In a world where everything is constantly evolving and changing, staying at the top of the tide of changes takes smart marketing and cutting edge tactics.
One particular marketing tactic that many internet marketers have used to help their clients stay cutting edge is the use of engaging eBooks. Why? That’s a great question. Simply put, they help move potential customers further down the sales funnel. Let’s take a look at this.
3 Types Of Visitors
When it comes to website traffic, you’ve got three different types of visitors – browsers, comparers, and buyers.
Typically, websites will focus on one or two of these types quite well (we’ve seen, not at all as well).
Buyers are ready to, as you probably guessed, make a purchase immediately, and websites that give clear leadership with “buy now or call now” type call’s to action will benefit from giving that clear leadership.
Comparers are just looking around and want to know how your brand’s services or inventory match up to your competitors.
Companies who make it easy for them to compare products will benefit in being able to possibly move them down the buying cycle and turn them into a buyer right there. Possibly.
Browsers often just want to see what’s going on. They don’t have any real future intention to buy. Perhaps they just enjoy learning more about your industry, or just want to see what’s out there.
It’s possible to format your site in such a way that they move themselves into comparers or directly into buyers. Possibly.
This is where ebooks play their key role in your sales funnel.
You see, not everyone in the comparison or browsing stage is going to become a buyer. Statistically, they won’t be back if you don’t have a way to market to them again and compel them.
This means, all your hard work in getting them there in the first place didn’t have nearly the impact it could have had for your business.
By using the right ebooks with call’s to action, you can get browsers, comparers, and buyers, into your sales funnel. They may not make a purchase on their first browsing experience, but they often will be willing to give their name and email for a valuable ebook that addresses a need at their stage of the buying cycle.
Now, you have an opportunity to market your brand to a segment of people who wouldn’t have been connected to it otherwise, moving them down the sale’s funnel from browsers to comparers to buyers!
See how that can be powerful?
Keep reading to find out more about how to do this.
What are eBooks?
When we use the word ‘eBook’ in this post, it’s actually a blanket statement that covers a variety of styles. In its literal translation, an eBook is an electronic book that can be read on a computer, tablet, or mobile phone and was designed specifically for such a purpose.
eBooks are not all exhaustive textbook-like tomes. Instead, eBooks can also refer to a ‘white page download.’ This would be a shorter article, rather like a blog post, that targets a very specific topic.
eBooks can be used as online material to prepare a customer for a procedure. For example, a plastic surgeon may have a variety of eBooks available that address his most commonly performed procedures. These books would act as a guide for prospective or confirmed patients that need to know how to prepare for the procedure, what to expect the day of, and what recovery will look like.
eBooks can be short or long. They can be technical and informative, or casual and engaging. They can come in a variety of styles on innumerable topics, and can always be tailored to exactly fit your buyer persona or target demographic.
We know. We’ve seen them in action.
About eBooks In Marketing
In essence, eBooks are gigantic articles – informative, helpful, supplementary material used for educational and marketing purposes. So, what are the advantages of distributing eBooks in addition to blog posts? Since time is money, are they really worth their weight in gold?
We say, yes.
Fits Well In Our Digital Environment
In the old days of digital marketing (which wasn’t actually that long ago) when people had a problem, they would consult the local expert. They would settle for whatever answers were close by. However, with the expansion of the internet and the technological overtaking that has brought us into a new digital world, people now do their own research online. So, in order to reach them, you must provide helpful information via the internet in order to find them and move them through your sales funnel.
Conveys Expertise And Authority
If the company next door provides a short blog post about a given topic, but you provide a long eBook about the same topic, you show your level of expertise. People love comprehensive and helpful sources of information that are written to specifically meet their needs and speak to their problems.
They will be more motivated to schedule an appointment, sign up for a free consultation, or give you a call if they’re convinced that you can provide them with unique benefits. Gain their trust by supplying them with helpful information that displays your expertise. If you show them that you’re reliable, they will trust you.
People are ready to work with a company when they feel that you care more about solving their problems than you care about their money. They know that you can’t work for free, of course, but they want to know that you’re honest and trustworthy, as opposed to just out to get their hard-earned cash.
Communicates Your Brand/Offerings
People want to know who you are, and a blog post can only tell them so much. While you can insert a CTA at the end of an article that encourages the individual to purchase your product or service, they may need more convincing than that.
People are more likely to buy from companies and businesses that they know and understand – they want to be sure they have the whole story before they put any money on the table. Hence, an eBook is an effective way to convey to a prospective client how your business works, your company offerings, your discounts, your procedures, what they can expect when they contact you, and how to evaluate whether your services would work well to fix their problems.
Offer them as much information about yourself as you possibly can – and then, they will be more likely to trust you, your brand, and your services.
Timeless Marketing Asset
Blog posts have a timestamp, and they get lost in the archives. Yes, intersite linking and featured posts help keep old posts circulating, but an eBook that that is always readily available as a fresh piece of downloadable content is a great marketing asset.
Your blog posts can link to the eBook. Your landing pages can feature the eBook. And, as long as the information in the eBook stays current, the eBook is an invaluable piece of content that can generate a lot of ROI because it’s timeless.
