Do you dream of publishing a book that will captivate your audience, generate new sales, grow your email opt-in list, and catapult you and your business into the spotlight?
Luckily, an eBook can help you do this! An eBook is one of the fastest ways to build your credibility, visibility, and a strong, authentic connection with your core audience. The key to a successful eBook is to share meaningful and relevant content that is designed to help people solve a particular problem they are experiencing through detailed solution planning and concrete, actionable take-aways. In other words, GIVE. Not everyone who comes across your content will buy your product or service, but I assure you that there are people who are more likely to convert if you demonstrate generosity, especially with content and knowledge that are of high value.
Ebooks are a specific type of content marketing, an area of marketing that is experiencing extremely high growth. In fact, 80% of people like learning about a company through custom content. It’s a very lucrative effort that can yield high sales conversions. But of course, creating your eBook is just one small part. Marketing it well, though, is how you will gain traction with your ideas.
Here’s 9 of the top ways to get started on marketing your eBook and growing that sales funnel!
9 strategies for marketing your eBook
- Spark conversations on social media
- Bring your ebook to life with video
- Feature your ebook on its own live stream
- Make use of your email newsletter
- Write about it in a detailed blog article
- Get interviewed on top podcasts
- Host your OWN podcast
- Run paid ads to target your ebook directly to your ideal audience
- Attend or speak at conferences in your industry’s niche
Download the PDF with 10 tips + more info below!
Aim to find wherever your audience spends their time, and engage in those conversations.
For example, software engineers are often running into problems on how to effectively build and deploy great code. They reach out to social media sites such as Twitter, Reddit, and Youtube to learn from others about the best systems, tooling, and processes to get more (and better) code out the door. If this is your knowledge area, understanding this problem and speaking to software engineers in their comfort channels will ensure that you capture their attention and motivate them into learning more from you through other content such as your ebook.
Another example is if you help CEO’s at high-growth startups to effectively manage their schedules. Do you have great insights on what it takes to plan travel, mitigate scheduling issues as they arise, or calm down a stressed executive? Share those bits on a professional networking site such as LinkedIn to help CEOs and their executive assistants see the value in your knowledge.
Once you’ve sparked conversations, you can certainly mention your ebook as a resource or even encourage them to reach out directly for a conversation.
Pro Tip: Put a link to your free ebook in your LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram bio.
As you likely know, people are watching videos more than reading. According to multiple well-known marketing sites, video marketing efforts actually bring in some of the highest ROI compared to other forms of advertising. You should consider adding stories, interviews, and how-to videos inside your ebook to attract even more interest.
For example, in the early pages of your ebook you can offer the reader an opportunity to consume the content in video format. Once the reader clicks on that graphic, they can be taken to an online video course landing page with the same title where a free video training is packed with useful how-to information (more on building great online video courses here!)Integrating clips of video content on your social media is another great way to introduce people to your topic. Consider reading Hootsuite’s guide to social video best practices here to learn more.
Pro Tip: If you’ve required people to opt-in (provide their name and email) to download your free ebook, do not require them to opt-in for other things inside your book. Being generous builds trust and is likely to lead to more sales of your online courses, coaching, workshops and anything else that you may offer.
There’s no better way to fuel your business and multiply your video impact than live streaming. Since video is dominating nearly all online communication channels around the globe, it’s important to consider how to capture your audience’s attention and lead them to your ebook without spending a fortune on ads.You will be rewarded quickly if you live-stream your ebook content on Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok. Choose the platform where your audience spends their time. For example, younger generations are more likely to be on Instagram or TikTok, whereas business owners or older generations are likely to be more on Facebook and Instagram.
However, keep in mind that Youtube is the second largest search engine in the world (after Google) and people look for “how-to” content every minute of every day. Therefore, you might consider posting the same content on multiple platforms.
Every video you post on your channel has a description underneath. Be sure to add your free ebook or online course link at the top of your description so that you can easily capture opt-ins to build your email list directly from your videos. It’s important to reach people in different locations by sprinkling invitations in places where they are most likely to spend their time. And finally, remember that hosting a livestream event will require some planning and promotion to get your audience online at the right time, so make sure you have considered how to do this as well.
Pro Tip for the shy, introverted or perfectionist!If the notion of live streaming makes you uncomfortable, you are not alone. Many business owners shy away from going on camera as self-doubt creeps in and we ask ourselves questions like, “Will I embarrass myself?” or “Will I represent my brand well?” Some of us would much rather pre-record our videos with our phones, webcams, or video cameras, post them at a scheduled time, and still benefit from broadcasting “Live” on Facebook and YouTube.
Email is a powerful way to market your ebook. If you have a list of any kind, use it! Even though open rates are declining with time, try these three simple tips to consistently get people to open up:
- Add a GIF to the top of your email message. If it’s the first thing your readers see , it will captivate them right away. Make sure the GIF is of you (to build your brand) or something consistent and in alignment with your email message.
- Simply adding the words [Watch video] in the email subject heading consistently piques people’s curiosity. Be sure to include a video if you’ve promised one in the subject heading!
