There are two main types of questions we ask on Google. One is the “instant-gratification” question… “Who was that actor?” “How do I hide a post on my Facebook timeline?” “Where’s the nearest Starbucks?” Google finds the answer, and you’re done.
The other is the broader, “life” question. These questions aren’t answered just by reading the first line of text under your search results. These questions require more reading, more research. These are questions that further your education, whether you’re interested in change management, becoming a better leader or even PR 101… the list could go on forever. These questions are answered by using
Google to find news articles or books… or, something in between, like an eBook.
More and more brands find themselves creating eBooks to answer these broader questions for their customer-base and insert themselves into the conversation about their industry. And, more often than not, the eBooks have serious flaws.
Through CRT/tanaka’s research and experience creating eBooks, we’ve found seven key tips for eBook success:
Keep it educational, not an outright sales tool
It’s an eBook. NOT a brochure. If you want to write a brochure, go ahead, but don’t pass it off as an eBook. Remember what I mentioned above? These books are meant to answer “life” questions. Your eBook should first and foremost be an educational work for your clients. Pick a topic surrounding your industry that generates a lot of questions from potential customers. Then, write about that topic in an unbiased way. Don’t worry, if you play your cards right, your brand will come across in tips 2 and 3.
Match your brand tone and feel
Use your brand guidelines as you write your eBook. Ensure your brand’s tonality is present. Utilize your graphics, fonts and colors. This way, as individuals read your book, they’ll be receiving your brand’s message without a hard sell. They’ll think of you as a partner who has educated them about a topic of interest.
Link out to other content
This is where our leads will come back around to your company. Be sure your eBook is rich in links back to your company’s blog, videos and other content. By driving your eBook readers back to your website and other online properties, they’ll begin their journey through the conversion funnel.
Great graphics and photos
Don’t forget to keep it interesting. Yes, you’ll be using your brands fonts and logos, but don’t be bland and don’t only use your company’s stock photos. Find some other eye-grabbing graphics to keep your readers interested.
Short and sweet
Our attention spans are waning these days. Your readers want your eBook to deliver the information they are seeking quickly and in a digestible format. Use your best judgment, but I tend towards 10-15 pages, and heavy on graphics. If your eBook is getting longer than that, you might be trying to cover too much, and you should consider splitting it into two separate eBooks.
At this point, in should go without saying. Make sure your eBook is mobile-friendly and it looks just as great on a desktop as it does on a tablet or phone. You never know what device your potential customers might be using the day they run across your eBook.
Shareable SEO landing page
Now that you have this incredible, educational eBook that your potential customers are clamoring for, help them find it. Use a keyword rich SEO landing page with plenty of social share buttons for Facebook, Twitter and the like. Link back to your eBook’s landing page from your blog. Share it with your key influencers (whom you’ve already built great relationships with ;-)) and ask them to help spread the word on their online properties. When people search on your eBook’s topic, you want them to find you!
What are your tips for eBook success? Would love to hear in the comments below!