Freemiums Drive Site Traffic

The enticing post title “How to Make Your Business Videos When You’re Awkward in Front of the Camera” caught my eye. It was one of those serendipitous moments that often happen when browsing the web; I arrived on it from another site where I was looking at some original artwork that I found while doing some other research. The business video post caught my attention for a number of reasons, but I’m sharing it here today, not for the information about video making per se, but because it is an excellent example of something called the “freemium model.”

I don’t recall exactly where I originally heard the word freemium, but it comes from the idea of giving away something of value (free + premium) with the idea that it builds goodwill, brand recognition along with the opportunity to make purchases for add ons or other related products.

Much of the world wide web was built on the freemium model. Early adopters of the web remember the “browser wars” in which Netscape and Microsoft battled for dominance of the world’s browser users. At the time, Netscape offered the basic Netscape Navigator browser for free, but charged a fee for its more robust “Gold” version of the browser. Microsoft entered the browser space with an Internet Explorer browser similar to Netscape’s premium browser but gave the software away for free. Microsoft also included the browser with every new copy of its Windows operating system, which led to a famous anti-trust lawsuit (analysis paper pdf download).

Anyway, the point of all of this is to illustrate the fact that players in the digital world have been giving away digital goodies for free for a long time in the hope of gaining followers, new customers and so forth, and I thought the article about making business videos is a great example of the freemium concept. The advice provided is good advice; it contributes value to anyone who struggles with making quality video content. However, in the end, the article is offered as a service but also as an advertisement for Agora Pulse, a social media management system.

I haven’t used Agora Pulse and can’t comment on its value as a social media tool, but I was impressed enough by the small amount that I saw to write this post. Why? Because the writing I found is superb and of value to me and I liked the simple design graphics that I saw on the website as well. When designing for the web these days, we have only seconds to gain and hold a reader’s attention before they move on to something else. The Agora Pulse site did a number of things right and I thought it was worthy of mentioning here on my own blog.