In a world where Kindles and tablets are a dime a dozen, an “eBook” might mean something different to a business owner than it does to the average consumer. Instead of electronic copies of books that have printed counterparts, eBooks in the digital marketing field are totally original pieces of content, offered by websites, with information and visual elements that instill confidence in the reader about the eBook’s creator.
As we’ve mentioned on this blog, most web content should be relatively brief. Blogs, product pages, and homepages need to get to the point before you lose your reader. However, length is much less of a concern when it comes to eBooks, so above all else, remember: Brevity is the soul of wit.
Which brings up the question…what witty things do you have to say?
An eBook allows you to convince prospects that you really know your stuff. It’s rare that someone visiting your site wants to invest the time in absorbing a few thousand words of detailed information, so don’t waste your time on vague promises and imprecise wording. Because offering an eBook doesn’t automatically mean it will be shared, it takes careful planning and research.
An eBook should always build awareness of your brand, your service, and your product. But if you also want an eBook to improve your SEO, you must create content that readers think is widely applicable and useful. Just like writing blogs that get shared and broaden the scope of your readership, well-written eBooks can attract totally new prospects and untouched markets. From start to finish, it’s all about writing for your target market.
- The Idea: What sort of specialized knowledge do you possess that would be valuable to others? Because if after reading your eBook prospects don’t feel as though they learned anything new, then you’ve wasted their time, which could mean you’ve done more harm than good. Concentrate on coming up with a unique topic geared toward your business’s target demographic regardless of their experience level with the industry.
- The Outline: An outline might be something you did in high school English class, but it’s the best way to ensure that key facts and figures are driving each chapter of your eBook. Start your outline with a summary of the problem you’re writing about, the solution, and the top three talking points for your product or service. Then, make sure each of these gets a thorough explanation and flows together coherently. The more memorable your main points, the more sharable your content is.
- Format: How you present your material matters, if for no other reason than ease of reading. Charts, graphs and visual aids keep the reader engaged and convinced that you put time and effort into the content. But be careful of alienating those who are new to the industry; don’t include anything that isn’t thoroughly explained in the text.
- Publish: For those publishing an eBook on the company website, PDF is the standard format -- especially if prospects need to exchange contact information in exchange for access. However, don’t write off other options too quickly. Getting your content published in the Kindle store, or on sites like SlideShare, may sacrifice some lead emails in exchange for more shares and readership.
- Marketing: Once you’ve finished the heavy lifting of getting your content out there, you need to spread the word. Advertise your eBook in as many places as possible to generate the most traffic and links to your site:
- Social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.)
- Email newsletters and promotional campaigns
- Q&A sites like Quora and Yahoo Answers
- Multimedia sites like Vimeo and YouTube
- Follow up: Most of the time, eBooks are going to help your site out with social shares. Regardless of which platform your content was shared on, you should be able to interact with your promoters and their posts. Do not let this opportunity go to waste. Always ask anyone who posts a link to your eBook what it was that they found most useful -- the answer might give rise to your next topic (and a fresh round of shares)!
Adding eBooks to your SEO efforts is a no-brainer. Downloadable eBooks afford you the chance to write at length on topics you’re usually forced to trim down, and they encourage prospects to engage with your content offline. Yes, they can be time consuming but the returns they generate are worth the effort.
Luckily, for those who will never have the time to write an eBook (because, heck, most of us barely have time to write a blog post, let alone produce a multimedia PDF) or who don’t feel confident enough in their writing…the Pronto Marketing team has a ready-to-go eBook service!