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building authority online

How to Use 5 Types of Content to Grow Your Online Authority (Recap of My Live Talk for #SocialMediaBootcamp in Austin, Texas)

Last week on Friday, I had the honor of speaking at Jessica Campos’ event, a Social Media Bootcamp right here in Austin, Texas.

It was exciting for two reasons: for one, it was at The Capital Factory, a dream speaking venue in downtown Austin. For another, I had a fantastic host: Jessica is the founder of Marketing for Greatness and a well-known local marketer here in Austin, Texas. She worked hard at putting together a memorable event, and invited me to come and speak personally. Jessica hosts many networking events locally, and is a great person in real life just as much as she is in marketing. I love being around her.

I said yes to Jessica’s invitation, and the rest is history! This amazing lady worked her network marketing magic and sold out the room – we had 50 seats, and more than 50 in attendance! It was my largest live audience yet.

We had a packed room for #socialmediabootcamp!

I’ve had the idea for a session on how to build authority online using the five foundational types of content for a while, and I decided to explore that for Jessica’s bootcamp. It was the perfect complement session to her opening talk on holistic social media marketing practices.

This talk was born: Building Authority Online & Where it Begins: 5 Types of Content You Should Be Publishing to Grow Your Brand.

julia mccoy speaking

After my talk, it was exciting to hear terrific real-time feedback from attendees.

Two senior-level marketing executives that worked in Austin came and found me to tell me how much my talk resonated with them.

“Everything you were saying about content made SO MUCH SENSE! Our ads aren’t working, nothing has been working, and we know we’ve needed a new channel for a while.”

It was clear they were excited to find a way out from old practices that weren’t working. That was a thrill to me to hear! I loved knowing I’d been able to make a difference for someone.

In today’s blog, I’m recapping the talk I gave, including the most important takeaways and lessons. Buckle in!

Check out @JuliaEMcCoy's recap of her talk on building #authority online through #content, live at @capitalfactory in #ATX for @jessicamcampos' #socialmediabootcamp 🔥 Click To Tweet

Social Media Bootcamp LIVE in Austin, Texas (Hosted by Jessica Campos)

Here’s a look at our fun day in Austin at Jessica’s bootcamp, put together by my designer in a collage. Keep scrolling for top takeaways, a recap of Jessica’s and my session, and some special shoutouts!

social media bootcamp

Jessica Campos: Social Media Practices That Bring Real Results in Your Business

Jessica Campos started off Friday’s Social Media Bootcamp with a fantastic, action-packed session.

She talked about the reality of “marketing” on social media, and how it’s not okay to just “turn to the person next to you, and ask, Would you like to lose ten pounds?” — and she had the whole room nodding and laughing. If it’s not okay to do in a waiting room, why do it on social media? She shared with us the typical journey of one of her warm leads: the person left her website open in their tab for days, closed it, came back through a Facebook ad and then clicked over to the blog, left the site again and came back to the contact page in another few days. And repeat.

I relate! We cannot predict our buyer’s journey. Jessica shared how the marketing funnel is dead, and what’s replaced it: the loyalty loop. (As most of you already know by now, I completely agree that the funnel is dead. I’ve written about that here.)

Jessica also shared how to discover your audience using tools like Facebook Insights and Google Analytics’ user behavior, two great tools for finding out real information about your audience.

jessica campos

Using the whiteboard to write out the frameworks she shared, Jessica covered several areas that made up a “sandwich,” or “burger” to help us remember how to build a solid social media marketing strategy:

  • The importance of data and knowing what your leads and ideal audience is actually doing and thinking of
  • Building avatars to represent and get to know your ideal audience
  • Creating a culture to attract your tribe and people
  • Writing a manifesto to represent who you are with a brand voice to differentiate yourself from the masses
  • Focusing on growing your influence online to attract people to you and your brand

jessica campos marketing for greatness

Jessica also did a real-life marketing analysis with one of the attendees, Lori Stinson, an agent and owner for logistics and supply chain company DSV. It was awesome!

With Lori next to her, Jessica built avatars to represent Lori’s ideal audience, an experienced, established company out in California. One method I loved was when Jessica told Lori that LinkedIn was going to be her best bet to earn social media leads from. Several members of the audience also shared terrific ways Lori could create fun marketing campaigns to pull in the eyes and ears of her ideal people.

lori stinson Agent at DSV Road

Around noon, Jessica wrapped up her session, and we all had a lunch break. Then, it was time for my session.

Special Shoutout to Jeff at Chubby Diaries & @YoungMommy (Christine Young) on Twitter

I want to take a quick moment to give some well-deserved shoutouts.

