eBooks have become massively popular as a means of entertainment for consumers. After all, Kindle and online ebook sales are through the roof. The Pew Research Center also reports that about 30% of people in the U.S. are reading eBooks instead of print book formats.
eBooks are also an incredible form of digital media to drive various marketing goals. But not just any eBook will produce results. The value of your eBooks rests in how well you’ve planned and executed your strategy. Here’s how your eBook can drive marketing success and a roadmap for how to make an ebook that achieves your goals.
How to Use an eBook for Marketing?
eBooks are much more than just interesting materials that can be beamed to your Kindle. Offering eBooks to your potential customers is an excellent way to boost your brand and establish yourself as an authority in your field.
Consumers are generally looking for information, and this is where eBooks shine.
But what is an eBook? It's an electronic book instead of a physical book. They provide a format for delivering educational content that also ties in with your products or services.
In today’s competitive market, consumers largely want to deal with reputable and authentic brands. When you write an ebook, you build trust and develop a resource from which you can repurpose content.
One of the best marketing uses for eBooks is as a source of high-quality leads. Specifically, eBooks can drive traffic to your website and act as lead magnets.
What is a Lead Magnet?
Lead magnets are special deals or free assets offered to customers in exchange for their contact information. Content pieces that serve as lead magnets include eBooks, newsletters, and whitepapers, to name a few. These are items that drive awareness but also deliver valuable information a prospect is seeking that will help them engage with your brand. When done right, lead magnets are so enticing to website visitors that they won’t think twice about exchanging their information for what you’re providing.
How to Use a Lead Magnet to Attract Prospects
People don’t readily share their contact details unless given an incentive. Imagine moving to a new area where you want to learn about the top-ranked neighborhoods. A local realtor has researched and prepared an eBook that outlines exactly this information. You get access to the material by sharing your contact details. In exchange, the realtor brings in high-quality leads they can cultivate and convert into clients.
Our 10 Step By Step Guide for Creating a Successful eBook
eBooks are one of the top tools for generating quality leads. They are an excellent way to educate people about your brand and boost sales. But you can’t just assemble a bunch of words and images to get the results you need. A successful eBook will wow your readers, not disappoint them. To accomplish this, you’ll need to invest some time in research, writing, editing, formatting, and promoting your creation. Here are our 10 steps for creating a winning eBook.
1. Know Your eBook’s Target Reader and Their Needs
It might be tempting to jump right in and start writing your first eBook. But the work you do on the front end is vital. What you think is important to your readers and what they really want to know might be vastly different.
The first thing you’ll want to do is identify who you are targeting with this content. If your business has divided its target audience into several segments, you may wish to choose just one. Consider your ideal customer’s needs.
At this stage, most customers are looking for information. But what questions do your customers typically ask? Having these on hand will be an excellent starting point for your eBook.
2. Select a Topic That Aligns With Your Business Niche
Make sure whatever topic you choose aligns with your market niche. Choosing to answer a common question is one thing. But if it doesn’t tie into your products or services, that wouldn’t make much sense in terms of marketing.
Here are a few things you can do to help you find great eBook topics:
- Study the Insights — Look at your analytics from everything you’ve already published. What topics get the most traction? Those are probably “hot-button” areas for readers.
- Send Out Surveys — What better way to find out what your audience wants to know than to ask them directly? Use Google Forms or SurveyMonkey to get input from your email subscribers.
- Spy on Competitors — What topics are your competitors covering? Are they getting engagement, or are the subjects falling short?
- Test the Market — Consider a test of your target market by releasing a sample of your eBook before you write the entire piece. Keep track of your results or ask readers for feedback.
During this process, you’ll likely discover several topics screaming for an eBook you can use as a lead magnet. Take notes and put each eBook idea on your content calendar for the future.
3. Consider Your eBook Length
How long should an eBook be? Most eBooks average 2,000 to 2,500 words. But some can be shorter, in the range of 1,000 to 1,500 words if that is all that’s required to cover the topic thoroughly.
Longer eBooks can be beneficial if you’re dealing with technical topics or addressing an audience that would be willing to read longer content. This often refers to B2B marketing.
What’s important is that you’re providing value to your readers, not fluff. Your readers are investing their time in your content. The highest-quality eBook will solve the reader’s problem with a clearly-defined explanation. It may also provide some additional insights pertaining to the topic, which can lead to opportunities for more content and interactions.
4. Plan the Structure of Your eBook Before You Start Your Writing Process
Writing an eBook without an outline can leave you feeling stuck. Once you’ve established your eBook’s desired length, you can create a detailed outline, ensuring you cover all the relevant points.
First, decide how you will format your eBook. Are you creating a step-by-step guide or how-to? Or will you present your information like a research paper or case study?
From there, design the structure of your eBook with relevant headings and subheadings. Keep in mind your targeted search term and any related search terms for SEO.
If your eBook will require images, charts, or infographics, include these in your outline. Likewise, make note of any claims that may require citations or internal links you want to include.
