Should I Offer a Free eBook for Lead Generation?

You may have heard about free eBooks as part of a content marketing strategy and wondered whether it should be added to your marketing mix. This kind of lead magnet, while requiring some investment on your part, provides several important lead generation benefits that make it worth your time and money.  

eBooks Are Important for Content Marketing

Offering an eBook is an effective way to reach out to prospective leads who aren’t ready for your sales pitch but who do still want to learn how to solve a problem they have that they think you can help. Content marketing through lead magnets like eBooks is a great way for a prospective customer to “peek under the hood” of your company. This is how you show your customers your business is trustworthy, knowledgeable and approachable. By supporting increased brand awareness and a higher profile for your company, good eBooks can drive website traffic, strengthen your credibility, and convert that interest into sales. 

A significant advantage of eBooks for lead generation is that your lead has come to you for it so they’re already engaged to a certain degree. That’s why it’s critical for your eBook content to be highly relevant to your target audience’s needs and where they are in the buyer’s journey. That may mean you need to plan for more than one eBook. 

Content Marketing eBooks Defined

Writing an eBook probably sounds overwhelming. But in this scenario, you can think of it as a long-form article; most don’t run longer than 2,500 words. Keyword placement and layout are optimized with headings, subheadings and short paragraphs. Most eBooks include supplementary visual content like images and infographics. Use a friendly and conversational writing style with a tone that’s appropriate for your audience. If this sounds like more work that you have the time to invest, engaging with a digital agency can help. An agency’s content writer can take on the role of your eBook writer to create custom content aligned with your brand and voice.

Once written, your eBook will sit behind a landing page specifically designed to attract and engage prospective leads. That landing page will be search engine optimized with scaled back content relative to the rest of your website (for example, there’s no navigation bar) but does include a summary of your ebook and a list of benefits for prospective readers. When the lead completes the contact form on the landing page, they immediately receive via email a link to download the ebook.They get well-written and useful content and you get reliable, opt-in lead generation. You can count on the expertise of a digital agency to develop a successful landing page to go along with your eBook.

Creating Effective eBook Content

Your prospective customers are making an investment in your business by taking the time to download and read your eBook. If they’re not satisfied, you’ll have lost them, possibly for good. If they are satisfied, what started as a warm lead only gets hotter. So how do you honor that investment? By providing them with information that can’t be found with just an Internet search. 

Think about your business: what’s the problem that your business solves for your customers? Apply that same thinking to your ebook content. What’s a problem that your eBook content can solve for your customers? How can you educate them? If you can’t identify how your ebook content benefits your customers, go back to the drawing board and start again. 

Once you’ve decided on a topic, it’s time to start writing. Know your target audience and write for them specifically. Keep the content focused by constructing a “buyer persona” that incorporates the demographics of your target audience. Be mindful of their goals and challenges as they relate to your industry. Anticipate what their objections might be and speak to those in your content. 

If you’re having trouble, a digital agency can work with you to cultivate workable ideas for your review, and then task one of their eBook writers to produce the content for your buyer persona according to your company’s brand and message.

How to Maximize Your eBook’s Lead Generation Potential

While it may seem costly in terms of time and money, you can leverage your eBook into leads and realize a good return on your investment. Much of this comes down to the quality of your landing page and your ebook marketing strategy.

An effective landing page has a clearly defined call to action: fill out the form to download the eBook. There’s a sweet spot between gathering too much information on your form and too little. If you ask for too much, prospective leads won’t fill out the form and will forgo your ebook. If you ask for too little, you won’t have enough detail about who is downloading your ebook for effective and targeted follow up. Experiment via A/B testing with variables like multi-step forms to see what works best for your audience.

Have a strong multi-channel marketing strategy in place. Share your eBook’s landing page link on social media and your website. Send an ungated link to others in your network, your email list and influencers in your field. Perhaps most importantly, practice patience. Content marketing with ebooks isn’t a sprint but a marathon. 

Using eBooks for Effective Lead Generation

As a lead generation tool, eBooks deliver a strong contact list because those individuals have opted in to receiving an initial communication from you through your ebook. Once you wow them with your content, they’ll be even more receptive to occasional messages from you to strengthen that relationship as they continue on the buyer’s journey. Avoid too-frequent communication or hard selling. A list cultivated through eBook content marketing needs to be nurtured carefully for best results. Gentle follow-ups, social media outreach, and remarketing ads aimed at your eBook lead generation list can build long-term relationships effectively.

Get full support for your ebook content marketing efforts with iwebcontent. From idea to publication, from landing page to lead generation outreach, we have the content writers and graphic designers with the knowledge and skills to serve as your ebook writers and artists, delivering high-quality content that’s optimized for your message and your target audience. Book a call today and let’s talk about lead generation through eBook content marketing. 

Click on the eBook to learn more about eBook lead generation marketing.