Traditional marketing methods that used to work twenty, ten, or even five years ago have fallen almost laughably behind the times. Today, consumers are savvy enough to find ways to circumvent tried-and-true methods such as ad banners and pop-ups on the Internet; in fact, most people don’t even watch commercials on television anymore because they can simply fast-forward through them with their DVRs.
This means that new strategies need to be put into place in order to recapture the imaginations of consumers. One of the most innovative approaches is through content marketing, where consumers are offered a “free taste,” as it were, of valuable content in some way, in the hopes that these consumers will then be inspired to invest in the remainder of the content.
As a result, one of the best ways to leverage your own content marketing strategy is online. Between “freemium” content supported by microtransactions and free trials, content marketing is an effective marketing method. In that spirit, here are three ways that designing eBooks for your product or service can help to improve the content marketing strategy for your own business.
Easy Lead Funnels
There’s no easier lead funnel than a free eBook offered as part of a content marketing strategy. Instead of having to convince prospects to leave you their contact information – something that can be next to impossible with an increasingly savvy consumer base that has tired of cleaning out their Spam folders in their email client– people interested in the eBook will be lining up to provide you with as much information about themselves that they can.
Most content marketers might offer a free eBook to prospective consumers through a simple download link on their website, but to do so is missing the point. A consumer that wishes to download an eBook from a marketer’s landing page is not risking much. This makes consumers more likely to provide you with their e-mail address or their mobile phone number in exchange for access to piece of content marketing such as an exclusive eBook or any other piece of downloadable value-added content. As a result, content marketers can use these eBook downloads as an easy way to funnel warm leads into their pipeline.
And these are indeed warm leads. Anyone who does feel comfortable in leaving their e-mail address and especially their mobile phone number is obviously highly motivated when it comes to accessing the free content contained in the eBook. This means that the likelihood is high that they will remain warm after reading it. This means that you’ve got a higher chance of getting a conversion from these individuals.
An Opportunity to Test Your Marketing Tactics
If, for some reason, your eBook proves to be a highly popular download that supplies you with a large number of warm leads, yet your conversion rate remains low, you don’t have to necessarily despair. In fact, you should welcome the occurrence as an opportunity to test your content marketing tactics. When consumers aren’t moved to action after finishing your eBook, this could easily indicate that your tactics need to be revised. You might need to change your tone, alter your style, or adopt either a harder or softer sell in your eBook to see if you can find the sweet spot when it comes to your marketing methods.
Consider the benefits of running an A/B test with two similar eBooks that use divergent marketing methods to call consumers to action. If one ends up providing you with much higher conversion rates than the other, it can be used as evidence of which approach resonates more with consumers – and that can indicate a good direction to take in subsequent marketing approaches, something that will lead to business growth as you fine-tune your marketing. In fact, the cost of putting together an eBook is relatively low when it comes to overhead for marketing campaigns. You will likely spend more on targeted advertising to drive prospects to your landing page for your eBook than on what it cost to have the content drafted for you in the first place.
A Chance to Evaluate your Content Directly
In the event that you’ve run several different A/B tests to see which marketing approach works best but your results have been inconclusive, it could be a sign that the content of your eBook simply might not be up to scratch. You can take this opportunity to go back to the drawing board, so to speak, and review the actual content of the eBook itself and look for anything that might have prevented its success.