I am the first to admit that I’m a little magpie when it comes to shiny new things and falls into the trap of ‘creating the next best thing’ for us and our clients. But I was looking over my notes from a recent conference where the speaker was talking about boosting sales and “evergreen products”. Instead of creating something new, why not look at what we have and make sure we get that out far and wide?
We decided to create an ebook, ‘six quick, easy ways to get an ROI from your website’ which we launched earlier in the year and thought we’d take our own advice for a test drive. We want to make sure it does what it says on the tin, make sure the content is still relevant and update it with new ideas.
What knowledge and content do you have in your business that could easily be revamped, repurposed and relaunched to boost your content marketing and sales efforts? Have you thought about taking your most read blogs and developing the content into a video, an animation or maybe create an ebook?
We love ebooks for various reasons
They’re quick and easy to produce. Believe it or not, you already have the knowledge in your business so they’re not that resource intensive to create and you’ll feel great when you’re done. When you create an ebook, it helps to build brand trust because you’re sharing and showcasing your expertise. If your ebook is well executed, it shows you really know what you’re talking about. You become a source people turn to and people want to work with experts.
So, as far as a lead generation tool or content goes, they have a lower price and a higher ROI. In our case, ebooks have led to conversations, enquiries and helped tip the advantage in our favour. The ROI goes above and beyond the initial investment. It doesn’t have to be about paid vs. free either. Both can be beneficial depending on your business, you can give away short versions that are specific about certain topics and it becomes an enticing promotion to hook people in.
Depending on the extent and depth of your ebook, you can create extended versions for sale. We have a longer version of our ‘Content Pizza’ book for sale on Amazon. It ticks over but it’s another string to our bow in getting our name ‘out there’.
If selling your ebook isn’t right for your business or the market you’re trying to reach, people downloading your ebook and inputting details such as their email address to gain access is a great tool to have for your marketing. It helps to create a group of people who are genuinely interested in what your business has to say, giving them updates and exclusivity at the same time as directing them back to your site makes it more than just an email list. The best part? It’s not a cold sale, because they’ve subscribed they already know who you are and what you’re about. Getting a freebie is a great incentive for people to stay in touch.
How to get your ebook into the hands of your potential customers
Adding content to your website has the added benefit of boosting your ‘search engine optimisation’ by creating fresh content with relevant keywords. Create an effective landing page to tell people what it is, what it’s about, how it can help and how to get it.
Announce the launch of your ebook in your newsletter. If you don’t have a monthly or bi-monthly or even quarterly newsletter it’s something to definitely consider as part of keeping in touch with your existing customers – it definitely helps with retained, repeat business and referrals (the 3 Rs we call them). Plus why wouldn’t you share your pearls of wisdom with your valued clients?
Write a post and create some lovely graphics for your social media pages. Share this on your personal pages too, hopefully, friends and colleagues will do the same to spread the word. Facebook is great as you can do a ‘boost post’ and get your content in the hands of your specific, targeted audience and build brand awareness. This means it’s one of the quickest, easiest and most cost-effective ways to distribute your knowledge and is a great asset to have that appears on home pages, where appropriate and include them in blogs as a source of more information on topics.
Not convinced why you should try ebooks as part of your marketing mix?
Ebooks are also increasing in popularity all the time. Sales of devices such as Kindles are helping to boost this and if you make them mobile friendly, a whole other world opens up. Being able to access your ebook anytime, anywhere, even on the commute is a bonus because people can access it immediately and it’s not another thing on our to-do lists that we can so often forget about. I mean, how many saved links do you have on the likes of Facebook that you don’t even look at?
So it’s also about creating content that’s interesting or generates interest. So where do you begin? We all track the content we push out there. So start with something popular. Using the likes of Google Analytics, we can see our most visited blogs and the amount of time people are spending on those pages. We create blogs that might have checklists, so if one of those is a more popular blog, chances are this is a good place to start for ebook content. Interest for the content is already there so it’s time to expand on it and cement yourselves as the experts that you are.
Even Google helps you out with its predictive search pulling up the most popular searches. Start typing in a search phrase to do with your industry and see what Google predicts…
Content marketing has become one of the largest marketing trends of the last 5 years. We also turn to Google to find out pretty much any piece of information we want to find out, anything from math sums to potential local partnerships we can reach out to. Promoting your ebook to help it appear on Google. People can turn to you for information and can read it at their own leisure.
You’re never really done. Make sure you follow up with people who’ve downloaded your ebook or ordered a copy – follow up is the golden rule of sales.