Technology has forever changed the way we see our world, as well as how we communicate with one another. Even the way we consume and access information has been transformed with the arrival of ebooks.
An eBook, or electronic book, is the digital form of the traditional book and can be accessed on any digital platform (desktop, mobile, tablet, etc).
There are typically two types of eBooks – paid and free. Businesses and bloggers often offer them for free as a clever tactic for effective lead generation.
Regardless of whether they’re paid or free, eBooks take a long time to write and edit. Authors often spend days, months or even years researching, writing, editing and then finally publishing their eBooks.
That’s why it’s heartbreaking to have to break this news to you: producing a good ebook is NOT enough to generate the sales results you desire.
No matter how many deep insights, incisive research and unique content you provide, all your efforts may go in vain unless your eBook is promoted on the right channels, at the right time, to the right people.
The digital world is an extremely noisy one, and this noise is only going to increase in future years. The eBook market, as it constantly evolves, is becoming oversaturated with products.
According to Statista, of the total book sales worldwide, the eBook market share is expected to reach 26% in 2018, up from just 12% in 2013.
Furthermore, in a 2017 research report by CMI, it was found that 65% of B2B marketers use eBooks as a content promotion tactic.
Image Source: Content Marketing Institute
In a nutshell, everyone is jumping on the eBook bandwagon, which means it’s more important than ever to have a comprehensive marketing strategy.
Now, social advertising and PPC campaigns are great (if expensive) ways to promote an eBook. But they are NOT the only ways!
That’s right, you don’t have to shell out hundreds of dollars on advertising to get results. In this post, I’ll share how to take advantage of the enormous scope offered by the digital world and use a variety of platforms and techniques to popularize your eBook.
Let’s get started!
1. Create a killer landing page
This is not a part of your actual promotional campaign. But if you don’t have a high-converting landing page and a catchy eBook title, people may not click the link you shared and instead bounce right off the page, rendering your promotional efforts useless.
Remember, the goal of your promotional campaign is to drive people to the eBook landing page, then download it.
Take time, research your prospects’ pain points, brainstorm and write compelling copy about it.
If your eBook is a paid one, link the landing page to a payment gateway.
Also, don’t forget to add the all-important social sharing buttons to your landing page.
2. Promote it within your website
Before going all out on promoting the eBook on different platforms, first you need to optimize the platform you already have to encourage visitors to download the eBook. You can do this by:
- Adding a pop-up eBook banner to your blog
Image Source: Social Media Examiner
- Placing ‘Download the eBook’ calls-to-action (CTAs) in your top-performing posts wherever relevant (take a quick peek at your Google Analytics to find these posts).
- Creating an eBook slide for your homepage slider, if you have one, or a sidebar callout.
3. Use supporting content formats
As I said earlier, the digital arena has various platforms. Each platform is popular for different visual representations – text, images, videos, etc. You can’t share a simple text link all the time that just says, ‘Hey! Here is my new eBook. Download it now!’
I’m going to run through a list of things you can do instead. Here’s the first one: write supporting blog posts.
As soon as you finish writing your eBook, write a couple of blog posts which relate to or complement your eBook. You can repurpose some of your eBook content for this.
Don’t have much time to write? Here’s a quick guide on how you can punch out a blog post in less than 4 hours!
If your eBook is on, say, ‘A social media marketer’s guide to generating leads’, your supporting post can be on ’10 easy social media hacks for increasing engagement’ or ‘Why social media is the greatest channel for lead generation’.
These posts will help establish you as a thought leader on the subject of your eBook, earn your reader’s trust and thereby further compel them to download the book.
You can also try keyword-optimizing the post’s content to convert more website traffic. Everyone may not be willing to go directly to the landing page and download the main asset, so by promoting other posts alongside your eBook, you will give visitors a different reason for them to check out your site.
Ready for the next tip on how to use supporting content formats? Great: make quick infographics.
Infographics are a huge part of today’s content marketing. There are many ways and platforms where you can share them and attract your prospects to your landing page. You can use free default templates from Canva to quickly create a bunch of infographics. Just make sure you add the eBook CTA in your infographic’s footer.
