8 Tips to Write Highly Effective Product Descriptions

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Editor's Note: Mary Walton works as a professional editor for College Assignment Help Australia and writes for Academized. Today, she joins us to discuss tips for optimizing product descriptions so they sell more products.

 

Writing good product descriptions isn't as hard as many believe it is. But while you don't have to be an expert, you should think about your audience and what they need. For instance, what are they looking for in a product, and what can you offer them that no one else can?

Remember, your product description is only part of the puzzle. There are photos, headlines, and other aspects that will also work to sell the product. However, that doesn't mean you can skimp on the description. Here are 8 tips that will help you write the perfect description, every time.

1. Understand your customers and develop buyer personas

You aren't selling to 'everyone'. Not everyone in the world is interested in your product. This means that you'll have to do some research into who your average customer is. Look at the people who have already bought from you. What do they like? What are their needs? What are their goals? If you look into what they're researching and buying online, you can get a lot of insight.

Next, you should create 'buyer personas'. It's likely that you have more than one demographic that shops with you. Create these personas in order to help you write descriptions that are laser targeted to the right people. For example, you can write a persona for a stay-at-home mom that's interested in houseware products that make life easier, or a camper who wants products that make life easier in the outdoors.

2. Talk to the buyer directly

Now isn't the time to be coy about what you're doing. Talk to the buyer directly, and tell them all about your product. This is why you need your buyer personas. With the right customer in mind, you can create a connection with them and become more than just another dry description.

Think about where you'd talk to this customer as well. Would you meet them in a soft play area with their kids? On a construction site? In the mall? Use this to determine the tone you'll take with them, and how you'll talk to them. Will you take a casual tone, or a more formal one? Picking the right one is important.

3. Turn features into benefits

You can simply list the features that your product has, but let's be honest, it's not all that interesting to your customers. They won't need every feature that your product has, and it's boring to read about them. If you just list the features, your visitors are likely to click away before they find what speaks to them.

Instead, turn those features into customer benefits. What is it about your product that helps your customer, or fulfills a want or need? For example, imagine you're selling a portable USB phone charger. It has 2 USB leads and a 2 hour charge time.

That's great, but rather than just report those features, turn them into benefits. You can say, "2 leads will let you charge two phones at once with this device, and quick charge will let you get back to using your phone right away."

4. Hire in the experts

If you're finding it difficult to write your own descriptions, you can hire in experts to create them for you. This offers you a lot of advantages as a business. You can free up time to work on other aspects of your business, and get descriptions that will convince customers to buy once everything is done.

The best way to get an expert to write for you is to look on custom writing services, such as Elite Assignment Help and Australian Help. You give them the job, and they'll give you a description quicker than you'd think. You can hire them as a one off project or on a long term basis, depending on your needs too.

5. Don't forget the SEO benefits

As with anything you write on your website, you should be thinking about how to optimize it for SEO. You want your products to rank highly on Google, especially withing the 'shopping' section. You should think about what will bring readers to your site, and what will convince them to stay and buy from you.

That means you'll need to pick your keywords carefully, and ensure you don't over stuff them into the text. Remember, the writing needs to still feel natural when you're using them. Additionally , ensure that your description accurately describes your product so customers know you're on the level.

6. Get to the point

Remember, you don't have long to get a reader's attention online. If they don't see what they want right away, they're going to move on. The best way to keep their attention is to put the most important point in the first sentence. For example, if you're selling sports clothing, your first sentence could be 'Stay comfortable and move freely with this specially designed sportswear line.'

7. Look at what your customers are saying

If you're using customer reviews on your site, look at what they're saying about your products. You can use what they're saying to inform and shape the way you write your own descriptions. For example, if you're selling a fitness app, customers may be saying things like 'I hate the music on other apps, but this one let me use my own playlists which I liked'. You can then list that benefit for customers in your description.

8. Format your descriptions well

Finally, you need to pay attention to how you format your descriptions. The way they're laid out will help keep the reader's attention, and convince them to buy from you. Use white space, bullet points, and good headlines to lay out your descriptions well.

These 8 points will help you create descriptions that will convince the reader that they should buy from you. Keep them in mind as you create your descriptions, and you'll find that your conversion rates shoot up. Make sure that your descriptions are doing your products justice!

Learn more with these related OMI classes:

 

Building a Digital Persona to Drive Strategy

Fundamentals of Digital Copywriting

Integrated Search: PR & SEO to Drive Results

Visit the Online Marketing Institute to browse over 400 classes in the digital and social media marketing space.

Convert Web Traffic with These 5 Design Hacks

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Editor's Note: Nabeena Mali is the head of marketing at AppInstitute, and joins us today to discuss design techniques that can raise your traffic and conversion rates.

 

When launching an online business or bringing your traditional business online, a huge percentage of your resources goes toward building traffic. You invest in outreach and marketing, doing whatever it takes to drive people to your site.

But what happens when people land on your site? Does the user experience live up to the reputation you've generated? Or do people navigate away without converting?

Site design plays a pivotal role in converting visitors to loyal, long-term customers. Given that four out of five people in the U.K. are smartphone users, and 77 percent of Americans own the devices as well, having a mobile presence is no longer optional. Modern consumers expect a quality experience across platforms, so you must prioritize building a sleek mobile version of your site.

