Author: Joydeep Bhattacharya

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.

 


How to Boost Your Webinar Signups

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Webinar Signups

Editor's Note: Joydeep Bhattacharya is a digital marketing evangelist who writes for SEO Sandwitch. Today he joins us to discuss the importance of webinars in online marketing, and how to attract more signups.

 

Webinars are a critical source of knowledge on the web that are increasingly adopted by online marketers for advertisement and promotion. Apart from introducing newcomers to a subject and disseminating organized information, webinars are great for link building, which makes them a power card for SEO experts and digital marketers.

60% of web marketers include webinars in their toolkits, and there’s every reason for you to do the same. All you need to get started is one of many easily accessible tools which can create and deliver your webinar to attendants. However, creating a webinar is half the battle: the other half is getting signups. This is where tricks and tactics can be handy.

In this article, we’ll be going over some of these tips to help you get more webinar signups and increase your impact. Let’s get started -

Invest Due Diligence in Topic Choice

The topic you pick when creating your webinar is one of its most attractive aspects. Don’t even think of moving ahead in your development process until you have a killer topic in hand, because this will play a big part in determining your reach.

Here is some time tested advice that will help you choose a relevant topic that will grasp attention and generate webinar signups:

  1. Analyze your website’s blog or your social media profiles to get a pulse on the interests and opinions of your subscribers, customers, and followers.
  2. Track hashtags used by your social media followers and customers. Social media suites like HootSuite can make this step easier.
  3. Specifically search for your brand mentions on social media to understand the contexts in which they appear.
  4. Conduct a user survey on your website or through your email list to get direct feedback from your audience about the topics they are interested in.
  5. Look for opportunities to address topics that are evergreen, and therefore stand to gain indefinite social attention.
  6. Once you hone in on a few potential topics, evaluate their potential for getting social shares by using BuzzSumo to analyze similar keywords.

Create a Landing Page and Use A/B Testing to Determine the Best Fit

Once you have a high-quality topic for your webinar, you want to get the word out and encourage interested parties to sign up. This is where the design of your landing page becomes very important. Any webinar landing page should, at minimum, contain these basic elements:

  1. Your brand logo, to convey your identity and a sense of professionalism.
  2. If you have relevant certifications and brand mentions from industry influencers, highlight them in a dedicated, conspicuous section.
  3. Use directional cues that point a visitor to the signup form.
  4. Include a professional photograph of yourself or your presenter, ideally in in an educational setting.
  5. Use an A/B testing tool like Optinmonster to compare design schemes, and pick the one which works best. Optinmonster will also automate much of your design process, eliminating the need for a developer. WPForms is another good tool that generates forms with a drag and drop interface, though sadly, it lacks A/B testing features.
  6. Nobody wants to sign up for something if they don’t know what it’s about, so include a ‘what you will learn from this webinar’ section that summarizes the material your webinary will cover. Use numbered bullet points wherever possible (for instance: “5 cheat sheets to organize your influencer research,” or “10 secrets of perfecting your replenishment emails,” etc.)

Learn from the Masters

You should never develop your marketing strategies in a vacuum. Others have paved the way before you, and perfected the most effective techniques along the way. So emulate what the best people in the business are doing: the best digital marketing educators are also the ones investing the most effort into webinar marketing strategies. So identify the top 5 educators in your market, and see how they approach their webinars.

For instance, as a digital marketing educator you might analyze the way big names like KissMetrics and Neil Patel promote their webinars. Here’s an example of a Kissmetrics webinar signup page:

Pay attention to the balanced layout, the designated and easily noticed signup area, professional images of presenters, and the punchy list of topics.

Leverage the Power of A Well Timed SMS Reminder

Once you have a long list of webinar signups, you’ll feel good - but you aren’t done yet. Those signups have to actually become attendees by tuning in when the webinar begins. You have to be proactive in making sure that signups remember your webinar before it happens, so they will also remember to show up.

Most webinar organizers and marketers send an email reminder a few hours before the webinar begins. But remember: skipping the webinar is a low-risk option for your subscribers, so you need a strong push.

This is where SMS reminders come into the picture. In addition to email reminders, send out an SMS reminder to your subscribers half an hour before the webinar before it begins. This is a more immediate option than email, and stands a better chance of being noticed. Here are the key elements of an effective SMS reminder:

  • Address the subscriber by name.
  • Include dial-in options.
  • Include a bit.ly or tinyurl shortened link.

Keep the Webinar Invitation Visible on Social Media

Most marketers will know to share webinar invites on their social media profiles, but there are ways to keep that invitation visible on social media for a longer period of time. Many online marketers are unaware that it is possible to highlight a post so it’s the first thing visitors to your page see.

