Web visitors usually arrive on a business site when they have a problem or question you can help with. They type their issue into a search engine – let’s face it, usually Google – and the power of your Search Engine Optimization helps make your relevant blog pages visible in the results.
Hopefully, your blog impresses newcomers with a strong preview of the value you offer.
Helpful, useful, informative content is a terrific first impression to build a relationship on.
But what happens after the first impression?
That’s where eBook publishing comes in.
EBooks Make the “Second Impression” That Builds The Customer Relationship
Although long blog posts (like the one you’re reading right now!) are great for SEO, most blogs are short and snappy. They serve as a quick overview of a topic, not the definitive guide to it.
As readers browse your blog and learn more, they start to build up some knowledge on a topic. They have reached the Awareness stage of the buyer journey: They know they have a problem, and they now understand the basics about what that problem is all about.
The next stage is Consideration. That’s where the lead builds an understanding of what potential solutions there are for the problem. This is when buying criteria, such as “must-have” features, gets defined. With that in mind, the source that advises the lead here has a lot of influence.
EBooks operate in that Consideration niche. They help make sure “the source” is you.
Where blog posts whet your leads’ appetite for more information, a good eBook takes them a step further. It gives them actionable information that they can start to use right now. In the end, it sets the groundwork for them to explore potential solutions to their dilemma.
Let’s consider some real-life examples:
A Yoga Studio
- Blog Post: 3 Easy Ways to Improve Your Posture Right Now
- EBook: A Weekly Yoga Routine for Pain-Free Office Work
A Dentist’s Office
- Blog Post: The Fastest Way to Whiten Your Teeth from Home
- EBook: The 3 Best Dental Whitening Treatments Compared
A Life Coach
- Blog Post: What Are SMART Goals and Why Do You Need Them?
- EBook: The Complete Guide to Starting Up a New Positive Habit
In each example, the content goes from a more general topic to something more specific. The eBook titles also move closer to the offerings each business has: The weekly yoga lesson, the dental whitening treatments, and the positive habit coaching.
For users, the jump between a blog post and an eBook is a big one. While they’re just reading blog posts, you’re still interchangeable with any of the thousands of other results on the internet.
When they decide to take the plunge and read your eBook, they are acknowledging in their minds that your advice is worth listening to. This is your chance to take things to another level.
That’s why, while blog posts are available right on your website, eBooks are not. We refer to them as gated content because a user has to specifically request them – you have to let them through the gate. They get on your radar in the process.
Usually, that means agreeing to sign up to your email distribution list.
How EBooks Move Your Leads Toward Their First Purchase
For every piece of content on your website, ask yourself:
- “What’s the start point? Where do users stand right before they read this content?”
- “What’s the end point? What do I want the users to do after they read this content?”
With eBooks, the starting point is this: Satisfied with your blog posts and eager to know more, they sign up to your mailing list. They may or may not want what your list has to offer, but they do want your eBook, and probably start reading it as soon as it arrives.
When they finish reading your eBook, they’ll hopefully be equipped with timely, factual, helpful information they can use right now. But that’s not the whole story: You also want them to take the next step toward becoming an active customer.
That’s why most eBooks should end with two things:
- A special offer targeted to the specific topic that the eBook covered.
- A “call to action” to motivate leads to take the next step right away.
The promise of what an eBook offers turns prospects into leads. When the content of the eBook is strong enough, those leads then become first-time customers. If not, you still have the chance to nurture the lead relationship through your periodic email messages.
These days, every brand is a publisher, but odds are good you’re not a writer. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Stay focused on what you do best and leave the eBook writing to an agency you can trust.
At New York Ave, we’ve authored eBooks for clients in all kinds of industries.
Without eBooks, your website isn’t meeting its lead generation potential. Turn it into a value engine for you and your future customers – contact our team to find out more today.