The most important principle, however, is delivering a cohesive, user-friendly experience in every aspect of your Internet presence. With these five design principles, you will be well on your way to doing that. Let's dig in -

1. Defer to the data

While design calls for artistic elements, the best sites begin with data. Everything from which buttons to incorporate to the color palette should be rooted in data.

Why?

Because every element - no matter how small - influences the customer experience. An effective way to determine which aspects resonate most with your audience is to tweak different elements and track engagement before and after those adjustments.

A/B testing campaigns are incredibly helpful for finding out what works and what turns people off. Run tests for different platforms as well. You may find that one user segment prefers to visit the desktop site and responds best to one page layout, while mobile users are more engaged by a different approach.

2. Design for the platform

Your user and brand experience should be consistent across mobile, desktop, and tablet devices, but the backbone of those designs should be tailored to each platform. You want to treat each as its own entity so you can optimize the experience for your audience wherever they find you.

One way to implement a multi-platform strategy is through responsive web design. This allows the site to reframe its dimensions and orientation based on different screen sizes. If you’re on a budget, services such as WordPress and Squarespace offer affordable templates that have responsive design functions baked into their code.

3. Don’t overcomplicate the design

If you clutter your page with too many images, features, and calls to action (CTAs), people become confused and frustrated. The goal is to convert them, so make the path to purchase or sign-up clear. Every element on the site should serve a specific and necessary function that guides people toward the goal.

4. Keep the main thing the main thing

New businesses often make the mistake of overselling themselves with too many items or a cluttered design. But when consumers feel overwhelmed or misled, they tend to close their browsers and never return. Make sure every page of your site has a purpose, and design with that purpose in mind.

Let’s use landing pages as an example: perhaps you offer people a free eBook in exchange for their contact information so you can email them about paid products in the future. That sign-up offer should be the focal point of your landing page. This isn’t the time or place to announce bonuses or other products and services. You have one goal with this page: offer one incentive to build an email list. Every aspect of the design - from color scheme, to fonts, to button shapes - should lead prospects in that direction.

5. Test a variety of Calls-to-Action (CTAs)

Get creative when designing your CTAs. Think beyond the standard "Buy Now" button to include unique but clear imagery, videos, and texts. Different approaches will suit different CTAs, so think about what you’re trying to evoke. Video is great for making a personal connection and inspiring emotions, while simple buttons or forms work well for more business-oriented offers. Each desired action should have a thoughtful design approach if you want users to respond positively.

6. Embrace white space

Also known as “negative space,” white space allows key design elements to stand out. Remember, everything on a page should serve a purpose. Anything that doesn’t directly enhance your branding, user experience, or conversion goals should be removed. White space lets the important things - such as the CTA or checkout button - do the talking. People have short enough attention spans as it is, so you don’t want to give them even more reasons to navigate away before converting.

7. Practice the three Cs: Contrast, color, and cues

Color is a powerful tool for evoking emotion and persuading people to convert. Study the color wheel to select colors that reflect the tone of your brand and complement one another on the site. You can create a complementary effect by using a monochromatic color scheme which incorporates different hues from a single color, or by choosing shades from opposite shades on the color wheel. You can go bright, dark, pastel -- whatever amplifies your brand’s tone and message. Beware of incorporating too many colors, as research shows that people tend to prefer simple color schemes.

The 60-30-10 principle is a good rule of thumb for using colors effectively. Here’s how it breaks down:

  • Your background constitutes 60 percent of your page, so it will be the dominant color. Dark or subtle tones work best, allowing other parts of the page to contrast nicely against it.
  • The base color accounts for 30 percent of the visuals on your page, including the header, footer, and other core aspects. You can select a few complementary or triadic colors to use for these elements, but again: don’t use too many. You want to create a visually appealing site that doesn’t overwhelm users.
  • The final 10 percent goes to your accent color, which applies to the CTA. Because you don’t want people to miss this key component, you should choose a bright shade that your audience can’t ignore.

Directional cues are also powerful for ensuring that people focus on the right components. Arrows are an obvious option, but the flow of text, photos, and other elements can subtly lead people in the desired direction as well.

Implementing these principles into your design strategies will help you develop a top-notch design that meets your audience’s needs and helps boost your conversions. However, the work is never really done. To keep the user experience fresh, always track performance and test design tweaks that move your conversion rate higher. As design standards and consumer preferences change, your site should evolve with them.

Nabeena Mali is the head of marketing at AppInstitute a DIY app builder for small businesses and passionate about sharing her knowledge and insights on design strategy, UI/UX trends and driving digital growth through content marketing.

Learn more with these related OMI classes:

Convert More Website Visitors into Customers: Best Practices for Usability and Analytics

Methods for Iterating And Validating Your Design

 

Visit the Online Marketing Institute to browse over 400 classes in the digital and social media marketing space.

The 5 Biggest Trends Redefining Digital Marketing

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Editor's Note: Josh R Jackson is a contributing editor at BestMarketingDegrees.org. To compliment the brand new content marketing classes in our updated catalog, he joins us to discuss 5 trends that are changing the Digital Marketing industry, and how you can make the most of them.

 

Perhaps the best definition of digital marketing is that it’s always changing.

The industry’s constant and rapid state of flux is why so many field guides on SEO and content marketing have emerged over the last decade, only to be rendered obsolete by changing practices the very next year.

This is what makes digital marketing difficult to define at any one point in time: it behaves more like a moving target than an established industry.

