Why in the world would I write an ebook when I barely have time to send out invoices? What are the advantages? What do I get from investing in this? I’m not a writer! I don’t have time!

Stop. Breathe. Let us explain. You may have had plenty of thoughts like the ones above when you read the title of this blog. We don’t blame you. Running a business is quite literally a full time job and many of us don’t have extra time to sit down and write a whole book!

Here’s the kicker. While it can take a great deal of effort to create an ebook, the investment will benefit your business in ways you may not have even realized.

1. Ebooks describe what you believe in and what methods you adhere to when producing your products.

An ebook gives you an excellent opportunity to draw your line in the sand. This is your chance to write about your beliefs and why you do things the way you do. For example:

Are your manufacturing practices more sustainable than others?
Great, tell us what you are doing, why you do it this way, and how your customers benefit.
Does your construction company have a proven track record of helping clients pursue and receive LEED certification for their design/build projects?
Create an ebook that explains the process and what benefits your current clients have seen after receiving their LEED Certification.
Does your industry struggle with public perception?
Create an ebook that provides a behind the scenes look at how you operate and what makes your company a responsible organization.

Milk.org (1) provides a “Fact Sheet” or ebook on their website that lists facts about Canadian dairy cows . The Ontario based organization wrote this ebook in order to provide people with a more transparent look into the dairy industry. The ebook outlines everything from general dairy statistics to how the cows are housed, bred and cared for.

2. Ebooks are an excellent platform for sharing case studies with potential customers.

An effective way to convince potential clients you can handle their job is to provide them with real-world examples of past work in the form of case studies. When writing about complicated projects, an ebook gives you the ability to show how your customers' issues were solved in great depth. Including case studies in an ebook provides your buyers with a convenient document that they can share with other stakeholders.

Take a look at this healthcare construction case study —in the form of an ebook—by Korte Construction (2). They’ve certainly demonstrated their expertise and provided a rich source of information for organizations looking to build a healthcare facility.

3. You become the authority.

Writing an ebook adds a level of credibility and seriousness to your company and makes you stand out in your field as an expert. Take for example Richmond American Homes (3). They’ve provided a collection of ebooks covering a range of topics to help new homebuyers make informed decisions while buying a house. Here are just a few:

From first time home owner guides to how to choose the right floor plan, Richmond American Homes clearly know the ins and outs of homeownership. It's easy to imagine how providing potential customers with resources like these can have a tremendous impact on their impression of your business and desire to buy from you.

4.Get your foot in the door.

Even though ebooks are something you’ll use to help promote and market your business, ebooks are unique because they don’t seem like a marketing tactic. While you could advertise for a straight sale, those methods aren’t always the most effective. Think of it as going on a first date and asking the person to marry you. Not the best idea, right? You need to show your customers why working with you is a good idea by providing them with helpful information before asking for the sale. What better way to do that than with an ebook?

To provide Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) with advice and information on coatings, US Coatings (4) created an ebook The OEM's Guide to Industrial Coatings . Not only does the guide provide OEMs with great examples on how processes can be made more efficient and compliant, US Coatings eases potential customers into a sale by detailing all the benefits and potential savings they can provide. As an added bonus, those customers that have read US Coatings’ ebook can now come fully prepared to talk business.

5. Learn important information about your contacts.

To get your ebook, customers will have to fill out a form. Your form should ask them questions that help you understand their needs better. This form will also help you segment customers, so you know what emails are the most appropriate for them. This ensures that you’re communicating with your customers in the most effective way possible.

Korte Construction - Screenshot Form

Korte is a Design-Build construction company that works on a variety of different projects for corporate and private sectors. Like any smart business, Korte continues to learn about its potential clients by gathering information. One way they do this is through their ebook download forms. To gain access, website visitors must complete a form that asks for basic contact information and for job roles or roles in organizations. Information like this helps Korte profile potential customers and write content that people are most interested in.

6. People/businesses that download your ebook are high quality leads.

Those that download your ebook are interested in your products and want to learn more. While not every download may result in a sale, you will get some business from your ebook. Some businesses even go as far as requiring contacts to read their ebook before setting up a meeting. This prequalifies customers in case their needs don’t exactly correlate with what you are willing to provide.

Check out CKPower’s (5) ebook guide to Final Tier 4 Regulations . To help answer questions from their customers, CKPower’s created this guide as an in-depth resource to help people understand the intricacies of tier 4 emission standards. Not only does the guide provide a useful customer service resource, but the value of the content incentivizes potential customers to trade their contact information for a copy. An added benefit of an ebook that covers such specialized subject matter is that people who download it are very likely to be qualified leads.

7. Use your ebook to create a brochure.

Whether you’re presenting at an event, business meeting or proposal, a brochure version of your ebook is an excellent physical piece of marketing to hand out. You can also tell people they can download the full ebook for free from your website (hint hint traffic hint hint.) Those that do follow your lead are very interested in learning more about you and your products.

Along with an ebook we created for NOCO ENERGY STAR® Homes, we also made a companion brochure that could easily be handed out at events.

Ebook companion brochure for NOCO ENERGY STAR Homes

The brochure gives a quick overview of the benefits of buying an Energy Star certified new home and prominently features the URL to download the full guide from the website.

If you're not sure how to improve your marketing in a cost effective way, grab a copy of our Sustainable Marketing® ebook. It'll help you get predictable results and make your company more money.

If you are interested in working together, call (970) 744-3611 now or send us an email.

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Abby Jacobs
Marketing Associate
Abby Jacobs - Marketing Associate
[Ebook] Sustainable Marketing

The 7 Key Areas of Sustainable Marketing®

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