Depending on your goals, you may be able to find eBook templates to assist with outlining and layouts. The file format you choose will also vary. For example, Kindle Direct Publishing has specific eBook guidelines.
5. Ensure the Book Content Aligns With Industry Topics
Even if you’re an expert on your company’s products and services, you’ll want to make sure your eBook content falls in line with outside sources. Read other eBooks on the same topic and in the same industry niche. Don’t copy them, but instead, see how you can put a fresh spin on the ideas.
You can add credibility to your eBook by including a variety of links to outside resources. Instead of just presenting all ideas as your own, link to other research, statistics, and case studies that back up what you’re saying.
One way to gain credibility is through alignment with reputable sources. When you link to government studies or other known resources, people will trust what you're saying and view your brand as being more credible. External linking is also helpful for your SEO strategy.
6. Strategically Place CTAs Throughout the eBook
It might seem like magic when a website visitor completes your lead magnet form to download your content offer. But don’t assume your offer can’t generate even more returns. If your eBook is compelling and well-written, you can drive more engagement with additional calls to action (CTAs).
Make sure you strategically place CTAs throughout your eBook. Specifically, include CTAs in the following places:
- Introduction — There should be a CTA in your eBook’s introduction, such as a link to your website’s “Resources” page or a sign-up for your email list.
- Contextual — Include relevant internal links to additional offers within the text of your eBook.
- Images — Image-based CTAs include banners and other downloadable offers.
- Conclusion — Include want a strong CTA in your eBook’s conclusion.
7. Infuse Your eBook With Your Brand Identity
While your eBook is meant to share knowledge and add value, it can also boost your brand identity with potential clients. When you brand any digital product like an eBook, you infuse your business’ identity throughout so anyone who downloads and opens it will know it came from your company.
You achieve branding through a variety of strategies. These include using your company’s logo, colors, fonts, images, and even orientation when creating the eBook. And don’t forget the tone of voice. If your brand is considered “informal and friendly,” you don’t want an eBook written in an overly formal tone.
8. Edit and Proofread to Ensure Readability
Your final product will be a representation of your brand. The last thing you want is for it to be packed with spelling and grammar errors that will impact your reader’s opinions about your business. Editing eBooks may not be fun, but it's an essential part of the process.
Writing an eBook already entails a large time investment. It may be tempting to proofread as you go, but doing so isn’t the best approach. It will slow down your writing process, and you’ll likely miss many errors. Instead, follow these eBook editing steps to ensure readability:
- Drafting — Create your entire first draft from start to finish. There’s no need for perfection with sentence structure or word usage. Simply focus on writing out the ideas from your outline.
- Revising — This isn’t the editing step yet. Here, you will revise your eBook text by rewriting, removing, or adding new sections or paragraphs to improve the content.
- Editing — Your eBook should make sense in the way it’s structured and organized at this stage. Now, it’s time to scan it for spelling, grammatical, and punctuation errors as well as anything not conforming to the chosen style guide (e.g., AP, Chicago Manual, etc.). If this isn't your strong suit, you may wish to work with a professional eBook editor.
- Proofreading — Once the final draft of your eBook is edited and formatted, you might think it’s ready for its official launch. Not so fast. This is the point where you need to do another careful read-through to catch any errors that snuck through the editing process.
9. Craft a Compelling Title and eBook Cover
Your eBook’s title is your first opportunity to make a good impression and encourage more engagement. Your title should include target keywords to appeal to the search engines. But it must also capture your audience’s attention and highlight how they’ll benefit from the information.
Your sign-up form or landing page will reveal more about your eBook’s contents. But sometimes, it’s also a good idea to include a subtitle to expand and clarify what your content will cover.
Of course, you’ve heard the common saying, “Never judge a book by its cover.” But people do it anyway. eBooks come in many varieties of styles and formats. But one consistent element is that most successful eBooks have covers.
The aesthetic of your eBook will play a major role in your readers’ overall experience. An attractive design with a professional look will boost your credibility and the likelihood that readers will continue to engage with your brand.
10. Promote Your Finished Product Through Various Social Media Platforms
The best way to get traction for your new eBook is to promote it on various social media platforms. Instead of waiting until you publish your content, you can begin your promotion in advance to build interest, even creating a countdown clock.
Social posts are an ideal way to remind your target audience that your eBook release is upcoming or where to access the download. You can post updates to your social media page, ask followers to share content, and advertise using paid social media ads.
Facilitate Your eBook Writing Process With Professional Industry Writers
eBooks are effective marketing tools that work hard for your brand while you focus on other matters. A well-written and designed eBook can help you build trust and authority and generate valuable leads. But creating an eBook on your own might not be something you want to tackle. Fortunately, there is help available.
But, how much does it cost to make an eBook? That depends. Compose.ly’s content writing services feature a team of professional industry writers who specialize in creating eBooks that produce results. Learn more about our eBook writing services or request a sample today to experience the quality firsthand.