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Tips for Effective E-Book Marketing


Spurred by the advent of tablets and e-readers, e-books have become a popular content marketing tool over the last decade. Today, three in ten American adults read e-books. This interest in digital content makes e-books great lead magnets. Not only are they easily accessible and searchable, they also offer a deeper dive into subject matter with convenient downloading and reading on a prospect’s own terms.

With only increasing digital content consumption on more mobile devices like phones, these “electronic books” typically packaged as PDFs continue to be an effective source for lead nurturing. However, an e-book’s success is determined by the quality of its content and design, as well as a marketing team’s promotion and tracking to understand its performance. Here are some tips for creating a professional, effective document that prospects will want to download and follow calls to action to move along their buying journey.


Considerations for writing e-book content

E-books should be part of your overall content strategy. The more targeted you are, the better you’ll be at crafting messaging that will engage prospects and encourage conversion.

  • Consider your buyer persona: The first step is to identify your audience. Who are you trying to entice? Most marketers use e-books to generate leads at the top of the sales funnel, so readers will likely be newer to your brand and offerings. Assess what problem or pain point they may have that your e-book could address Some common e-book strategies include focusing on an introduction to a subject area, providing best practices or answering common questions. A case study or product demo could also be effective ways to demonstrate expertise to buyers who are more familiar with you. If you aren’t sure, it pays to be strategic and do some research to learn what your audience wants to know by looking at existing industry or competitor publications, or examining SEO keywords.

  • Choose a clear but compelling title: Though e-books don’t have to be lengthy, they do require a greater time commitment than reading a social post or even an email. Therefore, you need to convey value through your title to entice people to click and give their contact information to download. Your title, and possible subtitle, should clearly indicate what the reader can expect and the content inside must deliver on that promise.

  • Balance educational and promotional content: Your overall tone should be educational, as you would read in an industry publication, to help establish credibility and trust. Think about citing third-party statistics or referencing experts in your market.

However, this is a promotional piece, so including a few mentions of your company, in a subtle, appropriate way is advisable to position you as a thought leader. For instance, you can mention your product as an example of how such solutions make your readers' jobs easier. You could also link to an upcoming event you’re having where readers could learn more, or an online tool you offer like a free calculator or assessment to help them find what they need. These can also serve as calls to action that move the prospect into the middle of the sales funnel.



Creating a consistent e-book design

Once you have your content together, you can begin to design and format it into a professional-looking document that people can easily download and digest.

  • Maintain your brand style: Having quality content is great but if it looks haphazard it could lose effectiveness. Your branding (including logo, front, colors, etc.) should extend into all pieces of company content. Prospects should be able to tell that your sales presentations, emails, brochures, social channels, website and other assets all belong to your business to build credibility and brand awareness. This branding should be consistent across your e-books too. Work with your creative team to design a branded e-book template that you can use again.
  • Create a captivating cover: Along with a great title, your e-book cover should include graphics that catch attention and re-emphasize the subject to sway interested people to click. You’ll likely use the e-book cover for promotion on a landing page, your website, emails and social channels, so consider how it will look on different platforms. It should be easy to understand what the e-book is about with a glimpse of this first page.

  • Ensure readability: Effective e-books have a clean, digestible layout. Even if it means adding more pages, including visuals, bullets, bolded text and highlighted quotes or stats can help break up large portions of text and increase comprehension. Ancillary pages like a table of contents, author page and chapter or section headers will make your e-book more user-friendly. Also, optimize your e-book for quality viewing whether people are reading on a smartphone, computer or printing out the PDF. It’s critical to take the time to test content out on different devices. If something is too hard to read or doesn’t load correctly, people will discard it.


Promoting your e-book

So you finally have an e-book, now what? E-books have flexible distribution advantages such as avoiding printing and shipping fees, so don’t let them sit! The main goal is to get people to visit your website and convert to a lead so it’s crucial to reach the right people in the right places with proper e-book promotion.

  • Create a dedicated landing page: This page should describe your offer and include the download form. Then, promote only this direct link to make it easy to capture leads and track results. You should feature the e-book on your website, such as on your home or resources page. You can even write a blog on the e-book topic and include the landing page link in a call to action to encourage people to download the e-book to learn more.

  • Send emails: Email can be another great place to share your e-book landing page link, but make sure you’re distributing to the right people. Ideally, you should have a segmented portion of your list that has agreed to receive offers from you, like your newsletters and other promotional content.

  • Write social media posts: You can also share the e-book landing page link on your social media channels. If fact, you can link social icons directly in your e-book for readers to easily click and share. Just make sure the landing page link populates, rather than the Thank You Page, so you can still capture the lead. You can even consider running your landing page link through paid ads or comarketing with partners to reach new audiences.


Track your success

As with all marketing, your ability to gauge your campaign’s effectiveness depends on tracking your progress. Watch your landing page analytics to see how many downloads you’ve received and from what source. Ultimately, you’ll want to identify how many people downloaded your e-book and made a purchase. Since your e-book is digital, the good news is that you can always make edits or corrections, so use your insights from the data to refine and improve your campaigns.

Need some e-book examples and inspiration? Take a look at some of ours!