As a result, to fully comprehend what defines digital marketing (and therefore, what’s redefining it) we must look at the rise and fall of some of the biggest trends that have defined online marketing since 2004.

We say 2004 because that was the year Google started keeping track of interest in the search terms that define our current moment in digital marketing history—a moment dominated by 5 big trends that have emerged over the past fourteen years

The Big Trends

Using what we know about topics in digital marketing that capture marketers’ imaginations, our current moment in digital marketing history is being redefined by conversations about topics that fall within the following 5 trends:

  1. Digital advertising
  2. Content marketing
  3. AdTech & MarTech
  4. Mobile SEO
  5. Blockchain

Thanks in large part to Google Trends, we know that some very specific changes have occurred to these 5 big trends over the past fourteen years: changes that have already redefined digital marketing as we know it and will continue to do so.

Digital Advertising Is Outstripping TV Advertising

According to one source, digital ad spending surpassed TV ad spending around March of 2017. Although some of us are still waiting for confirmation from other sources on this tectonic shift in spending practices, the trajectory of the market appears clear.

The waning of TV ad spend ultimately signals a changing of the guard, a marked shift from one marketing industry dominated by television, to another marketing industry which is increasingly dominated by digital.

We can see this shift reflected in the slow and steady rise of Google search interest in "digital advertising," and the more precipitous fall of Google search interest in "TV advertising" between 2004 and the present.

That rise and fall suggests that both interest and investment in digital advertising are redefining digital marketing, as digital advertising emerges not merely as one small part of the future of modern marketing, but as one of its most valued players.

Content Marketing is Reaching Untold Heights of Popularity and Making Waves

It’s no secret that content is the most valued player of the digital marketing industry. One study even projects that if investment continues at current global levels, content marketing will be a $300 billion industry by 2019.

But the fact that content marketing continues to rise in practice and popularity despite having been around since before 2004 may surprise some of its practitioners.

Over the last six years, content marketing has undoubtedly shattered expectations with its ability to touch almost every industry in the world and reach record heights of cultural interest and financial investment. This trend is mirrored in Google Trends’ tracking of interest over time for the search term "content marketing," which reflects a steady, sometimes explosive intensification of search interest in content marketing, especially as its influence has expanded over the past 3 years in particular.

What appears to be creating this change may occur on a slightly smaller scale. Social messaging has become more ambitious, clickbait has become more aggressive, and content marketing has almost become something more like "contentious marketing," or messaging that is designed to generate controversy rather than make a point.

Whether or not this newfound propensity for wave-making explains the intensification of interest in content marketing since 2011 remains to be seen.

But one thing is certain: content marketing has redefined and continues to redefine digital marketing on a yearly if not daily basis.

AdTech & MarTech are Converging

Advertising technology has seen a lot of hype over the years.

But ad blockers and the growing popularity of AdTech’s cousin marketing technology have taken a toll, while interest in advertising technology has waxed and waned considerably over the years.

Looking at Google Trends' search interest index, marketing technology also appears to have followed this downward trajectory on a somewhat smaller scale. On the other hand, MarTech  recently experienced an uptick in search interest, which for the first time in digital marketing history, placed ahead of AdTech on Google Trends’ search interest scale this year.

The optics of this suggest that, perhaps like digital advertising is overtaking TV advertising, MarTech is overtaking AdTech with respect to cultural capital and financial relevance—in other words, the age of MarTech has arrived.

It's likely that the two practices are reaching a natural state of equilibrium, as they converge, and both advertising and marketing become even more technologically intwined.

Mobile SEO is Exploding on the Scene After a Steady Hike in Interest

With more mobile connections on the planet than people, mobile marketing is the fastest growing media channel by digital consumption.

Following that trend, mobile content is fast becoming more popular among users and content creators than desktop content.

Much of mobile content’s popularity can be traced to the mobile optimization boom that occurred in 2015, the moment when Google informed the Internet that any websites which weren’t mobile-friendly would be see their content drop in the rankings.

We can see the results of Google’s heads up in the exponential uptick in search interest for the term “mobile SEO” in April of 2015, the same month Google released its mobile-friendly ranking algorithm. After the initial hype, interest mobile search engine optimization died down for a while, only to explode back on the scene in early 2016, since which time it has sustained peak interest.

What this means is that mobile content for the mobile web is here to stay and should not be ignored. It also means that mobile SEO should be at the top of content developers’ lists for trends not only to follow, but to participate in through 2017 and beyond.

Blockchain is Entering Conversations about Marketing Automation

Since it entered the popular consciousness in 2013, blockchain has captured the imagination of workers in every industry, from government agents to marketers and salespeople.

Aside from blockchain’s long-term potential to revamp how global markets operate and interact with each other, one of the main reasons blockchain has become important to marketers and salespeople is that it has the potential to safely and securely automate digital transactions in marketing and sales, as well as authenticate the origins of products for sale.

This automation potential has vast implications that could affect all of the trends discussed above, especially AdTech and MarTech. However, that potential may not come into play until 5 years from now. In the meantime, the fact of whether or not blockchain will affect all these trends is anyone’s guess.

Despite that, there is no doubt that every trend discussed above is working, in big and small ways, to redefine how we think about digital marketing, both today and tomorrow.

Wondering where you fit in with these trends? Take a class in digital advertising, content marketing, AdTech & MarTech, mobile marketing, and digital marketing automation today to find out what you can do to redefine digital marketing.

