Top 5 Inbound Marketing Stories of the Week: Give Away Free Content


Free HugsAt HubSpot, we’re huge proponents of giving away quality content for free.  Why?  For the same reasons any business should.  Whether it be in the form of webinars, videos, eBooks or blog posts, creating useful, valuable content establishes your company as a thought leader in its industry and – yes – most importantly, it helps generate leads and sales that your business thrives on.  

Our top article featured on InboundMarketing.com this week explains yet another reason why it might be a good idea to start getting a little more generous … 

1. Why you should give away a lot of free stuff

Author: Andy Sernovitz of Damn! I Wish I’d Thought of That!

No – Andy’s not exactly talking about giving away free hugs (though who couldn’t use one every once in a while?).  In this brief article, he shares an anecdote about how giving away some of his free stuff landed him a nice little product placement on Ze Frank’s show on Time.com.

In this case, Andy had given away copies of his Word of Mouth Marketing book, but he’s really referring to anything — samples, handouts, shirts, stickers, toys, content — you name it!  Who knows – maybe the free eBook you created might just be interesting to that Wall Street Journal writer who stumbles upon it on Twitter!

Lesson: Free content really does have business value.

2. 10 of the Best Social Media Tools for Entrepreneurs

Author: Barb Dybwad of Mashable

Launching a new business, eh?  Barb’s article gives entrepreneurs a nice little overview of some useful social media tools to help manage company communication, product and brand promotions, and business development.  

Among her recommendations are social media staples like Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook, but also included are customer support tools such as UserVoice and Get Satisfaction in addition to project management tools like Basecamp.  Her top-listed tool?  Google Apps for Domains.

Lesson: Social media offers a variety of tools to help you reach your business goals.

3. Social Media Accounts for 18% of Information Search Market

Author: Brian Solis of PR 2.0

Where do you go on the Web for information to help you make purchasing decisions?  Chances are, the majority if you are using search engines like Google.  However, Brian summarizes a recent study conducted by Nielsen, which reports that 18% of us are actually using social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, blogs and Wikipedia to help us decide.

Interestingly enough, these social media sites actually outperform sites dedicated to publishing information specifically to help individuals find deeper analysis and details.  As Nielsen summarizes, “social Media is becoming a core product research channel.”  All the more reason to start vamping up your business’s social media efforts.

Lesson: Your customers are researching you via social media.  Are you there, too?  (You should be.)

4. Your Company May Own Your Tweets, Pokes, and YouTube Videos

Author: Jeremiah Owyang of Web Strategy

Who legally owns the content you create? Jeremiah explores this interesting and thought-provoking topic, enlisting the help of an attorney to investigate the issue of employer/employee content ownership.

One of Jeremiah’s main takeaways: “both personal and work lives are mixing online and off, creating blurry lines between ownership of content.”

Lesson: (in Jeremiah’s own words) “Understand the boundaries, risks and liability for [your] online activity.”

5. 9 Marketing Lessons From the Pink Ribbon Breast Cancer Campaign

Author: Rohit Bhargava of Influential Marketing Blog

The pink ribbon breast cancer campaign is probably the most recognizable cause marketing campaign since the RED campaign to fight AIDS.  For a campaign to be so successful, it must be doing things right.

Rohit’s article features a self-made slideshow that highlights several useful takeaways for marketers.  My favorites: focus on influencers of your target, make it easy for people to act, and be everywhere at once.

Lesson: Learn from others’ successes (and don’t repeat others’ failures either).  

Photo by Jesslee Cuizon 

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