E-books are PDF books that are usually 25-100 pages long. They can either be structured like white papers or more like actual published books. Most e-books share information or teach readers an important skill or strategy. For instance, an internet marketing company may publish marketing e-books entitled, “How to Market Your Business on Pinterest” or “Successful Content Marketing Strategies”.
Though time consuming, e-books can be a great way to both establish credibility while also providing education to current and potential clients. E-books can also help combine content, social media, and viral marketing strategies to create brand awareness and bring traffic to the company website.
Getting an e-book written isn’t difficult if the resources are available. Either an employee (or team of employees) can be tasked with the creation, or it can be sent out as a project to an educated freelance writer who has direct experience in the area. Companies can expect to pay freelancers in one of three ways– a rate by the page, by the word, or a set rate for the entire project. Oftentimes, choosing a rate by the hour isn’t recommended, as it’s harder to track.
Once the e-book is written, it can be implemented as part of a viral (linkbait) and social media marketing strategy. It can be shared via email to an existing customer database, and then posted on the company’s website & blog, as well as social media marketing channels.
To access the e-book PDF, most companies require a user’s name and email address so they can be added to the email and prospect list. Oftentimes, marketers will ask for certain demographic information as well, such as job role, company size, and goals in the applicable area.
Why e-books do so well when shared via blogs and social media is the idea of getting something for nothing, meaning a free e-book filled with information holds a lot more intrinsic value than one that users need to pay for. The opportunity for instantaneous download is also a big draw; users don’t have to wait for their book to come into the mail. Instantaneous results work well with social media, as networking streams are constantly updating with fresh, new information. An average social media user’s attention span continues to dwindle as people are used to getting information fast and as often as they want.
To make an e-book successful via social media marketing, be sure to focus on language and the continuous growth of the company’s social community.
Kelsey Jones runs her own social media and search marketing business, The Social Robot, where she helps clients grow their online presence. She was voted one of the top 100 marketers of the year by Invesp in 2009 and has worked for Yelp, Run.com, and Bounty Towels. Check her out at The Social Robot and on Twitter @wonderwall7.