Step 1: Mind-Meld End Users
If an ebook is not written entirely with the end-user in mind then it’s quite literally a waste of time and effort. B2B ebooks with astounding conversion rates are typically constructed around rather detailed “end-user” profiles based on significant research. Yeah, really.
So, just winging something, throwing it online, and hoping for the best isn’t all that productive.
- Who are they? Seriously…
- What problem are they trying to solve?
- What desire are they trying to fulfill?
- What is the direct way that your ebook is going to serve them?
- What’s in it for the audience?
Ideally marketers could become Spock-like at will and mind-meld with end users, but at this point we either have to engage and interview them somehow directly, or rely on the research out there that’s waiting to enlighten us.
Step 2: Mindmap a Brilliant Outline
Structure. Do whatever you have to do to craft an outline unless you’re some kind of mad genius wordsmith that can conjure up ebooks at will without one. Don’t go overboard in a hurry here because the waters of mediocrity are cold! Start with 5 chapter that each have 2 to 3 subsections. From that framework build what works for your project, but at least this ways there’s a solid foundation. Here’s what it looks like:
- Chapter One/Introduction: Get to the point immediately, state the problem you’re fixing or the desire you’re quenching. Most often end users are after education, so stick to the raw data but add some personality.
- Chapter Two: Each chapter needs a catchy title, and ideally it should also include a keyword without sounding mechanical or unnatural.
- Chapter Three: You’re about half way through here, so it’s the last place that should feel bogged down. The writing should move and engage, while the formatting makes everything easy to digest and scan.
- Chapter Four: Make sure your subtitles are also quirky, personable, and search engine friendly. Furthermore, as you’re on the final stretch beware of repetitious content. Educate, inform; talk about problems and solutions while making people smile along the way.
- Chapter Five/Conclusion: This is a recap, to reinforce and reignite the service you’ve done for the customer. State the problems you solved. Strengthen the bond, don’t weaken it with advertising. Pitches and calls to actions are two completely different things.
Step 3: Fill In the Blanks with Style
Bullet lists, quotes, numbered lists, short smoothly transitioning paragraphs, snappy sentences, and personality will always win over traditional walls of text in B2B ebooks. As you fill in the outline, make sure each section is, well, similar to white paper. But, instead of leading prospects to a sale, you’re leading them to the next chapter.
Step 4: Extract & Employ Expert Content
In some respects the value of B2B ebooks can be measured by how many other people, besides those that did the writing/publishing, are mentioned inside it. Start interviewing people at the office.
Email questionnaires out to everyone your emailing list that revolve around the problem your ebooks is addressing. Gather as much juicy expert content as you can and then layer it throughout your ebook, making sure to mention names, cite sources, and lavish them with your praise.
Step 5: Make it Free with Benefits
Simply put: it’s too expensive to try and market ebooks for a few bucks worth of royalties. Ebook marketing campaigns and explicit product launches can get super pricey in a quick minute. Instead, make it free, and a reward for simple actions like opt-ins, subscribing, joining email lists, etc.
We enjoy working with companies of all sizes and from a variety of industries but I especially like companies with thought leaders, experts, and people who have information to teach that is valued by their marketplace. I would love to hear from you.
So don’t be shy. …Let’s connect and see how I can help you! If you want to reach me by phone — Call (650) 605-3180.