Well-written, compelling e-books can be an integral component of an inbound marketing strategy. When they serve as gated content (in other words, content that an individual must provide an email address or other contact information to gain access to), e-books can be a powerful incentive to entice new subscribers, whether you want people to sign up for your email mailing list or subscribe to your blog. Moreover, beyond the immediate value of leverage e-books to accrue more subscribers, this type of content can also help enhance the reputability of your brand, helping you situate your business as knowledgeable and boosting its credibility and authority.
While there is certainly great value in publishing an e-book, there are a few things you should know to ensure you’re leveraging the full potential of this kind of content. To maximize the value of an e-book for your brand, make sure to keep the following points in mind.
Write an E-Book That Is Worth Reading
A good e-book should answer your target audience’s questions. It should provide them with valuable, relevant, and meaningful content, and, perhaps most importantly, it should be unique. If a quick Google search will turn up an answer to the questions your e-book seeks to address, then you need a more complex e-book.
The whole point of an e-book is to get people to hand over their email address. However, the problem is that you’re competing with every other marketer who wants those details. To gain a competitive edge, you need to solve your target audience’s problems in a meaningful and in-depth way. By creating an e-book that does this, you will create a valuable resource that your audience won’t even think twice about downloading.
“Let’s say you sell candle-making equipment to amateurs. Your e-book could be all about how to choose the right kind of wax based on scent throw and melt time, and how to choose the right size wick based on candle diameter,” Wendy Keller explained in Entrepreneur. “While this information is all over the internet for free, the fact that you’ve taken the time to assemble it in an e-book format, heavily branded with your name, logo, website and maybe a 10 percent off discount to your online store, will move you to the head of the class.”
Wondering how to come up with a great topic for your e-book? To brainstorm ideas for valuable content, you might want to consider the following questions:
· What are customers more confused about when making a purchase from you? What decisions do they find most daunting when trying to decide between different product or service choices?
· What complaints do you most commonly hear from your customers about your competitors?
· What main benefits do your products deliver to customers?
· What’s the most unusual or surprising thing about your industry or business? What aspects of the industry or business always amuse or intrigue your customers?
Once you have honed in on an appropriate topic, take some time to sketch out an outline of points and subthemes to cover and structure your e-book accordingly.
And remember, whatever topic you choose to write about, the key is a comprehensive understanding of your target audience. It should go without saying here that you need to make sure that you understand exactly who your target audience is, relevant demographic and sociographic characteristics, and wants and needs. The better you understand your target audience and the more you tailor your e-book to this audience, the more worthwhile it will be to read.
Design an E-Book That Catches Your Audience’s Eye
While perhaps they shouldn’t, the harsh reality is that people do, in fact, judge books by their covers. If you want a prospect to be enticed enough to open your e-book, the cover needs to be just as compelling as the content. After all, the cover of the book is the very first thing your audience will see, so it should instantly grab their attention.
Use Your E-Book to Promote Your Brand
Don’t be afraid to use e-books to promote your brand! One of the great things about e-books is that you can use them to pitch to your target audience subtly and tactfully by highlighting the expertise and offerings of your brand. “An e-book is an excellent choice for a freemium or a premium. It allows you to give valuable knowledge to people, which anchors your expertise in their minds,” Keller explained. “It also entitles you to tactfully pitch them while they’re reading.”
Advertise Your E-Book
An e-book on its own isn’t going to do much for your brand. You need to ensure that you are promoting your e-book so that it is actually visible to prospects. How do you do that? Well, the first step is to create a landing page for your e-book. If your e-book will be gated, you will also need to create the form that people will need to fill out to gain access to it.
“No matter how great your e-book is, getting it in your audience’s hands is at least half the battle. And, as with any other marketing campaign, you’ll need a multifaceted plan to reach the widest and most relevant audience possible. Good first steps include featuring your e-book in your newsletter, promoting it on social media, and linking to it on your website,” Jon Salm explained in Entrepreneur.
Beyond basic promotion tactics, you might also want to try more advanced techniques. For example, you might consider creating a series of blog posts around the e-book to draw attention to it, partnering with influencers in your niche and encouraging them to join in on the promotion efforts, and offering bits of teaser content from the book in your outreach. Ultimately, the more effort you put into promoting your e-book, the more people that will read it and the more value it will deliver to your brand. Once you have a great book, don’t scrimp on the promotion!
In conclusion, a great e-book can be an excellent addition to your inbound marketing arsenal — you just need to make sure that you take the proper steps to maximize its value. Contact us today to learn more about the great value of e-book!