 

Mobile Content Strategy: 6 Ways to Engage Your Mobile Readers

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Editor's Note: Mary Walton works as a professional editor for Politics Assignment Help Australia and writes for Simple Grad. Today, she joins us to discuss strategies for optimizing mobile content for higher conversion rates. A version of this article first appeared on SplitMetrics.

Wondering how you can make your posts, descriptions and emails more engaging for mobile readers?

Whether you’re creating content for a blog, struggling to write a high-converting app description or optimizing text for App Store banners, there are several basic rules for building a successful mobile content strategy that will help you optimize each and every element on a user’s journey.

In this article, we will review 6 ways to refine your app descriptions and improve content for mobile devices.

Mobile has become the top way that many people to engage with content online. As smartphones become ever more ubiquitous, your content is making its way to a whole new market. Because of this, you have to look at copywriting in a whole new way. Here are 6 tips for writing mobile content that will engage mobile readers, and lead to higher conversion rates.

1. The key to a successful mobile content strategy isn’t to write less

It’s no secret that there’s less screen real estate when it comes to mobile. Some marketers take that to mean they have to write less content to keep a reader’s attention. But this kind of thinking is a trap. However limited they are by technology, mobile readers are not substantially different from desktop users: quality matters more than quantity. Remember, you can’t cut quality into truncated copy. In your mobile content strategy, focus on creating content that your readers will find useful.

2. Front load your mobile content

On desktop, you can show the reader several paragraphs before they have to scroll. But on mobile though, you have less space. This means you need to grab your audience's attention right away. As such, try front loading the most important information to the top of an app description, article, or post.

app description mobile content strategy splitmetrics

‘The important, attention grabbing copy needs to be in the first few sentences," says admissions officer Tim Leyman at Academized Paper Writing Service. "For example, if you were writing about cooking barbecue food, you may start out by saying ‘It’s summer and you’re looking for the perfect barbecue foods. We’ve rounded up all the recipes you should try this season.’ This tells the reader exactly what you’re going to do, and encourages them to scroll down."

3. Use plenty of images

On mobile, readers are much more interested in dynamic images. This doesn’t mean that text content doesn’t have a role to play, it just means that you need to find a way to complement app screenshots, icons or images in blog posts with your text content.

Sites like Buzzfeed have got this mobile content strategy down to an art. They use images to illustrate their points, and their text content simply elaborates on what they’re showing.

buzzfeed splitmetrics mobile content strategy

4. Short paragraphs work best on mobile

Readers tend to view paragraphs as a complete thought: the longer the paragraph, the longer the thought.

On mobile, this can look far too complicated and readers can get lost. The best way to deal with this is writing shorter paragraphs. Make it your goal to make a point in as few sentences as possible. Your content should still flow, but be ruthless about cutting unneeded words.

description mobile content strategy splitmetrics

5. Create short and snappy headlines

Again, because you don’t have a lot of screen real estate, your headlines should be short and snappy. Creating good headlines for mobile is a real art. You have to give readers information about what the app or article is about, but at the same time you need to keep it short so it’s not taking up too much room on the initial page or screenshots.

mobile content screenshots splitmetrics

6. Online tools can help with creating mobile content

There are plenty of online tools that can help you write good online content for mobile. Give some of these a try and see if they help you:

– Easy Word Count: This site gives you an accurate word count of your text, helpful when you’re trying to keep it short. It also highlights any mistakes you’ve made in text.

– Click To Tweet: This tool creates sharing buttons for your website. Simply include one with your post, and your reader can click it to share with all their followers.

– Paper Fellows: If you need some encouragement with your writing, turn to this writing community. It’s full of other writers who can help you out.

– Citation Generator: This tool gives you the right citation for any source you use. Make your writing informed and trustworthy using this.

– Marketing Essay Help: Need some help with your editing? There are lots of helpful editing guides on this site.

– Ideaflip: If you have more than one copywriter, this is the app for you. You can share ideas in real time, wherever you are.

– Do My Assignment: This is the tool for you if you need proofreading assistance. It’s definitely one of the best proofreading tools online right now.

– Calmly Writer: The internet is full of distractions, making it hard to write. This tool helps you avoid all those distractions and get on with the job.

– Cheap Essay: This writing service is an excellent grammar help. Talk to the experts here if you feel your grammar needs improving.

– Snip.ly: This tool is the perfect call to action. It adds buttons that readers can click on to read anything you want to link to.

– SplitMetrics: Use SplitMetrics if you want to A/B test app descriptions and develop a mobile content strategy that drives installs.

These tips will help you write for a rapidly growing and important market. Get it right, and you’ll see conversion go through the roof.

Learn more with these related OMI classes:

Foundational Principles for Website Conversions

Engaging with Mobile Marketing: Choosing the Right Mobile Content

 

Visit the Online Marketing Institute to browse over 400 classes in the digital and social media marketing space.

3 Ways Content Marketing is More Than Just Managing a Blog

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content marketers

Editor's Note: Josh R Jackson is a contributing editor at BestMarketingDegrees.org. To compliment the brand new content marketing classes in our updated catalog, he joins us to explain the responsibilities of a content marketing master.

 

After spending hours and hours of planning and posting content, many content marketers slip into thinking their role is simply an exercise in blog management.

