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Medium to Long Term Content Marketing Strategies
Friday, March 27, 2015

E-books

E-books are tools that can help send your business, whether based in affiliate products or products of your own, soaring to potentials that you may not have previously considered.
In a nutshell, e-books are electronic books, and they're software programs that operate the way that most hard cover or soft cover books operate. Only instead of turning pages of a book by hand, e-book readers turn pages by clicking on forward or back buttons. They can be bookmarked, highlighted, commented, searched, and/or ported to almost any e-book reading device and some game systems for Pete's sake!

These abilities are some of the things that make e-books so appealing to their readers. But they're even more appealing to their authors because they're rather easy to create. Within minutes, the general populace can author material that mainstream publishers wouldn't even consider, and as a result, e-books are everywhere!

Once you've created a good number of articles, you can compile them into an e-book of your own. What you choose to do with that e-book is up to you. The important thing to remember is that content gives you enough material to electronically publish a book for profit or for free -- complete with an extensive table of contents, chapters, and an index if you like. You could sell the e-book, give the e-book away as a bonus of some sort, or use the e-book as bait for newsletter subscriptions.

Make no mistake about it -- people love to download and read e-books. Yahoo!'s Business Wire reported in April 2007 that the SeeWhy Software eBook, In Search of Insight, surpassed 6,000 downloads in only six months. The benefits of creating and distributing an e-book are many, and they individually depend on specific goals. At the very least, your own e-book gives you yet-another-platform to describe your products or services at length and link to their sales pages.

E-Courses

E-Courses are groups of lessons distributed as a series of instructional email messages -- each containing a lecture, assigned reading, or homework assignment of some sort.

The length of an e-course varies anywhere from as little as seven lessons to as many as twenty or more. But the trick to making them effective is saving the most important part of each lesson for web content. Each lesson then links to that part of a website, which of course, displays affiliate links and/or contextual ads (like Google Adsense). E-Courses can be used anywhere for any reason to educate, to inform, to advertise and to influence. The only tools needed are good content (reformatted as individual lessons) and email capabilities.

List Building

Maintaining a mailing list can be hard -- but building a mailing list can be harder. Without resorting to spamming, just how does one build a quality list of newsletter subscribers?!

Easy.

The trick to building a quality list of newsletter subscribers (without spamming) is attracting them. Use content on a web page that entices subscriptions with intriguing articles. Format this page as an informative report right along with a newsletter subscription form, or link to one on a different page.

In addition to intriguing content, you can further entice subscriptions by offering a free e-book or e-course (described earlier) that was again, created from good content. Both of which point to your own products for sale, or to the sales of your affiliate products.

Content Marketing

Simply put, content marketing is advertising a web site through the use of articles, and it's most effective when articles are sprinkled throughout the Internet via social networks. Similar to software libraries, social networks store author-submitted content for free, and they offer them to who ever is interested in reading it. It's an effective marketing tool for entrepreneurs because the content (articles) link to the authors' websites or affiliate product pages.

You can submit your content to social networks and start generating traffic to your website or affiliate product pages as well. Just be sure that you modify your content so that it's unique to your specific products and/or services. Include an author bio and submit them using the tools described below.

Membership Sites

Membership websites are probably the highest income earning tools on the Internet because they offer exclusive access to original material. In order to access the content on a membership site, people pay a monthly fee. One example of this is the Association of Shareware Professionals website. ASP members pay a fee to access its highly exclusive and informative newsletters, articles, software programs, business services, and tools.

You can create something similar with your own membership site. Built upon a specific theme, your membership site could offer new material (created from content) on a monthly basis, and charge a subscription fee for its access. The more you offer of course, the better its value. So you don't want to stop at articles. You could offer graphics, sound files, interviews, chat sessions, discussion boards, workshops, and more.

Try to remember that every page of your membership site gives you the opportunity to make a sale. And that means that in addition to the monthly membership charge, you could earn even more by monetizing the pages that host your content, graphics, sound files, interviews, chat sessions, discussion boards, and workshops.

Social Networking

Sharing ideas has been the groundwork for of all our inventions throughout time. In today's time, social networking gives us a platform to share ideas on a global scale faster then ever thought of before. As a result, we have a new medium to advertise products and services in an environment that literally solicits new ideas on a daily basis.

If you're new to social networks, social networking offers an interactive, user-submitted international network of friends, personal profiles, blogs, groups, photos, music and videos.  They're similar to discussion forums, however they allow more input from their members. Where discussion forums are basically textual-based, social networks are media-based, and they provide an environment for all kinds of material that's not limited to keyboard characters.

In such an environment, you can share your photos, soundbytes, blogs, article snippets, and videos with other interested parties. By inviting friends, you help spread the word about your products or affiliate links. Quality content gives you the materials you need to create things like sound-bytes, blogs, article snippets, and videos --, and it gives you the means to do so in a professional way.

Social networking sites are a hot ticket these days, and their popularity will help you achieve lots of traffic. Simply having a link to your website or affiliate products from places like Craigslist, Amazon, or Ebay, you'll increase the popularity of your own URL as well.

RSS & Podcasting Syndication

RSS is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated digital content, such as blogs, news feeds or podcasts. 'Podcasting' on the other hand, is a way of publishing files to a website that allows users to subscribe to the site, and receive new files as they are posted. A podcast is a digital media file, or a series of such files, that is distributed over the Internet using syndication feeds for playback on portable media players and personal computers.

Both tools give online merchants fantastic opportunities to increase awareness of product information and/or affiliate links -- and they're not as difficult to use as you might think. With the proper tools, you can easily create a steady stream of original content (containing links to affiliate products or monetized web pages), and directly distribute them to the people who ask for it.

Viral Marketing

'Viral marketing' and 'viral advertising' refers to marketing techniques that exploit pre-existing social networks to produce exponential increases in brand awareness.

In other words, you can use content to create a product that's so intriguing, it's talked about (and promoted by others) on a phenomenal scale. Viral marketing is extreme word-of-mouth advertising, and because its success depends on voluntary distribution, it only works for free items. You certainly wouldn't want to try viral marketing on items that should generate an income.

The difference between viral marketing and the other products we've mentioned (e-books, e-courses, articles, etc.), is that in order for a product to be successful in viral marketing, the product has to be hot. It needs to be extremely creative, fun to use, maybe a little humorous and perhaps funky enough to warrant sharing among friends. Remember that it's the sharing that makes viral products talked about and distributed on a wide scale. So you definitely want to get a little crazy with this thing.

But don't get so caught up in the fun that you lose perspective of what you're doing. Never forget to advertise your products or affiliate links in your viral products, and be sure to monetize the web page from which your viral product can be downloaded.

Encourage free distribution among others, and give them away everywhere that you can -- not only from your own website -- but also from your social bookmarking sites, download libraries, ftp sites, and more.

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