Most business owners are familiar with the concept of “giveaways”, which can include free promotional items, prizes, instructional and how-to documents, and marketing materials. However, many aren’t familiar with the concept of digital giveaways, which can include digital downloads of marketing materials and documents. Digital giveaways can provide a wider and more cost effective way to distribute your content, and you can even repackage and republish existing content from your blog!

Maximizing the Value of Your Best Digital Content

If you have a blog or social media accounts for your business, chances are you’re already “giving away” digital content to prospective and existing customers through blog and social media posts. However, not all blog and social media posts are created equal – some are more valuable and informative than others, due to the relevance and/or timeliness of the content. For instance, a blog post or social media update that provides a how-to guide may be more relevant and valuable in the long term to a larger percentage of your readers and prospective customers than a product or event announcement. Most blogs and social media accounts only provide limited options for permanently featuring your best content, especially as the posts begin to age and are eventually filed away in your blog and social media archives.

Repackaging Your Content

What if you could take the most valuable and relevant information you’ve posted to your blog and social media accounts and repackage and republish it as a digital document? PDF, or Portable Document Format, is a type of digital document that is almost universally supported by digital devices, including computers, tablets and smartphones. Unlike blog or social media posts, PDF files can be copied, downloaded, printed and stored digitally to be accessed and read offline. By taking your best and most valuable content and repackaging it into a PDF digital document, you can provide a valuable service to new and existing clients while also providing a new and exciting opportunity to market your business.

Creating and Publishing PDFs The Right Way

PDF documents are more permanent than other types of digital publishing, such as blog and social media posts. If you are familiar with eBooks and eReaders such as the Amazon Kindle, it is easiest to think of the type of PDF document you want to feature as an eBook, eBrochure or ePamphlet, so to speak. It is important to prominently feature the content that is relevant to the reader, but also include marketing elements such as the name of your business and contact information. Your PDF documents don’t require design and branding elements such as specific fonts, your logo, a color scheme and graphics, but by including those elements you are strengthening your brand in new ways. Branding your documents in this way will not only ensure that these files are effective as marketing tools, but it also makes it more difficult for another company to distribute your digital files.

Distributing Digital Documents

Once you have created your PDF documents, you must decide how you will distribute them to your readers, clients and customers. Most businesses feature relevant PDF files on their websites, and some also provide links to the files through blog posts and social media. However, some businesses require contact information be submitted before releasing the content, usually just a name and email address. Whether or not you should require this information before allowing the download is up to you – it can be an effective way to generate sales leads, but it may also lead to fewer downloads and possibly even lost sales if a prospective client doesn’t feel comfortable sharing that information.