At Ascent, we like to help small businesses have the most awesome web presence possible. We particularly focus on the art of conversion optimization – maximizing a site’s ability to capture new leads that will help a business grow. We often recommend that small businesses try new tactics to provide value to their visitors while beginning to build a relationship with them. One way to do so, is to leverage your business’s unique expertise by offering an eBook for download – in exchange for an email address, of course, that can be used in your email marketing & marketing automation outreach.
eBooks for Small Business
eBooks? Like the things people with Kindles read? Not exactly…
An eBook generated by a small business can be a handy piece of marketing collateral that can not only attract potential customers to your business, but also provide additional benefits to your reputation as a business. A well-executed eBook will position you as an expert thought-leader in your industry, boosting your reputation as a trusted source and differentiating you from competition. eBooks can also increase your exposure by being shared on social media or advertised on low-cost, highly targeted platforms such as Facebook.
Benefits of Providing a Free eBook
Creating a short, simple eBook is easy and providing it for free will potentially foster more conversions of your visitors – which when nurtured properly, become potential customers. Their interest in your material already provides a level of pre-qualification, and the positive impression they get from your material will contribute to a positive start to your relationship.
Free eBooks can have several other benefits, including:
- Providing potential customers with the incentive to provide you with contact information such as their email address – which you can then use to engage in additional follow-up “touches”
- Increasing your perceived authority in the industry
- Being a strong part of your marketing funnel
- Making you and your site stand out from the crowd of competitors whose lame sites don’t offer an eBook
- Ultimately — they boost your bottom line!
But how do you go about making one? Read on for an easy way to create your own eBooks for your small business website…
Easily Create eBooks for Free!
- First: Come up with an appealing, “shareable” topic.
For example, for one of Ascent’s clients, we wanted to not only obtain new leads, but to elevate their perception as the go-to expert resource in their local community. So we created a relevant directory of other local horizontal businesses. That way, while promoting themselves, they are also serving their customers & community – building good vibes that could lead in referrals back from the businesses they showcased, as well as strengthening their customer relationships by demonstrating their ability to support them in more diverse ways.So when thinking of a topic, stay far away from self-advertising. Don’t create an eBook of the best products your company has to offer or the best services your business provides.Instead, think parallel to your business: give something of genuine value, that reflects positively on you.Own a restaurant? Consider an eBook featuring recipes inspired by some of your top customer-favorite dishes!
Run an IT company? How about an eBook that’s an easy-to-read guide on common tech terms every small business owner should understand, or low-cost DIY security measures to protect their crucial computers?
As another example, we’re working on one right now that will provide business owners with a guide to helpful Search Engine Optimization (SEO) initiatives they can do themselves.
The idea is to provide a resource for your potential customer base. Do that and you’re on your way to eBook success.
- Second, check out creating an account with Canva.
Canva is a quick and easy way to create amazingly professional-looking eBooks and much more. Visit the Canva website and create an account, then you’ll be taken to your dashboard.On the left, click “Create a Design.” You’ll be presented with a bunch of cool design options.Scroll down and pick something under the “document” category, this way you can create a multi-page eBook.
After selecting a design, you’ll need to choose a layout.
Choose a layout that’s relevant to your business. You can’t really go wrong here as all of the designs are pretty great.
After you choose your design, you’re ready to design and create your eBook.
It’s advisable to write the actual content of your eBook in a document elsewhere. That way you can just copy and paste and format in Canva.
Canva is WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get), so everything is pretty much drag and drop. You’ll find it is easy to customize and create your eBooks.
- Once complete, Download your eBook and upload to your website.
In the top-right corner of the design screen, you’ll see a download button. Here you can download the eBook, which can then be uploaded to your site.And remember — require users to enter their email address before they can access the free eBook. WordPress websites can easily use a plugin like Contact Form 7 to create a simple form that emails you a notification when a user signs up, and emails a simple link to the user to download the material.
- If you build it… no one will know unless you tell them.
eBooks are not the Field of Dreams. Just because you build it, does not mean anyone will come. Tell the world, and encourage them to share it with their world on social media. Email your customers about it. Tell the Twitterverse. Post it on Facebook & LinkedIn. Shout from the rooftops. We also suggest that you create a landing page for your eBook, and consider a low-cost Pay-Per-Click campaign on Google or Facebook that particularly draws attention to it (and by extension, to your business). You can gain a lot of extra exposure without having to spend a fortune.And don’t forget to use Google Analytics conversion tracking so that you can track how the eBook is doing & evaluate the type of value & return on investment it’s generating.
Get Started With eBooks for Your Business
Get creative & get started creating the internet’s next great eBook! And of course if you hit any writer’s block, need help getting your website updated, or help getting the word out, we’re happy to help. Contact us for SEO & Marketing Services today!