I’ve got some insider information, ya dig?
Now this information is what some might call of the “sensitive” variety. I’ve got people knocking down my door to get it – but for you, I’m willing to give it away, just this once. It concerns these little things called downloads. You see, anybody can put all the fancy words and pictures on their site for any Joey Bag o’ Donuts who wants it to gaze at all day, but if you’ve got some real primo A-1 type content, you may be doing yourself a disservice by not utilizing downloads on your website. So let me give you a quick rundown of why you should be using downloads, and what they should be.
“Why do I need to put files to download on my site? I’ve got tons of blogs and great pages already,” you say. And that’s fine, you can keep doing all that cool website stuff you do. But you can accomplish things when you put downloadable files on your site that you couldn’t otherwise do.
The first is that downloads can be used to entice visitors to give you their contact information to build leads. Roundpeg has a wealth of downloadable resources that are free in exchange for contact information. Why do we do this? Simple – the visitors who want the information in those downloads (from business planning guides to resources on improving your email marketing) are exactly the type of people most inclined to become our customers. Offering a download in exchange for an email address moves that visitor along the sales funnel, making it easier to turn those random visitors to your site into legitimate leads and eventual customers.
So what kind of content do you make available for download? What’s going to tempt visitors to taking that first step into becoming customers?
What do people come to your website for? It’s simultaneously a simple and complex question, and the answer is going to range wildly for almost every business out there. One reason we encourage small businesses to blog is to answer the range of questions these prospective customers have. the bonus – these blogs often make great source material for downloadable content. In fact, it’s how the majority of Roundpeg’s own array of downloads start out. Often we’ll find that over the course of a few months, we’ll have published multiple blogs all focused on the same topic, but elucidating different parts of that topic in unique ways. Six steps to email success and the Online advertising guide both started out this way.
This approach works in a variety of industries, basically any company which blogs regularly can create downloads. Take for example Roundpeg client, Randall Beans. An important part of their content development plan involves food bloggers creating original recipes. Every so often, we’ll collect some of the most popular new recipes into a free downloadable cookbook. Simply repackaging all those recipes in an easy to digest format and sharing it through social media and in their newsletter helps maintain brand awareness and reach new fans as the link is shared, and shared again on Facebook or Pinterest.
In addition to compiling blog posts, there are a number of resources you likely already have at your disposal that can make for excellent download fodder:
- Media-rich files that can be compressed for easy downloads (videos, high quality images, etc)
- Any type of media that is best viewed in a particular way (if someone wishes to download it on one device and then use another to access it, such as in the example of a downloadable textbook)
- Interactive media. Do you have a quiz or a self-audit you can give your visitors to help them find an answer they were looking for? A download is the perfect way to deliver that.
And that’s the scoop: downloads leverage your pre-existing content to move your customers through your sales funnel.
Now I know what you’re thinking, this guy’s giving away this type of information for free, there’s something fishy about that. But it’s the truth, and I’m no rat, stool pigeon, snitch, squealer, fink, weasel or canary. See, look at this blog – it’s perfect download material, and maybe a few months from now you run across a download that talks about leveraging all your content together, and before you know it you’re reading this one again. So take it from me, or better yet take it from us, and get the tools you need to get the most out of your assets.