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How to Use eBooks to Gain New Customers

“It is better to give than receive” still has far-reaching, universal appeal. We’re going to borrow this ancient advice to demonstrate the benefits of a profitable content marketing strategy–offering an ebook.

People tire easily of being sold something, regardless of how much they need it. Learning something new or necessary, on the other hand, holds that interest and imparts a subconscious acknowledgment of the source. This is a way to get your foot in the proverbial door before it gets slammed.

eBooks, like trade publications, offer content intended to appeal to a very specific target market. In preparing, your company showcases authority and credibility and downplays self-promotion.

The customer who finds the material helpful and interesting will, hopefully, ascribe those same qualities to your brand. This may not immediately result in a sale but could spark enough interest to request a newsletter or accept a free trial.

What Exactly Is An eBook?

what's an eBook?eBooks are educational in nature and create value for viewers. A download intended to be read digitally rather than flipped through in paper format, an eBook is a longer form of content but not too long to be tedious and time-consuming. If you stay around 2,000 words you’ll have the best chance of maintaining the reader’s attention.

Here are 7 pointers to help you create memorable eBooks your market will appreciate.

1. Sell Value

One of the reasons eBook content strategy works is by not selling items but by sharing information–for free! Who does that? The worst thing you can do is put out an eBook that is a long version of your company philosophy or some warmed-up website content. Save the sales for later. Much later. Build trust first by being honestly useful. They can’t help but make that association when it comes to hiring or purchasing.

2. It’s Not All About You

If you can find out what topics your ideal customer is searching for (you can), prepare an eBook that will resonate with their present needs. When their problems, questions and complaints are identified and addressed, you build a link back to your business. Build enough links and you’ve got a chain connecting you to buyers with proven interest.  

3. Titillating Titles

Once you have a topic that will gather an audience, craft a title that will garner attention (and stop them in their tracks!) Don’t be afraid to pique interest with a little shock and awe. A cut-and-dry explanation of how to patch drywalling can become “Get Plastered This Sunday.” A subtitle still contains your SEO keywords and clearly explains this is a how-to primer on one-day wall repair.

4. A Cool Cover

The cover of your eBook is a big, big deal. The design and impact can make a split decision-maker split. A thumbnail of the cover will accompany all promotions via email, website landing page, social posts and advertising. It’s often the only visual people see before downloading.

5. Stuffed With Good Stuff

Find an eBook writer with some spunk. Your copy should be written in a warm, witty voice to add enjoyment. Take them through the story, statistics, graphs, diagrams and such with a helpful, informative manner. Include quotes and anecdotes to add depth to the details. Work with a designer to choose upbeat modern typography and visuals. And please, please proofread!!! There’s nothing worse than being the leading manufacturer of aluminum siding and discovering you’re now selling sliding.

6. Nothing’s Finer Than a Great Designer

While your eBook needs killer copy, it also needs damn-good design. The yin-and-yang (copy and art) of publishing still applies. Design that looks dated can detract from your content. Keep things moving from cover to cover with type takeouts, color bars, highlighting, inserts and other creative devices. Just don’t overdo it. In fact, give yourself the luxury of good layouts by working with the best eBook designers.

7. The Magic Potion: Promotion

ebook creationOnce it’s wonderful, shout it out. Create a landing page with a call-to-action that can be placed on your website, blog, social media and emails. A short-term pay-per-click program could pinpoint where the most interest originates.

How Many Good Leads Can an eBook Deliver?

eBooks are a subtle marketing tool disguised as a generous giveaway. When promoted properly, viewers will find their way to the offer and onto your website. Taking time to develop high-quality, in-depth, actionable information that answers questions and solves a specific problem is the best approach.

A Form That Functions

ebook designIf you wonder who will be reading your eBook, the first step is to collect some basic information. This will be the keystone to building a strong relationship with newcomers. Add a form to fill in when they express interest in obtaining your free eBook.

Like any kind of sales, it will take more than one try to interest a prospect. You’ll want to build a profile of your reader to tailor future contacts. Having a form required separates the wheat from the chaff. Giving out a bit of personal information discourages freebie-seekers and time-wasters. However, handing over an email address in exchange for an eBook doesn’t mean someone gives you permission to harass or hard sell. The longer the form, the more people will change their mind, so ask only for what you need (name and email) and not everything you’d really like to know (phone number, address, job title, industry, income, astrological sign, etc.).

Generating new business is one of the biggest obstacles marketers must overcome. eBooks can be a friendly introduction and measure of goodwill that builds credibility and brings in leads. We’ve produced eBooks a lot of our clients. As a matter of fact, they’re a “best seller” on our list of content marketing services! Call us today and let us help increase leads for your company.

Don’t miss Part Two of this article, How to Choose a Compelling eBook topic.