If you have a business you’re aware of three simple facts:
- You need to find new customers and clients.
- You need to find them in the most cost effective way possible.
- The internet allows you to reach more people than you ever could in person.
Enter content marketing. The Content Marketing Institute defines it like this:
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
One of the best ways to get into content marketing is an eBook. It can be a great way to prove the worth of content marketing, before investing in ongoing content creation.
Short aside: All content marketing, including an eBook strategy, presumes that you know what your target audience wants. If you don’t know your audience, you won’t be able to create content that will appeal to them. Ask yourself if you know what your customers or clients care about most. If you can’t answer this question, it may be time to shelve an eBook for now and do some audience research.
If you know what your audience cares about, let’s keep talking eBook. Here are three simple ways an eBook can help you find new customers online.
1) An eBook attracts people by speaking directly to what they care about
We use the internet every day to find answers to our questions. It’s also the place we go when we want to do research. A 2016 Forbes study found that 82% of customers research purchases online. This statistic even applies to brick and mortar retailers.
When someone who fits your ideal customer or client profile starts researching, an eBook is a great opportunity to give them the content they need to make a decision.
2) An eBook builds trust before making the sale
It’s tempting to create an eBook that is simply a long-form advertisement for your business. That’s not a good idea.
This type of bold-faced advertising will do little to build trust. It also won’t get read. No one wants to read 20 pages about how great you are. Sorry.
If your prospective customers or clients are doing research, they want tools that will help them make an informed decision. You’re an expert. Create an eBook that will help them think through the questions they should be asking before buying. Go in-depth – the more information the better.
Once someone has read your eBook, you’ll have earned some trust points with them. Now, when they’re ready to buy, you’ll be at the top of their list. You can even follow up with them and ask if they’d like to consider making a purchase or becoming a client.
3) It’s possible to target your specific audience
Every marketer’s goal should be to drive the highest percentage of traffic to their site without paying for it. Unfortunately, this isn’t a likely scenario as you get started. Our experience is that a smart paid digital media approach can nicely complement your content and SEO efforts.
One of the best places to find new leads is Facebook. Facebook knows pretty much everything about your life. Scary, but true. This allows you to do some specific targeting, ensuring your ads get in front of people who match your target audience. Even better, you can upload a customer list as a custom audience and build lookalike audiences off of that to target people who will be interested in what you have to offer.
Although we recommend starting with Facebook, don’t stop there. We also recommend exploring Google AdWords and native advertising.