Whatever your industry, an ebook can form a useful part of your marketing mix. You may even be using them already, but are you doing so effectively? When you use them properly they can form a strong element of your content marketing. You can build your reputation, your brand and your influence. If your content is high quality, readers will often be prepared to give you more time than they’d usually commit to reading a blog post, for example.
Despite all of this, ebooks are surrounded by several myths and assumptions. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
The ebook is free so people will definitely want to download it
Once upon a time, when the internet was still a mysterious and foreign land, people would download pretty much everything and anything that was free. It was a novelty that we weren’t used to in the physical world.
Sadly, for the budding internet marketer, things are no longer like this. If you’re expecting someone to hand over their contact details, you better be sure you’re offering them something of genuine value. Make sure your cover design looks the part and use a good quality photo of it to draw in attention. Be sure to play up the benefits of why someone should want read your ebook – be clear on exactly what you’re offering and what they can gain from reading it.
Put yourself in the shows of your prospects and ask yourself, “why should they share their contact details with you?” Visitors to your site won’t take it just because it’s free. You need to extol the benefits.
I can write it and have it live in no time
Writing a decent ebook isn’t as simple as locking yourself in a room and chaining yourself to a Word processor for a few hours. A good ebook is well thought out and well structured.
Start by coming up with a really basic outline. What do you want to achieve with your ebook and who’s going to be reading it? Try and find an issue or a challenge that you know your customers face and then address it.
Next, you can start adding flesh to the bones, maybe you could start by writing up a list of chapters and move on from there. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so keep writing bits here and there until you’ve got a complete draft.
Even then you’re not done just yet. You should read and re-read your book several times; each time editing and refining what you’ve written. Editing can be a laborious task, so you might want to consider hiring a professional to help you out..
If your ebook was written and produced in a hurry, or wasn’t edited properly, you can bet your readers will spot it. It won’t flow properly, or they’ll be certain pages that don’t get your message across clearly enough. Always make sure you’ve got plenty of time for production.
People will be able to tell the difference between my content and rubbish content
It used to be easy to spot the difference between good content and bad. You know the ones, horribly looking 200-page ebooks with yellow highlighter everywhere and badly written content. These days it’s a lot harder, because even badly produced ebooks can look okay at first glance – you really need to make yours stand out from the crowd.
Give some thought to how the book will be formatted. You want it to look as professional as possible to create the right impression. A well designed document will have a much higher perceived value than another one that’s not quite so polished or well presented.
If you’re using images, make sure their use isn’t restricted by copyright. Think about it, the last thing you want is a knock on the door a few months down the line because you were careless and pinched a photo from Google images. A good site for free, professionally taken, photographs is www.sxc.hu, but always check the license to make sure it covers the purposes you have in mind.
If I write it, they will come
Simply writing an ebook, exporting it as a PDF and linking it to an Aweber form isn’t enough. You can’t just assume that people will download your work and automatically want to share it with their Facebook and Twitter families.
You need to take steps promote the ebook yourself. Whether it’s an eye catching opt-in on your homepage, a well crafted squeeze page that you link to your AdWords campaign or even just a thought provoking and well timed tweet, it’s your job to get the message out there. Then, once people start to download your ebook, if it really is that good people will have a natural desire to share what you produced.
Have you written and published a marketing ebook? Let us know how you found the experience.