Twitter offers users the option of ‘pinning’ a tweet on top of their page. This ensures that even if you post often, the webinar invite post remains on top.

Facebook has a similar feature:

Pinning a link to your webinar splash page on social media profiles is a sound way to ensure that it will remain visible to your audience, and maintain the interest of subscribers, so be sure to use this technique!

Conclusion:

Hosting a webinar is a great way to increase your brand’s authority, and the larger your audience, the larger your impact. These tactics are easy ways to improve your webinar signups and drive more conversions every time. Try one today, and let us know how it works for you!

 

Learn more with these related OMI classes:

Web Analytics & Testing

Email Marketing Tactics

Social Media Strategy for Business

 

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

 


5 Ways to Boost Your Video Marketing Strategy for Millennials

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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 good video strategy for attracting a millennial audience.

 

An extensive knowledge of all things digital make millennials a complicated segment of consumers to attract. So why do marketers put up with them? Maybe because millennials also have the greatest buying power of any generation, which automatically gives them the biggest consumer voice. Marketers are therefore willing to overcome a multitude of quantitative and qualitative challenges to fulfill their requirements, starting with a rapid pace of technological advancement.

Changing Face of Video Marketing Strategy

Out with the old, in with the new – that’s the mantra video marketing professionals should bear in mind if they wish to stay relevant and sell their products online to millennial consumers, who value originality, sincerity, and creativity above all else. Marketers should focus on finding an original voice for video marketing, one that captures the attention of a culture that gives precedence to personal expression.

At the same time, they should be also mindful of brand consistency and utilize performance marketing data to optimize their content. This is more complex than it sounds, and there is no single, overarching solution. But don’t let the messiness scare you away: by following generally good practices and mixing in your own ideas, it’s not hard to create video content that millennials will appreciate and respond to.

Below you will find five points for devising a competent video marketing strategy targeted to millennial customers -

1. Build Your Strategy on Video Marketing, Not the Other Way Around

In the millennial age, videos no longer play a merely supporting role in your marketing campaign: they have grown to become their own unique marketing strategy. A millennial audience will often begin by consuming video content before entering your sales funnel, and they respond to a style that emphasizes personal expression and reflects consumer sensibilities. For this purpose, the fundamentals of video communication are vital components in your new marketing strategy. Communicating effectively through videos will drive emotional engagement across various disciplines, from customer relationship management to product marketing and cross-platform paid advertising. Learn how a good video is constructed on a fundamental level, and use that knowledge to drive content across your marketing efforts.

2. Take Time to Analyze Your Target Audience

Some marketers think it’s important to deploy an especially complicated and well-researched video strategy when catering to millennials. This can give marketers a feeling of paralysis as they reflect on possible inadequacies in their finances, logistics and brand. It is true that best practice for video marketing geared towards millennials requires some fine-tuning, particularly in terms of identifying the right audience groups. However, that does not mean companies have to sit down and completely rethink their brand to accomplish this.

Narrowing the broader domain of ‘millennials’ into manageable segments is a much easier task thanks to digital marketing tools that largely automate the work. Insight into the best millennial-targeted video marketing strategy comes from testing, analysis, and scale. This is vital to your marketing strategy, since the millennial generation has a hard time trusting too many people too fast.

Instead of attempting to impress your target audience with a traditional advertisement-focused video marketing campaign, your video strategy should be different: it should be extremely visual, experiential, personal, and easy to comprehend.

3. Have the Right Video Marketing Support

Video marketing professionals should have provisions in place to counter the consumer shift in digital platforms. This means arranging for video support that complements your existing production plan:

  • Understand your budget. A large budget will allow you to create impressive 360-degree videos which are sure to draw audience’s attention. Even if you’ve got a smaller budget, you can still create amazing video marketing content in VR.
  • Kajabi is a great platform for people to create and sell content, courses etc. For video makers, this is a great way to make money from their work; for you, it’s a great resource for supplementing your video library.
  • ClickMeeting is a leading webinar solution that enables you to easily generate instructional campaigns.

In every case, you should not rely on any single solution to generate great video content. Creativity and thoughtfulness is essential to set your brand apart from competitors, which means that experimentation is a must.

4. Crowdsourcing, and other creative strategies

When settling on a long-term production strategy for your video content, there are three possibilities:

  1. You can rely on an internal video-marketing team
  2. You can outsource these responsibilities to freelancers
  3. You can crowdsource your content

While the end goal is always to become as self-reliant as possible, don’t forget the importance of creativity in reaching out to millennials. Before settling on a style, be willing to try things out. Find different approaches, and see what works best. By reaching out to freelancers from popular sites like Freelancer and Upwork, you can find diverse talents. Crowdsourcing platforms like veed.me will also give you instant access to new and exciting ideas.

