6 Best Practices for Creating an eBook

February 08, 2017   /   by  Diane Callihan

B2B eBooks Engage Prospects & Generate Leads

An eBook is a B2B marketing tactic for delivering long-form content that is more informal, engaging and visual than a typical whitepaper. Whether presented as a PDF, SlideShare or other interactive content, eBooks are ideal for businesses that need to communicate complex information in an easily digestible format.

“A lot of companies are moving away from the verbose white paper to the sleeker, more appealing eBook.”--Joe Pulizzi, founder Content Marketing Institute (CMI)

Why create an eBook?

  • It’s a more engaging format for educating your audience/solving a problem.
  • It generates leads. Gate a valuable eBook on a landing page with a form.
  • It establishes your company as a thought-leader in your industry.

Want to get started? Here are 6 best practices to keep in mind.

1. Make it Valuable

Your eBook should provide more/better information than you would find in a random blog post or article. It must be valuable enough that a person would trade their contact information for it.

Some ways to increase the value and quality of your eBook is to:

  • Cover a topic more comprehensively than you’ve seen elsewhere
  • Compile and include relevant research if applicable
  • Consider interviewing industry experts and including their perspectives
  • Include real-life success stories or statistics that show positive results
  • Include checklists, quick tips, infographics, how-to information or other practical tools

2. Make it Targeted

For your eBook to have impact, it must address a specific audience. You may want to focus on one of your buyer personas at a certain stage in the buying cycle. By understanding exactly who you want to reach, you can better tailor your content to address their pain points.

3. Make it Compelling

Lists, tips and best practices with examples tend to be the most compelling eBook content types. People want information they can use and apply right away. Also, use active voice and story-telling techniques to capture your reader’s attention.

4. Make it Conversational

Your eBook does not need to be stilted and formal—like many white papers—to be educational or to help people. Write like you speak. Use “you” for a more direct and personal approach that engages your reader individually, and keep your writing clear, concise and casual.

5. Make it Visual

People learn in various ways. Some people want to read a block of text, others want to skim through bullet points and others prefer looking at an infographic, chart or photograph. Cover all your bases by providing your readers with a variety of content types. Make sure you put as much thought into the design and visual elements of your eBook as the written copy.

6. Make it Professional

Even though you can publish your eBook yourself online, the finished product should be professional – visually appealing (no clip art or cliché, overused stock photos), reflective of your brand and well-written. Pay special attention to the cover, as this will be the image that you’ll use the most when promoting your eBook.

Once you have a great eBook, be sure to promote it across multiple channels (social media, blog posts, PPC, emails, etc.) to make the most of your new resource.

For more helpful information on creating compelling, awesome eBooks for your business, check out our eBook on eBooks!

If you need any help creating or promoting a new eBook, we’d be happy to help. Let’s Talk.

Diane Callihan

Diane Callihan

With more than 20 years of experience writing for some of the country’s top brands, Diane helped to shape Roger West’s content strategy, lead generation, and PR efforts as Director of Marketing. She currently serves as President of Callihan Content Creation.