Are Free Reports Dead as a Marketing Tool?

by Nick Nichols, Value-Based Content Marketing Expert

No! Using free information (I call this an info-premium) that provides tips, advice and guidance about solving problems your target market has is alive and well! Info-premium marketing is a decades-old, proven method to attract, engage and convert prospects into clients.

In my 20+ years as an online marketing adviser to professional service providers – such as law firms – I’ve reviewed hundreds of legal websites. Over 90% display pretty much the same format on their home pages as their competitors: large graphic of the partners; "Do you have a case?" inquiry form; list of practice areas, etc. A few have some kind of a welcome video that introduces the firm and its partners.

Rare is the legal website that uses targeted landing pages or stand-alone lead generation micro-sites that each addresses a specific area of practice. Rarer still are problem-specific info-premiums that engage and convert prospects into clients.

The trick to making info-premiums effective is to make sure they are written by someone who understands direct-response marketing principles. By that I mean, they must not only deliver useful, relevant content, they must also contain a strong call to action that will get qualified prospects to call you now – ahead of your competition.

If you are using written info-premiums (congratulations!) but you’re not getting the results you once did, it’s because in today’s fast-paced, attention-deficit world, you need more than just written versions of your important content. To accommodate different absorption modalities, you also need video and downloadable audio versions.

The magic of creating 1 to 3-minute practice-area-specific video clips is that Google loves video – especially clips that are posted at YouTube – because Google owns YouTube. The right video clip that is keyword and content-optimized, and that is properly promoted, can rise to the top of Google in a matter of days. When properly formatted, video clip thumbnails that appear in search results will attract eyeballs and clicks like a magnet. If your content is relevant to the keywords and delivers value to the viewer, he or she will be warmed up to your firm prior to visiting your targeted landing page or micro-site. This is the key to getting people to call you for an appointment.

Need help with your marketing? Call Dalfort Media at 214-458-2290.