Over at Birds on the blog, we’ve been experimenting with content lockers. And I have to say they are working really well at gaining additional exposure for our bloggers. On this site I’ve created a series of posts called “likeables” also using the content lockers, and again they’ve done really well for downloads and traffic. But let’s back up a bit and explore more about what a content locker is, and why you would use one.
What is a content locker?
Pay With a Tweet is a third party site, you add your information and then copy and paste the HTML code into the required blog post. Your reader comes along and you invite them to download a report by clicking the Pay With A Tweet button. The reader shares and they can then access the report. PopShop works slightly differently, firstly it’s a WP theme rather than a plugin or HTML snippet of code. But it’s relatively easy to set up (and it’s a classy looking theme) and your reader stays on site to sample the download.
Do I need a content locker?
When I started testing this 3 months ago, I wasn’t sure that I needed to buy anything to do this. I already owned Premise which has social sharing options, and I could always use pay with a Tweet if I wanted too… but it was late at night and I was bored so I bought a plugin…
WP Viral Outbreak Pro
What caught my eye about WP Viral Outbreak Pro was the fact that you could share using Likes, G+, Tweets and use it to gain Twitter followers. It has a few more options compared to Pay With A Tweet.
WP Viral Outbreak Pro is easy to install via the WP Plugin area. When you’ve installed and activated it, it will show in the side menu of your dashboard.
WP Viral Outbreak Pro works when you create an encouraging call to action and download area at the bottom of your posts, in fact anywhere where you can add a shortcode.
and then you scroll under the post area until you see the WP Viral Outbreak Pro section (it’s usually the last option) then decide which sharing options you wish to enable.
You can also choose what colour you’d like the box to be. We experimented with a few colours; blue to match the sites branding, white so it blended into the post and orange as that was an energetic colour.
You also have the option of automatically downloading the PDF or video or showing the link for the reader to do this.
In testing this plugin I thought these observations were worth mentioning:
- Yellow and orange boxes seem to work best
- Get some friends to share the content, you need 10 shares to kickstart the “viral” aspect
- Sharing via Twitter is the best for traffic to your site
- Dark colours and colours that blend in are… erm… rubbish
- Your readers will not follow instructions no matter how clear and concise they are.
- Make sure you guide the reader to share from the buttons in the box
We quickly established that the content locker box had to stand out and it had to contain instructions on how to access the downloads.
Even then there were some people who still were unable to right click the link and save as. We also experimented with automatic downloads. This option works best but when combined with Facebook the download happened but didn’t always register the share.
Once the download has taken place, the reader can go off page and then return and the download link still shows. It shows for up to 7 days after the PDF or video has been downloaded.
Does WP Viral Outbreak Pro boost your traffic?
On Birds on the Blog, three days after the content lockers were activated site visitors increased by 300 per day. This is a 10% increase. As well as visitors increasing on the days we promoted the download pages we also had a surge in subscribers.
It’s worth noting that very few of these posts were optimised for SEO purposes and have very little organic traffic. Optimised posts will probably do better over a longer period of time.
We tested free downloads in multiple niches - weight loss, job hunting, website marketing, business diversity, writing and many other topics.
What not to do…
You need to have a good strong article and a good free report. I put up a post that was rushed and sloppy, although the report was an excellent one, it did not do very well. Your readers base whether they should share or not to get the report on the content of the post.
We used Product Creator Pro to spruce up all our free reports and giveaways so they looked awesome. Sure a simple PDF might suffice, but we wanted to trigger the word-of-mouth factor as well. Try to avoid the plain PDFs.
I like this plugin a lot, and despite the wild claims that you’ll get a flood of new visitors I do think it’s an essential marketing tool – it enables your reader to access premium content and you to get extra exposure from doing so.
Go and buy a copy of WP Viral Outbreak Pro now . Please note this review is for the Pro version and not the lite version.
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