I won’t spend a great deal of time on this, but I want to give you a good example of useful marketing. Let’s say you wrote a book on organizing your home, as this woman has done.
Your goal is to get your book in front of the people who are going to buy it. Where do your potential customers go to find information on your topic? In this example, some of the potential readers search for organizing related information and some are regular readers of organizing related sites. To reach both of these potential customers, this author has written a piece on her topic. This is not a fluff piece, but a helpful and feature packed article.
Plan to Succeed: Teaching Kids The Planner Habit
Of course, I think I should say that in this case, the site came before the book, but for this example, let’s pretend like it’s a guest article on someone else’s site.
In her article, she’s linked to her book at the end, which gives this piece credibility and the author credibility (hey, she’s an expert on this topic, I should read her book!). In addition, this reaches the reader at the perfect time, when he/she has admitted a need for knowledge on the subject, via regular visits to the site or even better, via searching on that topic. The customer is at purchase point, because they are actively searching for the tool to fill the need.
This is a great example of smart marketing. Want bad examples? I can think of two that rarely help and usually hurt the credibility of your product.
Link exchanges – There is only limited value in dropping your link everywhere. Sure, you’ll have loads of links and that may be good for SEO, but it won’t get your message in front of your customers. At best, a well placed link may bring you a few good leads, but there isn’t enough of a call-to-action in a link to give you enough value to waste your time getting them where you want them.
Ezine/Article Distribution – These sites may show up well in search, but they have limited value in that people don’t trust them. Heck, I know some fabulous writers that use these and even though I know that I still have a hard time taking anything there seriously. Don’t agree? Check out this article and this one and tell me which one you trust more. Same article, same author, one feels slimy and marketing-ish and one just gives you the information you desire. I think the subtle, dirty feeling I get from the ezine one is because there is just so much crap found in article distribution. People use these types of sites just to market their goods, which are often smarmy in themselves, so there is no real feeling of ‘hey, this is great knowledge’. Instead, every article I read there makes me think ‘what are they trying to sell me’.
If you are using ezine articles and link drops, you are spending too much energy in the wrong places. You want your message to appear on sites that your potential customers use and trust. And, you want you message to be written without any sales pitch, because just by being an authority you are ‘selling’ your product.
The first author has really done her work efficiently and expertly. Her article answers the ‘is she credible?’ question implicitly and inspires confidence in her advice. These types of articles have so much more credibility AND likelihood of reaching your target audience than article distribution sites. She didn’t have to say, ‘if you want to learn more, check out my book on Amazon’. Her readers will make that leap on their own, because this article gave out much knowledge on the subject but still only whet their appetite for more.
It’s really a great example of giving your customers (or potential customers) really useful information to give yourself credibility and exposure. Smart move!
…and yes, I’m writing this because went through this process myself and ended up purchasing her book.