They think, "As long as my blog is populated with new content, gets clicks (and the occasional conversion), my job here is done." Then they brush off their hands, and go home for the day.

Most content marketers know their role is not that simple - that there are search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO) concerns that must factor into every editorial decision before posting an article.

But sometimes even great content marketers fall into the camp of complacency, and forget that producing quality content means wearing more than one (or even two) professional hats.

The best content marketers balance at least three professional hats, all of which intersect with other corporate departments: They are one part researcher, one part brand ambassador, and one part SEO expert. That’s why today’s blog manager should be working like a Content Marketer in Chief, otherwise known as a Chief Content Officer (CCO).

1. How Content Marketing is Being a Researcher

Content marketers - and especially blog managers - know they need to do their homework. They know that producing good content means researching what other blogs are releasing, teasing out trends in industry discussions, and developing new ideas that will establish their brands as thought leaders and innovators in the public arena.

If they are aware of search engine optimization practices, they also know that executing a good search engine marketing strategy means staying up to date on changes to search algorithms from the most popular search engines, which could affect their company’s place in search rankings.

With all these knowledge bases, a Chief Content Officer should  know how and where to allocate resources in order to optimize content reach and production. This includes knowing when to hire out talent, when to pull the trigger on ad buys, and when to invest time and money in marketing technology that will provide further insight into the company’s target market.

2. How Content Marketing is Being an SEO Expert

Good blog managers know they need to get creative to produce the type of content that helps them rise in rankings. They should also know that to achieve brand recognition, they must encourage, manage, and project their own authority as an organization that pushes the envelope of thought leadership in their industry and knows what places them in Google Search’s top 10 search results.

For content marketers who have the mentality of a Chief Content Officer, this is where it becomes important to not only be a creative expert but also an SEO expert.

Chief Content Officers know all the tricks of the trade when it comes to search engine optimization. They are uniquely suited to harness the power of a variety of softwares and dashboards, pick up on industry trends, and find innovative ways to enhance their content’s placement via PageRank. The goal for Chief Content Officers is not just to make as many search results as possible, but also to expand their organic presence, quality scores, and relevant search traffic through an advanced understanding of how search engines and other websites value their content.

3. How Content Marketing is Being a Brand Ambassador

Blog managers and content marketers of all stripes should know that they operate on their company’s front lines. They should know that what they post and publish represents the voice of their brand; they are brand ambassadors, and first impressions  determine how their organization is perceived by the public.

For content marketers that have the mentality of a Chief Content Officer, the content they publish is more than an exercise in brand management: it is an exercise in brand execution. Every blog post that’s published, every video or social comment that’s posted is where the proverbial rubber meets the road, where not only the content marketer’s vision for the brand comes into play, but also where each and every executive’s voice and vision for the company comes into play.

In other words, content marketing is how every theory about how a brand should impact its audience meets practice, where customer meets executive, and vice versa. That’s  why content marketing is so much more than managing a blog.

Do you have what it takes to market content like a Chief Content Officer?

To learn how you can adopt the strategies of today’s best content marketers, check out our classes on content marketing from Content Marketers in Chief: Joe Pulizzi, Lisa Buyer, and Denise Robert McKee.

A Strategic Guide to Promoting and Selling Digital Goods Online

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Editor's Note: Joydeep Bhattacharya is a digital marketing evangelist who writes for SEO Sandwitch. Today he joins us to discuss digital goods, and how to sell them online.

 

Selling digital goods was once a complicated venture, but over the years and with the introduction of numerous online services and tools, it is now much simpler.

Digital products are informational in nature. They may exist in many formats, including eBooks, audio or video courses, bulletins, programming and access to membership sites.

7 unique aspects of marketing digital goods

  1. The target audience for digital goods is unique. Your customer base stands to be benefited by your product, but may not be aware of its existence precisely because it did not exist before.
  2. It follows that product discovery is often not accompanied by a desire to purchase; this makes your marketing message highly important.
  3. Price is less of an issue because it costs less (or even nothing) to create copies of digital content for the maker.
  4. Mechanism of sale is very different from traditional or online commerce; whereas physical goods may be sold in online stores, digital goods often require an individual landing + sales page. This is especially well for one-off items like e-books. 
  5. There are also specialized selling platforms for digital products, and some will be reviewed in this article.
  6. ‘Packaging’ heavily influences the sale of a digital product. The way you design your landing page, cover art, etc. will influence the initial interest it generates among audiences.
  7. Digital goods often come with additional bonuses that raise the perceived value of the purchase for the audience.

These core differences in the nature of e-commerce of digital and physical goods change the game for marketers. Read on to learn how you can formulate and execute a better plan for selling digital goods - 

Selling Your Products Directly

E-junkie

E-junkie is a very simple marketplace that uses HTML codes to generate great product pages for your digital goods. It's a great and easy choice for beginners: simply create an account on the E-junkie website, list your item and install the code on your site.

Once you get started, you'll be able to manage a lot of different options including inventory management, affiliate management, Google Analytics tracking, and more.

An advantage to E-junkie that sets it apart from other options is that you will not be charged a percentage or portion of your sales. Rather, you'll have flat monthly subscription fee which starts from $5/month.

There are many services similar to E-junkie if the format works well for you: others include Easy Digital Downloads, SendOwl, Gumroad and Sellfy.

