Content Marketing: Top 10 Creative Ways To Use Info Products in Your Business

10 Creative Ways To Use Info Products in Your Business

Content marketing is HOT for a simple reason. It’s cost-effective. You get an awful lot of bang for your content marketing buck.

If you’re thinking about using content for marketing, you may confine your ambitions to blogging, and Facebook pages. While there’s nothing wrong with that, consider broadening your horizons, to info products.

Blogs and social media pages have a big challenge: they’re ephemeral. You can create a wonderful, traffic-generating blog post, which gets a trickle of traffic for years. While it’s valuable, and can do a great deal for your business, it’s still just a blog post.

A book on the other hand is a book. Suddenly you’re an author. At a more humble level, a white paper or a report is a product. It’s a discrete entity. It’s not that I have anything against blog posts and the like. Heaven forbid. I’ve been blogging since 2000, and loved blogs while other businesses were still scoffing at “online journals.” A blog’s wonderful, but info products are entities.

Let’s look at creative ways you can use info products in your business.

1. Use content marketing to demonstrate expertise: become a thought leader

Want to become a thought leader in your industry? Write a book. Seth Godin is the pattern card for thought leaders in marketing. The man’s a genius, no question. Authors are respected.

No time to write a book? Hire a ghostwriter, or write a white paper, report or short ebook.

2. Generate income opportunities from info products

You can generate income from info products in many different was:

  • Offer them as inducements to sign up to a mailing list;
  • Sell them on Amazon or the Web;
  • Create online classes and courses;
  • Attract traffic and links.

3. Get more traffic (Google isn’t the only search engine)

Speaking of traffic: Google isn’t the only search engine which sends you traffic. Aside from Yahoo and Bing, consider that Amazon, iTunes, and YouTube are search engines which can send you traffic.

Podcasts and videos are popular info marketing tools for this reason: traffic.

4. Generate more leads using info products

As we’ve said, a blog post is just that. Millions of blog posts are created each day. (3.7 million, in August 2014.) That’s a LOT of competition.

If you create an info product however, it’s something for your website visitors to download, pass around, and keep.

5. Build your brand

Content marketing with Info products builds your brand. Produce a book, and you’re an author… an authority. Produce ebooks, or a magazine, and you’re a publisher as well as a business person.

In 2014, many more businesses use info products like magazines to publish regularly to build their brand — see Flipboard, if you’d like to create a (free) magazine for your business too. I love Twitter, but a tweet has a life span measured in seconds. Every info product you create builds your brand now and in the future.

6. Become an author: build reputation

We’ve mentioned Seth Godin. He’s an info product powerhouse, who understands marketing and publishing. His reputation rests on a sold foundation of books.

7. Create ebooks to enhance sales

In the early 1990s, if you strolled into a bookshop, you saw brick-sized software manuals stacked to the ceiling. Yes, they were necessary. I can remember reading my Lotus Agenda manuals as if they were holy writ.

Those manuals were also content marketing. Businesses displayed those manuals on bookshelves.

Nowadays you don’t have to kill a forest. You can use ebooks to enhance your sales. Think about what you wish your customers knew about your products. Create a downloadable ebook to tell them.

8. Create workbooks to help customers get more from your products

Most products lend themselves to a workbook or two.

Selling T-shirts? Create a workbook which shows customers how to draw their own designs onto your T shirts. Then create a contest for the best designs.

In real estate? Create a workbook/ journal/ app to help your clients to move house.

9. Create white papers and reports to inform

Your business produces a mass of research and stats. Use that information to create white papers and reports.

Tip: get creative with this. If you can’t stand to read your own white paper, your customers won’t read it either. Use straightforward language, and don’t be boring.

10. Create videos and podcasts to entertain (and inspire)

Your videos and podcasts are info products. By all means upload them to YouTube. Don’t stop there however. Make the most of them by compiling them into downloads on your own website, where your customers can find them easily. Info products you create to teach your products also promote your products – and they’re info products in their own right.

Techsmith for example does an amazing job with their tutorial videos as you might expect from a software company devoted to helping their customers to create images and videos.

Here’s what I like about the way Techsmith handles its tutorials: they’re entertaining, and informative, as well as being inspiring.

So there you have it — ten creative ways to use info products in YOUR business.

Updated July 24, 2014.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Content Creation Business Model: Free Content and Paid Content

“Content is king.” How many times have you heard that? It’s true, as far as it goes. I prefer: content is king, but only if you can figure out how to make money from it.

Web content

Here’s a thought-provoking article for any business engaged in content creation, Search Engines Don’t Encourage Valuable Content Creation:

“Bottom line: if your business model involves creating valuable content, you’re going to need a strategy to protect it and claw value back from aggregators and networks in order for a content model to be sustainable.”

That’s the challenge for any business with a content creation business model, to give some of your content away for “free”, but keep the best material locked away for your loyal readers who are willing to pay for it.

Making money directly from content is a tough business. On my freelance writing blog, I’ve been talking about the writers’ “work for free” controversy. An editor from The Atlantic site told journalist Nathan Thayer that “we do reach 13 million readers a month”.

That’s a lot of readers, but The Atlantic still only pays $100 an article, and prefers to pay nothing at all. Obviously their business model is sustainable for them.

The challenge: free and paid content? Or paid content only?

Content costs. It’s not free. It takes time and money to create. If you have a content creation business model, make sure the model works for you. Work out how much your “free” content is costing you. If you’re not getting benefits from it, it might be time to lock up your content. Publish your best content as ebooks, on Amazon, rather than giving it away.

photo credit: striatic via photopin cc

Info Product Maestro: Time-Limited Offering

Write an Amazon Bestseller

Creating and selling info products makes a wonderful home business which you can start with next to no capital.

I’ve been selling info products for over a decade, and of course Amazon just keeps growing the market.

I’m excited about all the opportunities. There’s never been a better time to be creator.

If you’re wondering to get started, I’ve created a time-limited offering on my Info Product Maestro package. It’s available for another four days.

You’ll love the videos. I’m working through the information; I know you’ll get a lot out of it too. Enjoy. :-)

Info Products Publisher: Make Money From Your Kitchen Table

If you want to make money online, info product creation offers huge opportunities. You can start your new business at your kitchen table. Create, promote, and sell — there’s little more to it.

I’ve been creating and selling info products for a decade, and for most of that decade ebooks have been predicted as the next big thing more often than I can count.

Initially, the buzz over the Kindle just made me sigh. The early Kindle model was woeful. I hated it. Give me print any day, I thought.

Then, with the release of the iPad last year, I started to get excited.

Fast forward to this year, and I was spending four to five hours a day reading on my iPad.

And people started to make money via Kindle publishing…

For a while, I wondered whether it was a fad. Seeing major publishers focusing on Kindle/ ereader publication alongside print publication — and the experiments these huge publishing houses are running in pricing and publication times — convinced me it’s the future… NOT A FAD.

Since Kindle publication will be such a major endeavor for me, you can join me in the adventure if you wish. Subscribe to Info Products Publisher (free); it will help you to build your info products business.

I’m thrilled with the new possibilities for us all going forward.

I intend to make the most of these possibilities, and I hope you will too.