eBooks Here, There & Everywhere & Why You Need One

picture of a woman reading a notebook
This guest post by Sue-Ann Bubacz is the second in a series of four where we ask one of our customers to document how they use Beacon in a marketing campaign. Read the first post here.

The possibilities for how to use your Beacon eBooks are mind blowing!

Seriously, I’m not even exaggerating when I tell you I have been brainstorming since I started using Beacon, and I’ve been adding to the “things to create” list continually, since.

List Building with eBooks to Fit Your Business Model

Let’s start with eBooks for hardcore marketing purposes first. You know what I’m talking about. List building. Content upgrades. Subscriber bonuses or bribes. Lead magnets. Bait.

I may have missed a fond nickname or two of marketers or snake oil salesmen, but I think you know what I’m talking about. You’re looking for email subscribers. Me too.

Look— you need, want, crave, and desire an audience and list building is about finding, developing, and growing new business. I get it.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been marketing my business for more years than I want to say. (lol) Or maybe it’s because my marketing tactics have always been “nice guy” marketing.

But, I think you can avoid having to bait, bribe, hype, or otherwise be pushy or obnoxious with two things. They are:

1. Quality of offer. This is you producing quality content assets people will want!
2. Offer quality. This is you providing quality content in a way that matches reader needs at the right time and place!

Digital marketing pro, Kathryn Aragon says this:

“You need to solve a problem or scratch an itch. That’s what people click.”

Check out this recent post, 5 Insanely Simple List Building Tactics That Actually Work, where she gives you a simple but effective explanation of not only list building tactics but why and how they work.

Pay particular attention to section #2-funnels, which Kathryn introduces by saying:

“No one gives away their email address for free. They want something in return—something valuable enough that they’re willing to let you send them more emails.”

I’ve long held this theory in business; I want people to want to work with me. Everything goes smoother that way, you know?

When you offer a high-quality eBook as a lead magnet, people will gladly invite you to contact them again by sharing their email address. They should even look forward to hearing more from you. That’s the goal.

Making a Connection that Converts

One way to turn a connection into a conversion is to match your content creation, topics, etc. and content marketing plan to align with the buyers’ journey.

By mapping out the visitor experience and matching what you offer along the way so it applies to specific needs, knowledge, and experience, you then create better engagement, and conversion, as well.

This applies to creating eBooks: starting with determining the best subject matter, and ending with a relevant call-to-action or CTA.

In simplest terms, you need to create eBook content that means something to someone.

That someone, of course, is your targeted audience. Therefore, you must be significant to them in what you offer, and you must provide value when it’s all said and done.

EBooks as an offer are about giving a gift, thereby nurturing goodwill for your business by extending something valuable to begin, or to continue, building a relationship.

Educational, informative, entertaining, and plain old useful applies in every case but, it’s okay to to get specific with who you’re talking to and what you want to say.

What you don’t want to do, is sell. Not directly and not in the eBook offer—a gift really—that is completely WIIFM (what’s in it for me) oriented and “helpful” to readers or users.

Think Inbound

Let’s take a closer look at how a buyer interacts with a business, digitally.

Hubspot explains in great detail (in fact you can get inbound marketing certified with them) how important your inbound efforts are in working parallel to a prospect’s needs from introduction to buy.

Here’re the steps they outline:

1. Awareness (attraction/introduction/attention/acquisition/onboarding)
2. Consideration (understanding/evaluating/research/comparing/learning)
3. Decision (offer criteria/overcome objectives to reach CTA and make sale)

Here’s a perfect graphic to simplify it for you from a Hubspot post, Inbound Sales: How to Sell the Way Prospects Buy, by Mark Roberge, you can read for further understanding:

Hubspot graphic for Inbound Sales Methodology for beacon post by sue-ann bubaczSiddharth Bharath says this in a post on CMI, where he further explains this process for matching customer needs in list building and making your offer:

“… does it make sense to treat visitors on their first interaction the same as those on their sixth?”

So you see, from an eBook creation for marketing standpoint, there’s a lot of room for what you can create, how, and why. Taking a closer look from the user perspective increases your ability to connect on a meaningful level and likely increases conversions, at the same time.

Take a look at these lead magnet examples from the goodfunnel blog to get a better picture of exactly how this may work. Although only a few of the examples use an eBook to match the journey, or funnel, of brand/customer interaction, I think many of them can be applied in an eBook format, depending how you want to present things.

Even a checklist can be presented in a Beacon eBook format! One way to do it is to make each checklist item a new page/chapter where you can state one point and then illustrate it, either with a visual entry, like a Slideshare or video message embed, or you can offer support by listing linked resources with each point you want to make.

This infographic, created by Barry Feldman of Feldman Creative, offers two things that make it worth showing you in connection with your content marketing and eBook creations endeavors.

When you think about amplifying your message and content reach through things like re-purposing and overlapping media channels and using content you create to its fullest to increase interest and reach, well, the possibilities multiply exponentially.

Take a look, and enjoy Barry’s work—I always do and I always learn something when Barry presents an idea or a million:)

Pulling it all Together to Equal Your Valuable Offer

All the elements pulled cohesively together, are part of the perfect plan for creating eBooks offering value to users. The details are in big picture items and small content decisions, alike.

Moz offers all kinds of lessons on Rand Fishkin’s Whiteboard Friday, but this one shows you another way to research your way to matching the buyers journey to increase your opportunity to reach your desired goals.

Moz pic for Whiteboard Friday example for topic on how to research path of buyer journey part of post for Beacon by Sue-Ann Bubacz

If you watched Rand’s video lesson, you’ll see he is endorsing a little step back, too.

The point, of course, is that it’s a lot easier to create eBooks for marketing uses, like lead magnets, than it is to make these eBook marketing creations an effective catalyst for conversions.

You know—more of the old, “right message, to the right audience, at the right time”, via the right vehicle (I may add to the usual list)–so you really make your eBooks count!

Well, I hope I’ve given you more to work on and more resources you can use in this second post. Let me know what you think by commenting below, or hitting me up on Twitter, please.

But, since I’ve only hinted and suggested uses and possible types of the million ways to use eBooks in your marketing, business, and content marketing endeavors, I’ll give you a much closer look next post.