Content creation is an important part of inbound marketing success. Content generates leads, educates customers, and shortens the sales cycle. However, inbound marketing content is more than just blog posts and product web pages. Think of blog posts as a primer on a topic. You can learn a few helpful tips from a 600 word blog post, but if you want to gain a deeper understanding of the subject, you need an ebook.
An ebook is a long-form piece of content that is equal in length to a chapter or two of a traditional print book or manual. Because ebooks provide such deep value, they are traditionally placed behind a lead generation form on a landing page. Your prospects are looking for solutions to their problems, and ebooks are one way to give them answers while introducing them into the sales process.
1.10 Best Practices for [Insert Industry/Topic] - Some prospects are new to your industry and need to have a clear understanding of best practices. This type of ebooks also allows your business to establish itself as a thought-leader within the industry.
2. Check List For Evaluating [Insert Product/Topic] - For most industries their isn't a clear framework for evaluating purchasing decisions that is publicly available. Create one for your industry. It builds trust. It also helps you hire better customers who will have a hire retention rate.
3.An Introduction to [Insert Industry/Topic] - To generate the most leads at the very top of your funnel you need to have an other that applies to the majority of your target market. Having content that even in the title establishes itself as introductory will help maximize your top level lead flow.
4.12 Common Questions About [Insert Industry/Topic] Answered - This ebook topic is about playing on the motivating factor of curiosity. Everyone thinks they know every common industry issue, but the still have to download your guide to make sure. More importantly this is another opportunity to educate prospects and point out key points of differentiation between you and your competitors.
5.7 Mistakes To Avoid When Buying [Insert Product/Topic] - People hate failing. it is human nature. Giving them a blueprint to avoid failure is gold. Relating it specifically to your product makes it even better.
6. 50 [Insert Industry/Topic] Statistics For Better Decision Making - Data works. Everyone loves to have insight into their problems. Use you own data or data from a third-party to create a story that uses data to educate leads.
7.Learn From The Best: [Insert Number] [Insert Industry/Topic] Experts Share Insights - Your company is an industry expert, but it is not the only one. The best credibility and validation you can get for your business is often from third-party experts. Apply this idea to inbound marketing content. Pick a handful of industry experts and have them contribute their ideas and recommendations to an ebook that is created and promoted by your company. Often these third-party experts will help you expand the reach of your content, by sharing it with their own networks.
Yes, ebooks are a major time investment. However, they are a catalyst for lead generation. There are ways to make ebook creation easier, but that is another post. What other types of ebooks do you like?