Driving Traffic With Free Downloads

Do you love free downloads? Well not junk free downloads but downloads that offer value. You can build a huge and devoted following by offering the occasional freebie. If they’re not already part of your content marketing plan, it’s time to get started. Here’s how:

Why Free Downloads Work at Driving Traffic

  • Free downloads help you build some of the key ingredients for success including:
  • Credibility and authority – People buy from those they consider to be experts.
  • Zero risk for your prospects – A free download is risk free for your prospects. They lose nothing by clicking and saving.
  • Branding – Free downloads make it easier to create a memorable brand.
  • Trust – Earn your prospect’s trust and you earn them as a customer. They’ll buy from you again and again.
  • Likability – Just like we buy from people we trust, we also buy from people we like. Think what a slam dunk it’d be if they liked you and thought you knew your stuff?

Tips for Creating Free Downloads

Of course the key to earning trust, building credibility, and so on is to make sure your free downloads are top quality. Here are a few tips to help you create downloads your audience will devour:

  • Research your audience’s most pressing problems – Find out what they are struggling with and provide a simple solution.
  • Create a very niche specific topic report – Make your download very specific. The more specific it is the more potential value it has for your reader.
  • Offer Variety – Mix it up a bit. Offer different types of downloads and test and track what your audience responds to.

Types Of Downloads

You’re only limited by your imagination here. However, these four basics will help you begin the brainstorming session:

  1. Free Reports – 5-25 pages on a niche topic. For example, “99 Ways to Save Money”.
  2. Worksheets and Workbooks – Workbooks are reports with action steps. You can leave room in the workbook for notes and answers or you can simply tell your readers to grab a notebook and pen. For example, “Create Your Ideal Budget in 25 Steps – Workbook”
  3. Checklists – Checklists make managing any task easy. They ensure your reader doesn’t miss a step. For example, if you have a personal finance site you might publish a free checklist to ensure your readers are recording all their monthly expenses.
  4. Blueprints and Templates – Finally, you can give away blueprints and templates that essentially allow your readers to plug in the information they need and create a tool they can use. Continuing with the budget example, because I’m on a roll, a budget template is a great idea. All the reader has to do is fill in their specific information and they’re good to go.

Okay, we’ve covered a lot of information here. Basically, free downloads are an exceptional way to drive traffic to your website. They provide value and they help you build a solid reputation with your prospects. (And free downloads easily become viral if they’re valuable.) Now you might be wondering if you should require an email address to download the freebies.

Best answer…sometimes. In general, you’ll likely build a stronger following if you don’t require anything in exchange for the freebies. However, be sure to always take the opportunity to promote your opt in list and include a link so anyone who does download your freebie can also subscribe to your list – promise them they’ll get more free stuff and they’ll click through.

That being said, it’s always a great idea to test and track a variety of tactics to see what works best for your audience. Provide some free downloads that don’t require an email address and provide some that do. Be sure to test and track your results to ensure your free downloads are driving traffic to your sites as planned.

Be good to yourself,

James

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