A compelling eBook is a valuable resource that educates audiences and positions your business as an expert in the industry. A great eBook can also serve as a powerful lead generation tool, when you offer it up for download in conjunction with a form that captures the prospect’s key contact information. Simply put, an eBook is one of your most powerful content marketing formats.
But a hard-working, effective eBook is much more than just some copy and pretty pictures or attractive graphics. To ensure your eBook gets downloaded often to fuel your sales pipeline, and then does its job once it’s in prospects’ hands, it needs to give readers intriguing and valuable information in a well-organized format.
Are you new to creating eBooks? Have you made one before, but it isn’t getting downloaded? These seven tips are guaranteed to help you create in-demand eBook content that engages your key audience, positions you as a trusted authority in your topic area, and drives the action you desire.
1. Determine Your Audience
Before you start anything else, know who you are trying to reach with your eBook. Talk with key people at your organization and learn who they want to target. Know you buyer personas. Research trending keywords in Google Analytics. Learn what competitors are doing.
2. Brainstorm Topics
After you understand your target audience, think about what would be most interesting to them. Specifically, what knowledge gap can you help fill? What problems or pain points can you help them overcome?
Talking with your sales and customer service teams can often provide valuable insight into what clients and key audiences are asking about. Also, check out social media (including your own feeds) and see what people are saying. Your topic needs to be relevant and should have some edge.
3. Create an Outline
Make a rough outline before you start the writing process, to organize your thoughts and the information you want to convey. Outlines can always evolve, of course, but starting with one helps the project stay on track and the copy flow properly.
4. Write a Headline That Can’t Be Ignored
Your title serves as a teaser, and might be the single thing that determines whether someone downloads the eBook. Make sure it’s irresistible. For example, “10 best practices for X,” “How to do X in X days,” or “5 mistakes limiting your X potential.”
5. Create Insightful Content
Creating eBook content can be time consuming. Your topic must include interesting insight, insider tips and fascinating statistics presented in a simple and clear manner. You likely will have to spend more time researching an eBook than you would for other types of content marketing materials, but this extra time will ensure the outcome is unique and worthwhile, and that it positions your brand as a thought leader.
6. Use Proper Formatting
Organizing eBook content can be difficult, but good organization is important from a reader’s perspective. Keep paragraphs short. Use a lot of subheads. When appropriate, make formatting changes and use bulleted lists, bolds and italics to present information. Try pullout quotes, sidebars and other treatments that help break content down into digestible chunks. Keep formatting consistent throughout the piece to enhance the reader’s experience.
7. Get It Proofread – At Least Twice
Quality editing is always important, especially in a thought-leadership piece like an eBook. Make sure you use an experienced editor who is willing to give honest feedback. Feedback and criticism are necessary for creating something that will ultimately attract and impress your target audience.