eBook Best Practices

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E-books are “phat”. Well actually they’re ‘fat’ and Google loves them. ‘Fat content’ are high-quality, long-form types of content like eBooks, whitepapers, videos, infographic etc. This type of content appeals more to Google’s algorithms due to their long form and high-quality structure making them rich in keywords, thus helping them rank higher in Google. They are quickly becoming the focus of every marketer especially when you consider e-book sales are expected to increase to $8.69 billion by 2018. Not something you’ve really considered yet? You may want to now.

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Benefits of an E-books

E-books can be time-consuming to create and publish but they are well worth the effort due to the benefits they have.  They help to:

Build Brands – E-books help to boost brand awareness and reputation as they enable companies to have a certain level of credibility and seriousness. They help you to become an expert in your field so you can stand out from the competition. However, as part of your content marketing strategy, an e-book is only valuable if it is linked to your brand. Consumers need to be able to connect e-books to your existing brand to make it worthwhile. E-books help to create awareness and possibly conversations or even conversions and should therefore be viewed as the modern equivalent of a business card.

Offer valuable information to your audience – Since e-books help position brands as experts in their field it’s recommended to write one on a topic you know a lot about and is relevant to your audience. However, you shouldn’t write about your products or services. E-books are used to inform and educate an audience demonstrating that as a business you are willing to do something for them in the hope of gaining their trust. Good content and design will also captivate your audience, driving them to your website for more information and hopefully sales!

Generate leads – E-books are great at giving something of value to readers in exchange for contact details.  By using a form of content that entertains and informs a reader you can offer your company’s expertise to your targeted audience. Getting the right tone and content for your e-books is essential in getting potential customers to come to you, this is known as inbound marketing; unlike a hard sell tactic which makes many customers run for the hills. Adding videos, audio and interesting graphics all help to make your e-book more appealing for an audience. All of this will help readers to trust your brand and therefore they will be likely to give away their contact details.

Benefit your company and the reader – You could also entice readers with discounts or offers that can only be found within the e-book. Readers may then be more likely to part with their data e.g. an email address in order access the e-book and offer. This works well for your company and the reader, you gain valuable information about a potential customer and they gain the information they want to read as well as an offer or discount.

These benefits of e-books all amount to helping your brand become a thought leader in an industry where you are a trusted source of information. This in turn helps you to gain more customers.

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How to Distribute E-books?

Inbound marketing is deemed to be the ‘holy grail’ of marketing. It’s where potential customers seek your company out through the content you publish and social media platforms you’re on. Traditional advertising is no longer as effective, people don’t want offers and promotional material shoved in their face, they want to discover information themselves, in their own time. Half the battle of inbound marketing is creating the content, the second half is distributing it. Here are some things you will need to think about.

Landing pages - Firstly, you will need to have an interesting looking landing page for your e-books, this will help users to stay on the page and through the appropriate positioning of CTAs, get them to click download. You need to make sure your landing page is optimised in order to create conversions, there are several ways to do this but they can be difficult to implement.

Barriers – You may have seen that some types of content are gated. By this, we mean that in order to access an e-book or whitepaper you have had to give out some of your details like a name and email address. Whilst these are very useful for your company to have as you can reach out to those people and get them on your sales pipeline, they can be a deterrent for the reader. Readers may wish to download your e-book but are put off by the fact they need to enter in their details so will just click off the page. This could be bad for your business as they could have been genuinely interested in your content and may have made a purchase. It’s a difficult choice to make but it’s ultimately up to you and how you want to contact customers.

Email marketing – Whilst, strictly not a form of inbound marketing, this technique helps to make your audience aware of new content. Creating an email campaign such as a newsletter is a great way to tell your audience about your e-book as well as other topics of interest that are happening within your business. It’s not pushy like traditional types of marketing but raises enough awareness to get people interested.

E-books are a great way to present your brand as a thought leader within a specific industry. They also help to increase brand awareness, generate leads whilst potentially gaining new information about prospective customers. However, getting the right content in front of the right audience can be difficult but with a little nudge from email campaigns, you can make sure this happens.

 

At Perceptive Flow, we can help you to create and publish an e-books tailored to your industry. Our journalistic approach means your content will be informative and creative in order to stand out from the competition.

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