After covering a variety of issues that can stunt the growth of an eBook in particular and your branded content strategy in general – check out part one of this series here if you missed it – it’s easy to see why so many organizations are scared to test the waters of this type of long-form content. Despite this reasonable caution, the reality of the situation is that with the right plan leading the way, reaping the rewards of a properly executed eBook is well within your reach. To help get you on track for a better second effort, let’s spend a few minutes talking about exactly what goes into winning over your audience on this content marketing front.
Let Your Plan Guide Your Path
In terms of getting off on the right foot, Anum Hussain of the HubSpot blog points out that it all starts with finding a sense of direction. What do you want to say with this piece? Why do people need to read it? Is an eBook even the right format for this message? Once you’ve answered these questions – or sat down with a team of content professionals who can help streamline and refine your content strategy – then you can begin to build the actual outline of this eBook.
Make a Claim and Support It
Hussian goes on to explain that building a claim and supporting it should take center stage once you start laying out the basic blueprint for this piece. While making sweeping statements and outlandish proclamations does grab the attention of your audience initially, if you’re not able to back it up with cold, hard facts, don’t be surprised when these viewers walk away with a considerably lower opinion of your brand.
Stats, figures, and other metrics down wonders to back up a strong claim, as well as validate your call-to-action (CTA.) The big point here is that today’s reader expects more out of branded content like eBooks, so you better be ready to bolster the message with a strong supporting cast.
Add Interaction to the Process
In addition to building a case via strong facts and figures, content strategy expert Jeff Bullas notes on his personal blog that having industry thought leaders and other trusted sources chime in as part of the eBook goes a long way toward establishing a trustworthy and engaging content foundation. Essentially, having your team of content experts reach out to these members of the community and incorporate their thoughts into the eBook adds an extra dimension to the process, all while providing the reader with more outlets for confirming and accepting the message of this offering.
Support and Promote This Creation
As you saw in the first part of this series, the success of this content doesn’t just take into account what happens before the eBook hits the web. In order to extract the maximum amount of reach and value out of this content, it’s imperative that you and your trusted content experts keep the positive momentum rolling via a strong promotional strategy.
If you follow Bullas’ advice and build relationships with industry thought leaders, then you’ve already made up some serious ground on the social media front. Having a retweet or Facebook mention regarding your eBook from one of these digital voices can be huge for your brand, as well as give this content a chance to reach new viewers who might have never found it otherwise.
Naturally, there’s always going to be some hiccups and stumbles along the way when your brand starts leveraging the power of content marketing in new and exciting ways – that’s just part of the process. However, for the brands that turn these missteps into learning experiences and come back better and stronger than ever before, expecting your eBook or other revamped offering to light up the web doesn’t have to be something that’s perpetually relegated to the realm of wishful thinking.