Content CreationThe Future of Content

3 Simple Steps to eBook Success

By October 10, 2014 No Comments

It doesn’t matter if it’s a short 5-page eBook, or a behemoth 300-pager.

Nearly every eBook creator wants the same thing: Simplicity.

And there’s a good reason why.

The simplicity of an eBook makes it both user-friendly for your reader and easily replicable. This is important for two reasons.

First, the simplicity of your content makes it easy for your prospect to be engaged with your content, ushering them into your sales funnel and deepening the relationship developing between the prospect and the brand.

Second, it makes eBook creation both a faster and cheaper process to do again in the future. By creating a simple eBook that can serve as a template, you can drastically increase your economy of scale.

So how do you make an eBook (which is almost always about a complex theme or issue in your vertical) simple?

That’s what we asked Lauren Totin of Teknicks, our Master of Simplicity.

Really, she says, it boils down to these three things:

  1. An eBook should never promote your brand.
  2. It must address a problem.
  3. It’s got to be short and easy to read.

1. An eBook Should Never Promote Your Brand

“No one likes a self-promoting company,” Totin says. The purpose of the eBook is to give your readers something; not suggest a sale. If you want to establish trust, your eBook must be selfless, useful, and completely user-friendly.

2. It Must Address a Problem

Learn your customers’ pain points, and write your eBook to address those concerns. Craft it as the solution, and provide answers or guidance to ameliorate buyer concerns. Be honest and forthcoming. This nurtures the trusting relationship you’ve established.

3. It Must Be Short and Easy to Read

And, finally: Get to your point—fast. Your buyer doesn’t have a lot of time, so be respectful of that. Keep copy relatively short per page, and tap into user-feedback from test-runs to see where average readers start fading away from content. Then, adjust your copy and design to re-engage the reader at those specific points.

“If your readers didn’t make it to the end of the eBook, you’ve missed your mark.” -@LTotin

It Doesn’t Need to Be Flashy to Be Good

Teknicks’s 9-page eBook, 4 Steps to Developing Your Buyer Personas, isn’t the most glamorously designed eBook out there. But it IS effective and engaging through the last page. And with a clean look-and-feel and basic color palette, the simple structure can be used again and again.

These qualities make reading their book easy. As a user, I’m not confused by what type of content I’m dealing with—it’s very plainly an informative piece about buyer personas. Additionally, because of it’s short length, I don’t feel obligated or overwhelmed by the volume of reading I have to get through. It’s straightforward and solves a recurring pain point of B2B marketers, namely persona-building.

As a B2B marketing eBook, Teknicks has definitely earned the Masters of Simplicity award. Hats off.

Jean Spencer

About Jean Spencer

Jean is a Content Marketing Strategist, Cloud & Enterprise at Microsoft, focused on pushing and redefining the limits of what content marketing can be. She also likes to do crossword puzzles and rock climb.