Here’s another tip: make a slideshow presentation
Convert your supporting blog posts and even the first few pages of your eBook into a slide deck, MS Powerpoint or Google Slides presentation.
Conversely, create a short piece of video content for your eBook. Video is fast becoming the king of content marketing and according to a recent study published on HubSpot’s blog, online video currently accounts for 74% of all web traffic, and 59% of senior executives prefer video to text when both are available.
Don’t have that much time? Simply convert your slides into a video or use Lumen5 which allows you to quickly convert your blog posts to high-quality videos for free:
4. Go all-out on social media
You can still promote your offering and reach your prospects on social media without spending a lot of money. It’s true!
Social teasers are a critical aspect of your overall eBook social promotional campaign.
These teasers can be actionable tips, quick how-tos, interesting facts or key quotes from your eBook, presented in interesting and relevant content formats (videos, images, etc.)
Your followers won’t be too happy if you spam them with a salesy ‘check out my eBook’ post every single day, but with social teasers, you can keep them engaged and encourage them to download/buy it.
Here’s how you promote your eBook on various social platforms:
Create a custom tab and integrate the eBook landing page (this requires a little bit of HTML coding, but it’s easy).
Build some pre-launch hype among your followers by promoting the supporting content (blog posts, images and videos). Put the eBook banner as the cover photo. Share the supporting content and eBook in all relevant groups… but don’t overdo it! Group admins hate spammers.
Pin the eBook post to your page. Use a lot of video teasers. Facebook videos have 10x higher reach as compared to Youtube links.
Use the search box to find out who is tweeting using the related keywords of your eBook and reach out to them directly via email to see if they’re interested in reading it. Tease your followers with mini infographics and images; tweets with these visual representations also get higher engagement when compared to text-based ones.
Change your cover photo to the eBook banner and pin the eBook tweet to your feed. Tweet at least 10 times a day. Neil Patel claims that by increasing his number of tweets from 1 to 10, his monthly visits skyrocketed from 1,100 to 4,700.
Add the landing page link to the publication section of your profile and include a testimonial or a positive review of the eBook in the description box, as below.
Post social teasers 1-2 times a day. Join groups where you think you can promote your asset and start engaging with other group members. Just remember, LinkedIn is a professional network. Group admins will not tolerate spam – craft your messages carefully so they are still relevant to the group and add value.
Linkedin even allows you to direct message 15 group members per month for free. Pick 15 target prospects, engage with them by commenting on their posts and finally message them to check out your eBook. Re-publish supporting articles on LinkedIn’s publishing platform and add a CTA to your landing page at the end of each post.
Create a separate group board dedicated to your eBook social teasers (in this case, infographics and images). If you don’t have a strong following, contribute to boards which do. You can use Pingroupie to find boards relevant to your category. Reach out to the board owners and ask them to accept your contribution. A single post on these boards can drive a ton of traffic to your landing page!
Place the eBook CTA in the bio section of your profile.
Post social teasers (images and videos) continuously (2-3 times a day) and ask people to check out the eBook by clicking on the link in your bio. Search for users who have used your related hashtags and DM them to take a quick look at your offering.
Gary Vaynerchuk clearly explains how to use the Instagram DM for networking in this article.
Create a channel and post video teasers with attractive titles. Be sure to add the eBook CTA in the video description box!
SlideShare has more than 5x the traffic from business owners than any other social media. According to the social media giant, infographics are liked 4x more than presentations. Upload all of the supporting presentations I mentioned earlier. Slideshare allows you to add links after the 3rd slide so put the eBook CTA at the end of each presentation. Convert your infographics into PDFs (I usually use Zamzar for this) and re-upload.
Quora is a great platform to reach a targeted audience and promote your eBook. Follow all the topics related to your niche, and answer all questions which receive a good following.
Repurpose your blog post’s content but don’t just copy and paste it. At the end of each answer, add a CTA to your landing page. Make sure your CTA looks as natural as possible. Quora is a place where people come to find answers so be helpful, not shallow.
With more than 1 million communities (aka ‘subreddits’), Reddit is easily one of the most powerful places to perform targeted promotions. You can simply share the link to your landing page or write some description with the text post option and post the link.
