I consume a lot of content throughout any given year. Every month I subscribe to 3 different content programs, attend seminars, download ebooks, and optin to new webinars and courses.
I’ve always had a passion for learning, and finding new ways to improve and get better results.
I’ve never been a fan of traditional education, mainly because real learning takes place when you’re studying a subject you’re interested in and not one you have to because it’s a prerequisite.
But, I won’t get on my traditional education soapbox today!
Over the years, I’ve come to enjoy consuming specific content in specific ways. Fore example…
Audios – I prefer to be able to have them downloaded on my iPhone for convenience and accessibility.
I’d rather not have to stream it through an app on my phone.
Because I can actually download iTunes podcast episodes on my phone, I’m good with that medium.
Which is a good medium to take advantage of because more and more people are subscribing to Podcast from their mobile devices.
Books – I like to read physical paper back books, but I do most of my readying from my iPhone because I do it after everybody is in bed, or when I have a few minutes of down time throughout the day.
However, I will not read a PDF on my phone. It’s so annoying! Having to pinch to zoom in and drag the page around to be able to read it.
I have a large phone (iPhone 6+), and I know there are apps that can make the PDF reading experience better, but I like to use iBooks.
I can’t tell you how many ebooks I’ve downloaded, but never read, simply because the reading experience isn’t ideal for me. I know there have been times when I’ve tried. I loaded them into iBooks and tried reading them, but gave up because I cant highlight text etc.
In some cases, if it’s a book I absolutely want to read, I have to print it off, and take time during the day to get through it.
Therefore, if your going to produce an ebook download, make the ePub version available as well.
Additionally, if you have a subscription program, for example, and you’re publishing videos and/or audios, provide the video and audio files for download so that the subscriber can view offline, when it might be more convenient.
If you want your content to reach more viewers and gain more customers, don’t restrict your audience by making it difficult to access and share.
I understand that you might prefer some content, like your paid content, to remain “unsharable”. However, what if somebody who subscribed to your audio program, gave the CDs to a friend to listen to and they loved it! You’ll likely have a new customer!
I realize that reproducing and redistributing is a real concern, but really, there are few people that will do this maliciously.
People are going to copy those CDs into their iTunes library so they can download them on their phone for easy access and convenient listing. It doesn’t mean they’re going to setup a website and start offering your content for free download.
They might load a few up into a DropBox account so that a friend can check it out, but this is a good thing, just like sharing the CDs, it could result in more views which could lead to more customers.
I mentioned online subscriptions for audio and/or video content, now if those files are available for download, I can easily share from my iPad or laptop, and even send via DropBox, again, the sharing aspect is so important for the growth of your customer base.
If you’re publishing free content that is accessible from behind an optin page, make sure you have sharing buttons on the page. A good landing page software like ClickFunnels, allows you to specify the link and content used in the sharing message so you’re not sharing the page with the free content.
BONUS: How to Profit from Sharing
The truth is, your customers area already sharing your content, whether you’ve told them to or not.
And for some that are sharing “protected” content, they do it very cautiously because they don’t want to get in trouble, but at the same time, Nancy knows Samantha really needs to hear this audio program, but she lives 100 miles away, so DropBox is the best solution.
It’s happening, whether you want to admit it or not. Don’t start thinking about how to tighten down the process, start thinking about how you can profit from the sharing that is already happening.
I’ll give you two examples.
1. Affiliate Programs
Tried and tested, just not always the friendliest solution. Not everyone has the time or talent to figure out how to use this affiliate sharing stuff, although yes, I know, it’s pretty simple.
Nancy could share the content with Samantha and at the same time her affiliate link and encourage her to visit the website to see the other audio programs she might be interested in.
2. Customer Incentive with a Twist
You find 3 other people, when each of them subscribes to content that is equal or greater than the price of your subscriptions, yours is free!
This is a bit different then the typical incentive program that encourages referrals for discounts or a gift card.
This directly effects the relationship between you and your customers. Its been proven to increase retention and customer satisfaction. Who doesn’t like free, especially when it’s something you’re willing to pay for.
You need to do the numbers and figure out what number fits your business before you can give a subscription away for free. However, because digital content is so cheap to produce, 3 is probably plenty.
If you’re to concerned with making your content more accessible and easier to share, test it. Setup a basic program or repurpose some of your content. See what happens.
Also, find out how your audience prefers to consume your content. Which medium, channel, device and when is their preferred viewing time.