Unless you have been living underneath a rock you will no doubt know that eBooks are all the rage amongst the digital marketing community. “Content is King”, after all, and eBooks are providing a great medium in which to provide valuable content to the end user whilst positioning yourself as an expert in a certain field. So this initial overview post is the first in what we hope will be a series of posts about eBooks, which could eventually be merged together into an eBook…you never know!
Quite simply an eBook is an electronic book that you can read online or via a Kindle device. For those of you who are complete newbies to online marketing, content marketing is about creating and sharing free information in order to attract customers to buy from you. Content marketing isn’t a new thing and has been around for a long time. See the evolution of content right here.
As the content evolution post highlights, content marketing goes back to the turn of the last century when two Frenchmen, Andre Michelin and his brother, founders of the tyre manufacturer Michelin published the first edition of a guide for motorists in France. At the time there were fewer than 3,000 cars in the whole of the country.
The Michelin guide was intended to boost the demand for cars, and thus for car tyres. Today it would no doubt come in the format of the eBook, thus saving them a great deal of money, but at the time helped position themselves as thought leaders within their field.
You might be thinking that writing a book is an incredibly daunting task and one that should be approached with a degree of caution. However, it has never been easier to write a book, especially one that won’t need to be published in print form. eBooks do not have to be fifty thousand word novels to rival War and Peace. They aren’t really going to win any literary awards; the goal is simply to position yourself as a leader within your field. That is it.
Why are eBooks effective?
eBooks are good for both the end user and the creator because of the low investment needed on both parts. Creating an eBook can be done for next to nothing. There is a ton of software out there that is free (and good) to help you create an eBook. And, typically, a new ebook isn’t likely to command a premium price like the ones in the book store. If they do come with a price tag it is often minimal. However, most people are giving them away for free in the hope that its return on investment is down the line.
Not only that, but they are also pretty convenient to read compared to an actual book. Often a lot smaller in terms of pages and word count, which means it can be digested in a day or so.
Coupled with the digital information age in which we live today, where people are constantly searching for information, there are roughly 3.5 billion Google searches a day, giving people information is an extremely valuable commodity in today’s market.
How to come up with an idea for an eBook?
Ideally, you should aim to write about something that hasn’t been covered before, which is easier said than done due to the sheer volume of content out there already. But you should certainly avoid common topics that everyman and his dog have weighed in on as the reader will have a tough time differentiating you from all of the others. Unless of course you have an amazing and totally unique perspective to share…and / or incredible promotional powers, but that is another matter and it would be best to stick with something new or less commonly talked about.
Do a quick Google search for eBooks in your industry, what are people talking about? What you want to answer is: what is missing? What about keyword analysis too – use Google Keyword Planner Tool to uncover the highly competitive keywords, popular search terms, and less competitive keywords and phrases too.
How to make an eBook?
Creating an eBook doesn’t need to be difficult and it shouldn’t be as daunting as publishing a hardback novel. There are countless tools out there for creating eBooks and we have listed our favourites below:
If you want to make it free then it is best to upload the PDF onto your blog and thus give it away like you do with posts on your blog. If you want to monetise it and potentially become an eBook gazillionaire then it is best to upload it via Apple’s iBook store or via Amazon.
Something to remember if you are giving your book away for free is to make sure you capture readers contact details somehow, so that you can sell to them at a later date. A good idea is getting them to submit their details before downloading the book.
Promoting your eBook
Once you have decided upon the content on the book and how you are going to make it, the next step will be deciding on how best to promote the book. You might think that putting it on Amazon or the Apple iBook store will be enough, but think again.
How are people going to discover it? Just because it is on Amazon doesn’t mean it will have millions of downloads. There are plenty of eBooks on there that haven’t made a penny and have barely been downloaded. Sad but true.
I could talk for hours about how best to promote your eBook and will cover it in more detail later on in this series. But instead let’s cover the basics in which to get you started and get the ball moving.
1. Email Marketing:
How about you begin by emailing your existing database that you are writing an eBook and because they have been such loyal fans of yours they will get the first look at the eBook or perhaps a discount on the price.
2. Use your social media channels:
Use your existing social media channels to promote links to the book. Think about setting up recurring tweets on a platform like SocialOomph at different intervals throughout the day. Make sure you have a juicy call to action in your tweets and posts . Although don’t over do it, otherwise people will be turned off by the spamming and most likely unfollow you let alone not click through or download your eBook.
3. Reach out to influencers:
One of the most effective strategies in marketing online is reaching out to influential people in your industry. The goal of writing an eBook is perhaps to make you an expert in your field, but if you are not there yet, then why not piggyback off someone who already is? Make sure there is something in it for them otherwise they will see right through you.
There you go, that is everything you need to know for creating an eBook. Don’t forget the whole point in writing an eBook is to win business and is a tool for marketing. It is not a platform in which to showcase your literary talents; if you want to rival JK Rowling then you are in the wrong place. If you have any further questions about how to create an eBook or perhaps you have and want more advice on content marketing then contact us now. As usual please leave comments below as we love to hear from you!
Dan Purvis writes for a number of leading business, social media and marketing sites, including Smart Insights, MarketingProfs, Marketo, MarTech Advisor, Marketing Tech News, MarTech Today, MarTech Exec, and Business2Community. Dan's also ranked by Brand Republic as one of the Top 50 UK Marketing & Social Media influencers.
Dan is passionate about the philosophy behind Comms Axis: we bring content, marketing and sales together to connect businesses with their audiences.
We pride ourselves on delivering tangible business value and ROI alongside excellent customer service. We work with a broad range of clients and industries, from B2B to B2C, from technology to cosmetics, from start-ups / SoHos to pan-European and global brands.
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