If you’re one of those marketers who’s been blogging for some time now, you must have already written an ‘eBook’ or are definitely toying with the idea to create one for your ‘Lead Magnet’.
The idea of creating an ‘offer’ of a 20-page ‘professional looking’ document (an eBook) which can help you capture hundreds, if not thousands of leads, is quite realistic, and many top bloggers have found incredible success with it.
As per 2016 Content Preferences Survey, 67% of B2B buyers have used eBook content to base their purchasing decisions. eBooks play a crucial role in ‘lead generation’, a ‘Tipping Point’ in any effective Inbound Marketing Program, after which the leads are further nurtured through the Sales Funnels to be converted into customers.
Creating an eBook of value, that upholds your brand’s credibility, presence and authority on the given topic can feel like a daunting task, especially when you may have to take on many roles, such as a marketer, writer, designer and maybe even a content strategist, to bring it to fruition.
But if you look at it through a different lens, it’s simply a series of in-depth blog posts strung together to resemble an elaborate book on a particular topic. Each blog post can work as different chapters within the ‘overarching’ theme of the eBook.
Here’s how you can create an eBook to work your Lead Magnet ‘magic’ in just 5 easy steps:
1. Choose a Topic
Your eBook topic should be ‘right on the money’, meaning it should instantly grab your audiences’ attention and ‘announce’ your intention to address their needs and solve their persistent queries.
The topic should work as a promising ‘invite’, triggering the prospects to instantly download the eBook, to engage them in a ‘purchase conversation’ with the sales team further down the sales funnel. After all, your objective is to generate qualified leads for the sales team who will eventually convert them as new customers for your business.
A good practice before coming up with any topic is to get feedback from your Customer Support and Sales Team, as they’re the ones constantly interacting with your customers and know the challenges and ‘interests’ your customers/prospects possess.
You can also come up with relevant topic ideas from popular blogs and forums like Quora.
A framework you can work on to find/explore what clicks for you is given below by HubSpot:
- X Best Practices for [Insert Industry/Topic]
- An Introduction to [Insert Industry/Topic]
- X Common Question About [Insert Industry/Topic] Answered
- X [Insert Industry/Topic] Statistics for Better Decision Making
- Learn From the Best: X [Insert Industry/Topic] Experts Share Insights
A useful tool from HubSpot Blog Topic Generator Tool can work wonders if you’re willing to do more research on the topic.
2. Writing your eBook Copy
Before you jump into actually writing your copy you need to develop an ‘outline’ of your entire eBook content.
The outline of your eBook, right from ‘Introduction’ to the Chapters works like ‘milestones’ to your journey to the end of the eBook. It takes away the burden of ‘coming up with a 15-20 page eBook, and helps you dissect the content into bitable chunks and focus on each chapter, which resembles writing one blogpost at a time.
It’s important to spend more time on the ‘Intro’ section of the eBook, as it sets the stage for the content to follow and more importantly, draw your readers into the ‘meat’ of the eBook. Even though you may find it easy to accept the eBook as a series of blogposts, the chapters should relate with each other and generate a seamless transition from one to the other, when your prospects go through it.
The example below shows how you can create an outline from a template and generate an outline with Chapters to follow through while writing your copy:
When you start writing, make sure you don’t use sophisticated language and industry jargon. Your goal should be able to convey the information in a clear and succinct manner, so the readers can comprehend and assimilate the information you’re providing for them.
Once you’ve finished writing the entire content of your eBook, it’s time to breathe ‘life’ into it. If designing is not your ‘forte’, and may seem a bit daunting, you could always use a graphic designer to help you with it.
Usually, to design any eBooks, softwares such as Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator are used. There are also other alternatives in the market like Canv, or you can simply use PowerPoint to crack one out.
A sensible approach would be to use the colours that match your brand colours, as it gives a consistency and ‘feel’ of your brand to your eBook, bringing more credibility to the content.
When incorporating images and graphics, it should not be an eyesore or something you’ve deliberately slapped on to the page, rather it should compliment the text and soothe the eyes to navigate the reader effortlessly through the content.
Accentuating and highlighting text with different colours and fonts is good practice if you need to focus on certain key messages, statistics and quotes in the document.
A good place to start off with your designing skills is the Cover Page of your eBook. This is a liberating experience, as you can have fun and test new design ideas. The design elements you define with the Cover Page will also help you shape the pages to follow, as it requires much consistency thereon.
You need to make sure the ‘Cover Page’ looks inviting and compelling to the users, as it's the only piece of document they see when they opt to fill out the download offer at the landing pages. So yes, ‘prospects do judge your eBook by its cover’!
4. Create CTAs and Landing Pages
It’s evident your readers have already converted into leads by downloading your eBook with the help of Calls to Action (CTAs) placed at various touchpoints (blog posts, emails, microsites, etc.). However, it also makes sense to place CTAs within your eBook to further engage your leads to nurture and propel them deeper into the sales funnel for higher conversions.
These CTAs can entice the leads with offers such as; registering for your yearly Inbound Marketing Event, or take them to a product page with discount offers.
For instance, the CTA below from Element 7 Digital offers to download another free eBook on Marketing Metrics:
As mentioned above, your eBook should be available to download from embedded CTAs at various touch points in your website (blog, microsite), or through your emails or Social Media. A landing page is reached by clicking on to the CTAs. It promotes and describes the offer and prompts users to fill out a form within it, in order to receive the free downloads.
For example, if you were to click on the CTA of Element 7 Digital placed above, you will reach the landing page shown below:
This way you can entice the traffic coming to your site, blogs, social media feeds to opt for the offers and convert them as ‘leads’.
Now the only work left is to amplify your brand presence and your eBook’s reach through promotion on various pages within your site and across other channels.
You can simply do this by featuring CTAs (link) to your offer’s landing page on your home page, blogposts, resources page, ‘Our Work’ page, or anywhere you feel appropriate within the site.
You could also craft a short blog on the very topic and place a link (CTA) to download the longer version (the eBook). Similar CTA links can also be posted on your Emails, Newsletters and Social media channels such as; Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc., to garner maximum traffic and promote your eBook.
eBooks are a great way for a brand to establish ‘authority’ and credibility on the products and services it offers to its consumers. The only golden rule here is to make sure your eBook content genuinely provides value to your target audience and solves their needs!
Call Andy Fox (me) on (03) 5249 5570 or email email@example.com
Our Website is element7digital.com.au