Jessica asked Jeffrey Jenkins, a local entrepreneur, travel influencer, speaker, and the founder of ChubbyDiaries.com, to attend and record media for us (as content creators, Jessica and I are all about maximizing our event presence). He took our photos and the raw video (coming soon to my YouTube channel!). Special shoutout to Jeff, who was a fantastic help!

Another shoutout to Christine Young, supermom to 7 and blogger at FromDatestoDiapers.com, for live-tweeting during our event! She captured some fantastic takeaways live during our bootcamp.

Building Authority Online & Where it Begins: 5 Types of Content to Grow Your Brand (Recap of My Live Talk)

I started my session with these important facts about today’s buyer:

  • 81% of U.S. consumers trust information and advice from blogs. (BlogHer)
  • Email remains an incredibly effective channel at driving purchases. In 2018, 17.75% of clicked-through emails resulted in a purchase. This stat has been increasing every year. (Barilliance.com study)
  • 47% of buyers viewed 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep. (DemandGen)
  • Good content is becoming the foundation of good marketing.

I also shared the astounding results from Amanda Bond’s recent Facebook ads study, which I’ve blogged about before.

Bond studied the results from over $10,000,000+ in Facebook ad spend across seven and eight-figure brands for months, and discovered that from 2016 to late 2018, the ROA (return on advertising) for a traditional ad funnel plummeted from 11.8x all the way to .6x. On average, marketers are now losing money on ads. Crazy!

Then, I went into the five types of content to build to see real results online, starting with the important foundational overview:

Build consistent content on your website (your online house), AND: start list-building, getting visible on social media, and be intimately familiar with the what and how of creating content that works.

5 Types of Content to Build

The five types of content I recommended to attendees for a strong online presence are these:

  1. Blogs
  2. Site Content (Web Pages)
  3. Email
  4. Social Media
  5. List-Builders (Downloadables: Lead Magnets, Free Ebooks)

I talked about these two goal areas for your blogs (which I explain more in this blog):

  • Goal of SEO rankings in Google, inbound traffic, and list-building: Create long-form (1000w-3000w) blogs
  • Goal of brand awareness, event sharing, news/launch: Short-form (500-800w) blogs

I also shared the importance of scannable content over readable content. Scannable content goes a step further. It’s when you focus on crafting content that contains zero fluff. When you format properly, with H2s, H3s, and strong sectioned-out content. I shared the structure of a good blog, taking inspiration from one of the world’s best bloggers: Jon Morrow of Smart Blogger.

Specifically, I shared one of his top-shared blogs, which is also top #10 in Google for ‘how to become a freelance writer.’ This is an example of a terrific blog for these reasons:

  • It starts with a story that ‘hooks’ the ideal reader into a situation they dream of or wish to be in one day.
  • Then, Jon tells them the story can come true with statistical proof as to how big the industry is, and how much freelance writers are needed.
  • Then, he adds tons and tons of value to the reader’s life, in a 3,000-word monster blog.

jon morrow example

I also shared a few methods on how to create great headlines. A study by BuzzSumo spanning over 50,000 pieces of content found that these top headline phrases worked the best:buzzsumo headline starters

I also “spilled the secrets” about one of my all-time favorite headline tools, the Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer. This tool is amazing — and it’s free!

Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer

Next, I covered the three stages of how to craft great blog content.

Blogging is best done in stages:

  • Ideation
  • Creation
  • Publishing

Great ideas are the key to great blogs, and that’s why leaving time and space just for ideas and research. I spend a day JUST for ideation, called Brainstorming Day, and validate each idea by researching with the right tools (BuzzSumo, KWFinder, SEMrush are some go-tos). I teach the how of content ideation in my Content Strategy & Marketing Course.

'I spend a day just for content ideation, and I call it Brainstorming Day.' More on #contentcreation methods that build your #authority online from @JuliaEMcCoy's live talk in #ATX Click To Tweet

Next, I covered web pages, email content, and list-builders. (Blogs are very often the meat of your consistent online presence, so I spent the most time there.)

Good web pages are:

  • Focused: Created around one clear keyword or page topic to focus around (one topic per page).
  • Word Count: The majority of clear, well-crafted web pages are 400-1200w, depending on topic & product features.
  • Clear Formatting: Well-formatted with clear headline, body introduction, H2s, H3s.

I shared a few critical “must-dos” for web page copy:

  • Clarity over cleverness in the copy. Be CLEAR on what the page is about.
  • YOU/YOUR vs. WE/OUR: Less “our”, more “you!” Be customer-focused.

