Ebooks are an amazing lead generation tool but they are also incredibly daunting to complete.
If you have never produced an ebook - or feel like you could have done a better job - the process outlined below will help you to successfully complete an ebook that fulfills all best practices.
1. Choose your topic
The best advice when it comes to choosing a topic is two-fold:
Focus your post topics based on common areas for your industry/business
Select your blog titles (and their respective topic) based on commonly asked questions (FAQs) relevant to your audience
Be selective about what content you 'put out there' focusing on your audience's needs and wants, over what might be "fun" or "easy".
2. Outline the content
An ebook is much more comprehensive than a blog post. Some say it is a collection of blog posts. This is kind of true, but it's best to look at it in reverse. An ebook is a comprehensive guide to a particular topic, which if it is successful, can then be divided into relevant blog posts.
Don't focus too much on length, but more about the quality and technical level of requirement that your content portrays. It doesn' matter so much whether it's six pages or 36!
3. Make your 1st, 2nd and 3rd drafts
Ebooks aren't written in a day - not good ones, anyway. They require lots of revisions and need to convey their key message or goal simply and clearly.
Every ebook should have one goal. Whether it's to book a demo, download a trial, read another ebook - there should only be one action that your reader feels the urge to do after they read it.
Write your content effectively by following a company style guide and using ebook best practices.
The key to a well-written, goal-driven ebook is that it has been proof repeatedly by different people.
After numerous drafting stages, your content should be proofed at least three times.
- Print it out and mark errors in a bright colour
- Cross out/colour in/mark off errors that have been corrected
- Come back to it later
- Change the font and size - this makes errors stand out as your eyes take in the new style
- Use a spellchecker and/or grammar tool
5. Design your ebook
You don't need to be a bonafide designer to produce your ebook (although it certainly helps 'wow' readers). Instead you can use PowerPoint or, even, Canva to design your ebook content.
6. Focus on visuals
The way your ebook 'looks' doesn't just rely on the way the document is designed i.e. InDesign or PowerPoint. It also matters that you include photography - find out more about free stock images here. Remember, photography that is relevant to your subject matter is much more effective than a pretty sunset.
Don't forget to format quotes and statistics to stand out and make your ebook 'pop'.
7. Place calls to action
Calls to action are key to the conversion process. You should always close your ebook with an effective call to action of some kind and you should also sprinkle them throughout your ebook.
Your in-content ebook CTAs can be text-only links to other blog posts, ebooks or your sources.
8. Set up your conversion process
Now it's time to get your conversion process ready for your ebook. If you're a HubSpot customer you can now easily set up:
- Landing page
- Thank you page
- Follow up email address
- Call to action
9. Promote your ebook
It's time to share that ebook with the masses! Use social media channels, email marketing, paid advertising or in-blog CTAs to promote your new premium content.
Remember to create a content campaign around each ebook to ensure that it is shared effectively with your desired audience.
A content campaign can include 6-10 blog posts, one targeted marketing campaign, 15-20 social posts and one paid advertising campaign.
10. Analyse and review performance
Don't let your ebook drift out into the ocean of other ebooks. Regularly check in with your ebook's progress - easy to do with HubSpot Basic (find out more).
Look for downloads, sources, social sharing and other metrics to analyse whether your ebook was a 'success' or if you need to re-focus your content campaign.
And there we have it! By following the steps above you have a basic process for creating your first - or new and improved - ebook!
Find more about this topic via Inbound Marketing.