In Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight film, the Joker, played by Heath Ledger, says to the mob, “If you’re good at something, never do it for free.” This is generally agreed upon wisdom in the business world. But there’s one exception. You should be sharing your knowledge with potential customers for free. Here are just three of the ways your brand can profit even when you’re not charging money for the content you’re publishing online.

Three benefits of content marketing

    • More brand awareness. When all of your marketing efforts are self-centered, no one outside your marketing team is going to help spread the word about your brand. But when you are publishing valuable information relevant to your brand’s industry, media outlets will see your brand as a thought leader in your field. You’ll be quoted in other people’s content. You’ll get free advertising, and your target audience will be more likely to hear about your brand.
    • Increased web traffic. Regularly publishing new content on your website makes it more likely that your company website shows up towards the top of the Google search results when people search for keywords that are relevant to your brand. With every piece of content you put on the internet, you create another link back to your brand that people can find.
    • Credibility with potential customers. When you’re regularly sharing valuable information for free, and your audience is finding it helpful, they’re going to follow your brand online. And the more content they consume, the more they’re going to view your brand as credible and trustworthy. When they decide to purchase, they’re much more likely to do so from a brand they trust.

Turning content consumers into customers

Brand awareness, increased web traffic, and credibility are all great things to have, but they don’t mean much if they don’t lead to increased productivity. So how do you get those who are reading your blog, subscribing to your YouTube channel, and following you on social media to actually become customers?

You have to strike a balance between carefully placed calls to action. Too much pressure to buy and your content marketing ends up sounding like just another commercial. Not enough pressure and your content consumers may not even realize that you also sell products in addition to publishing content.

Getting your content out there

Now that you’re ready to give content marketing a try, you’ll need to consider how you will get your content in front of the people you want to see it. Start by identifying your target audience and thinking about where they’re likely to go to find the kind of information that you intend to publish. If you just start a blog, you have to count on your audience stumbling upon it. Until you’ve got a big enough following, you’re going to have to rely on getting your content out there through influencers and the loyal customers you already have. Sending links to new content to your SMS subscriber is a great way to link content and text message marketing efforts. You can also use your social media platforms to tell existing customers when you publish something new.