Businesses die without leads. Leads are air, water, all the things that are vital for survival. Without leads, your company has no prospects for selling your products or services. A steady flow of leads is key; but how to you achieve that goal? Using an eBook to drive leads is one of the most powerful strategies you can implement for a steady flow of quality leads.
The Content Marketing Institute explains: “Think of [eBooks] as a white paper on steroids: a report, generally 12 – 40 or more pages in length that presents complex information in a visually attractive, reader-friendly format. The content is both informative and entertaining; the tone, collegial; the format, ‘chunky’ rather than linear, to facilitate skimming and scanning.”
Why are eBooks popular as a lead magnet? Why do so many businesses utilize an eBook to drive leads? Here are three major benefits:
An eBook Strengthens Your Brand
In today’s impersonal, digital world, the trust and authority of your brand is vital. In fact, studies suggest that 63% of customers would only buy from an authentic brand. A powerful way to show people the expertise and trustworthiness of your brand is by creating an eBook on a subject they care about that answers their questions or concerns in an engaging, creative way.
Can’t think of a subject for your eBook? When brainstorming for your eBook, develop and use buyer personas to envision your audience’s wants, needs, and desires. After choosing a few possible topics, do some research to discover what your competitors have written about. You should avoid those topics and choose one that is unique and under-represented.
Focus on two important aspects when creating your eBook:
- Content – Load each chapter with quality content about your subject that is easily read and digested. Each chapter should provide a unique takeaway and conclude with a concise call to action.
- Design – Your design should be appealing while incorporating the existing style of your brand. According to Pamela Vaughanfrom Hubspot, a consistent brand style guide will give all of your publications a “more professional, branded look which translates into a sense of credibility.”
An eBook Establishes You as an Authority on Your Subject
In addition to strengthening your brand, using an eBook to drive leads helps to establish you as an authority on your chosen subject. Again, this is another reason to choose your topic carefully, both to scratch where consumers have an itch and to avoid topics on which your competitors seem to focus. Being an authority on a subject that interests no one is just as useless as having too many authorities on the same topic.
Your eBook should provide up-to-date and definitive information about a chosen subject. This demonstrates to your audience that you have done the necessary research and have the requisite experience to speak with authority. In short, you know what you are talking about and can back up your claims with real-world evidence and action. This authority will attract members of your audience who are currently embroiled with your topic, thus generating a solid lead.
An eBook Provides Great Content for Sharing
When it comes to complex topics, internet users tend to choose longer form content over shorter, simpler blog posts. According to Neil Patel, 1500 to 3000+ word blog posts drive more traffic and, as a result, more conversions. It is evident that your audience is searching for quality content and not just surface explanations.
Creating an eBook around the theme of a current marketing campaign provides an opportunity to showcase your authority on the subject, while giving you a huge resource from which you can extract and repurpose content. Repurposing content from your eBook provides optimal ROI from your hard work; take the best chapters of your eBook and produce blog posts, infographics, podcasts, videos, and promotional emails. By doing this you can drive engagement, generate leads, and produce conversions with very little extra effort. This material also promotes the eBook itself.
Once your eBook is completed, build an SEO-optimized landing page on your website with a call to action to sign up in return for your free eBook. Then promote your eBook on several social media channels to encourage your audience to sign up and receive it. 92% of consumers trust the recommendations of their peers over regular online ads. This means promoting your eBook on social media makes it easier build social proof and trust that causes internet users to sign up and receive your content. With a combination of social media marketing, informational content repurposing, and landing page optimization, your eBook will be a successful lead generation tool.
What if Using an eBook to Drive Leads Isn’t Working?
If you have already been trying to use an eBook to drive leads but are not seeing good results, you might be making one of the following common mistakes:
- You are marketing with the lights off (you didn’t identify your target audience) – You must know your target audience in order to write a book to reach them.
Solution: Create buyer personas for your ideal customers and choose a relevant topic.
- Your topic doesn’t scratch where users have an itch – If your topic is irrelevant or aver-addressed already, why would users be interested?
Solution: Solve pressing problems for users. Isn’t this why your business exists?
- You went with a cheap, homemade design – Face it, everyone judges a book by its cover. Your eBook design needs to be enticing and relevant. It must appear professional, set the story of your eBook, and reflect your brand.
Solution: Invest in a professional design.
There is no better way of establishing credibility and expertise in your business niche than producing an informative, persuasive, and valuable publication that definitively answers the most pressing questions and concerns your audience may have. In this digital information age, with most answers at our fingertips, there is no better way to communicate than to provide information that helps our audience and prospective customers arrive at a decision.
Have you had success using an eBook to drive leads? We’d love to hear about it! Share your experiences and suggestions with our readers in the comments below.