PayPal

It's impossible to mention digital goods without discussing PayPal. PayPal has been a staple of digital commerce for many years, especially because of its strong protection policies that prevent sellers and buyers from being scammed. has always put their efforts in protecting buyers and sellers from all kind of scam. You can integrate PayPal into a WordPress website and use it to sell digital goods with a simple plugin.

The WordPress PayPal Shopping cart is simply a plugin which will help you to sell your products from your WordPress website with one click.

In order to set up:

  • Download the WordPress Simple PayPal Shopping Cart plugin and upload it your site.        
  • Activate the plugin through your WordPress “Plugins” menu.
  • Click on "Settings"
  • Configure the options to your liking. This can include your email address, your shopping cart name, and the URL users will return to after purchasing.
  • Navigate to a page where you want your product to appear.
  • Make use of the trigger text to insert the product into your page.
  • Publish your page when you’re ready.

Marketing Your Digital Goods – How It’s Done

Finding Opinion Formers or Influencers

Influencers are those whose opinions, attitudes and activities influence others. Getting these people to like your product is a great way to spread the word. Start by researching the most important figures in the market you are selling to; then, reach out to them and pitch your product.

Blogger Outreach and Guest Blogging

This is a 2-pronged strategy that works well when your digital products are centered around information or education (for instance, courses, webinars, books, etc.).

First, identify the most influential bloggers in your niche, and reach out to them with your product hoping for some coverage on their blogs.

Sharing free samples often does the trick here. You can also become a guest blogger on their blog or invite them to become a guest blogger on your blog and target readers with proper landing pages that lead to your course.

Sam Ovensmaster entrepreneur and online educator - does this brilliantly, not only by maintaining a high quality and much followed blog of his own, but also by contributing to other blogs and getting fellow bloggers to chip in with their insight on his courses.

Tip: AllTop is a great tool for finding popular blogs relevant to a topic. Just search with your main keyword and you’ll see a list of categories. Click on the closest match to make your list.

Get Some Product Reviews

Expect any potential customer to research your company on Google, and prepare for this by making sure that solid and positive customer feedback is easy to find. Invest effort towards:-

  • Capturing genuine positive messages by sharing free samples and curating them on your landing pages, along with proof of authenticity.
  • Requesting that shoppers leave reviews on at least a couple of review websites, in exchange for discounts on subsequent purchases.
  • Looking to be innovative? Create a podcast with a customer who’s benefited from your product; host a webinar, and think out of the box.

Note: Never solicit positive feedback, as this is considered unethical by most major online retailers and users. Ask for honest feedback, and make your product great so the reviews will be too.

Final Suggestsions

There are a few important tips to adopt if you want to gain a bigger presence in the marketplace of digital goods. Here are a few -

Offer a special reward: Everybody adores free gifts with a purchase. That is the reason numerous digital products include free digital books, worksheets or other resources with a download. It’s an additional perceived value that can persuade doubtful customers to finish a transaction.

Always test: Testing is time consuming, but gives you the sort of information that you need to set the ideal price for every product. It will also help you in to see the real results with every methodology you apply, which will enable you to pick the best pricing approach.

Know the market and price competitively: Finish a competitive analysis and assessment in order to know how others in the business are selling similar digital products. At that point price yours to position it against the opposition. On the off chance that your product is especially unique, include content that your competitor’s products do not include and consider pricing that is marginally higher.

Learn more with these related OMI classes:

 

How to Find & Engage Brand Influencers

Beyond Blogging: How to Create a Vibrant Thought Leadership Community

 

Visit the Online Marketing Institute to browse over 400 classes in the digital and social media marketing space.

The 4-Step Content Marketing Strategy for Growth-Hacking Conversions

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Editor's Note: Josh R Jackson is a contributing editor at BestMarketingDegrees.org. To compliment the brand new classes in our updated catalog, he joins us to discuss a growth hacking strategy that content marketers can use to boost their conversion rates.

 

There are thousands of workable content marketing strategies, but a select few have higher-than-average conversion rates. These content strategies fall under the category of growth-hacking strategies, which include ways of enhancing leads and conversions in a very short period of time.

One of these content strategies is the four-step process outlined below, which I’ve personally seen increase conversion rates for nearly a dozen affiliate marketing websites focused on growth hacking. Let's dive in!

1. Research and Develop Consumer Insight

Every business has indicators of success, or success signals. These success signals range from the number of leads generated by a single blog post (obvious), to a single click through to a landing page (less obvious).

Growth hackers and conversion-oriented content strategists research and develop consumer insights by harnessing the power of data to narrow down exactly what these success signals tell us about our users. Their methods might include conducting polls, surveys, and interviews—each of which can be achieved with ease on social media—as well as implementing user tests or following the trail of web analytics wherever it goes, which can require some buy-in.

(Source: Inflow)

All of these methods can and should be used to pinpoint exactly what your business is doing that is working to convert casual users into customers, and what your site is doing that isn’t working to convert casual users into customers.

Pro-Tip: Use at least two different methods to test your insights into what’s driving users to convert.

2. Publish Information Most Relevant to Incoming Traffic

One easy success signal we haven’t mentioned is incoming traffic to your website.

Most businesses know that if users perform a search and click through to our website, then we’re doing something right in terms of relevance.

But content strategists and growth hackers also know that a steady stream of traffic doesn’t always spell a steady stream of conversions. They also know that the right kind of traffic does.

So what’s the right kind of traffic? Organic search traffic.

