Marketing Your Virtual Goods: Five Essential Practices for eBook, Video and Audio Creators

digital products marketing tips
Virtual goods marketing tips
Part 1 of a 2 part series

The world of cheaper and cheaper software, hardware and computing memory has given hundreds of millions of people the ability to author and self-publish books, generate videos, music and instructional audio. If you have anything at all to say, there is a good possibility that you can afford to get it down in a concrete enough structure to sell, and if it is good material, there is a market for it. But exactly what are the best ways to steer folks with open wallets to it with the billions of digital products available? This two-part series will show you 10 methods to get the word out and the cash in.

I’ll use the digital eBook as the illustration in this article, but the same methods can be applied to videos, music and any other product you can deliver on the internet.

Why digital products?

Inexpensive but professional electronic publishing enables fairly simple production of saleable, published works of value by bloggers and category experts. Authors are benefiting from low-cost, limited run publishing of hard copies, and that’s fantastic. Keeping the product digital keeps the work in the cyber-universe that has absolutely no cost of delivery once the charge card clears.

The goal for every eBook author is to get noticed, read, and bring in a profit on the results of her effort in creating the book.

Sound simple? It is, but it isn’t easy. Internet marketing an eBook requires a variety of corresponding techniques to get eyeballs popping and cash flowing. You can buy standard advertising in print publications and classifieds, but let’s restrict this discussion to the online world.

Here are 5 winning practices that will help any writer, small business professional or entrepreneur attract readers and revenue:

1. Create a Destination

Every unique product you make can have a landing page if not several landing pages. This is the eBook specific site ( that uses either a written or video sales letter structure to talk about all the reasons people should purchase your eBook. Landing pages are a discussion unto themselves, but should have as many external reviews raving about the book and its content as possible. Every landing page culminates in a call to action to buy the book online, for a limited time discount rate.

Note that landing pages don’t have to be on your own domain. You can develop a fan page on a site like Squidoo that is free of charge to set up and capitalizes on the SEO and visitors that the main Squidoo site already has.

Wherever your landing page is, make sure it is SEO optimized around key phrases and even your geographical area. This offers it the best chance for high natural search result ranking.

2. The Social Pimp

This one is undeniable. Market your eBook landing page in your Tweets, on your Facebook site, in LinkedIn groups, your YouTube channel, and on any other social media outlets where your book can be seen, forwarded, re-tweeted and more. Don’t depend on this as your main technique, but if you have terrific content and a catchy message, you may go viral and then the sky’s the limit.

3. Online Press Releases

Write a press announcement or a collection of them about your book, its release and availability, and submit to paid news release sites like low-cost/no-cost outlets like Make it engaging and link to your page for purchase.

4. The Strength of the List

Don’t have an email list? Shame on you! Your personal or business website must have an email sign-up list where people opt in to hear from you. But why would they do that? I’m sure you’ve found sign up forms that state, “Register for our email list!” Kill me now! Unless the site carries gravitas and heavy name awareness, no one will sign up for your list without a lead magnet. A lead magnet is the freebee, the free offer that seduces the reader enough to part with his email address to get it.

If you just composed an eBook, your lead magnet may be 1 or 2 free sections of the eBook. Collect email addresses while enthusing people with the free chapter text, tantalizing them for more. You, of course, now send them individualized email bulletins from your email promotional partner (Constant Contact, I-Contact, MailChimp, etc.) that are timed auto-responses from the day they first accessed the chapters. Each subsequent email gives them an opportunity to click through to your landing page and purchase.

5. The Footer

This is the easiest technique I know of to get people to a product page and it costs you absolutely zippo. Yet I am astonished that it is the one that is often overlooked. Every email you send should have a footer that describes you. It typically has a name, title or something appealing about you, and some way to get in touch with you. It should also have your website linked or whatever other page you might want to steer people to, like a LinkedIn profile. You can use an anchor link, like Get Your LinkedIn eBook here, or spell out the link beginning with http so it reads and will be visible in text-based email browsers too and a live hyperlink in most email browsers. Emails get forwarded, copied, and otherwise shared. You never know who is viewing and clicking.

Part 2: Digital Product Marketing: Five More Strategies to Market Web Sales

About the Author:
Karl WalinskasKarl Walinskas is the CEO of  Smart Company Growth, a business development firm that helps small to mid-size professional service firms builds competitive advantage in an online world of sameness.   He is author of numerous articles and  the Smart Blog  on leadership, business communication, sales & service, public speaking and virtual business, and Getting Connected Through Exceptional Leadership, available in theSmartShop.    Get your  FREE LinkedIn Profile Optimization eBook & Video Course, Video Marketing video and course, or Mastermind Groups e-course & video  now.