The B2B buying journey is vastly different than it was 10 years ago. Today, with endless information at their fingertips, B2B buyers spend more time researching online than ever before.
In fact, according to Gartner research, when B2B buyers are considering a purchase‚ they spend only 17 percent of their time meeting with potential suppliers, while 27 percent is spent researching independently online.
That means reaching your digital buyer with the right information, at the right time, to raise their awareness about your brand is more important than ever.
Ebooks–when done well–can help take your readers from pain aware to solution and brand aware in one fell swoop.
And technology marketers are taking note: a 2019 report from the Content Marketing Institute found a 63 percent increase in tech marketers using written digital content like ebooks since just last year.
With an ebook, your organization can:
- Connect with your readers in a new way.
- Establish authority and trust.
- Introduce your company’s product or service.
- Strengthen your brand identity.
But how can you make your ebook stand out from the millions of others? The answer can be summed up by following these simple steps:
- Know your target audience.
- Identify the problem.
- Educate on how they can solve their problem.
- Introduce your company’s solution.
- Demonstrate why you are the best.
- Above all: design for brevity.
Keep reading to discover how you can create an attention-grabbing ebook that will make a serious impact on your readers.
1. Know Your Target Audience
To effectively connect with your target audience, it’s imperative to create an ebook with a cohesive storyline that’s custom-tailored to suit your audience’s wants and needs.
To accomplish this, always write with your target persona in mind. This will create the context of your ebook and define what you’ll include in it.
Personas aren’t just good in theory, either: a study from Cintell found that 71 percent of companies that exceed lead and revenue goals have documented personas.
2. Identify the Problem
Your second step is to clearly identify the problem or problems your audience is facing. Why? Because unless they’re keenly aware of their problems, your readers won’t be motivated to seek out a solution.
If you’re not sure how to determine the most important pain points, try using the resources at your disposal:
- Talk to members of your organization’s sales team to learn which problems they most often hear of.
- Look at any customer surveys your company may have gathered.
- Interview customer service reps to discover which issues your audience most frequently encounters.
Once you have one or two key problems identified, set the stage for your readers by referencing high-level market trends or the challenges that arise in your persona’s day to day.
3. Educate on How They Can Solve Their Problem.
Now that your readers are keenly aware of the problem(s) they need to solve, it’s time to walk them through an approach to solving their problem.
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t be selling anything at this point. Instead, you should be educating. This will give you the opportunity to establish credibility and expertise.
For example, if your persona’s primary goal is to perform more demos, be sure to talk about the unique solutions to solve that challenge, and why it’s important to consider those solutions now.
4. Introduce Your Company’s Solution
When you introduce your company’s product or service, it’s important to continue to keep your audience’s goals in mind.
Emphasize features and benefits that directly solve the problems you highlighted earlier.
Then, explain what your readers can expect from your solution. Will it be easy to use? Will they be able to get it up and running quickly? In other words, be sure to highlight your key value proposition.
This will allow you to clearly show how your solution will help them meet those goals.
5. Show Why You’re the Best
To round out your ebook, incorporate as much proof as possible that shows why you’re the best option. This can include:
- Testimonials from customers.
- Client logos.
- Links to use cases.
- Media mentions.
- Notable statistics such as ROI or effect on business processes.
6. Above All: Design for Brevity
There’s an unbelievable amount of content on the internet. In 2017, we saw 1,440 WordPress posts, 500 hours of YouTube videos, 3.3 million Facebook posts and nearly 500,000 Tweets created every single minute, according to a report from Smart Insights.
During the creation process, always keep brevity in the back of your mind. No one is going to watch a 10-minute video these days and no one wants to read a 20-page ebook, either.
Here are some tips you can use to keep your ebook short and sweet:
Have a good text-to-image ratio. Visual elements can greatly increase the appeal of your ebook, but they can also make the ebook longer, depending on how much text-to-image ratio is on the page.
Think of your ebook as a portable website. Take the opportunity to touch on ideas, then for a deeper dive, link out to content you’ve published elsewhere on the topic.
At the end of the day, ebooks give your organization a chance to establish thought leadership and introduce the solutions your audience needs. If you follow the steps outlined in this article, you’ll be on your way to create a compelling ebook they will also love.
Interested in seeing an example ebook using the steps we just covered? Check out this ebook we wrote for a client.
If you would like an evaluation on any ebooks your company has developed, or plans to develop, please Contact Us.