From product descriptions to blog posts, from category pages to regular web content, search engines like solid, bulky content – the kind that really brings value to the user instead of simply filling up blank space, looking for the next chance to sneak one or two keywords in.
Ever since the dawn of a little Google search algorithm called Panda, web pages with thin content have seen their rankings drop like rocks off a cliff. Enter the true antithesis of thin content – the eBook – to save the day. “An eBook?” you say. “Why would I write an eBook? Ain’t nobody got time or money for that.” Fair enough.
But we’re here to show you why it could be a truly great idea for your next content marketing strategy – or simply for your business and brand.
The great thing about eBooks? You might have one already without even knowing it. Some examples: your website has extensive digital marketing blog posts? Think about combining them into a digital marketing eBook.
You constantly provide tips about copywriting strategies? Why not adapt all of this into a content creation eBook? See what we’re trying to get at?
eBooks are very special in that they offer deeper, more informative content to the reader – they provide much more knowledge than a simple blog post or web page.
After all, it’s still a book we’re talking about. They can also give you and your brand more authority. And, by the way, an eBook reader is no ordinary audience member; this person will be truly interested in your topic of choice and much more likely to engage with your brand in a positive way while reading.
Right. So what about the eBook marketing reasons you promised in your supposedly snappy title?
Here you go:
- It’s going to make you look like an expert (which you are… aren’t you?)
- It offers real, in-depth, valuable content (if you do it well)
- It can bring you some leads down the road (or should we say lead$?)
- It may be the start of your own personal brand
- It can be relatively easy to begin and set up
- It might have a great ROI
- It’s an awesome promotion tool
- Conclusion: get your eBook marketing strategy going!
1. First and foremost: if a great eBook won’t turn you into a perceived authority, nothing will
Here’s the deal: if you’re already engaged in a long-term, valuable content publishing strategy, chances are that you could already be perceived as an authority on your subject.
Let’s say you run a blog on the best potato recipes on the web, with hundreds of posts, some videos and even podcasts from time to time.
Your audience has grown with time; your content is understood as high quality and very interesting. Why not consider writing an eBook with your best posts to crown that achievement with the ultimate piece of credibility?
Or maybe let’s consider a different situation: you’re actually starting out with your website and you haven’t got much of a viewership going… yet.
However, you do have the knowledge about your subject. Lots of it, plenty to go around. Creating an eBook marketing strategy from scratch and making it readily available to your users may help you immensely.
If there is a truly dedicated audience very much interested in what you have to say, and if your eBook has real quality, this might be an amazing way of getting your entire content strategy off the ground.
2. Nothing does content marketing like eBook marketing… because great books are content in its strongest form. Aren’t they?
“Read what you love until you love to read”, someone once wisely said. Books are a great source of knowledge, that’s a given.
Whether you want to get to know 18th-century poetry or understand how rocket science works, a book is going to help you. (OK, maybe a Wikipedia article will do for a bit of superficial knowledge, but anyway… you get the point). If you need specialized knowledge, you need books – period.
That’s why eBooks can bring something known as “perceived value”, which is pretty much self-explanatory. Let’s say a person wants to truly understand content marketing – thoroughly.
You’re offering a well-reviewed, well-researched and well-written content marketing eBook. Due to its perceived value, the user will very likely be willing to trade something in return – including money, by the way.
But here we’re talking more about a nice review, a subscription to a newsletter channel, social media following, etc. And why would they do that, you might ask?
Simple: because your book is offering them quality information that they wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else.
3. Which LEADS us to the next point. See what we did there?
We’ve just explained how a great eBook can be perceived as an authentic, authoritative and trustworthy source of information.
And how many users, to be able to access this specialized information, will gladly provide something in return. That “something” has a clear definition in the content marketing book (or should we say eBook?): leads.
And since leads happen when any potential customer has a fire of interest ignited in what you’re offering – brand, product or service – an eBook might just do the trick, pushing your users a bit further through the sales funnel.
Let’s go back to the examples. Imagine you have a digital marketing agency, which very skillfully uses a blog to share relevant knowledge with your audience (hey, that’s what we’re doing here, by the way!).
Your would-be customer is already impressed by your portfolio, clients and everything else. Then, a digital marketing eBook – made by you – comes along. “Oh my,” the potential customer thinks, “this is the opportunity to read and know more about this topic so dear to me”. Apart from providing your business with, let’s say, a newsletter sign-up (yay!), do you think your chances of closing a deal with this user could maybe somehow have… increased after this interaction?