When you find something that works well, you can stick with it and build from there, but don’t confine yourself in the beginning. Strict boundaries will only put a limit on your versatility.

5. Consider Utilizing Artificial Intelligence

The video marketing landscape has greatly changed in the last decade, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is partly responsible for that. Believe it or not, AI can be used to generate creative ideas for video content. Understandably, some people find the idea of machines driving creative output bizarre and borderline offensive. But when properly utilized, AI will drive and augment human expression rather than supplant it. Don’t think in terms of creative cannibalization, but rather in terms of extended capability.

Martech Advisor has done a good story on how AI can empower video campaigners. New tools like Magisto can speed up the video production process by an exponential factor, helping you to set a good pace and dramatically decrease costs. While it may seem like a novel idea, it’s one more creative solution to consider in order to further differentiate your brand and appeal to a market driven by an appetite for innovation.

Conclusion

In an Internet-driven world, millennial audiences have become extremely fragmented, and video marketers must contend with new challenges if they wish to tap into the millennial market. That being said, the sheer potential of a properly executed video marketing strategy, combined with the purchase/social media power of millennials makes for a blockbuster formula.

The points mentioned above will help you in exploring and defining your video marketing strategy for a new generation of millennial buyers. The risk is small, and the upsides are massive, so find a point that seems helpful and get started today!

Learn more with these related OMI classes:

Marketing to Millennials

Video & Multi-Screen Strategies

How to Create a Content Segmentation Plan

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

 


11 Ways to Acquire More Leads Using Your LinkedIn Profile

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LinkedIn can be a great source for generating potential B2B leads if you know the right tactics. In this article, we’ll go over the top 11 strategies to acquire more leads from LinkedIn:

1- Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile to Connect with Potential Prospects

The very first step is optimizing your LinkedIn profile. In order to do this, you must expand your network by connecting with other industry users. The trick is to form connections with people who you’re unfamiliar with, with the goal of establishing a long term relationship whenever possible. However, this requires subtlety; otherwise, you might be seen as a spammer.

When LinkedIn users receive an invitation, there are two ways they can see it: their notifications bar, and the message inbox. The notifications bar showcases a small preview including your name, title, and the beginning of your message. If these are people who don’t know you, chances are they require more information before they accept your invite. To learn more about you, they’ll click on the invitation to view the full message.

The full message contains your name, picture, your title and tagline, and your message. A profile picture is very important, and without it, you won’t be taken seriously. Your job title will help users decide whether you’re worth connecting with or not.

The main thing that people check for when poring through your profile is legitimacy. The best thing you can do to help increase this is to simply make sure you’ve completely filled out the details of your profile page, including links to your website and published works if applicable. You may also try adding a line that lets people know you’re willing to connect with new users.

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2- Tag Prospects and Influencers in Your Conversation

LinkedIn tags are a great way to enhance your efficiency and provide your sales cycle with a more streamlined process. These tags enable you to group your contacts any way you want, and though LinkedIn offers some generic options to start, the real fun begins when you create custom tags.

Filtering and organizing your connections becomes very simple with LinkedIn tags. Tags make it easier to understand various segments of your connections, based on details that are not available on their profiles. A maximum number of 200 tag categories may be used at a time.

You can tag based on location, clients, prospects, industry, media contacts, event tags, and strategic partners. It’s even possible to use LinkedIn tags in your sales process to identify their position in the sales cycle; you no longer have to worry about forgetting leads and tracking prospects.

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Just click on the Tag button and select appropriate tags from the drop down, or create new ones

3- Frequently Add Connections to Your Network

It’s a good idea to invest a bit of time each working day to build your connections. Using the “People You May Know” list, you are able to broaden your social network easily. At the same time, you’ll become known as a person who reliably expands their network, which is important. Keep in mind that every person you speak to regarding work or business in the course of a business day is a prospective LinkedIn connection waiting to be added to your network.

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4- Join Groups and Share Updates

LinkedIn enables you to interact with people who are present in the same groups as you. You can use this as a targeted method to add value to other users, expand your present networking with connections and prospects, or exchange helpful business insights. All it will cost you is five minutes of your time each day to post an update to your network. You can use this daily update time to post videos, blogs, or articles that will be of interest to your customers and prospects. You might even use the “Pulse” feature present on your dashboard. Every time an update gets posted, your profile is displayed on the feeds of all your connections. However, take care never to sell when posting updates. Use them only to share your business expertise and add value to your network.

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Go to Interests, click on Groups, and step into the world of LinkedIn groups.

5- Buy LinkedIn Ads

LinkedIn ads allow you to get in front of suitable prospects. Ads improve your visibility, thereby increasing your “know, like and trust” factor in the community. LinkedIn ads possess great targeting options, and micro campaigns allow you to limit advertising costs, gain more visibility, and track your progress easily. Learn as much as possible about paid ads to maintain a high score and run the most effective campaign possible.

