An eBook is a type of content marketing. According to the ContentMarketingInstitute:
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
In short, content marketing allows you to connect with and educate your prospects in an effort to eventually turn them into paying customers.
Content marketing can take many forms including blog posts, emails, eBooks, podcasts, webinars and more.
What are the advantages of an eBook?
eBooks have certain advantages and play a particular role in your marketing mix:
1. An eBook will likely have a higher perceived value than a regular piece of content.
2. This higher perceived value means you are more likely to be able to require people to enter their email address to receive the eBook.
3. An eBook can be substantial enough to attract co-branding from potential partners, increasing the credibility of the content and increasing its marketing reach.
4. An eBook, once downloaded, can be accessed at any time.
5. A well-designed eBook is more print-friendly than most articles or posts.
6. An eBook often has more design options than a regular article.
As a marketer, the most important reason for me to create an eBook is the ability for it to collect email addresses of my perfect prospects.
A real-world example
When COVID first hit we invested significant time into creating two eBooks. One was to help our audience deal with the crisis in front of them. “The COVID-19 Marketing Survival Handbook” included 71 practical actions people could take to survive, adapt and thrive. For those taking a longer-term view, we also released “The Recession Marketing Manifesto” which is a call-to-arms for companies who want to grow their market share through these challenging times.
These two guides allowed us to massively increase the size of our database at a time when marketing was very challenging. The reality was that most of the companies we attracted were not able to appoint a marketing agency at the time, and that was to be expected.
However, having their email address allows us to nurture each contact with content we believe will help them successfully solve their most pressing marketing problems. As the economy improves, or as an individual business takes a more aggressive marketing position, we will be in a strong position to be part of the sales conversation.