Since new accounts with low karma scores aren’t generally trusted by Redditors, it is always good practice to engage with fellow subredditors before beginning to promote your eBook. Start by being active on 4-5 relevant subreddits, commenting where relevant, sharing your supporting blog posts and finally announcing the launch of your eBook.
- Google Plus
Even though marketers often overlook the importance of Google Plus, its communities feature allows you to promote your resource to a targeted audience.
Even better, Google Plus has the Collections feature. Just like group boards, Collections allow you to organize your posts, like on Pinterest. Create a collection around your eBook theme and start posting!
5. Explore other content sharing platforms
Social media is not the only place you can capture the attention of your audience. There are several platforms in the digital space where you can share/submit your content and subsequently drive a large amount of traffic back to your eBook landing page. The best thing about these sites is they are absolutely free.
Here are a few I always use:
Medium is one of every marketer’s go-to sites for republishing content to get more eyeballs on it. Just copy and paste your supporting blog posts and the first few chapters of your eBook, place CTAs to your landing pages, add the right tags, and hit publish. It’s that simple.
Used actively and consistently, StumbleUpon is a great way for your eBook to go viral. But for that to happen, you need to have a good following. Follow people in your niche, like and comment on their posts and share your supporting content once you are able to gather an audience.
Just like StumbleUpon, Scoop.it is a dedicated content discovery platform and an amazing place to build exposure for your eBook. Give it a try!
6. Use free tools to make your eBook go viral
Viral Content Bee is my favorite free social media promotion tool and requires a special mention in this post. The whole concept of this tool is based on the mantra, ‘You share my posts and I’ll share yours’.
Basically, you earn credits when you share other’s posts, and they do too when they promote your offering.
A truly remarkable thing about this tool is it allows you to elect on which social platforms you want your resource to be shared. Currently, it allows users to promote on four platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and StumbleUpon.
The best approach to Viral Content Bee is to accumulate as many credits as possible, elect the platforms where you think your potential buyers are most active, and sit back and relax while others make your eBook popular.
Pay With a Tweet is another effective tool to make your eBook go viral on social media. This tool allows people to access the content of your eBook for free in exchange for a social post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Xing or VK.
It allows you to set the number of free downloads you want to make available as well as an expiration date for the campaign. Don’t worry, a small amount of freebies in exchange for viral reach won’t hurt your sales!
7. Try guest blogging on authority sites
Guest blogging is one the most popular methods used by authors from all walks of life to promote their eBooks. Not only does it enhance your authority and reach, it also promotes your resource to those who are passionate about and interested in your subject.
Do a simple Google search with a keyword + ‘write for us’ + ‘submission guidelines’ and see what you find. Make a list of all the sites with good online authority, then pitch a guest post.
Carefully read the posting guidelines and eliminate the sites which won’t provide a direct backlink to your landing page or book. Remember, the idea here is to bring readers back to your page.
8. Invest time in traditional email outreach
No, email marketing is NOT dead!
If your goal is lead generation, promoting your eBook instead of your main product makes you look less salesy and more helpful in your cold emailing campaigns.
Here are some additional tips:
- Update your email signature and add the page URL to it
- If you already have email subscribers, give them a heads-up about your eBook.
- Create a Flipboard magazine themed around the eBook
- Give away the first few chapters of the eBook in an email sequence
- Do a free webinar with a thought leader in your industry to generate publicity for the eBook.
- Enrol in Amazon’s KDP Select program and promote for free for up to five days.
It is perfectly fine if you can’t afford to advertise your eBook. The internet is an enormous place and there are literally hundreds of free ways to grab people’s attention.
Take some time out, prepare a spreadsheet and outline all your promotional activities. You may not be able to undertake all the ideas I mentioned – but try to ensure that your reach isn’t limited to one single platform. Think carefully about your ideal reader so that you don’t miss any opportunities.
While cashing out to Facebook and Google does get the job done, you have probably spent weeks or months creating your eBooks so cut costs to create the same result – maximum publicity. Happy promoting!
Guest Author: Tirumala Vedurumudi is an inbound marketing specialist at The SMarketers, a B2B inbound marketing agency in India that helps companies achieve sales and marketing goals. Feel free to connect with The SMarketers for a free marketing review and evaluate your current marketing efforts.