Organic search traffic is drawn to your website because you publish some of the most relevant information pertaining to a certain set of keywords, whether that information appears in an advertisement, a search result, or both.

Now having the most relevant information available on a certain set of keywords also means publishing content well and publishing ads often, both of which should focus on repeating the set of keywords that best draws your organic search traffic.

Pro-Tip: Match your calls-to-action with the keywords that incoming traffic is searching before they are referred to you. That means if users who search “content marketing strategy” are coming to you, you should probably include a call-to-action that says “Get Our Content Marketing Strategy” on a landing page.

3. Appeal to Authority for Credibility

If content strategists want to enhance the pagerank for their content on Google (or any of the Internet’s most popular search engines), they need credibility.

What most people underestimate is how long the path to earning credibility usually is. Even sites that start with a bona fide audience or brand name can lose public interest quickly if the content doesn’t measure up to that audience’s expectations. This is why earning credibility is arguably the most difficult step to surmount in this four-step process: it requires knowing how to build relationships and play the long game, fast.

Growth hackers and content marketing strategists know that in order to gain credibility, they must efficiently use each and every piece of content they publish to build trust and establish relationships with authorities in their industry.

The most surefire way to build trust and establish relationships is to curate content that appeals to authority. Publish content you want those big names to read. Build a network of company reviews, logos, and backlinks that connects your brand with some of the biggest and brightest names in industry. Then watch your conversions start to grow.

This takes time, patience, and maintenance, but it will pay large dividends if you persist.

Pro-Tip: Post company email addresses with a person’s name attached to them on your contact or support pages. Doing so enhances transparency, trust, and ultimately credibility.

4. Offer an Option with Calls-To-Action

Think about the last time someone asked you to do something. Now think about whether or not you were happy to do it. If you were, chances are the person gave you an option, and you chose to do what they asked because you felt it wasn’t too much to ask, especially if the other option didn’t sound as good.

If you didn’t choose to do what they asked, then chances are they offered you too many options when too much was at stake, and you felt the offer was too much to ask, which may have forced you into a state of so-called “analysis paralysis,” or worse, to simply ignore the offer in the first place.

So why do people prefer fewer options to more? According to two studies by the same two researchers, giving people fewer options increases their likelihood of making a decision to buy something.

That means it is a virtue in sales to provide consumers with a simple choice.

The same can be said for the content marketing and conversion strategies of growth hackers.

Growth hackers know that less is more, as well as how to avoid overwhelming users with too much information and too many options. One of the best ways to do this is giving users a choice on your call-to-action pages, even if that choice is as simple as a Sign-Up or Login button. Allowing users to choose between two versions of free content (e.g., Free Trial and a Study) is also a great way to increase conversion rates and gain some insight about what your users prefer.

Pro-Tip: Remove the navigation bar from CTA landing pages. Doing so has been shown to increase conversion rates by as much as 16% for Free Trial offers and 28% for Demo offers.

Is the conversion rate for your content marketing strategy optimized? To learn more about how you can implement a content marketing strategy that optimizes your conversion rates with consumer insights, credibility, and calls-to-action, join OMI's newest classes on Content Marketing Consumer Insights and Content Marketing Channels.

For ten days, access to our new courses is completely free.

Get the Most From SMS Marketing With This Periodic Table

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Editor's Note: Anastasia Svyrydenko is a content marketer at Textmagic. Today, she joins us to share a graphical aid developed by her company to help SMS marketers build an effective strategy.

 

If you've kept up with SMS marketing over the last few years, you may have come across these numbers: open rate for SMS is 98%, and 90% of text messages are read within 3 minutes of receipt.

Now while these numbers may vary with changing trends, SMS still blows other forms of consumer messaging out of the water. There is no quicker or more effective way to clue customers in on a promotion, offer or event. As such, businesses are rapidly adopting text messages to keep their audience in the know.

Whether you've already embarked on your SMS marketing journey or you are just planning your first campaign, there are certain rules and practices you can follow to achieve desired results and make the most of these fantastic open rates.

The Periodic Table below will help guide you through the process of creating and conducting a text messaging campaign:

How to Use the Table

Start off by reading the SMS Marketing Guide below the table, which outlines the whole process. Then, get familiar with the table's categories. Some of these are multiple choice elements: Goals, Ways to grow subscriber list, Metrics. Other categories, like Text message elements and Delivery, are actually checklists so that you don't forget anything important.

Let's take a quick look at each category.

  1. Strategy. Develop an SMS marketing strategy that will align with your main marketing goals.
  2. Goals. Based on your strategy, pick one or two goals.
  3. Types of campaigns. At this point, it is vital to choose the right type of text message. Let's say your goal is to grow sales. You can choose one of the following: Time-dependent discounts, Coupons, Holiday offers, Special occasion offers, Exclusive offers.
  4. Elements of a Text Message. This category will help you make sure nothing has fallen through the cracks when it comes to composing a message. This will prevent you from writing an attention grabbing message and forgetting to include instructions for the recipient.
  5. Delivery Best Practices. This group of elements reminds you to customize messages for each segment of your audience, and stick to the best frequency and timing practices. A good rule of thumb is to send no more than 4-5 messages per month. Don't overdo it, or you'll end up with a skyrocketing unsubscribe rate. Send texts during working hours only, so that clients are not commuting or sleeping when they receive your message.
  6. Metrics. Pick the right metric to evaluate campaign performance.
  7. Ways to grow your subscriber list. Based on your industry and type of campaign, choose the most suitable way to grow your list. If you own a restaurant, include an invitation to subscribe on the in-store sign, and add it to customer receipts. Online marketers can follow list-building strategies like those used in email marketing; there are lots of creative ways forward.
  8. Types of segmentation. Segmentation and customization will help you ensure that you're sending relevant messages to your clients.

