away, so that they’ll know where to go to get more.

Include a Call to Action

Your free report or eBook should also always include a call to action, you want your target audience to buy from you so give them the opportunity too. It’s the perfect place to add an upsell or cross-sell item, even another free Reports and eBooks. The more information you can get into their hands, the more likely they are to buy what you’re offering.

Introduce Them to Other Information, Products or Services

One of the pages of your eBook or eReport should list all the publications that you have created, free or paid. It should also contain a list of your company’s products and services and do include your value proposition. That way they can easily find more information and sign up for other offerings as long as it’s within the same niche.

Once they are on Your List over Deliver

Once you have your target audience signed up for your email list, it’s important to deliver the value you’ve promised, either explicitly or implicitly. You can set up automatic emails to go out through your auto responder, and then intersperse some more current information for your list for the best results. Just don’t make the mistake most businesses make of going in all guns blazing when setting up this form of marketing and then dropping it a few months later, email marketing takes time and hard work, those that succeed continue to do it until it is successful.

Using free Reports and eBooks to build your business is a tried and true method of content marketing that generates results. Just ensure that your free gifts are highly targeted toward your target audience to ensure that you get your information into the hands of the right people and then follow through with consistent email marketing.

Using Free Reports and eBooks to Build Your Business
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I've been designing and marketing websites and businesses for over 24 years and prior to this I worked in sales, marketing and big business for almost 18 years... which makes me not only old, but also highly experienced at this marketing and Internet stuff.  I've won lots of awards and helped thousands of people, and this website is a testament to the information I share freely to help others succeed online.

When I'm not designing websites, doing this online marketing stuff or writing. I love nothing more than getting out on a weekend and scuba diving. I'm a qualified rescue diver and love getting wet in the waters around Perth and Rottenest Island. I also cycle, which must be a sight as I'm not the thinnest of people (lol)... and a paddle on a kayak or a swim helps makes most weeks, perfect. At home I have a marine reef tank, which I just love and on top of that I've an awesome dog, called Ziggy.

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