How to market an eBook for maximum impact
Struggling to get downloads for your lovingly-crafted eBooks? Read on to have your target audience clicking like periodical cicadas.
Making people care about your eBook is incredibly hard: you must simultaneously juggle the twin goals of providing people with a valuable educational and informational resource – while also compelling them to hand over their contact details. However, even if you’re offering the secrets to eternal life, without effective promotion, no-one will ever know you’ve published them in PDF format. Here’s how to market an eBook.
1. Solve a problem
The process of learning how to market an eBook begins in the drafting. Your target audience isn’t going to download your resource for your benefit: it needs to provide some kind of value. The easiest way to do that is to identify a problem and work out how to solve it – even if it’s a little outside your purview or area of expertise.
For example, as a video company, our responsibility is to deliver animated and live-action content – and we do it pretty well, if we do say so ourselves. However, our clients don’t necessarily know how to get their videos in front of their target audiences. So we commissioned some research to identify solutions to this problem, and wrote a fairly comprehensive guide to video distribution.
Because we targeted the needs and desires of our target audience, our target audience downloaded it. So find out what’s bugging your customers and prospects – and present your eBook as a potential answer to their problem.
2. Write (and share) great content
It’s a lot easier to get your eBook off the ground if you can rely on positive word of mouth to support the launch. You can hit up friends and family, to an extent, but the only reliable way to get people to talk about your eBook is to write a good eBook. If you have the in-house skills, that’ll help, but if you don’t, a good content marketing agency will surely oblige.
When you’ve got your eBook in decent shape, start promoting it – and don’t stop until you’ve achieved your goals. Share it on social media and start conversations with key influencers: if you can generate positive reviews, you can increase your coverage and your downloads. If you have suitable contacts in your database, you can also email them – but the word “suitable” is important here. The idea is to provide useful content to receptive prospects, not irrelevant spam to people who have no idea who you are. If it’s not relative to the prospect’s job or industry, don’t send it to them.
3. Make sure the landing page is up to scratch
If you haven’t got a quality landing page, you aren’t going to get very many downloads – and creating a quality landing page is a greater challenge than you might expect. In fact, it’s one of the top five B2B marketing challenges.
The basic principle here is to provide enough information to pique the reader’s interest – but not so much that they feel they don’t need your resource. You want an attention-grabbing, action-inspiring headline, a blurb that speaks to the benefits of the eBook (again, without giving them away), a clean, uncluttered layout, and a call-to-action button.
Naturally, you can’t just create one and be done with it: A/B testing is an essential part of the process. When you’re creating a landing page, you’re working in marble: you carve away all the material that doesn’t work, with the intention of leaving behind a beautiful, conversion-boosting, download-increasing, money-spinning statue.
4. Write guest posts
We could talk about the value of guest posting for days – and sometimes we do. At length. Regardless of whether or not we’ve been asked to, and sometimes even when we’re specifically told not to (we will spare you the details, but that was one awkward eulogy).
In general, it boosts your the authority of your website and helps you raise awareness of your company. When it comes to figuring out how to market an eBook, though, it’s no less useful: if you can spark a discussion, you can invariably also spark downloads. Use a chapter of your eBook as the basis for an informative – and possibly contentious – article, and submit it to publications that might be interested.
Play your cards right, and you might even get a few followed links in return!
5. Add download buttons to your website
Finally, as important as outreach is, it’s equally important that your eBook has pride of place on your website. You don’t have to pepper your homepage with download buttons, but strategically place a few on relevant pages – you want to make sure the clients and prospects you’ve already attracted are aware of it.
And if you can’t bear thinking about how to market your eBook for a second longer, get in touch with us. Marketing eBooks is our bread, butter, ham, and cheese.