The creation of an eBook can generate income as well as help a business build an industry reputation with additional exposure to their products, services or expertise
As eBook readers become more popular and accessible, many small businesses are finding that the creation of an eBook can be a great way to position themselves as experts in an industry and promote their products and services. By sharing knowledge and expertise with potential customers and clients, businesses can build their reputation as an industry thought-leader and make eBooks a valuable resource for future sales opportunities.
Although an eBook marketing strategy may not work for every type of business, it may be worth exploring for some. Whether your goal is to create an additional revenue stream or simply promote your brand, eBooks can be an effective marketing tool for your toolbox of integrated marketing strategies.
Creating a Promotional eBook for Small Businesses
Potential customers are continually seeking out information to help them make purchasing decisions or guide them through their own business challenges. The widespread adoption of e-readers (such as Kindle, Nook or Sony e-reader) is making eBooks a very accessible and cost-effective way to acquire informational resources.
Most small businesses have deep industry or product knowledge that can be packaged up as a “how-to” or “guide” resource for customers seeking more information on a given topic. The potential topics and applications for small businesses is only limited to your imagination and creativity.
The key to creating a promotional eBook is packaging the knowledge or expertise with very subtle promotion of a product, service or solution – particularly if the eBook is being offered at a cost to the customer. In the book Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business the authors discuss how companies can spread their ideas online to establish credibility and build a loyal customer base.
For example, a business that develops software can offer an eBook that details a technology issue that businesses are looking to solve. The software solution that a company provides may be listed as one option to solving the technology problem.
Another example may include a consulting business that provides consumers with guidance on living a green and eco-friendly lifestyle. Simply providing some guidance in a book about living green will position the consulting business as an expert in field and may open doors for products or services. Alternatively, the green consulting business could simply use the eBook sales as a new revenue stream for their business.
There are many guides to how to write an eBook. Each eBook outlet has their own publishing guide and specifications to follow, and there are countless resources available to guide businesses on the creation of eBook content – particularly useful for first time eBook creation.
Generate Additional Income Streams with eBooks
The creation of an eBook can be a great way to extend the reach of a local small business and make money from a new revenue stream. Typically priced at a low-cost (as low as $.99 or less than $10), eBooks are a low-cost option for customers seeking information on products, services or industry information. The lower cost typically equates to a higher volume of sales and can become a nice flow of passive income for a small business.
Businesses can promote eBooks on their websites with direct links to buy on a variety of formats – such as Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook or Sony e-reader. The additional exposure within each marketplace – particularly Amazon’s Kindle Store – gives businesses a much bigger potential for sales and visibility.
Building Industry Reputation for a Small Business with eBooks
Promoting eBooks on your small business website can add instant credibility to your business by being “published”. It is a great way to present your expertise or credentials in your industry niche. Free eBooks can be offered as a new way of offering business “white papers” or specially discounted versions can be made available on your website as a special offer for visitors.
Outside of your website, the promotion of a published eBook can help build your brand and industry reputation. With subtle plugs of your products and services intertwined with a presentation of valuable industry insights, an eBook can become a PR marketing tool as well as a lead generator for your business. The ability to create an additional revenue from your eBook efforts (if you choose to offer them for a cost) is a added bonus for your growing small business.
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