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Savvy business owners are always looking for new routes of monetization and new ways to make their customers happy. Premium content, designed to be a quality tier above typical online content, could be one of your best strategic assets.
But what exactly is premium content and how can you use it for your brand?
The power of content
By now, we’re all familiar with the basics of content marketing. People love consuming content in all its forms, including written articles, online videos and podcasts. They also need information and entertainment, so if you can provide them with information and entertainment in the form of content, you’ll naturally attract them to your brand. Create an awesome blog, and it’s only a matter of time before thousands of people start reading it and a decent fraction of those people eventually buy from you.
Related: Why Nobody is Reading Your Company Blog
But because of the dynamics of content marketing, most brands produce content in bulk that doesn’t meet exceptionally high-quality standards. This is why premium content is so distinguished.
Examples of premium content
Premium content is any content meant to be higher quality or more valuable than your standard content. These are some of the most common examples of premium content in action:
- eBooks. Instead of writing a single 1,000-word article on a topic, why not write a 25,000-word eBook on the subject? You’ll be able to cover the matter in much more depth and provide much more value to your followers.
- Whitepapers. If an eBook sounds too long to you, you can also write a whitepaper, which is usually longer than a blog post but shorter than an eBook.
- Online courses. If you have a membership website, you can consider offering a full online course for your subscribers. There are many different structures to consider here, but a common model is to collect a monthly subscription payment from each student and allow them access to all your interactive videos and guides.
- Original research. You may also publish original research, presenting new statistics or investigative findings to a wider audience.
Why premium content is valuable
Why is premium content so valuable for your brand?
Higher-quality content will naturally be more valuable than lower-quality content. But once we reach a certain threshold of quality, we start to see the following benefits:
- Revenue generation opportunities. Most people expect to read blog posts for free, but they expect to pay for truly in-depth, valuable content. Your followers may not be interested in spending money to read your blog, but they might pay you $25 for a sufficiently well-written eBook.
- Lead generation opportunities. If you’re interested in generating more leads, premium content is also ideal. Most people don’t want to volunteer their information for free, so you can offer a piece of premium content (like a whitepaper) in exchange for their information.
- Extra incentives and bonuses. Premium content can serve as an extra incentive or bonus for almost anything else you sell or offer. For example, you could offer a free course to people who donate to your platform regularly.
- Thought leadership and brand reputation potential. Creating and distributing excellent content will eventually help you forge a better reputation. You’ll be seen as a thought leader, and you’ll develop a competitive advantage for your organization.
3 keys to getting the most out of your premium content strategy
So how do you get the most out of a premium content strategy?
This is a complicated field, but these tips are a great start:
- Invest in quality. Quality matters more than quantity in almost all matters related to content, but it’s especially important for premium content. It’s better to have one eBook that everyone loves than a handful of mediocre eBooks. Don’t allow yourself to get complacent, and don’t funnel too much time or resources into inferior quality work. Fact-check and proofread everything.
- Target specific consumers. It’s estimated that there have been 191 million eBooks sold in the United States, with hundreds of millions of free eBooks distributed as well. That’s a lot of competition. If you want your premium content to stand out, you need some way to distinguish it. Quality is a good place to start, but if you want to maximize relevance, it’s also a good idea to customize your content so it appeals to specific groups of consumers. In other words, target a specific niche.
- Keep it evergreen (when possible). Whenever possible, make your premium content evergreen; in other words, make it indefinitely relevant. If your content has an expiration date, it has limited value. For example, if you write a course on how to use a technology that’s about to become obsolete, it might stop providing value to your organization after only a few months. By contrast, if you write a course on how to develop soft skills in a traditional workplace environment, that piece of premium content might remain relevant for decades to come. Evergreen content is inherently more valuable than other types of content for this reason; you can milk more value out of your evergreen pieces.
Related: What Makes Copy Persuasive
Premium content isn’t a perfect fit for every brand, but with so much strategic and topical flexibility, most organizations can find a way to make it work. Consider your strategy carefully, get to know your target audience and always maximize the quality and lifespans of your work.