eBooks are an integral part of content marketing and are a centre piece for lead generation.

Creating an eBook and offering it in exchange for contact details is a simple way to build a contact list through which you can engage with. The end goal is to eventually convert some of these people into customers.

Putting together an eBook can be time-consuming, and this can prevent some people, particularly solo business owners from creating one. However, it doesn’t have to be like that and you’re about to find out why.

First, let’s cover what an eBook is and why it’s important in lead generation.

eBooks are self-explanatory, but here is a definition: an eBook is an “electronic book that can be read on a personal device like a PC, tablet or mobile.”

Why lead generation is important for your business:

Working on your business is just as important as working in your business.

By this I mean, to help create a steady flow of customers, and to prevent the ‘feast and famine’ scenario that many of us go through, it’s important to focus on lead generation strategies so that you have a consistent flow of customers.

And the stats on lead generation speak for themselves:

46% of marketers with well planned lead management strategies have sales teams who follow up on more than 75% of leads.” Strategic IC

Outbound leads cost 39% more than inbound leads.” Hubspot

85% of B2B marketers say lead generation is their most important content marketing goal.”

eBooks are regularly used in lead generation as they are amazing at showcasing your expertise and bolstering your brand. 

eBooks come in different formats, the most common is pdf as they are easy to create, can be quickly updated and are readable on a variety of devices.

How eBook lead generation works

The process of eBook lead generation is in theory fairly simple:

  1. Decide the topic you’re eBook will focus on
  2. Design the eBook in the format of your choice
  3. Create a landing page on your website, or use an email marketing platform through which people can register their details to receive your eBook – making sure to follow the GDPR guidelines
  4. Upload your eBook to the landing page
  5. Test it to make sure it works
  6. Promote your eBook everywhere to encourage people to subscribe to receive

At this point, you can either choose to let people enjoy your eBook and contact you if they want, or you can put these contacts into what is called a ‘sales funnel’.

A sales funnel is a sequence of follow up emails that you send to your subscribers over a period of time to encourage them to purchase from you. If you decide to use this method, you must inform people when subscribing to your eBook that they are being added to your mailing list and will receive further communication from you.

While I understand that a sales funnel does yield success for some industries, I personally don’t like them. I believe that if someone likes what I do and is interested to find out more they will contact me. Badgering them with multiple emails is likely to annoy them more than encourage them to contact me.

eBook creation without the hassle

Don’t be thinking that creating an eBook is simple, it isn’t.

I’ve wanted to create an eBook for quite a while, but I’ve been busy working in my business – helping clients with their copywriting and content marketing requirements. So, unfortunately, I’ve put off the eBook creation for months.

Things don’t look like they’ll be slowing down, which is fantastic, but it leaves my eBook hanging. So, I decided, instead of writing the eBook from scratch I’m going to repurpose existing content.

This may seem like cheating, but it’s a clever reuse of content.

I realised that I had a wealth of content on my blog that I could use in my eBook, and it meant that it could be launched quicker than if I tried to find the time to write it.

Repurposing content is something that marketers do all the time as it’s a time efficient way of stretching the reach of a piece of content. For example, you could take a blog article and turn it into a series of social media posts. Or, you could take a video you’ve made and make the key points into an infograph.

Here’s my step-by-step method for creating an eBook by repurposing blog posts:

  1. Decide on the theme for your eBook (I wrote mine on Content Marketing)
  2. Choose six to eight blog posts that can make up the content for your eBook
  3. Write an introduction and closing thoughts section
  4. Decide on the format for your eBook (I went for pdf, as this is the standard convention for an eBook)
  5. Choose an online template design for your eBook. Canva has some great templates.  Or, hire a designer to create it for you. I’m no graphic designer but I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on the design, so I hired someone on Fiverr. I think it cost about £45
  6. Build a page on your website to host the eBook or choose an email marketing platform to manage the automatic sending of the eBook. I opted for Mailerlite. I initially looked at using Mailchimp but found the setup too complicated for what I needed it to do

If you want to see how my eBook looks, you can download a copy here: https://www.subscribepage.com/contentmarketingguide

I hope this has inspired to create your own eBook. If so, let me know as I’d love to read it.