Over 20% of Americans own eReaders; over 20% of Americans own tablets (like the iPad or Kindle Fire); 66% of Americans between the ages of 24-35 own smartphones (iPhones, Android, etc.); and these numbers are increasing exponentially. While many European countries still lag behind the US in terms of eBook technology, they’re making the right moves to catch up. Soon enough, EVERYONE will be in the market for eBooks.
Over the past 15 years– email, websites, and social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook have become ubiquitous tools for conducting and marketing your business. While business-branded eBooks probably won’t be quite as obligatory as those other tools, customers and clients will become conditioned to search for businesses, references, and testimonials not only on Google, Yelp, and YouTube, but also on Amazon.com, the Apple iBookstore, and other popular eBook stores.
Why not establish your presence in the business-branded eBook market ahead of the pack?
However, the best part of eBooks is their simple technological advantage:
- Convenience: The electronic medium provides the best method for an immediate call-to-action: a click! Coupons, recipes, and checklists can draw prospects in immediately, requiring a click to retrieve the offer. Where do those clicks take them? To your website, blog, or Facebook fan page. Your company doesn’t have to ask customers to memorize a URL (how’s that working for you?).
- Quantifiable measurements: eBooks containing links allow businesses to track their success, making it easy to determine the ROI of marketing costs.
- Variety: Rather than provide a static product, companies can add links to video, audio, or graphics, adding visual appeal. Some eBook publishers even allow companies to provide updates to their eBooks’ content, preventing it from feeling stale long after its original publishing date.
WHY DOES YOUR BUSINESS NEED AN EBOOK?
Three main reasons
- It will increase your reputability
- It will increase your efficiency
- You will earn the email addresses of your potential customers
TYPES OF EBOOKS
eBooks can be about anything from gardening to running a small business. People who are interested in your topic will download your eBook to:
- Understand a concept
- Solve a problem
- Expand their knowledge
However, since you’re writing a book, you can take it wherever you want it to go and fill it with your own voice. The sky is the limit, and if your brand is knowledgeable about a topic, you can write about it. Just be sure to do some preliminary research and trials to see if people are interested in your topic. There’s no point to putting in all that time and effort if no one will read your book.
In fact, there are literally dozens of ways for you to use e-books to increase sales, capture opt-ins, generate sales leads, and more. For example, with e-books you can:
- Record a video presentation of your best salesperson pitching your product. A video sales pitch is a great way to reach a far wider audience because you can easily send it around the internet.
- Create an interactive demonstration of how your product works. People love to be able to see how something works before they buy it, and if you capture the contact information of everyone who views your demonstration, you can easily follow up with those leads.
- Create “preview” chapters–an incredibly powerful sales tool. You can let visitors to your site download your e-book and read one or two chapters, and then prompt them to “unlock” the rest of the e-book by paying for it. Once people prove to themselves that you’re offering valuable information, they’ll gladly pay to get the rest of it.
- Increase your sales with free or paid trials of text, audio or video products. It’s easy to sell “free trial” e-books that give readers full or partial access to your information for a limited time. If you collect each customer’s credit card information at the beginning of the free trial, you can simply bill them after the trial period is up. And if a customer decides they don’t want your product, you can simply shut off their e-book access from your own computer.
- Compile audio or video interviews with industry experts. This makes for a highly marketable e-book that’s fun and easy to create. Most people will agree to an interview if you approach them professionally and explain how they stand to benefit from the exposure of participating in your e-book.
E-books have come a long way from the simple electronic delivery of text-based documents. Just use your imagination and let e-books help you create and distribute professional-looking information products that’ll wow your customers.
WHAT SPECS SHOULD I ADHERE TO?
Provide something that is professional, but remember, you are not putting out the next Game of Thrones novel, so you don’t need to be too formal with it. Here’s a short list of eBook tips:
- No more than 2,000 words, if you can help it.
- Have a short glossary web page that briefly explains the book.
- Use proper spelling and grammar. That is a must.
- You don’t need cover art or forwards.
- Use a professional writer.
- Make it informative and useful.
The idea of eBook marketing is not at all a scary one. In fact, given the right tools, it is fairly simple to enact and keep rolling. You will see new customers coming and old customers staying because you’re not directly asking them to buy anything. You’re creating loyalty by giving them something they can use. Whether you sell food or baseball cards or provide a limo service, eBook marketing can work for you.
- Recommended Article: The Most Successful Content Marketing
THE DESIGN PROCESS
Putting together your eBook requires two distinct areas of design, namely the content and the graphics. When it comes to most marketing material, the content works in tandem with the graphics in order to achieve the desired end.
The most important part of a free eBook is the content. The reason why content is that important is twofold. Firstly, by giving the user great content, you give them something valuable for their information. Consumers love being valued by companies, and by offering a free eBook that is valuable, you endear them to your brand. The second reason content is important is because it’s going to be picked through. Offering a free eBook to a consumer gives them information that they can slowly digest and mull over. It’s the polar opposite of the hard sell since there isn’t any time-limit imposed on the customer. Because of that the content in the eBook must encourage the reader to read it.
b) Graphics and Design Elements
You might have the best content in the world, but if your eBook lacks graphical consideration and other aesthetic design elements, no one will want to read it. These elements include the cover, page layout, font, and any other graphics or art that you would like to include. The final product should encourage the reader to dive into the eBook. The use of colors and borders encourage a user to want to read the information in the book. You should be careful, however, to avoid including too many design elements since those take away from your book’s impact rather than add to it.
HOW CAN AN E-BOOK BENEFIT YOUR BUSINESS?
Maybe it’s the size that intimidates most business owners from attempting to write an e-book, or the fact that most business owners don’t consider themselves authors.
An e-book can offer many benefits to your business:
- Credibility. When you write an e-book about a topic that is helpful or informative to your audience, you establish credibility. Your audience views you as a trusted professional in your industry.
- Credibility = Sales. The more credible you are, the more likely someone will be to buy from you. People prefer to do business with those they know, like and trust, and writing an e-book is an effective way to establish that trust.
- Capture email addresses. Providing a free, downloadable e-book on your website is a great way to share your information in exchange for an email address. Then you can use their email address build your email contact list.
- Repurpose your content. Once you have your e-book written, you can repurpose the information, or breathe new life into it, by using it in other ways. You can break the e-book down into a series of blog articles, use the facts or tips for social media posts, or convert it to a slide show presentation.
- Use it as a revenue generator. E-books can be offered for free as a way to collect email addresses, or you can charge for them. If your first e-book was free and offered value to your customers, they may be willing to pay for your subsequent e-books.