With the rise of digital content, marketers have been forced to adapt in order to continue to reach consumers. Because of increased content saturation, it’s no longer beneficial for your business to keep running mediocre campaigns or write shallow blog posts that offer little to the consumer.
While there are many ways to take your content to the next level – including infographics and podcasts – the way that provides the most value to potential customers, or clients, is through the use of eBooks.
In a time when people do extensive research before making a purchase – 81 percent of consumers research online before buying, according to a 2014 retail study – an information-filled eBook puts them at ease and allows your authority and knowledge to shine through. In the end, you have the opportunity to drive high-quality leads while building trust, loyalty, and brand-recognition.
If you haven’t attempted to write and market your eBook yet, this is the guide for you.
First, Ask Yourself: What Value Does an eBook Provide?
An eBook is an electronic version of a book, designed specifically for you to download and read on a digital device—computer, mobile phone or iPad. eBooks for businesses are a unique marketing tool because they exist to deliver expertise and often entertainment to your target audience.
Because they are the opposite of a hard sell, they’re often not viewed as a direct marketing tactic by consumers, making them more effective at cultivating leads. The best part is, they’re effectiveness is easy to track.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, eBooks are easily quantifiable because eBooks containing links make it easy for businesses to track their success and ROI for marketing efforts.
Lead-Driving Tip: Use Google Analytics, or whichever tracking tool you prefer, to tag each link and then track which ones drive the most clicks. Use this information to create a new eBook that’s better optimized down the road.
How Do You Write an eBook?
Before drafting an eBook, it’s important to consider the topic and the audience you’re writing for. Work to solve a problem or answer a question that your audience might have about your industry. For example: how to work out on the go, how to stay healthy during the holidays, and quick home workouts would all be great topics for fitness professionals.
Keep these other ideas in mind as you determine a topic and write the content:
- The topic has to be something you’re very familiar with and can offer valuable knowledge on.
- While it should be related to you and your industry, it should not solely be written about your product or the services you offer.
- Sprinkle links to your website and call-to-actions (CTAs) throughout the book. Be sure to include a CTA at the end as well. While you don’t want to be outright sales-y, you do want to remind readers that you sell a product or provide a service that they want.
- Don’t forget to brand the eBook as well with your logo, color scheme, images, and even font. The more connected it is to your brand, the more effective it will be at driving leads.
Lead-Driving Tip: Put a small version of your logo on every page, along with a page number. This subtle messaging can go a long way in reminding readers of your potential value to them, as they’ll connect what they’re learning to your brand.
Market & Promote to Generate Leads
After you’ve done the work and published your eBook, you have to drive traffic to it in order to generate leads. The best practices to market your eBook involve a multi-channel approach. However, don’t start funneling money toward traffic just yet.
Keep these tips in mind as you prepare for marketing:
- Build an attractive landing page where the eBook and sign-up form will live. If you don’t have a separate landing page, you’re limiting the promotional possibilities.
- The medium and design of your promotional methods will vary—Facebook post, versus blog article, versus Tweet—but the foundation of information will come directly from your eBook.
- Test the download form as you go, by asking for different pieces of information. For example, people may not be interested in providing their name, email, phone number, and address to download your eBook (in which case you’d see a low number of downloads), but they may be willing to provide their name and email (in which case you may see a spike in downloads). This will allow you to determine friction-points to optimize your efforts.
If you want to choose just one marketing method, consider Facebook ads. The targeting options are extensive, allowing you to serve ads to people who are almost guaranteed to be interested in your eBook topic.
Lead-Driving Tip: Test all promotional funnels for one month and then narrow it down to just one or two outlets where you found the greatest concentration of high-quality leads coming through. This will ideally allow you be effective with less money.
Email Marketing is Essential
While you do want to reach new customers with your eBook, don’t forget about trying to reach your existing customers with email marketing. “We developed a very successful email marketing campaign that consisted of convenient snippets from the book to current customers,” explains Paul Moore, author of The Definitive Guide to Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate. “Our audience views us as the experts and we’ve seen a very tangible response from our eBook.”
These eBooks can help to strengthen your relationship with existing clients and work to build that brand loyalty so that the next time they are ready to purchase—you’ll come to mind. After spending time and money on creating a great eBook, it’s smart to get as much mileage from it as you can, and this is a great way to do that.
Lead-Driving Tip: Segment previous buyers to determine who would benefit the most from various parts of the eBook. Consider re-purposing these into blog posts or informative emails that you can then send to those specific clients.