4. Ever dreamed of becoming an influencer? Or turning your name into a brand? Your eBook marketing project might help with that
Maybe – if you’re thinking about writing an eBook – you might not be the person who avoids the spotlight. You might have some really ambitious plans for further down the road.
Maybe you want to start your own YouTube channel, to become an influencer (a real one, for that matter) and even turn into a conference speaker in the not-too-distant future. Hey. If you’re really good at what you do and want to share your knowledge with the world, why not? Go for it!
And guess what, an eBook might help with that too. Because if it has valuable knowledge to share, it can cast an aura of uniqueness around your name (and your company as well, but let’s focus on the name here).
Of course, it’s not the eBook itself that’s going to do that, it’s the buzz that it might generate. And even if your eBook doesn’t become a hit, the fact that you actually have one written already shows, by itself, some serious credentials. At least that’s what we think.
5. Yes, creating an eBook can be hard. But hey, there are lots harder things to accomplish out there
Don’t misunderstand our would-be catchy title. What we mean to say here is that creating an eBook might be easier than you think.
Especially if your website already has lots of content – from a blog, for example, or other content activities related to your brand.
Gathering all that content, organizing it properly, maybe adding some more chapters that contribute to the concept and voilà – there’s an eBook. Of course, like any other big project, an eBook is going to demand time and dedication.
Especially if it’s an eBook for marketing; there are lots of topics to cover here. So we’re not going to give you a rough estimate of how many words your eBook should have, or how long it might take you to write it – that really goes with a long list of factors.
What we’ll tell you is this: even with content readily available, you’re still going to need to do lots of work to write, rewrite, edit, review, outline, organize and publish your eBook.
So, if you really have an eBook in your sights, set aside some hours every day to dedicate to it. Go after your favorite writing software.
Add some much-needed background music (if that’s not going to disrupt your concentration, that is). And go for it.
And, lest we forget, you can always hire professional help to do it, obviously. In which case you’ll have to spend some bucks, but win countless hours in return. Speaking of money… on to the next point.
6. The ROI of your eBook might be pretty good – even if you pay someone else to do it for you
This one is going to be more of a recap, actually.
As we’ve mentioned above, every eBook carries the potential to generate valuable leads. That fact alone is already a good reason to invest time – and money – in creating one. We know from experience that any help is welcome when it comes to leading a potential customer through the sales funnel and making another sale.
But there’s more. Many people forget that their eBook might become very successful and generate income by itself – on sales, that is. Sure, many eBooks aren’t sold, but are used only as a platform for promotion. That’s fine, but it might not be your case. A great eBook might actually be something that people would be willing to pay for.
And let’s not forget about the possibility of your eBook helping you with your plans of becoming a speaker, something that could generate much more money. And last but not least – there’s also the fact that you’ll be exposed to a whole new audience – some of them potentially wanting to hire you later.
7. Your eBook might become an incredibly powerful promotion tool – for your ideas, your company, your products… and you, of course
We’ve already covered how your eBook – for marketing or any other purpose – can be a great tool to give yourself more visibility, help boost your personal brand, broadcast your company and bring you some well-deserved revenue as a result.
But the fact of the matter is that your eBook can be very effective at communicating anything, really. As long as there’s an audience interested in the content you’re providing, you’re going to have a great instrument to further push your overall business strategy, for example – and help pave the way for bigger things.
We’re going to bring up content marketing again, because it serves so many good examples. An eBook might be crucial within a carefully planned content marketing strategy, because the product or service might involve some level of information needed before actually making a commitment.
And what better channel to provide in-depth information than an eBook – either about the very topic of content marketing, or about any other product or service?
Conclusion: bringing an eBook into a world of thin content could give you the ultimate edge
Even with the eventual hurdles that creating a valued eBook might entail, we believe it’s totally worth the effort. It’s distinctive, special, outstanding – when made with care and truly valuable information, of course.
While the eBook isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind when online content is mentioned, it might just be the next best thing in the big puzzle of your content marketing plan.
Precisely because it’s the true antidote to thin content, it’s a great shot at creating an in-depth, detailed content message that will engage with your audience like nothing else.
And if you choose to make it available in an eBook format with a broad consumer base, you’re basically giving your message the quality of convenience – something that will engage with your users even when there’s no internet connection available. Think about it.