It's been more than 10 years since eBooks became a bread-and-butter strategy for generating leads. So why isn't every business making eBooks today? I'd wager that it's because they don't know how easy they are to make.
If you haven't made a branded eBook before or in a long time, I wanted to share 9 reasons why you should seriously consider creating more eBooks for your business.
But first, let's get some context.
In the marketing sense, eBooks (or electronic books) are informative, text-based documents presented in a digital format. They most often take the form of a PDF with 10 to 20 pages and resemble highly detailed blog posts.
EBooks burst onto the marketing scene in the early 2000s. Unlike major publishers who converted traditional books into digital formats to increase book sales, marketers had the idea to offer free eBooks in exchange for contact information. A new lead-gen tactic was born.
The secret sauce behind eBooks has everything to do with the marketer offering something of true value to the customer before the sales pitch or call-to-action. It's like Costco's buffet of free samples, or a 30-day free trial of Netflix.
In short, consumers crave value. If you want their business and their loyalty, you have to prove your value before they buy. So the question is, out of the panoply of digital marketing tactics, why should you invest your time and resources into eBooks?
Without further ado, here are 9 reasons why you should create more eBooks for your business.
1. Expand your upper-funnel with high-quality leads
EBooks are perfect for increasing the volume and quality of leads. Why? People are more willing to give up their contact info when they get something valuable in return. And if you've written it wisely, your eBook will also teach them how your product or service solves their pain point.
2. Increase your credibility
Consumers are constantly comparing you to the competition. Just like a best-selling author, multiple eBooks make you look like the thought leader in your field. And, as you write more eBooks, you'll be forced to research and think critically, making you even more of an expert.
3. Return on your investment
In relation to the value you get out of them, eBooks are very easy to make—especially if you start with an eBook template. And once they are on your website, they can generate leads forever. Unlike other forms of content marketing like social media and most blog posts, eBooks retain their value long after they're published.
4. If you have a blog, the hardest part is already over
Figuring out a subject for an eBook can be frustrating, but there's an easy trick to it. Start with your most popular blog post, then dive deeper and add more detail to it. Or, consolidate a handful of similar blog posts into a comprehensive guide. There are lots of ways to repurpose and update your content for an eBook-reading audience.
5. Give your branding a boost
Most people won't hesitate to read a 10-page eBook if it's on a topic they already care about. This interest represents a perfect opportunity for you to give them a 5-minute sermon on your brand doctrine. This might not lead to a purchase straight away, but it plants an acorn of awareness that you can nurture with future marketing efforts.
6. Stand out from the crowd
If you're a small or medium-sized business, your competitors are probably not writing eBooks, which means you can tap into that audience with first-mover advantages. It's an open door leading to more market share. Beat them to it.
7. Engage your target audience
You already have their email. An eBook offers the perfect opportunity to start a conversation and get feedback. For example, you could create a survey and write an eBook about your discoveries and insights from the results. You could also interview current customers and quote them in the eBook.
8. Easily measure success
When each eBook is optimized with call-to-action links and has its own landing page, it's easy to measure the impact on your business. Since content marketing ROI can often be hard to pin down, this can provide a valuable metric of success.
9. Making an eBook is easier than it sounds
If you have a blog and a good design tool, you are well on your way to making an eBook. Since people have short attention spans, err on the side of less text per page and use lots of great imagery to convey your message. Unsplash is a great place to find free images to fill out your pages.