If you’re a content marketer, chances are you’ve probably had to grapple with an age-old question: eBook or Whitepaper? While both pieces of content have the potential to be educational and informative, both call for different writing styles, design elements, and distribution methods.
With that said, if your tech company’s goal is to drive leads and engagement around broad yet relevant information for the industry you work in, then perhaps an eBook would be best suited to meet your needs. Moreover, eBooks provide unique advantages that aren’t always replicated via whitepapers.
For example, in a sea of content, eBooks tend to stand out more than whitepapers simply because they incorporate more eye-catching imagery and other visual elements that typically aren’t included in a whitepaper. Additionally, eBooks tend to be longer than whitepapers and thus have more material that can be repurposed for social media, media pitching, and other forms of content.
Indeed, both forms of content are designed to be educational regardless of whether or not your content digs into the nitty gritty. However, creating a successful eBook is more complex than it may seem. It requires careful planning, strategy, and execution. In this article, we will guide you through the essential steps to create a compelling B2B eBook that resonates with your audience and drives business growth.
Timing up the Topic & Reasoning
Again, nitty gritty aside, every successful eBook begins with a well-timed and relevant topic. The first step is to identify the subject matter that aligns with your business goals and the current trends in your industry. The reasoning behind your choice should be clear: What problem does your eBook solve for your target audience? How will it benefit your readers? Research and analyze the market to understand the pain points and challenges your audience is facing and how you can dovetail that with the service and solutions you offer.
Identify and Understand Your Audience
Understanding your audience is paramount to creating an eBook that connects with them. But before you can understand your target audience, you must identify their demographics, interests, and pain points. This information will not only help you tailor the content to their specific needs, but it will also impact the design and distribution methods that will ultimately drive your eBook’s success. After some research and due diligence, consider developing detailed buyer personas to guide your content creation and ensure it resonates with the right people.
Decide on a Tone of Voice
The tone of your eBook ultimately sets the stage for your brand’s personality and messaging. Moreover, the tone of your eBook must align with your company’s brand and resonate with your target audience. For a B2B audience, a professional and informative tone typically works well, and in many ways, shares that aspect with whitepapers. However, it should still be engaging and relatable. Additionally, this step should always come after you’ve already determined your audience type, as that information will help give you an idea of the type of language and tone that needs to be incorporated.
Before putting pen to paper, it’s important to organize your eBook first by creating a detailed outline. Consider what your readers need to know, and structure the content logically. No matter the topic, always begin with an introduction that grabs their attention, followed by chapters that address the critical aspects of your topic. Each chapter should lead into the next, creating a smooth flow of information. With all of that being said, make sure to take a step back and take a look at the big picture. You’re not just trying to relay information to your audience–you’re trying to captivate them with a unique story. So, when you’re outlining your chapters, make sure you’re also weaving together a compelling narrative that engages your readers and makes complex information more relatable for the reader.
Determine the Best Format
Ebooks come in various formats, and your choice should align with your target audience and the content you’re presenting. Some standard formats include:
- Interactive online versions
However, your decision will also depend on your distribution method. Consider how your audience prefers to consume content. For a B2B audience, downloadable PDFs are often a safe choice, as they can be easily shared and saved for future reference. And for teams that are utilizing Dropbox, PDF’s can be edited and shared among individual team members during the editing process so small tweaks can be made at any stage in the eBook’s development.
You also want to go with a visually appealing format. While eBooks are content-heavy by nature, that content doesn’t always have to appear in the written word format. In fact, high-quality images, infographics, and charts are not only visually appealing, but they also communicate dense information in an easily digestible way, which, in turn, enhances the overall reading experience.
Proofread, Edit, Repeat
A well-crafted eBook is a polished one. Once you’ve written the content, dedicate time to proofreading and editing. Look for grammatical errors, typos, and inconsistencies. Ensure that the content flows smoothly and that the tone is consistent throughout. You may also seek feedback from peers or even hire a professional editor for a fresh perspective. Lastly, repetition is critical. Continuously refine and update your eBook to keep it current and valuable to your audience. As industry trends and your audience’s needs evolve, your eBook should adapt accordingly.
Bonus Tips for Extra Impact
Our agency has a proven track record of helping numerous clients excel in the creation and delivery of captivating eBooks. In addition to the strategies we’ve already shared, we’ve discovered some invaluable tactics that can genuinely elevate your eBook game:
- Collaborate with Influencers: Partner with influencers or experts in your industry to co-author or endorse your eBook. Their involvement can lend credibility to your content and expand its reach as they share it with their followers. Additionally, consider featuring their insights or quotes within the eBook.
- Interactive Elements: Consider adding interactive features to your eBook, such as clickable links, embedded videos, quizzes, or interactive graphics. These elements can provide a more engaging and immersive experience for your readers, increasing the likelihood of them staying engaged throughout the content.
- Multi-Channel Promotion: Don’t rely solely on one distribution method. Promote your eBook across multiple channels, including your website, social media, email marketing, and relevant industry forums or communities. The wider your reach, the more opportunities you have to connect with your target audience.
- Call-to-Action (CTA) Strategy: Integrate strategically placed CTAs within your eBook. Encourage readers to take specific actions, such as subscribing to your newsletter, requesting a demo, or accessing additional resources related to the eBook’s content. CTAs can help convert engaged readers into leads.
- Repurposing Content: Maximize the value of your eBook by repurposing its content. You can create blog posts, social media updates, webinars, or even video content based on the key insights and chapters from your eBook. This approach not only extends the life of your content, but also reaches different audience segments.
- Feedback and Iteration: Encourage feedback from your readers and gather insights on what worked and what didn’t. Use this feedback to make iterative improvements to future editions of your eBook. Continuous improvement is essential for maintaining the eBook’s relevance and value.
Need help with strategizing, planning, or scaling your B2B tech brand’s eBook production? Reach out to the content team at BMV today. We offer your startup or growth brand a proven team of writers, graphic designers, videographers, and data journalists, enabling you to scale the production and distribution of high-quality content that yields tangible business results.