What is an eBook Marketing Strategy?
An ebook marketing strategy is a B2B marketing technique that uses downloadable ebooks to increase website traffic and generate leads for sales teams. An ebook can be a powerful inbound marketing tool, much like a whitepaper, except ebooks are frequently designed for a wider audience located higher in the sales funnel. Ebooks cover more basic information than a whitepaper, making industry concepts accessible to non-experts in a lively, entertaining manner.
Primarily, ebooks should serve as a source of information (and entertainment) for prospective clients. To accomplish this, ebooks must be kept, for the most part, non-promotional. Prospects should not be constantly bombarded with reminders about the benefits of a product or service as they read an ebook. That kind of content should be strictly reserved for your website and ads.
Why eBook Marketing Strategies Are Essential to Online Success
Previous online marketing models favored intrusive outbound techniques. They interrupted people’s lives with a short commercial break, or they resorted to pop-ups or available ad-space on popular websites. Such practices are quickly fading from relevance in favor of inbound marketing strategies.
An ebook marketing strategy capitalizes on the popularity and success of inbound marketing. B2B companies now craft content tailored to interest potential clients, and then they let the search engines bring those interested clients to them.
Three advantages an ebook marketing strategy brings to your online campaign are:
- Ebooks offer readers information and insight about your company. The best ebooks are short and tightly focused on a single topic. This approach exposes readers to your industry and offers subtle insights into the value your company brings. Publishing a collection of best practices or industry trends positions you as a leader in your field, which can build brand confidence.
- Ebooks directly target an audience need. Before composing your ebook, have your target audience in mind. Identify what concerns might drive them to the search engines to look for a company like yours with the solutions they need.
- Ebooks can be offered for free. Lead generation is a primary function of an ebook. This is one of the main arguments to provide your ebook for free. If there’s no cost involved, there are fewer barriers between potential clients who are interested in downloading your content. Free ebook marketing allows you to stock your database with a list of possible leads.
- Ebooks attract search engines. Content marketing tools like free ebooks will often yield better rankings on search engine results. Search engine algorithms are constantly upgraded to point users toward valuable content. The more content a company provides, like ebooks, the likelier they are to show up on search engine results.
How to Create an Ebook Marketing Plan
The creation of a marketing plan should parallel the creation of the ebook itself. Ebook Internet marketing strategies are an essential consideration during those initial planning stages. Before green lighting any ideas or starting any drafts, run through this ebook marketing checklist:
- Determine goals. Decide what you want your ebook to accomplish: Attract leads? Thought leadership? Brand building? You should also specify what the takeaway should be for your audience. What value does your ebook provide for them?
- Define your audience. This usually goes hand in hand as you determine your goals. Create a profile of your ideal client and use this profile to nail down what problems he or she might face and what tips or solutions your company has to offer.
- Decide on subject matter, length and tone. Subject matter may require brainstorming from several company team members to collect the valuable data necessary to create ebook content. Length should also be discussed so that everyone involved can agree on the breadth and depth of the project. The tone of the boom can also impact your branding, so decide up front what kind of voice your brand should have: formal or informal, authoritative or trendy?
- Develop a promotional strategy. Announce your ebook launch across multiple social media streams. Steps should be taken prior to the release to make sharing your content as easy as possible, preferably just by clicking on a social share icon.
Where Should You Plan on Marketing Your eBooks?
Another component to your ebook campaign should involve key locations where you can promote your ebook. An ebook marketing firm like Sprint Marketing will typically recommend using such places as:
- Website Landing Pages. Your website should set the stage for the rest of the ebook campaign. Create a landing page for each ebook offer. To download the ebook, a prospective client is usually required to fill out a lead capture form. It is recommended you use a short form and request only the information necessary to deliver the ebook, in most cases just the prospect’s name and email address.
- Social Media Sites. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are three areas where you can share your ebook. Provide a thumbnail image of the ebook where possible so potential clients will see a visual representation of the value you’re offering.
- Guest Blogging. High-quality blogs are always on the lookout for experts to write a guest article. Identify clearly popular blogs through social media. A good indicator is to see who is receiving consistent backlinks to their posts. Email a request to the blog editor and ask for an opportunity to publish an article on their website. Many editors are willing to publish an expert article in exchange for allowing the author to plug his or her latest ebook.
Elements of an eBook Internet Marketing Strategy
B2B ebook marketing strategies involve more than just the ebook. When you publish your ebook, it should serve as a springboard for a host of promotional activities and publications meant to attract the eye of your target audience. As you outline your ebook marketing strategy, remember these five crucial components:
- Email list. Ebook email marketing taps into your database of leads, which usually consists of people who have already expressed an interest in your past offers and content. Send emails announcing the release of your new ebook and provide a link to the landing page.
- Landing pages. An optimized landing page will draw search engine attention and in turn drive web traffic to your website.
- Thank-you page. Once the prospect has submitted the lead capture form, he or she should be directed to a thank-you page. The thank-you page is your opportunity to express your appreciation for their interest in your ebook and to confirm that their form has been successfully submitted. . It also gives you the chance to suggest other ebooks or offers.
- Confirmation email. Always send an email to confirm that the provided address is correct and that the user did indeed receive your ebook.
- Follow-up phone call. This can be a follow-up phone call or an email, depending on the required fields on your lead-capture form. The phone call gives you the opportunity to establish whether the lead gave you phony account information. This is also the chance to nurture a lead towards a sale.
Tracking the Success of an eBook Internet Marketing Strategy
Any list of ebook marketing tips should include how to measure the success of your ebook. As part of your preliminary ebook marketing strategy, establish what metrics are significant performance indicators. Here are three we recommend you watch:
- Downloads. Simple website analytics tools enable you to look for trends such as increases or decreases in downloads, where the downloaders originated from and when the downloads occurred. This information is helpful when planning future ebook marketing campaigns.
- Landing page visits. Track all landing page visits, not just the ones that result in a successful conversion. Comparing the number of conversions to the number of overall visits will give you your conversion rate.
- Qualified leads. These are determined later, based off the follow-up phone call or email. Determining the quality of the leads produced by the ebook campaign can aid future campaigns in determining which topics attract customers who are more liable to fill out the lead-capture form.
Get Your Own Free Leads Analysis to See How Sprint Marketing Can Improve Your eBook Marketing Strategy Today
Sprint Marketing helps companies increase their web leads through the implementation of a successful ebook marketing strategy. We instruct you on how to create an ebook, as well as how to develop other powerful content-marketing tools like an infographic marketing strategy. Contact us to learn how to create an infographic or ebook. Get your free leads analysis today.