How to Create an Ebook That Markets Your Business
- 6 min read
- Karla Sambolić
The strategy is that you can offer something valuable, an ebook, in exchange for something - usually an email address. This tactic can quickly grow your email list, boost lead generation and increase sales.
Let's see how you can create an eBook that markets your business. Ebooks are not complicated concept, but creating and designing them can be overwhelming.
First, you must write great content which provides value to your target audience. This can be anything from advice on a certain topic, cheat sheets, checklist and so on. But writing the content is not enough.
You also need to design the eBook to make it visually appealing. A badly designed ebook will drive customers away, instead of creating brand affinity.
The ebook must also be well formatted, so that is shows correctly on all devices. People prefer reading on their smartphones, so you have to keep that in mind.
You must also consider the purpose of your ebook - to generate leads for your company. You should include relevant calls-to-action (CTAs) through your eBook to increase chances that the readers will become leads for the company.
There are several reasons to create and give away an ebook on your website:
Why should you create an eBook for your business?
- Grow your email subscriber list
- Generate leads for your company
- Boost brand awareness
- Increase sales.
A crucial part of inbound marketing, relevant content removes the hard sell from the marketing copy. It makes customers trust your authority on the subject since you provide them with tons of value for free.
And ebooks are one of the most common content marketing tools at your disposal. They are also cheap and easy to produce (but this doesn't mean that you shouldn't focus on making a quality ebook).
How to create an ebook
Step 1: Choose your ebook topic
The goal of your ebook is to generate leads, so pick a topic which your audience wants to hear about.
The ideal scenario is that a customer will download and read the ebook and then contact your sales representatives about your products or services. Even if that doesn't happen, you still have their email address and you can engage them through email marketing.
The topic should be about your business and products/services, or your industry. But don't forget that you always have to focus on solving your customers' problems.
So if you're writing an ebook about the new software you've developed, concentrate on addressing how it solves the problems your customers are facing.
Step 2: Outline your content
Writing an ebook is similar to writing a blog post, the only difference is that ebooks are longer, so you must have a coherent structure to transition from one part to another.
A good way to create an outline is to think of your eBook as a crash-course on the topic.
Think about what your customers:
- want to know about,
- what are the most common pain points or
- questions they have about a product.
Then, use that information to create 3-5 chapters, and outline each chapter with sub-headings if needed. Write the introduction and the ending, and you're already halfway to completing your ebook.
How long should your ebook be?
It depends. But the best way to answer this question is: however long it takes to educate your audience about the selected topic.
Ebooks don't have to be lengthy - a five-page book can be better than a 30-page one if it covers the topic effectively.
Step 3: Design and format your ebook
Aside from researching and writing, the critical component of an excellent ebook is design. A visually appealing ebook will keep readers glued to their screens and ease their comprehension.
Decide on the style before you start writing and stick to it throughout the process. Use images, bullet lists, and icons to reinforce your writing. Add appropriate calls-to-action (CTAs) within the ebook to convert readers into leads.
Every time someone clicks your CTA they're showing interest in your content - make sure to capitalize on that. The last thing you need to decide on is the output format of the ebook.
Most business ebooks will be simple PDF files, but sometimes you might decide to offer other formats as well.
The two most popular ones are:
- mobi and
- ePub - ebooks in these formats can be read on e-readers like Kindle and offer additional channels for reaching your audience.
The most important thing is the substance of your content. Great design won't save a terrible e-book, but it will make the difference between people giving you a chance in the first place.
If your design is terrible and your content is great, nobody will download it, read it or share it.
There are four steps on how you go about designing an e-book:
- Choosing layout - how do you expect the e-book to be consumed
- Choosing colors - colors that will support your brand
- Designing cover - cover that will work even when reduced to thumbnail
- Plug in the content
First thing you need to do is figure out how do you expect people to consume your e-book.
Do you want it to be short and information-packed that people print out or do you want it to be read straight off of the desktop, laptop or tablet screen?
E-books for print can be oriented either on portrait or landscape and can have much more tightly packed text.
E-books for screens should be oriented landscape because that's how screens are oriented. They should have bigger fonts and more spaced-out content for easier on-screen reading.
When you define colors for your ebook, you should consider your brand. Colors should be consistent with your brand.
With colors, you can make your ebook feel like it was professionally assembled. Your medium also dictates your color options.
If you are planning for it to be printed, you should go easy on the colors, because people might want to print in black and white. If it is intended for the screen, then you have all the freedom in the world.
The image below presents Google’s Trust/SMB Whitepaper which uses brand colors in a great way. This way Google reinforced their brand identity.
Designing the cover
Most of the people will see your cover in a thumbnail format. That means you need to design a cover that looks good full-size and significantly scaled down.
The design should be clean, and your headline and topic should be clear even at a shrunken-down glance.
The image below presents book covers from UXpin website. All covers have on-point and straightforward design. Headlines are clear and highly readable.
Plug in the content
Content is king. Having an ebook with great content and lousy design might not compel users to download it, but having an ebook with great design and bad content is also a big no-no.
It will get downloaded, and it will get read, and everybody will remember you as a procurer of low-quality content.
Take your time and figure out what your audience wants to read.
After you create your ebook, the only thing left to do is to promote it.
Ebooks are a great way to generate leads for your business. They offer valuable content to your customers in exchange for a piece of information - usually on an email address.
An ebook can also help you establish thought leadership in your industry.
If you need help with creating an ebook, contact us today, and we'll be glad to help.
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