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On the surface, commissioning an eBook as part of your content strategy looks like a slam dunk. Grab a topic, fill some pages, and your audience will be tripping over themselves to get a copy, right? Unfortunately, if you’re reading this, chances are the exact opposite happened when the dust settled and your eBook went live. With this in mind, let’s delve into some of the reasons why your eBook flopped, as well as set the stage for making a triumphant return back onto the scene with a winning offering.

A Distinct Lack of Direction

At the top of the list, according to industry expert Neil Patel and his research for the Content Marketing Institute, is a distinct lack of direction with your eBook. Essentially, wanting results for the sake of results simply isn’t enough. Consumers can see through thinly-veiled sales pitches with ease, so lacking direction in terms of both substance and value is the fastest way to disenfranchise these viewers and end up on the wrong side of the digital conversation.

The Pitfalls of Bland Visuals

Aside from falling flat with the overarching message and coming across as shallow with readers, Patel also notes that most brands don’t put enough stock into the visual side of eBooks. Missing the mark on catchy cover photos, graphics that help highlight key points, and other images within these offerings all diminish the impact of these books. Sure, an eBook doesn’t have to have visual content to succeed, but failing to provide these selections when the situation calls for it can marginalize the reach generated by this offering on behalf of your brand.

Flawed CTAs Will Always Fail

In terms of putting a wrap on this type of content, Business 2 Community’s Tatiana Liubarets points out that the chance for success via this platform starts rapidly approaching zero when flawed calls-to-action (CTAs) enter the picture. As the big finale for the eBook, it’s imperative that your brand get this one right. If you threw in a few CTAs that didn’t communicate the value found within your brand’s offerings, or that failed to generate some form of action from the people on the other side of the screen, it’s no surprise that the response was less than lackluster.

Additionally, Liubarets also explains that not referencing the CTA enough can also leave the message feeling a little underwhelming. Naturally, there’s a fine balance between spamming these selections within the eBook and coming up short, but disregarding this reality altogether and not finding the right blend of CTAs and content is just asking for trouble.

A Dismal Supporting Cast

Even if your brand didn’t fall prey to all of the traps listed thus far, there’s still the question of what happened to your audience once they finished reading your eBook. Did they receive a warm welcome from landing pages and other on-site content? What about their experience with your brand on social media? As you can see, generating great content is one thing, but going the extra mile and supporting it with a strong set of related offerings and services completely ensures that your audience has everything they need to build a lasting and meaningful connection with your brand.

Obviously, there’s a lot that can go wrong with eBooks in today’s content marketing landscape. However, that doesn’t mean that your brand isn’t able to utilize this tool as part of a powerful and successful content marketing strategy. To find out how your brand can get the most out of its next eBook and recapture the value found within this approach, be sure to tune in next time for a complete review of the most effective eBook best practices.