You should never judge a book by its cover. Unless that cover says 'Dan Brown' on it, then you're good to go.
I'm sure you've heard the phrase "They wrote the book on [BLANK]". There's a reason that phrase isn't "They wrote the Tweet on [BLANK]". Books have remained one of the most powerful way to build an interested audience. But with such a fast-paced environment, going old school seems way too ambitious, right?
It's time to stop thinking in terms of writing the next Great American Novel. When introducing a book into your marketing strategy, think small. Azul Terronez, CEO of 'Authors Who Lead', suggests writing a "15,000- to 30,000-word representation of what your business offers." Less tedious, more streamlined.
Plus, publishing a book can have a bunch of advantages that might outweigh the time cost. This includes actually having your ideas and goals in circulation, sent directly to the biggest thought leaders in your industry.
With your words on the page, you have the ability to become an authority on the issue, and may be invited to give talks about the topic, further boosting your position in the industry.
“It’s important to realise that writing a book is different today. You can repurpose content to create a book or write 20,000 words and publish a book with ease and fewer gatekeepers.
“That book can then become one of your most effective content marketing strategies. Nothing shows expertise more clearly and in greater detail than a book.”
So, how can you successfully implement the good old written word into your content marketing strategy? Well, why don't you try:
Repurposing other content
You might've already written a books worth of content, in blog posts, social posts and newsletters.
“You can compile all of the content you're posting and create a book from it. Take your repurposed content and lay it out in a way that fits together logically", suggests Albright.
"You can hire an editor and formatter to build a great book from the content you're already producing.”
Plus, with a novel, you can elaborate on all the points you've made previously. Blog posts and tweets are pretty limited in their word count. But a book, or even an eBook, can give you the opportunity to go wild on the ideas you've proposed in the past. This give you the chance to really put all your idea across, in one place.
This is something that is really applicable to eBooks. In any future blog posts on the topic, you can link back to your eBook, encouraging readers to learn more about the topic, whilst keeping them engaging with your content.
It'll also mean you're not going hog-wild on an extravagant marketing budget, and instead you are producing one solid piece of content, and repurposing it in a way that leads people back towards the main event - the eBook. This takes a lot of pressure off the content producers, too, which I'm always in favour of.
All of this works to increase your credibility in the space, in a way that is easy and affordable.
Giving New Life, and Reach, to Your Content.
Books can give you the opportunity to turn to a bunch of new mediums. You might currently be focusing on social media, posting regular memes etc, plus a newsletter or even a blog. But you're reaching a very similar audience with all three, and while the numbers might be growing it limits the groups of people you're connecting with.
Now, with a book or eBook, you can get your name and brand out onto Ebay, Amazon, ebooks,com and beyond. This way, your book becomes valuable and gated content. Although, you could even offer it out for free! Check out what's worked for your competition, and consider their tactics.
With this new content, you can link back to your older content, or any content that is produced around the eBook. That way, you've got people coming onto your site for the book itself, then exploring the rest of the content you've put out.
An eBook also extends the shelf life of your content. Andrea Albright puts it like this:
“You’re already creating content as a business owner. How much time are you spending creating social media posts, blogs, newsletters, podcasts, webinars, and other types of content? That content deserves more life and a wider reach for your business.
“You can compile all of the content you're posting and create a book from it. Take your repurposed content and lay it out in a way that fits together logically. You can hire an editor and formatter to build a great book from the content you're already producing.”
Plus, you can now go into more detail on the topics of these articles. The book format will give you the opportunity to really delve deep into your ideas, craft solutions, and inspect case studies and examples. That way, you can produce a piece which fully explains you, and your brand's, concept and goals.
Becoming an Authority
Your eBook should be written in such a way that it can be used as a learning resource for anyone in your industry. Content producers will then use your eBook in their own work, and link back to your website.
This'll build up your VIP status in the eyes of search engine crawlers, who can then move your site up in the SERPs. Plus, you'll get a good does of SEO benefits that come with the launch on an eBook! Either way, it's about appealing to your target audience with a piece of valuable content, with this leading to you becoming a more appealing SEO prospect.
By becoming a verified authority you will show any potential client the difference between you, and your competition. Amanda Dodge, of Copypress, puts it like this:
"You don’t have to give away trade secrets, but if your company uses a certain tactic that no one in the industry does, brag about it. If there are two different techniques to solve a problem, teach readers how to do both, then explain why your company prefers one way over the other."
So, provide a good piece of content, whilst promoting your company's goals, visions, products and techniques to your clients.
“A book lets you go deep. You get 20,000 to 60,000 words to fully express thoughts and walk readers and future clients through the A to Z of what you teach,” says Andrea Albright. “You can give consumers the kind of value that builds trust and makes an impact — it gives you an opportunity to change lives because you have the space to do so.”
With the added SEO ranking, and the development of your company as a voice of authority, you're going to achieve what it's all about - bringing in those leads. You become the company that they want to hire.
But in a more tangible way, eBooks help grow your mailing list. If it's a piece of gated content, then to access it they have to provide a few details. And bam, you'll be able to start their customer journey. When you release your eBook make sure you have the analytics tools set up to track progress, and see how well your eBook has done to encourage conversions!