You've published an ebook but it's not setting the world alight. What do you do?
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A company that’s conscientious about inbound principles and writing content will often produce eBooks – but won’t always succeed in promoting them.
This isn’t necessarily because the substance of the eBook isn’t there. It’s because they don’t quite know how to present and promote it effectively: it needs to be appealing to their target audience, and it needs to actually appear in front of this target audience.
Many companies that write eBooks – even when they have valuable, game-changing things to say – neglect one of these two criteria.
So how exactly do you market an eBook to your target audience?
1. Create supporting content
Popular eBooks don’t stand alone: you should make every effort to support them with relevant supplementary content.
Creating keyword-optimised blog content is an excellent place to start.
If you’re looking to get people to download your eBook about dog grooming, it’s worth identifying related phrases with high search volume (e.g. “cool dog names” – 2,400 searches a month in the UK) and writing a series of keyword optimised posts about these phrases to attract relevant traffic.
Then, in the body of these posts, include calls to action encouraging people to visit your eBook landing page and download your grooming guide.
2. Promote it across several channels
When your eBook is in marketable shape, it’s time to shout about it.
Promote it on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn – in fact, wherever your target audience lives. Consider paid promotion too. Social promotion is highly targeted, easy to setup and very cheap. Think how many people say they like dogs on Facebook and how many people search for dog grooming tips on LinkedIn…
Remember, the objective of all your efforts here is to drive people to that landing page and get those eBook downloads. Plus, use any existing channels you might have – ask your dog friendly friends to promote it, and email it to existing contacts in your database.
3. Prepare for landing
Creating a quality landing page is essential to the success of your eBook.
You need to create attention-grabbing and attention-focusing headlines, you need to A/B test the various elements of the page, you need to present it correctly to ensure it doesn’t put your target audience off – and you need to do all this without giving away too much of what’s actually in the eBook.
The good thing is there are plenty of free online blogs advising you on best practice (HubSpot has a whole section on landing pages alone!). Don’t forget, the more valuable your content is the more you can ask for in return.
If you’ve got an exclusive guide everyone’s dying to get their hands on, you can ask for phone numbers, job titles, and more. If it’s fairly high level content they could get elsewhere if they looked hard enough, then maybe stick to name and email address – at least this enables you to market to them in future.
4. Be a guest, be a guest
Guest posts – like, well, this one – are of considerable value when it comes to promoting your eBook. This advice is less prescriptive than the other tips I’ve included here: as long as it’s relevant to the topic, you can stake out whatever position you like.
Summarising a chapter of your eBook and pitching it to relevant industry publications can be a worthy (and less time intensive) approach: even if people don’t agree with you, they may download your eBook to read more of what you have to say.
Just make sure your perspective is interesting and nuanced enough to be worth debating.
5. Make it easy for them
This may seem obvious, but it’s worth stating anyway: don’t hide your eBook away in some forgotten corner of your website. Place it front and centre, with download buttons in all the right places.
You don’t want to make it the focal point of your online presence, necessarily, but it should be easy for the interested user to gain access to it on all relevant pages.
Following the above tips won’t guarantee eBook downloads – but they’ll certainly help get you moving in the right direction.