- Do not underestimate the power of a P.S. underneath your signature. It’s a great place to put an invitation to a webinar or livestream. For example, invite people to download your free ebook or opt into your online course! Or, ask a question and invite your readers to reply. And then, answer each and every person personally (not through a virtual assistant). People will love you for it. If you really want to dazzle people, reply to them with a Loom video and address them by name. “Hi Jack, thanks for your message. I’m happy to answer your question about X, Y, Z.” You will gain fans for life if you carve out time each week to film quick 30-60 second personalized video messages. This type of 1:1 video messaging is one of the hottest trends and yet few marketers take the time to do it. This one tip alone will set you apart from your competition.
One of the best things you can do is share juicy content from your ebook in your blog post and then share it everywhere on social media so that it lives on for years to come. Don’t be afraid of giving away your best information so that you leave people craving more. In your byline at the bottom of your post, offer a link to your ebook or online course (free or paid) and tell readers how it will help them.
Pro Tip: Be consistent and write often! You can repurpose old content from your ebooks, workshops, and coaching programs. Don’t feel like you have to start from scratch with a blank blog. Simply open up your books, review your slides from classes you’ve taught, or think about the most common questions your clients have asked you. Still no ideas? Survey your email list or poll your Facebook fans to find out their biggest questions or struggles around your area of expertise.
Compared to other marketing strategies – getting interviewed on podcasts is pretty easy to do. It doesn’t cost any money. It doesn’t take very much time. And anyone who is comfortable talking about their area of expertise can do it. Oh, and getting interviewed on podcasts exposes you to hundreds, sometimes even thousands of listeners – for every single podcast that you appear on.If you’re trying to find a new podcast, start by brainstorming the topics that your e-book fits under. Is it business, engineering, lifestyle, fitness, or another category? Who is the ideal person that would buy and read your ebook?
For example, would it be a stay-at-home-parent, a young entrepreneur, or a mature student who is preparing for going back to school? And finally, ask yourself the benefits that your ideal reader will pull from your content. Knowing what you’re selling, who you’re selling to, and why this person will want to buy from you will help you find niche podcasts that specifically cater to one of these niche areas. From there, get creative on your research skills to find emails, phone numbers, or LinkedIn profiles that can help you get started on having a conversation around your ebook on their podcast.
Struggling to find a podcast that perfectly suits your content angle? Why not start your own!Starting your own podcast today doesn’t take much effort. With a quality microphone, a webcam, and some software support for editing audio and video, you’ll be set to launch your own podcast in no time. It will require you to create a catchy podcast name, think of a specific niche that you can provide insights on, and, if you’re feeling up to it, a list of potential guests that you can invite onto the podcast to keep the conversation flowing.
There are also a ton of tools out there today to help you create great podcast content, edit it, and distribute it to leading podcast sites such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or Audible. You can also post the recordings onto your social media or blog to massively extend your audience reach on each episode.
This is a tricky one and it can get quite expensive, so we suggest this is left to more intermediate marketers or those who are comfortable spending higher amounts of money on promotional efforts. Running ads, if done well, reaps massive results. But without proper time to research or optimize your ads, or if you don’t contribute enough ads dollars to make it worth competing for a keyword space, you’re better off opting for another option. Though – if you have the time, people power, and budget on your side, this is a great effort. To start with ads, you need to be familiar with all of the basic acronyms:
- CPC = cost per click
- CPL = cost per like (or other form of content engagement)
- CTR = click through rate
Ads operate on a bidding process (done manually or automated depending on your ads tool), which can make it a bit competitive. To compete well, you will also need to spend some time identifying the top keywords that your ebook can rank for. Consider that some keywords are a lot more competitive than others.
For example, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll get to the top placement on a generic keyword such as “tips for bakers.” However, if you can turn that keyword into something more specific such as “tips for teaching elementary students how to bake” or “tips for creating a fluffy cupcake,” then you have a better shot at ranking well. These extended versions of your keywords are called “long-tail keywords” and they are great to consider when working on SEO or blog articles as well.
If you can’t bring them to you, go to them! Apply to speak about the topic that you’re passionate about at conferences in your industry’s niche. Think about the creative, new angle that you bring to the table around the topic. How do you see it differently? What experience do you have to help your perspective? What new solutions do you recommend?
Thinking about the answers to these questions will help you formulate a strong story to tell at a conference. Taking a story-like approach breaks the topic down into something easily digestible for conference-goers, and allows you to easily integrate the value of your content. While most conferences won’t like for you to use your speaking opportunity as an ad-alternative (ie. spending the whole time talking about the launch of your book), there are usually a few minutes at the end to let the audience know that they can reach out to you or download your content for further learning on the topic. As well, conference attendance is usually free for speakers! And speaking also gives your audience an opportunity to ask questions on the spot, which is great for relationship-building.
Every small step matters. Even if you are new to marketing, it will get easier over time like any other endeavor worth pursuing. My suggestion is to always chunk things down. In other words, get started by using only ONE tip above and give it a whirl.
Give yourself permission to play, have fun, and don’t forget to see the humor in your mistakes. As you generate and share content for your audience, your relationship will grow and you will continue to build confidence in yourself, your brand, and your ability to deliver high-value content to your followers.
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This blog was originally published Jan 2020 and was updated in December 2022 to include additional information.