Now you're all set to start your next SMS campaign! Use the periodic table through all stages of the process, and rest assured that you'll get the most of your texting efforts.

Learn more with these related OMI classes:

Data and Analytics: Overview to Data Analytics

Email Marketing Getting Started: Build Your List Organically

Visit the Online Marketing Institute to browse over 400 classes in the digital and social media marketing space.

 

How Marketers Use Social Media for Recruitment

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Editor's Note: Josh R Jackson is a contributing editor at BestMarketingDegrees.org. To compliment the brand new classes in our updated catalog, he joins us to discuss how social media is used for recruitment, and how employers can benefit.

 

What if I told you that 94% of recruiters have reported using LinkedIn to vet candidates?

Or that the number of employers using social media to screen candidates has increased over 500% in the last decade?

If you’re looking for a new job, you might think I’m trying to give you a piece of conventional wisdom: “Keep your online presence professional.” (And that’s still true!)

But here's something you hear less often: if you’re looking for a new hire, then you already know these social stats spell far greater changes for recruitment and human resources than for jobseekers, unless they too aspire to become recruiters.

The Great Talent Tug of War

Before LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter were used to headhunt the best talent, Human Resources was the primary driver of talent acquisition.

But over the last 10 years, social recruiting on Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media platforms has revolutionized the way we hire, so that now what was once a job for the accounting team has become a job for the marketing team.

So how did this great talent tug of war wind up on the marketing end of things? Short answer: the Great Recession.

When huge job losses started occurring around 2008, HR departments became understandably less concerned with filling positions and more concerned with compensation and risk management.

Around the same time, all of our most popular modern social media platforms (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram) were undergoing a development renaissance, all while performing an admirable job of bucking the Recession’s downward trends and revitalizing the online economy that had crashed at the beginning of the 21st century.

The net result of this decline in hiring and ascent of social media was that social recruiting became many companies’ primary resource for not only scouting talent but acquiring it.

Where we once followed recruitment protocols that relied heavily on HR spending, talent scouts, and physical energy to go forth and fill a company’s talent pipeline, we now inhabit a world where free social recruiting technology has placed a vast and easily accessible talent pool right at our fingertips.

This heightened selectability has altered the job market’s center of gravity in major ways. If you’re an investor, then you might say what was once a seller’s market became a buyer’s market. If you’re in HR, you might say what was once an employee’s job market became an employer’s job market. And if you’re a social recruiter, you might say what was once a hustle for HR to fill an abundance of positions is now headhunting: the practice of sifting through hundreds of perfect-fit candidates to fill a choice few jobs with the best talent possible.

Yet with all of the convenient recruiting this talent acquisition revolution has created, there are perhaps an equal number of complications that arise from vetting people online. Chief among these is the age-old HR question: “How do I know I can I trust this person?

How to Know: Using Facebook for Social Recruiting and Talent Acquisition

Using Facebook for social recruiting requires a very discerning eye, but if used wisely, the world’s largest social network can be an excellent tool for talent acquisition.

One of the first reasons Facebook emerged as a tool for talent acquisition was largely a negative one; in its early years, Facebook was a more personal posting platform where employers could research whether prospective new hires behaved badly outside of work and could result in a PR nightmare for the company.

Rest assured, Facebook can be (and still is) used in this way. But many prospective hires know their Facebook pages will be vetted, so they often take precautionary measures that render the process of using Facebook to root out the bad apples less effective.

But there are still jobs for which Facebook vetting remains a highly recommended recruitment strategy. In fact, some of the web’s best social media managers were picked up from scrolling organically through News Feed and coming across users with carefully curated Facebook posts and great, engaging voices. Others use Facebook to cultivate and monitor an audience of enthusiastic fans, followers and groups that can be used as an excellent resource to mine brand advocates whose skill with word-of-mouth messaging could make them excellent candidates for new marketing jobs.

How to Know: Using LinkedIn for Social Recruiting

At first glance, LinkedIn might seem like the easiest tool to use for social recruiting. After all, it was created to connect job seekers with job offers, right?

In fact it was, but its features have grown in number and complexity since the service’s inception, so that now users have to navigate interfaces such as LinkedIn Premium and LinkedIn Pulse, and constantly think about how to execute a content strategy or promote their brand outside of the seasonal job search.

That makes good leads out of job candidates who regularly update their profiles with new content, experience, and education. But as with print resumes, social recruiters should trust but verify what they read on a job candidate’s LinkedIn profile and cross-check all of the candidate’s online profiles for consistency, credibility, and digital footprint.

All these layers of complexity mean that those who want to engage in social recruiting as a form of talent acquisition should be working hard to revolutionize their marketing strategy on the micro-level every day, especially if their brands, businesses and HR departments want to stay on top of the job market.

 

How are you using social recruiting for talent acquisition? To learn more, check out OMI’s brand new selection of classes. Our expert educators cover social recruiting, human resources, talent acquisition, and many other topics. For ten days, access is completely free.