4 Myths About Using eBooks for Content Marketing

4 myths about using ebooks for content marketingGuest post by Alex Clifford

You may or may not be using ebooks as part of your content marketing. Done well, they can be the ‘killer’ part of your content marketing. You’ll get attention, time and influence. Which is much more than the hurried blog reader will give you.

However, ebooks are surrounded by myths and assumptions. So in order for your ebook to be a lead-generating beast, here’s what you need to forget.

“People will download it because it’s free”

In the early days of the internet, people downloaded everything that was free. It was a novelty.

But it’s no longer like that. If they’re exchanging their contact details, they need to know that they’re getting something valuable. Play up the benefits of why they should read your ebook. What will they gain from reading it? Why should they share their contact details with you?

They won’t take it just because it’s free. Point out the benefits.

“It’s easy to tell the difference between my content and crap content”

It used to be easy to spot the difference between good ebooks and bad ebooks. You know, crappy bloggers with their 200-page ebook. Yellow highlighter everywhere. Poorly written content. Then they’d spam you forever. It was truly awful!

Times have changed. Velocity Partners argue that crap content will become more widespread in companies in 2013. But it will masquerade as good content.

“We’re about to be covered in crap content. The weak stuff will look a lot like the good stuff. Snappy titles. Come-hither subtitles. Friendly, open design. But it’s only when people actually eat the stuff, they realise how bad it is.” they argue.

You’ll be competing against content which looks great but tastes awful. So make sure your content is presented well! Otherwise it won’t even get a look in.

“I can write it in a hurry”

Writing a good ebook isn’t as simple as just hitting the keyboard and typing all day. It needs structure. It needs planning. It needs to read well.

First of all, you need a skeleton. What do you want to achieve with your ebook? Who’s going to be reading it? What is the big, spinal idea behind it?

Start with that. Then plan out a list of chapter titles. Only then should you add flesh to the limbs. Keep writing bits here and there until you’re done.

When it’s at a first draft,  you’ll want to go over it. You should want to edit it, before you’re happy with it. Editing can be quite time intensive, so you might want to get a professional freelance editor to do this for you.

If it was written in a hurry and wasn’t edited well, your readers will know. It won’t flow. Or it’ll be choppy. Or some bits will lack energy. So make sure you’ve got plenty of time for production.

“If I make it, people will come”

You can’t just assume that people will read your content and then share it onto social networks.

You need to be a proactive social ninja, rockstar, guru… and take up one of those job titles! Build sharing tools on your website, and track how well your content spreads, and how many people are downloading it.

Lastly

Your ebooks are likely to be the explosive part of your content marketing. They’ll transform your visitors into leads, and your leads into customers. It’ll be the difference between just having people who read your blog, and actual customers. But if you’re going to use ebooks, make sure you don’t believe those myths above!

Alex Clifford is Marketing Executive at Virally. Virally is a platform for your content marketing campaigns, it helps your content spread on social networks and gives you richer information about your leads. Visit Virally’s blog for more tips on content marketing.

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Comments

  1. Alex,

    Great list of myths… The “Because it’s free” myth is the one I run into the most…. That and “if I package 3 of my blog posts together that will be a great eBook…” Which can actually lose you customers.

    Appreciate the post,

    Hanley
    Ryan Hanley recently posted..Why We Fail at Internet MarketingMy Profile

  2. I will never get an ebook from a guru rockstar or ninja. Not even if paid to take it, I’d smell potential scam at later time. I like to read strong bios, not strong job titles. I think I’m not alone so that’s a myth that needs to be fought.
    Alessia recently posted..New Year’s HoroscopeMy Profile

  3. I’d agree with you Ryan! That’s a good point about the “let’s cram everything together” line of thought. If people have read it before, or if there’s too much material – it doesn’t make it good.

    And Alessia – thanks for the comment! Social media is definitely the number one industry for ridiculous job titles! Gurus, ninjas and rockstars, would all come secondary to someone with a proper non-exaggerated bio. You’re right there!

    I think the point I meant to make was – just go overboard in promoting it & seeding it on social networks.

    Thanks for your feedback guys!
    Alex Clifford recently posted..Case study: Confused.com perfect big brand content marketingMy Profile

  4. You make very good points, Alex. what your wrote is contraring to what I have been reading. that is OK. At this point I have nothing edited well enough to give away.
    Others are saying to give away something to get followers. I see that point, but don’t feel comfortable with that. Why can’t I just be my self and share my wisdom? I feel your are sying that is just fine rather than giving away crap to bribe people to follow you.
    I don’t need to give away anything id people Google my wor a lot do I?
    Malika Bourne recently posted..Why Should You Be Concerned About HumanTrafficking? Bubblews PostMy Profile

  5. Great advice here. I totally agree with this points. We live in a fast and furious world… :-) where all must be done before the job has began. Thanks to share this with us.

  6. since writing ebooks became so popular i never (NEVER) downloaded anything – and when I enter some new blog and see that ugly popup urging me to give away my email to get some badly written pdf, my valuation about blog and author drops dramatically
    Siegfried recently posted..How to write a WordPress postMy Profile