Google understands that experts matter. That’s why they introduced Google Authorship. This scheme essentially allows writers to link their content to their Google Plus account.
According to Google this benefits quality authors by helping them to develop a greater degree of visibility across the internet. It also benefits Google partly by driving people to their Google Plus platform and partly by providing a way of improving their search results to make them even more relevant.
Much as Google might like to drive all content consumption online, there’s a long way to go before that becomes a reality. Many people appreciate offline content, even in electronic form, since they can read and digest this at their convenience regardless of whether or not an online connection is available. The continued success of paper books and the ongoing rise of ebooks is a clear demonstration of this.
In terms of overall marketing, both have their uses. In terms of generating quality leads through a website, however, ebooks are the clear winner. In fact, the effective use of ebooks is one of the most compelling marketing tools currently available to financial professionals.
The foundation for this is human psychology. Those interested in learning more about the art and science of persuasion would do well to pick up a copy of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini. One of the chapters discusses the role of gift-giving. In short, when a person is given a gift they feel a desire to reciprocate the gesture.
The more valuable the gift is, the more they wish to respond to it. This applies even when they did not ask for the gift. Of course, since Cialdini’s book was initially published (in 1984 appropriately enough) people have become much more conscious of the difference between a gift given from the heart and a gift used as a marketing tool. Nevertheless, if you provide a quality ebook which contains valuable content and demonstrates rapport with its target audience, you hugely increase your chances of turning that download into a lead, or, at the very least into a valuable source of personal recommendations.
The first step in creating your ebook is to decide on your target readership. For advisers this will generally mean people who are interested in a particular product (such as remortgaging or preparing for retirement) or a general topic (investment advice). In an ideal world there would be an ebook for each of the areas you cover on your website, but if budget is limited, it’s better to have one or two excellent ebooks on your main income stream(s) than either a poor book on each topic or one book which provides an overview of each area without providing any real food for thought on any of them.
Your book is your opportunity to set out your credentials as an expert, which means the content has to impress. At the same time the voice of the book has to be appropriate for the readership. You need to convey the fact that you are a friendly and approachable professional, not a lofty academic, a pushy salesperson or the “bloke they met in the pub”. Depending on your time, budget and writing skills you may wish to write your book yourself (in which case it’s wise to have it at least proofread if not properly edited) or to outsource the task to a professional ghost-writer.
Once you have your content ready, your next step is to put it to use. The first step in this process is to make sure that people know about it. Obviously it needs to be clearly flagged on your site. Depending on how much traffic your site generates, you may consider this to be sufficient.
Alternatively you may choose to be more proactive and push harder to get your content out into the wild. One option, for example is to make it available on Amazon.
There are various approaches to this, but one of the most effective is to put up part of the book to meet the reader’s interest and end it with your website details where they can download the rest for free – by entering their e-mail address – of course.
Consumers’ accept to download any decent ebook they need to enter some contact information and with theta comes being offered the option to sign up for a newsletter. The reason for this is that, done tactfully, this is a superb way of starting to build a relationship with a customer and lead them into profitable areas of the business or, at the very least, to encourage them to recommend you and your site to other people.
If you need help with producing any kind of new financial content,
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