Content marketing is not an easy task. It can be a bit tricky especially when you have many ways to market it. Creating content is not enough; it should generate income. Today content marketers around the world have different approaches towards selling their content and, generally, all of them close in on three options: paid, gated, and free content. These are the three golden words that every single content marketer looks forward to and these three options are not easy to choose from.
Free is always nice. Everybody across the globe has an attraction to freebies and it is always good to get something free when you have the chance, isn’t it? However, it is not as easy as it feels. Giving away all the content for free may give you a larger audience but it will not give you a handsome revenue. So which one is better? Paid, gated, or free?
Well, it comes down to these three factors:
- What are you selling?
- What is your budget?
- What returns are you expecting?
What type of content you are planning to sell plays an important role. Certain types of content have the ability to bring a lot of revenue to the content creator whereas some other types don’t have this capacity to amass revenue. For example, content such as podcasts, articles, or vlogs doesn’t have the value to be paid as it is available for free on the internet but if eBooks, seminars, or an exclusive video of relevance can sell for a premium price. Thus, your content is crucial and the nature of the content decides the value.
Money matters. Is the budget involved in the creation of the content high or low? The answer to this question will definitely help you in selecting the best selling model for your content. Investment in low-quality content can definitely harm your business. Therefore, when you are investing a lot on content and looking to sell it, ensure that the quality of the content is top notch.
Do you want to concentrate only on revenue or do you want a larger audience, or are you trying to get a balance between income and the larger audience? Your aims or goals, the returns you expect, can help you in selecting the best model for you.
If there is something that paid content should have or must have is quality. If your content is not valuable, then there is a huge probability that it may be avoided for better products. The best thing to sell in this world today for revenue is information. If you have the right information at the right time, it’s money.
Charging for your content can be tricky. Make sure that the content is relevant and has validity. For example, webinars, training courses, live video events can bring you a lot of income. It becomes prettier when you throw some things for free and make it a bundle so that the customer will also feel good. If your content has value, your sales would be rocketing.
Paid content should drive value. Make your content well organized and present it with quality. Charging for a content demands high quality. Your content should be unique so that people will be attracted to it, thus helping generate a lot of revenue.
Gated content stands in between paid and free content. It doesn’t charge the customers but only demands some personal information such as name and an email address. The idea behind gated content is that the content provider can give updates about the products via the collected details so that the customer may slowly show some interest in the full paid content and may sign up someday.
Free trials are another common method that many content marketers experiment on. In free trials, the customer gets all the specifications of the product absolutely free for a limited time period. This gives the customer an opportunity to get acquainted with the product and if interested in the product, he/she can move on to purchase it.
Gated content is for those people who are in a dilemma to buy the product or service, and are waiting for more information about the product. Free trials give these people a little taste of the product and help them make a decision.
Obviously, this model is the most friendly and loved model of content marketing from the customers perspective. And they are correct. Some of the content should definitely be free of cost. Customers always appreciate certain free content or information. In fact, revenue can also be generated from these free content. Advertising is a simple method with which a small of amount of income can be generated through the free content.
So, which one’s better?
A clear answer is not easily available but a smart content marketer makes use of all the three approaches. Alone, these three approaches have its own advantages and disadvantages, but weave it together and you will have a strong content marketing plan. Selecting a particular method may not help you generate income but mix it with some of your own ideas and you will get an awesome content marketing plan of your own.