For example, let’s say your company sells curtains and curtain rods. You know a blog all about curtains is probably not going to interest anyone – but a "big picture" blog about room decorating and how your curtains improve interior spaces is likely to be a hit. Out of ideas? Create an infographic on the history of curtains, or write an entertaining article on notable curtains from historic paintings or events.
Best of all, white papers also serve a dual purpose of acting as an informative, additive sales pitch that extends beyond industry jargon and advertising copy. Offering white paper downloads in exchange for contact information makes prospective leads comfortable exchanging their details in order to receive something of value. That makes the transaction more hospitable—and who knows, you might even see your white paper passed around the industry.
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Content: While the download of a coupon shows an individual has a direct interest in your product or service, content (like an educational ebook or webinar) does not. Therefore, to truly understand the nature of the person's interest in your business, you'll probably need to collect more information to determine whether the person is interested in your product or service and whether they're a good fit.
Cost per click advertising (e.g. AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing) overcomes this problem by charging advertisers only when the consumer clicks on the advertisement. However, due to increased competition, search keywords have become very expensive. A 2007 Doubleclick Performics Search trends report shows that there were nearly six times as many keywords with a cost per click (CPC) of more than $1 in January 2007 than the prior year. The cost per keyword increased by 33% and the cost per click rose by as much as 55%.
A powerful technique for building your reputation with a defined audience over a period of time is to regularly send them a newsletter, which can either be free or paid subscription. Newsletters can be used to position you as an authority in your marketplace, to build closer relationships with clients. You can use them to educate your target market so they can make more informed and more frequent buying decisions or educate them to the full extent of your services and how you can add value through those services.
Many MLM companies recommend starting with a list of 100 people you know, called your warm market. Although it's not a bad place to start when looking for customers and business builders, the technique could also backfire and get to the point where you're annoying friends and family. You're better off spending your time finding people who are interested in what you've got rather than trying to convince your commuting buddy to sign up when he doesn't want to.