Chances are that if you are reading this post, you have at sometime, read an ebook before—or at the very least, you have heard of ebooks. Ebooks are the new big thing in publishing and they have outsold physical books on Amazon.com since 2011! Ebooks are not just a moneymaker for publishers though; they also have great applications for your marketing strategy.
Why should you use ebooks in your content marketing? Because they are great for getting sales leads, that’s why!
Relationships are a key part of sales in B2B and giving information away for free in an ebook is a great way to build up trust—a key part of any business relationship—with potential customers. (Teach me, don’t sell me. Teach me and I will trust you. When I trust you, I’ll probably buy from you.)
Another benefit of ebooks, is that they can bulk up your mailing list with qualified leads. Provide the ebook to people who opt-in by giving you their contact information and you have access to a pool of people who are already interested in your industry and products. Plus, since ebooks are designed to be read on a screen, they are perfect for marketing to today’s omnichannel shoppers.
Now, what should you write about in your ebook? Be the expert your title says you are and talk about what you already know. Some good places to start are industry trends, how-to do something, or special insights about your industry that outsiders may not be privy too.
For example, my client Avaya, has done very well for itself by partnering with the publishers of the “…for Dummies” books and has had us create several ebooks on various business communications and collaboration technologies (e.g. “VoIP for Dummies”).
You don’t have to be a big company like Avaya or partner with an existing publishing brand to be successful with ebooks. The purpose of ebooks in content marketing is to solve a problem: a prospective customer needs information and you provide it for them. So, just consider the areas your customers may need information and then think like a publisher and write them down! It’s that simple!
Now, in a world where ebooks are a dime a (100) dozen, there are a couple things to keep in mind to help your ebooks stand out from the crowd:
One, fill your ebooks with good information and insights. This alone will separate your ebooks from many of other ebooks out there.
Two, packaging counts, so maximize the impact of your information by using visual elements like charts and graphics. You do not necessarily need to hire a designer, but at least make some graphs in Excel to give your data the extra “oomph” in the interest department.
Three, don’t write your ebooks like whitepapers. Whitepapers tend to be boring. Instead, be creative and unleash the power of storytelling to make your ebooks interesting.
So, how will you use ebooks in your content marketing strategy?