The success of any B2B content marketing initiative depends on providing insightful content that truly resonates with your target audience. This is especially true if lead generation is your aim.
Short blogs or social media posts that provide bite-sized pieces of information barely touch the surface of whatever it is that you wish to convey.
In this context, you can hardly afford to ignore long-form content pieces that provide in-depth information about your products and solutions. Ebooks, possibly the most neglected of all long-form content forms, when done well, are perfect for delivering insights to your prospective customers.
Here’s why you need to add it to your content strategy if you want to position yourself as an expert in your domain:
How can ebooks help you meet your marketing goals?
Let’s kick off with an example. Say you are an AI company offering healthcare solutions. If you want to talk to CIOs and CTOs of leading hospitals and convince them to adopt your solutions, an ebook is a perfect content form. It helps you explain what your solution is, go into detail about the benefits, discuss different use cases, provide best practices, and more, making a strong case and urging them to take action.
Essentially, ebooks are a deep dive into a topic that not only help organizations in demonstrating thought leadership and authority but also in nurturing business leads. A well-thought-out and designed ebook can play a vital role in educating your prospective clients and highlighting your success stories.
People expect an in-depth analysis of the topic from an ebook. For this reason, they don’t think twice before providing their email address and other personal information. Over the last few years, several b2b firms have started using ebooks to establish themselves as industry experts and build credibility.
Further, a significant advantage of an ebook is that it can be easily stored and shared in several formats. Lastly, ebooks are interactive, and hence it is easy to measure their effectiveness. This is something all marketers will love. Is a marketing campaign even successful if it cannot be tracked and monitored, right? An ebook has to be downloaded, so you know exactly how many people and, more importantly, who has downloaded it. Typically, it needs a simple form to be filled to access, which gives you contact details of all interested customers enabling lead generation. It also has a direct call to action links to help you take the conversation forward with the prospective customer.
However, to deliver on the promise of an ebook, you need exceptional copywriting skills and subject matter experts. A b2b technology product or solution related ebook needn’t be dull or heavy. A well-written and structured ebook is engaging and ideally should provide new insights to your target reader.
What makes a great ebook?
There are a few aspects we need to focus on to create an ebook, which will continue to provide benefits for years to come:
Helpful content: Content is definitely king if you want to create a successful, well-received ebook. So how do you create the right content? First and foremost, it has to accomplish what it set out to do, i.e. provide genuine information that will help your customers make an informed decision. Second, it is vital to keep it devoid of too many jargons, even if you feel that your TG will understand it. This brings us to our next point.
Well-defined Target Audience: Typically, an ebook should have a clear and well-defined target audience. Ideally, an ebook should address a key pain point of your customers, introduce a new concept or present new insight on an issue. However, you would be able to do that only if you truly understand them and are aware of their challenges and needs.
Enjoyable read: Several ebooks fail to benefit from them because they are tedious and drab. They are just pages after pages of information. In such cases, the customers will just scan through it or stop reading altogether. You can make it enjoyable by giving fun facts, statistics, pictures, infographics, and more.
Great design: If the content is king, then design is the queen. A creative and well-thought design can make the ebook appealing. It is a misconception that ebooks need to be text-heavy. The primary job of the ebook is to present the concept and information in an easy-to-understand format. Design is a crucial component to ensure this. From the cover design to visual aids to even how the content is placed, design plays a decisive role in upping the readability factor and making your ebook a hit with the target audience.
Is it better than whitepaper?
Honestly, both ebooks and whitepapers serve different purposes. So we cannot say if one is better than the other.
While an ebook generally provides a macro view of the subject, whitepapers tend to give in-depth technical or product information. So, a whitepaper is typically for a technical audience, but this is not true for ebook.
The treatment of both is different. While whitepaper is more serious and formal, an ebook is a versatile content piece in terms of language and tone. The former is research-based, focussing on a specific topic, the latter can be more or less scholarly, depending on your requirement.
Ebooks can be are broken into smaller pieces to enable readability, whereas whitepapers provide a linear, deep read. This is why ebooks are more visual-heavy with pictures and graphs, as compared to whitepapers that are text-heavy. At Deepworkz, we see a trend of design-led ebook that provides information in an easy-to-digest format even though it is part of a long-form content piece.
How long should it be, and what all should it contain?
A good ebook should be at least 3000-3500 words. This ensures it has enough content to be valuable and light to be easily comprehended. Furthermore, as it is divided into various sections, it has the potential to be used as shorter blogs as well.
However, an ebook can be shorter or longer as well. For example, an ebook of 1500 words is perfectly acceptable as long as it answers all questions your customers may have. At Deepworkz, the longest ebook that we have drafted and designed was more than 7000 words. So, word count totally depends on the scope of the ebook and what you want to achieve with it.
An ebook should have a strong introduction that clearly tells the reader what the ebook has in store and compels them to flip further. In addition, it should have well-defined subsections because they help the reader easily move between the sections or straightaway go to the section that interests them.
An ebook also needs to have functional headings so readers know exactly what to expect. Further, it needs to have visuals such as pictures, illustrations and graphs that appealingly break the content, as well as add to the content value. Lastly, it should highlight key takeaways, recommendations and a clear call to action.
How can we help you in creating an ebook that converts?
Having created numerous ebooks, Deepworkz has the domain knowledge and expertise to produce an outstanding ebook to cater to your exact requirements. Our team of writers have years of experience writing for the B2B technology audiences and can emulate your brand’s voice to deliver an ebook that resonates with your target audience. In addition, our designers understand B2B concepts and excel at creating visually enticing products. Get in touch with us to help you create ebooks that convert!
Maneka is a business technology writer with more than 15 years of experience. She is passionate about helping brands tell their unique stories. Her strength lies in writing simple yet effective content that can enable marketers to grow their business. When she is not writing, she teaches Salsa dancing along with her husband.