How to create and display Ebooks
There are no hard and fast rules regarding what to include in an eBook and how to write it, so when it comes to creating an eBook, use the writing styles and techniques that are going to best fit your buyer persona. This might take some research—check out our post on creating your buyer persona to get you started.
Instead, what we want to focus on here is the tools that you will need to use to compile and distribute your eBook.
Compiling Your eBook In Microsoft Word
Word is our current favorite tool to use for writing and compiling downloadable content. Yes, you can use Adobe InDesign if you want, but it’s far more difficult. Take advantage of Word’s headers feature and other such tricks to speed up your formatting process.
Want to make it especially easy? Download this free Microsoft Word eBook template we created just for this blog post!
Email Capture With Wufoo Forms
eBooks are a fantastic way to collect people’s email addresses. We’ll talk more about this a little later.
At Fannit, we capture emails by setting up a form using Wufoo (a form creator tool). You can create a new form, add mandatory name and email fields, and make the “submit” button redirect to the URL of your eBook. Once completed, your eBook can only be accessed when people give you their email address using a very simple form.
Wufoo saves form submission information so you can access email addresses, or you can sync it with a MailChimp email list.
The best way to have people download your eBook is to have an entire page on your website dedicated to just the eBook.
This page should have an attractive banner image displaying the eBook, a call to action right near the top telling users to go ahead and download it, some brief information, and your download form. Here are a couple examples of eBook landing pages we’ve created for clients:
- The toxic mold eBook landing page for Clean Crawls
- The landlord’s guide to renting for North Pacific Property Management
These landing pages persuade site users to do one thing: download the eBook. Now, you’re happy to have their email address, they’re happy to receive high quality free information, and the landing page has made it simple and to the point.
Using Calls To Action (CTAs)
Once you have an eBook and it’s out on a landing page, you can promote it across your site with CTAs. These can be just text linking over to the landing page, but a better option is to use graphics that persuade users to navigate from whatever page they’re on to the landing page.
A good example of this is the CTA at the end of a blog post about product liability in car accidents for the Jones Firm.
Images draw the attention of blog readers, and leads them toward downloading the eBook. These useful CTA’s aren’t restricted to use on blog posts, however, and should be used throughout your site; homepage, the blog sidebar, and other such places.
What Does An eBook Do?
By this time, you should be asking yourself “What does an Ebook offer my marketing strategy?” What’s the benefit of incorporating all this time and energy into a project?
This, the most sought after of internet marketing treasures—the name and email address. Using downloadable content, such as Ebooks, (should) provide this golden opportunity. As users see and desire to read whatever brilliant content you have available in downloadable form, they will enter their email address into your system.
This email, this simple string of letters and symbols, is your key to nurturing this lead. With an email, you are able to periodically send follow up emails, notifications of sales, inquiries as to whether they have additional questions, surveys, and so forth.
If we communicate nothing else as far as benefits for Ebooks go, understand this—email capture is one of the best ways to nurture a lead and convince them that you’re trustworthy.
A well-developed Ebook that reaches a wide audience can work wonders in creating brand awareness. When a customer downloads your content and reads your enlightening and inspiring message therein, they are going to file your brand away in their heads as someone to trust, to return to—to talk about. They may even go so far as to post links to your amazing Ebook on social platforms or email it to a friend. Either way, when someone loves your Ebook, you can rest assured that your brand is implanted in their brains forever.
This goes hand in hand with brand awareness but is important enough to mention as a stand alone. The use of eBooks in social media are incredibly useful. Not only is this content ‘evergreen’ in that it can be used over, and over, and over, it is a simple way to get people interested in your brand. A well-timed social media update with a link to your eBook can generate a lot of social interaction.
We will put it simply—more social engagement, the better your rankings, the greater number of backlinks, the better your brand reputation and awareness will be. Social + ebook = $$$
What does good content from a knowledgeable source communicate to a client?
“These people know their stuff. Not only do they know their stuff, but they are good souls that share their knowledge with the rest of the world. They get the message out. They communicate. They have ME in mind when they are thinking about what content to produce. What do I need? What do I like?”
The better your content, the better your reputation. There’s nothing worse than going to a website that seems like it will have helpful information and, instead, finding that it’s thin, useless, and doesn’t answer any of potential customer’s questions. You never, ever want that to be your content, your website, or your Ebook.
Instead, produce amazing content that people want to read. We promise, your reputation will soar. If this hasn’t been you in the past, don’t worry. People will be forgiving as soon as you start producing something that’s worth reading.
Joining the eBook Club
Now that you’ve been thoroughly convinced of the importance and usefulness of creating high-quality eBooks, it’s time to begin utilizing eBooks in your marketing campaign. Unsure of how to do so?
Well, luckily for you, at Fannit, eBooks are just one spoke in our online marketing wheel. We have tons of experience creating highly informative, uniquely engaging, and superbly shareable eBooks, and we will implement this effective tactic as a part of an overall marketing strategy for your company. Contact us for a free consultation regarding your marketing campaign and catch a glimpse of what it could be with the Fannit team helping your company.