The online world has hit a sweet spot for entrepreneurs who create valuable information products.
We are experiencing a digital renaissance of sorts.
The tools you need to create, sell, and distribute online courses and ebooks are incredibly affordable, the software to market your stuff is easy to set up, and ad networks like Facebook and Google give you virtually unlimited distribution to any market on the planet.
You still may not be experiencing all the benefits of a thriving online business. We’re talking about others promoting your products for you. It’s powerful, profitable, and could be the missing piece to your marketing puzzle that the best creators use.
You’ve most likely heard the typical advice. Things like:
- “Create a product that’s awesome and people will naturally share it.”
- “Start a blog or podcast in your niche.”
- “Connect with influencers in your field.”
Most of this is sound advice, but it doesn’t go into the nitty gritty. The place where actionable tips give you real growth.
This post aims to help you properly find (and reach out to) influencers in your niche and get tons of promotion from your existing target audience.
Let’s get started.
Reach for The Stars? Yes, Absolutely
“We sit in the mud…and reach for the stars” – Ivan Turgenev
Getting a high profile name in your niche/industry to share your product with their audience is a gargantuan accomplishment. It takes both humility and a solid belief that your content can help your target market.
If you reach out with too much humility, you’re just a beggar with an eBook. Too cocky and you risk insulting a potential partner. But find that balance, and you’ll have a chance.
Now, here’s how to find partners who can change the game for your digital product sales.
Influencer Marketing Research Tools
Finding a solid fit for your product is the foundation, so don’t take it lightly. Here are a few tools that will help you find the perfect voices in your field to propel your digital product.
The process can be as easy as a Google search, but you’ll want to see if potential partners can really make an impact on your product marketing. Look for things like:
- Social Indicators: blog post shares, comments, video views.
- Traffic/Links: Give them a run through Alexa and Open Site Explorer to see some of their stats and check the credibility.
- Following: Take a look at their primary social channels and see how many followers, likes, and connections they have.
- Email Marketing: Sign up to their newsletter and see how their autoresponder content holds up.
This influencer marketing research tool allows you to search for your industry, niche, or product topic and find related popular content that has been published and shared by thousands. Companies have used BuzzSumo to find topics for their next blog posts and to (of course) find influencers.
With their free search options, you’ll be able to pick up on the top 10 or so posts with your topic. The paid version allows you to see everything as well as get updates and further information about the posts and authors.
Bonus Tip: BuzzSumo makes an incredible product development tool. You can see what is resonating with audiences in your niche and use that information to create original content like developing entirely new courses and books to suit a hungry audience.
Our last tool has loads of bells and whistles that are specifically devoted to connecting you to influencers and promoting your content. Not only will this tool help you find the people you want, but it organizes them all into one place. Here are a few of their sweet features:
- Chrome Extension to easily throw the contact info from a site into the interface.
- Automates finding contact information and manages data.
- Prospecting button to find site after site that you can reach out to immediately or later.
Further Reading: Here is a list of almost a dozen tools to help you find and reach out to influencers.
How To Reach Out Like A Seasoned Pro
Once you’ve done the heavy lifting of finding the perfect influencers, it’s time to see if they will help you.
While you don’t have the final say, there are several things that will give you a fighting chance.
- Personalize Your Outreach Emails: We love automation, but send these emails individually. Sure, you can use a template. Just don’t run them through the cookie cutter and expect a huge response.
- Send Them Again: If someone didn’t respond the first time, don’t take it personally. If they are influencers, they’re busy. Send it again. (Pro Tip: forward the first one so it won’t be dismissed as spam.)
- Get To The Point: If you can get everything you need out without them having to scroll down, do it.
You want a few things that you could include in the email? You got it.
- A Compliment: You’ve been researching them, so there has to be something nice to say. If you have mutual connections, mention them. People like to help their friends’ friends.
- Your Proposal: Give them a few options (guest on their podcast, you write a guest post, they email blast for an affiliate fee, etc.)
- Free Access to the Product: This one should be a no brainer.
- Reciprocal Appreciation: If you have a platform and they want access in return (possibly for their own product), it shouldn’t be difficult to accomplish.
Appealing to the Masses
Key players in your niche can be powerful without a doubt. But so can individuals. So we’re going to switch gears and give you a few high level tips to getting a response from a large group of people.
Run a Contest
Giveaways and digital products are so compatible it’s a no-brainer.
Now, in the renaissance we mentioned at the beginning of this post, giveaways have never been easier to execute. Instead of manually tracking everything and picking a winner, you can use a handy tool to do most of the heavy lifting. A few of the benefits include:
- Virality: Your contest will get shared and you will gain email addresses, likes, followers, etc. Depending on the price of your giveaway, your contest could go “viral”.
- Low Cost: Most contest platforms have either free trials and very low cost plans for bootstrappers, and the top tier plans are both incredible and affordable.
- More Leads: Once the contest is over, you can send a discount offer to those who didn’t win and see an immediate boost in sales.
Here are a couple of the most popular contest tools:
- KingSumo Giveaways: This is a great entry level option. Each contestant can be given 3-4 ways to enter for more chances to win, and you’ll be able to easily import your new emails into Drip.
- Gleam: For the designer in all of us, there is Gleam. It’s as beautiful as it is powerful. Those who want their contest to look its very best may choose this option. It’s a driving force for a lot of content producers (like Hubspot and Jonathan Morrison).
For the record, both platforms can randomly draw a winner for you, or you can choose the lucky winner.
Pay (Pennies) For Exposure
Our final promotion tip comes from a little known ad platform that can literally have thousands of people knocking on the door to your product. For this tip to work, we have to assume a couple of things. You have free content on your site (like a blog) and it’s good.
What’s this “secret” tool? StumbleUpon. The company has jumped on the bandwagon of social ads, but (like the platform itself) is different from the rest. You’ve probably stumbled a couple of times and understand the concept.
Now, you can choose those who will see your content (based on their interest/demographics). If those people like that post, everyone who sees it due to that promotion won’t cost you a thing.
How much is it? Five cents a Stumble.
Example: 5 paid people see your posts and like it and 30 others see it due to it being well-liked. That’s one quarter please.
Sound valuable? We thought so. Here’s how to get the most out of those visits:
- Closely related content (pretty obvious one here too).
- Promote your product funnel pretty heavy (whether it’s your lead magnet, webinar, etc.)
- Headlines are extremely important on StumbleUpon, it’s so easy for them to hit that big red button again.
Hopefully, we’ve given you the tools and tips you need to attack your promotional campaign by air and by land.
Question: What strategies do you use to promote your digital product?