At first it seems a little bit odd, the idea of giving away free stuff to be able to grow your business. Actually, when you really think about it, it is perfectly logical and really is something that everyone should be trying to do.
The world of business is changing. With the growth of the internet, consumers are a lot more clued up on what products are available, for what price and how well they perform.
Companies can no longer pull the wool over consumers’ eyes to make them buy their products, now they really need to offer something of value and at the right price.
There are a number of reasons why it is a great idea for businesses to give something away for free, and here are just 3 of them.
Risk Free Trial
By offering a free trial of a product or service, you are giving your potential customers a taste of what they could have. People often make decisions more on familiarity than anything else, so by automatically making them familiar with your product or service, if they do decide to buy something, they are more likely to choose yours.
People are also more likely to try something that they normally wouldn’t if it’s free. If they like it, more often than not they will come back for more.
This could be anything from a free trial yoga class to a new flavour smoothie – something that they didn’t even know that they needed in their lives!
Get Customer Information
Here’s a little secret…you’re not actually giving something away for free. By giving someone a ‘free’ product or service, you are exchanging it for information.
Offering a ‘free’ guide to the basics of yoga, or a voucher for a ‘free’ energy drink, means that you can get a website or newsletter subscription, automatically getting information about your potential customer base, and being able to build your list up quickly.
Once you have contact and demographic information about your customer base, or even just those who may be interested in becoming your customer base, you can contact them and work out the best marketing campaigns.
Build a Relationship
Due to the changing nature of the internet, the lines between our business and friend relationships are becoming increasingly blurred. People comment on everything in their lives on social media and through review sites.
People want to be engaged with, and feel like they matter. It is almost as if we are going back to the old feeling of community which seems to have been lost over the last few years.
By giving something away for free, people feel special, and like they are gaining. In a similar way to how you feel when we go to the local bakery and they give you an extra bread roll, because they ‘like’ you.
And these days, with social media, people are much more likely to comment on something like this, automatically marketing your business for you. People are much more likely to listen to friend recommendations that to anonymous or even direct marketing, so it’s worth trying to keep these people sweet!
So by giving products tasters, services or even information for ‘free’, your business can potentially gain a lot. The most important thing to do now, is work out what you’re going to do with the information that you’ve gained and how you are going to cope with the influx of business.
Digital Marketing Manager
The Internet Marketing Academy
(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)