Information products have become a huge force in driving and retaining traffic and combined with an opt-in method, can provide a highly-targeted market to whom you can market to for years to come. Unfortunately, many small businesses don’t use this powerful tool, mistakenly citing expense as a barrier. Ironically, most businesses have all the information they could possibly need right at their fingertips to make a great information product. Some don’t know where to look for it. Some don’t want to share the information. Others don’t know how to use the information to gain new prospects.
All could benefit.
There are many types of information products you can use to drive traffic to your small business blog and many places to publicize it. Take some time to figure out which will be of most value to your prospects and how to reach them. Use information that supports an area of your company’s expertise or information that provides insight on your industry as a whole. Supply valuable information that no one else in your industry does. Below are some ideas you can use as you start the process of creating your own information product.
Some Types Of Information Products That Work Well In Driving Traffic
E-books have long been a powerful marketing tactic on the Internet. Not only can they supply a substantial amount of valuable information, they are also cheap to create, instantly transferable and if they are good enough, highly viral in nature. Newsletters are another information product your small business can create for nearly nothing. If you have a blog, you can create your newsletter from your best blog posts or certain blog posts that highlight a current focus of your business. Newsletters are also great at building up your e-mail list.
It’s not about time, it’s about value. The more valuable the information you supply in your newsletter, the more it will gain a reputation as being one worth subscribing to. The permission you gain from these new prospects is far more valuable to you than the information you may think you are losing by giving away.
Use your internal company information or knowledge of your industry to create a white paper or industry report. I believe we all know something more than anyone, our basic “take” on life. Put your spin on where your company or industry is going. Be opinionated, but back it up. Tell people why you do what you do in the business you do it in and why you think that’s the most beneficial way for prospects.
How To Create Valuable Information Products
E-books and newsletter can be created either in-house or you can outsource them. This decision in my opinion, is determined on how much of your business’s personality needs to be involved and whether or not you already have a dedicated writer. There are many places you can go to find freelance writers, such as Guru, Scriptlance and Elance, where members bid on your project or you can hire any number of Internet marketing companies. If you prefer to do the project yourself, make sure your e-book is branded correctly and all links are working properly. You will most likely need to purchase software like Adobe Acrobat to turn Word files into PDF files.
Value may be in the eye of the beholder, but to me, it lies in giving people the information that will either help them do something themselves or that will help them understand who to choose to do that something for them. This includes saving money, rebuilding things, changing behaviors and choosing the best products. What information does your small business have that can do this for your prospects? It’s said that content is king, but even more, good inside information has even more authority. Leverage your expertise by helping others and they will provide you with the one thing you should want from every single one of your prospects: permission. Be relevant. Be transparent. Put your reputation on the line and stand by it.
Optimally, you want to create an information product that gets its readers to tell other people about it. How do you do that? By being different. By offering things that haven’t been offered before or more of what has. By being so valuable to those interested in the topic, that they have to have it. By saving people time, or money, or frustration. By giving people power or a better understanding of the things that affect their lives. Most of all, be creative. Just because you may be giving away good information doesn’t mean you can’t promote your own products or services. The best things in life should benefit all involved. That’s “Win/Win Marketing” (shameless plug for educational purposes only 😆 ).
How To Get The Most Publicity From Your Information Products
So you have figured out your target audience and have an information product created, now you need to promote it. The first decision you should really make is whether or not you need prospects to sign-up for your information product or if you are giving it away hoping the information leads prospects back to your site in another way. If you want prospects to sign up, you first need an opt-in method on your site to capture e-mail addresses and you may also be interested in building splash pages to lead prospects to your desired action. Making people sign up is very powerful, but will limit the amount of people you get to see your information.
Make a post or write a long article about your information product, then spread it to social media and news sites, as well as to some of the other blogs in your industry or those covering it. If you are giving your product away without registration, provide links and let others help spread your product throughout the Internet. If registration is needed, provide links and all the information readers will need to get the information you are offering, preferably letting them know how it will help them or why it’s worthy of giving you their e-mail address.
Build your information products around your business expertise and leverage them into improving your reputation in your industry. The more people that trust your products, the more, in time, they will draw larger and larger audiences. Make each one newsworthy in your industry and get covered in trade magazines or on industry sites. Write press releases and let the media know. Share with your social network communities or on forums. Know your prospect, where they hang out and go there.
Combined with the other great traffic driving tips like writing press releases, social media and network marketing, commenting on other blogs and with your own prospects and emailing your current clients, information products are a powerful combination of free (or nearly free) tactics you can use to find new prospects for your business. They do require time, but use each of them to see which help drive the most traffic for your small business blog and focus on those tactics. If you can’t find the time, outsource. Drop me a line [aaron[@]prevailpr.com] and I’ll be more than happy to give you my opinion or sign up for our great subscription services for a dedicated campaign.