B2B eBooks — Should Your Business Write Them?

Sep 5, 2018 8:30:00 AM

By Cathy Cain-Blank

Many businesses today are doing more than simply writing blog posts or email newsletters — they’re writing books. Specifically, they’re writing B2B eBooks and using them as an effective marketing tool to connect with their audiences.

For those who are unfamiliar with eBooks, these aren’t the same as downloading the latest Dan Brown tome on your Nook or Kindle. EBooks are much shorter than regular books; you’ll typically find them running from 2,000 to approximately 2,500 words long.

They also differ from regular books in format. They’re often produced in landscape format and rather than text-heavy, they tend to feature lots of visual elements to make reading them a real pleasure for their audience.

The tone of an eBook is typically more light and conversational than traditional books and white papers. Voice matters in marketing, and readers don’t enjoy reading a long recitation of facts and statistics. The goal is to make them interesting and fun enough that your audience wants to dive in, while making sure that the information being communicated is useful enough to keep them engaged until the end.

What Do B2B eBooks Accomplish?

In a 2018 study on B2B content marketing, the Content Marketing Institute discovered that respondents reported eBooks/white papers, email, and LinkedIn to be among the most valuable resources organizations have to help them achieve their marketing objectives. On the flip side, a report from DemandGen shows that 63 percent of buyers revealed that they’re more likely to share their email address in exchange for an eBook.

Why are eBooks so useful? First of all, they allow your organization to deliver your brand’s perspective in a non-salesy way. For example, in a B2B eBook you can highlight a problem that businesses commonly run into and offer useful solutions to that problem. Those solutions can be presented in a manner in which your organization’s products or services are a natural fit, but this shouldn't be communicated in a “sign up now!” sales pitch. Instead, the valuable information communicated in the eBook should naturally lead the reader in that direction.

Next, eBooks can be customized to various stages of your buyer’s journey. They’re fantastic tools for pointing out problems that your buyer may not have known they had. With each eBook, you can address various issues or delve more deeply into ones you’ve previously discussed.

Tips for Creating a B2B eBook

B2B eBooks are an excellent way to communicate directly with your audience, but this doesn’t mean that you should get behind a keyboard and start typing willy-nilly. Just like with any marketing effort, an eBook should be well planned and carefully targeted.

Here are a few tips to help you gather your thoughts.

The content communicated must be valuable to the reader.

In this world of clickbait and everyone jockeying for attention, consumers are becoming especially savvy at determining when they’re being given something of value and when they’re wasting energy. This especially applies to a B2B audience where time is money.

Readers don't care what you would like to communicate, they want information that’s created especially with them in mind. Make sure the information you provide in an eBook is valuable to your audience.

Make it visually appealing.

White papers certainly pack in a lot of information, but they’re often dry and boring. One way B2B eBooks have a leg up on other longer content is that you can include visuals that break up the text and communicate information in a fun and easy-to-understand fashion. This is particularly helpful for topics that are complex or hard to explain verbally. It’s also a boon to the segment of your audience that consists of more visual learners.

Visuals don’t just apply to photographs; you can also use infographics, tables, charts, screenshots, drawings, or whatever you need to get the job done. Be creative and consider whether what you’re creating is something you’d like to click or scroll through.

Promote them on your landing page. 

One of the best ways to let people know about your latest B2B eBook is to put it front-and-center on your landing page. This is an excellent way to pique people’s interest, and when you include a field for them to enter their email address so you can send them a free copy of your must-read eBook, you’ve also got a built-in mechanism to grow your contact list.

There’s no question that your organization should be producing B2B eBooks. The only question is: what problem will you help your customers solve first?

Need help creating your B2B eBooks? Contact us today!