EBooks are popular digital marketing tools used by marketers to collect contact information from potential customers and help move clients through the sales funnel of a company website. This type of marketing tool is easily read on a computer or smartphone and provides consumers with valuable information. Let’s explore what an eBook is, the benefits of using this type of content marketing tool, and in-depth steps to follow when creating an eBook for your website.
What Is an EBook?
An eBook, short for “electronic book,” is a type of content marketing that consists of multiple pages of long-form text and can read on a mobile device, eBook reader, or computer. Most eBooks are in PDF form and can be sent from one person to another with ease.
EBooks can be used for various reasons in terms of digital marketing, including as lead generation tools, a way to showcase your authority on a topic, and to spread awareness of your brand. This type of book allows you to go more in-depth into a subject when compared to traditional blog posts or email marketing.
EBooks can be about essentially anything as long as it is relevant to your brand and purpose. EBooks can be directly about a product or service your company offers or it can be on a topic related to your products or services and used as an educational tool to prove your knowledge and authority in your industry.
Most eBooks are several pages long with quick links to take the reader to the section they are most interested in. This marketing tool most often follows a similar structure to a textbook or novel and should include images and be divided into easy-to-navigate chapters.
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Benefits of EBooks
EBooks have become a popular marketing tool among marketers, and rightfully so. According to Blogging Wizard, eBooks and white papers are one of the most effective forms of content marketing for B2B marketers and more effective than social media posts and case studies. The following are a few of the many benefits that incorporate eBooks into your marketing efforts can provide:
- Allows consumers to immediately access the eBook unlike other content marketing tools such as long-form printed media.
- No additional production costs after the initial creation of the eBook and no shipping expenses.
- Can be stored on several different devices without the need for psychical storage space.
- Option to print the eBook or keep the eBook stored on a computer for a more eco-friendly alternative.
- The ability to include links to your website or other media, which can promote further consumer engagement with your brand.
- Allows you to showcase your authority on a topic.
- Provides you with a resource that you can repurpose content from in the future.
- Allows you to build an email marketing list if you require users to provide their email to receive the eBook.
- EBooks can help strengthen your company’s brand.
How to Create an EBook
The following are steps you can take to create an eBook that’s an effective online marketing tool for your business:
1. Research Your Target Audience
Understanding your target audience is the first step when it comes to creating an effective eBook. The goal of your eBook should be to attract your ideal consumer and help build trust with them as well as encourage them to buy products or services from your company. The following are steps you can take to properly research your target audience:
- Get specific about your target demographic. There are several factors that go into defining your target market, including their age, gender, ethnicity, income, occupation, location, education, and marital status. Additionally, you’ll want to get specific about your target demographic’s likes, dislikes, problems, activities, and buying decisions. The more you can narrow down your ideal audience, the better you’ll be able to create content that attracts them.
- Use psychographics. Psychographics provide insight into a buyer’s spending habits, hobbies, and values. Taking a look at your ideal market’s characteristics and interests will provide in-depth information as to what will attract them to your eBook and company as a whole. Factors to cover when exploring psychographics include behaviors, lifestyles, values, personality, hobbies, interests, and attitudes. You should be able to determine trends in your target market’s behaviors and use these when creating familiarity in an eBook and other content marketing tools.
- Create an audience persona. After you have thoroughly researched both the demographics and psychographics of your target audience, you should now build an audience persona. An audience persona is an outline of a member of your target audience and allows you to get even more specific about your target audience. Factors to include in your persona include challenges, identifiers, background, demographics, goals, and how your company can help this persona specifically.
- Look into your competitor’s target audience. Another step you can take to research your target audience is to evaluate who your competitors are targeting. Using competitor research to identify their target audience and strengths and weaknesses in the competitor’s marketing tactics will provide insight as to how to set yourself apart and fill gaps that are in demand for this audience.
2. Select a Topic That Best Matches Your Target Audience’s Interests or Needs
Next, it’s time to choose a topic that will attract the attention of your target audience and propel them to move through the sales funnel. For example, after they download your eBook, your goal should be to have the customer contact a sales member or request additional information on products or services. In most cases, you’ll want to center your eBook around topics that you regularly cover on your website or blog and that are popular with your target audience. Use the eBook to go more in-depth on these topics to provide your audience with the opportunity to learn more about these topics.