Ads can be bought in two ways: CPM, also known as cost-per-mille (‘mille’ meaning 1,000 impressions), and cost-per-click (CPC). For sponsored content, it’s probably best to go the CPC route. CPC ads generate fewer clicks in the short term, but LinkedIn will continue to show them until money is earned. This is helpful when you want visibility and recognition.

In the case of text ads, CPM is the way to go. These are great for lead generation.

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Go to the Business Services menu and select the Advertise option to create an ad and explore your options.

6- Use Ad Rotation Strategically to Prevent Banner Blindness

When using LinkedIn ads, it’s best to create a bank of different ads for rotation, rather than putting all your eggs in one basket. This not only helps to prevent banner blindness, it also allows you to determine which ads perform the best. Choosing the winning ad can lead to a massive spike in conversions and clicks generated.

Applying for ad rotation is easy. You can rotate your ads evenly, or enable the LinkedIn algorithms to pick the best one. You should allow your ads to run for at least a couple of weeks before evaluating their performance, to make sure you have a large enough sample size. When you’ve found the best-performing ads, you can easily swap out the losers and begin testing new ones.

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7- Regularly Post Your Articles on Pulse

Pulse is an amazing tool for LinkedIn users to discover meaningful, reliable content that they can share with their target market. Users who remain active on the platform will stay at the top of their network. This sort of passive awareness comes in handy when reaching out for an introduction. It is good practice to promote guest contributions on your LinkedIn profile and engage with potential customers by seeking feedback on your content. Posting articles frequently on Pulse gives you a chance to educate leads, which in turn adds to your value and leads to stronger relationships.

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8- Adopt the Auto-Suggestions Provided by LinkedIn to Constantly Improve Profile Visibility

You will receive frequent notifications from LinkedIn to add new users to your network. Your ultimate goal should be to establish a connection with them and ensure that when they view your profile, they will see helpful and relevant information about your business. Growing your network on a regular basis will boost your profile visibility. Auto-suggestions are extremely helpful in connecting you with the right users in your industry. When it makes sense, it’s a good idea to ask for recommendations, and provide them to members of your network. This will strengthen the connections you already have, and increase the overall reputation of your profile.

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9- Add Valuable Content to Your Sponsored Updates

Sponsored updates are a more subtle form of advertising that allow for more precise customer targeting. To use them effectively, you must first generate lots of quality content, then create different sponsored updates within a fixed time frame to promote that content to your target audience.

While this may seem like a lot of work, you can reap rich rewards as a result. The point of this method as opposed to CPM or CPC is to deliver value upfront in order to attract customers. When using sponsored updates, make sure to track your campaign’s success after it’s begun to evaluate the most valuable incentives and implement any changes to your sponsored updates in the future.

Take the time to learn how effective content is created to give your advertising strategy a tremendous boost.

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10- Make Use of Advanced Search

Advanced search filters are a great way to search LinkedIn users based on their relationships, company size, seniority level, and function.

The first criteria you should use in the Advanced search is location, title, and industry. The trick to B2B sales is  targeting the same level of employer or employee in every company, and this is where the title filter comes in handy. If location is a factor to doing business, use the location filter ensures that all the contacts you find have the potential to do business with you, similarly, you can use the industry filter helps you scope out targets within your target industry.

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Click on the Advanced option to the right of the search box on your LinkedIn homepage to access advanced search.

11- Run an Email Marketing Campaign on LinkedIn

LinkedIn has its own personal messaging system called InMail to help you connect with new users. It’s easy to apply for your own marketing campaigns. All you need to do is ask your round table and webinar guests to cover an event on their networks. This method works best if you send focused messages to recipients using the filtering tools offered by InMail. It is easy to filter recipients on the basis of industry, company size and role, and thereby locate ideal targets for boosting your campaign.

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Final Thoughts

Nothing beats LinkedIn when it comes to highly relevant social media marketing. As an entrepreneur, creating an effective LinkedIn engagement strategy is a surefire way to acquire more leads and connect with the people who matter. With the profile management tips and tricks we’ve shared above, you’re now ready to leverage your profile to attract more leads than ever.

About the Author

Joydeep Bhattacharya is a digital marketing evangelist and author of the SEO blog, SEOsandwitch.com. He is a Google Adwords and Analytics certified professional helping brands increase their presence online. He can be reached via Twitter or Facebook.

Want to learn more about any of the subjects mentioned above? Here are some relevant classes: Creating a LinkedIn Engagement StrategyCreating and Curating Content People Love, Email Marketing Tactics

Visit the Online Marketing Institute  to browse over 400 classes in the digital and social media marketing space. Ready to start learning? Sign up here here.