If you’re currently running a business —
whether it’s online, offline, or both you’re definitely aware of the costs of letting potential customers know about your business.
Maybe you simply purchase advertising space in the Yellow Pages every year. Or maybe you print flyers to distribute, or take out ads in newspapers or magazines that are read by your target market.
If you’re marketing your business online, you might be placing ads on relevant web sites or in e-zines… or purchasing pay-per-click advertising on major search engines… or paying a search engine optimization (SEO) company to bring your web site closer to the top of the search engine results pages…
Whatever strategies you’re using, one thing is for certain — if you’re serious about growing your business, a substantial portion of your budget is probably going toward advertising!
The concept behind viral eBooks requires a bit of a shift in thinking from more traditional advertising models. (It’s definitely worth the effort to grasp the concept, because it could easily save you thousands of dollars in advertising expenses while generating just as many — or even MORE — new customers for your business!)
Here’s the difference:
- With traditional advertising, you create an ad, then pay to put it in front of potential customers, with the goal of getting them excited about your product or service so they’ll visit your web site or offline business and make a purchase.
- With a viral eBook, you create a free, information-rich product that’s packed with value, then encourage people to download it, read it, and share it with their friends. When these people see the value you’re giving away for free, they naturally tell their friends about this great resource — and word about you and your business spreads like wildfire through the online community!
Done right, this strategy can give you a strong personal AND professional reputation online, while creating plenty of visibility for you and your business. By creating a message so compelling that people actually WANT to pass it on to their friends and associates, you’ll create a lasting impression as a valuable source of information, entertainment, or whatever else you decide to give away.
And after you’ve created your viral eBook, your “advertising” is FREE! You won’t need to pay to get it in front of potential customers, because they’ll already be sharing it with each other. They’ll e-mail their friends a copy… or send a copy to a coworker through instant messaging… or post it on a blog or forum… and your message will spread across the Internet while you sit back and watch!
How powerful can viral marketing be when combined with the ease of use and instant “shareability” of eBooks?
Here’s an example: In September 2001, Internet marketer Seth Godin published an eBook called Unleashing the Ideavirus, which detailed a new marketing paradigm. In the eBook, Godin gave away plenty of great, useful insider information about the marketing industry and new online trends.
Godin invited readers to send free copies to their friends… download more copies from his web page… print out as many copies as they liked… and if they wished, buy a hardcover version of the eBook. In the end, Unleashing the Ideavirus was downloaded by more than 1,000,000 people!
The success of the Ideavirus eBook illustrates the “contagious” power of valuable information on the Internet. This eBook wasn’t a long sales pitch for another product, and Godin wasn’t interrupting readers every two minutes to remind them to pass a copy along to a friend. Readers were compelled to share this eBook for one simple reason: It was filled with useful information that readers felt compelled to share with people they knew.
In other words, if you’re going to use viral eBooks as a marketing tool for your business, you can’t approach writing them the same way you would approach writing an ad. You’ll need to give readers a lot of value up front to gain their attention, rather than tease them with promises of what they’ll get when they buy another product.
By creating an eBook that’s packed with information that your potential customers are looking for, you’ll not only gain a “sales force” of thousands of enthusiastic people who recommend your eBook to everyone they meet… you’ll also build a rock-solid reputation for yourself.
And you can bet that when these potential customers are in the mood to make a purchase that’s related to the subject of your eBook, you’re one of the first sources they’ll think of!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Derek Gehl specializes in teaching real people how to start profitable Internet businesses that make $100,000 to $2.5 Million (or more) per year. To get instant access to all his most profitable marketing campaigns, strategies, tools, and resources that he’s used to grow $25 into over $60 Million in online sales, visit: Marketing Tips