There are several examples of eBook titles on the internet that you can explore to get ideas for your own. Additionally, there are several content idea generator tools you can use to help come up with catchy titles. You can also look for popular keywords and content using Google Analytics to see which search phrases and keywords are attracting the most traffic to your website or blog. The catchier the title and topic, the more likely your target audience is to download your eBook.
3. Create an Outline for Your EBook
The next step is to create a solid and easy-to-navigate outline for your eBook. You should begin your eBook with an introduction that clearly denotes what the eBook is about in an attractive way that draws the reader in. Factors to include in the introduction are the benefits the reader will get from downloading and reading your eBook and the topics that will be covered in your eBook.
Then, you’ll want to outline each chapter you’ll include in the eBook. The chapters should easily flow from one to the next so that readers are not thrown off track from one chapter to the next. Get clear on the topics you’ll be covering in the eBook and think of each chapter as a blog or a crash course on that topic. Your eBook doesn’t need to be excessively long, so don’t feel like you need to come up with additional topics just to take up more space. Include only the topics that are most relevant to the overall eBook and your target audience is most interested in.
4. Start Writing
Now it’s time to actually start writing your eBook. Consider looking at each chapter as a long blog post and break down each chapter into smaller sections to make it easily digestible. Focus on one chapter at a time to ensure you include all important information for the chapter’s topic and only write about one topic for each chapter. Use a consistent structure across all chapters, as this will make it easier for the reader to transition between chapters and ensures there’s a natural progression.
A good rule of thumb is to start with the most basic information and then progress into more in-depth content that further expands on the topic. You should also include keywords in chapter titles to entice the reader to move through chapters and use formatting such as bold text and bulleted lists to make it easy for readers to skim through the pages.
5. Use Colors That Align With Your Brand
You can customize the color scheme of your eBook to match your brand’s primary colors as well as secondary colors that correlate with your brand’s colors. This will help readers associate the eBook with your brand as well as make it more enjoyable for the reader.
6. Include Graphics, Images, and Cover Art
Including images and graphics in your eBook is a great way to illustrate important subjects and make the experience more enjoyable for the reader. Include images and graphics that are directly related to the topic and add value to the eBook. You’ll also likely want to have cover art created for the front of your eBook. An attractive front cover design will help draw in readers.
7. Highlight Important Statistics or Quotes
Highlighting relevant quotes and statistics in your eBook is another way to catch the reader’s attention and ensure they are reading the most important information your eBook has to offer. Use the same visual when highlighting quotes or stats and only highlight information that adds value to your content.
8. Incorporate Calls-to-Action in Your EBook
The point of creating and distributing an eBook to consumers is to move them through the sales funnel and to ultimately convert them into customers. A great way to do this is to optimize your eBook for promotion, conversion, and lead generation. Incorporating appropriate calls-to-action (CTA) throughout your eBook provides ample opportunity for readers to click on and visit your landing page to encourage engagement with your organization.
Examples of CTAs include links that lead to other offerings from your company, a product or service page, or a registration page for a webinar or class offered by your organization. You can use either a full page to promote an offer via a CTA or you can incorporate CTAs into regular pages in your eBook. Make sure your CTA is specific and enticing to encourage readers to click on it.
9. Edit and Proofread Your EBook
Proofreading and editing your eBook is essential to ensure you’re providing your consumers with high-quality, properly written, and error-free marketing content. You should ideally have your eBook edited by a professional editor or a trusted individual in your industry who is skilled in identifying errors and making suggestions to improve writing and structure. You can also use a tool like Grammarly to ensure no obvious spelling or grammar errors before sending the eBook to a professional editor.
10. Convert Your EBook Into PDF Form
Once your eBook is complete, your next step is to convert it to a PDF format to make it easily transferrable from your website to the reader. A PDF is the most common and effective format for an eBook as it is able to be universally downloaded and does not allow the content to be edited, distorted, or corrupted.
11. Place your EBook on a Landing Page on Your Website
You should create a dedicated landing page where your eBook will be available for download by users. This landing page should clearly describe the eBook and what it has to offer and give users all of the information they need to submit their content information and receive the eBook. Having readers submit contact information provides you with valuable leads that your sales team can follow up on in the future.
12. Promote Your EBook
The last is to promote your eBook to attract as many people as possible to download and share it. There are several places you can do this, including on your website, your blog, through email marketing, on your social media platforms, and using paid advertising. Include the link to the eBook’s landing page and a short blurb about its topic and benefits.
EBooks are excellent content marketing tools and can help spread awareness of your brand and draw in new customers. Use these steps to create an effective eBook for your company.