Next, for email content, I talked about sending consistent campaigns. Marketers, send emails for almost every new thing you do or publish on your site. Here are a few reasons to send an email to your list:

  • New content (blogs) that you post on your site
  • Events (online or in-person) you’re hosting or guesting at
  • Product/service launches or updates
  • Less often: sales emails (courses, services)

The rule of thumb to not tick anyone off accidentally in your free vs. pitch-focused content is this:

For every pitch, send a minimum of three value-focused emails.

3:1 -- For every one pitch, send a minimum of three value-focused emails. More on #contentcreation methods via @JuliaEMcCoy's recap of her live talk in #ATX Click To Tweet

I also talked about email headlines and how important it is to optimize them without click-baiting. Clarity and specific statements work best in email headlines.

Then, I merged into social media, and kept my tips focused to copywriting, with a few other relatable key takeaways.

A few important reminders I shared when writing social media copy:

  • Brevity in copy
  • Be visual-heavy, copy-light
  • Use emojis in your copy
  • Use hashtags (don’t overload – less can be more esp. on Twitter/LinkedIn)
  • Go live or upload short videos on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

I also shared that authenticity matters in social media. Your audience WANTS you to speak what you think on social media, and share the REAL YOU. It’s true — we have examples from leading marketers of patterns of virility from posting real, original thoughts that focus on an audience pain point that everyone in that audience can relate to. For example, this tweet from Chris Kubby that turned into another viral Instagram post:


I talked about the importance of giving yourself time, space, and knowledge (getting to know your real audience) to have these original, genuine thoughts. Without time and space, you aren’t giving your mind permission to come up with these thoughts; and without knowledge, you won’t know what kind of pain points your audience actually has that you need to speak and relate to.

julia mccoy speaking

Finally, I wrapped up with a segment on list-building, and covered how to write and put together these three types of list-builders:

  1. Case Studies/Whitepapers
  2. Lead Magnets & Ebooks
  3. Cheat Sheets (Content Upgrades, Templates)

One of our most popular case studies is this one, where we partnered with our client at Nfusion Solutions to uncover SEO keywords and craft SEO content that built their presence online. They were a fantastic client to work with, and we were able to build a great case study based on their story and what we were able to do together.case study example

I also shared another authority-building “secret:” content upgrades, a term first coined by Brian Dean of Backlinko back in 2016.

brian dean content upgrade

A content upgrade is when you create a blog and a PDF summary or cheat-sheet, and combine the two. The PDF you’re giving away inside your blog offers that extra tidbit of value for your list, and they’re already going to be interested in downloading it because it’s 100% relevant to the blog they’re reading. HUGE opportunity for list building!

I shared an example of how we’ve done this in a blog on How to Write SEO Content: The Essential Guide.

content upgrade example

For the past few years, we’ve been growing by 9-12 subscribers on average daily, autopilot, just through all the content upgrades I’ve built over the years. It is a ton of work to set up, but completely worth it!

Special Announcement! Content Hacker Coming Soon

social media bootcamp

Towards the end of the bootcamp, I shared a fun announcement. (This will be new for many of you Write Blog readers, too, unless you frequent Twitter or Facebook – the cat is out of the bag on most of my social media platforms!)

Everyone attending and watching my presentation had been getting a sneak peek of the new branding for my all-new brand launching in June, Content Hacker. The colors, style, everything was a sneak peek into the branding that will be a part of my new site and brand when it launches. I think I had the biggest smile on my face when I was talking about this. I’m so excited to reveal Content Hacker! Content Hacker will be a #1 resource for every growth-focused content marketer on the planet: a tribe, a community, a resource hub, a place where I interview Content Hackers making a difference, a blog for productivity and life improvements alongside best content practices, bespoke content marketing consulting, and more.

Join me when we launch – sign up to the launch list to get notified (and when you sign up, you’ll get a special letter from me explaining part of the mission behind the launch!). Click below to go to Content Hacker and sign up to learn about my new brand launching in June. 

content hacker

Wrapping Up #SocialMediaBootcamp With a Panel

To wrap up our bootcamp at The Capital Factory, Jessica had a great idea: invite former newscaster Kim Zook Barnes, award-winning newscaster and the brains behind Barnes Team Media, an on-camera and media/video training consulting agency, to a panel with both of us afterwards.

Together, the three of us took Q&As that the audience was asked to write down during our session. It was a fantastic idea on Jessica’s part and turned out well! We were able to answer some great questions live. Kim added some great insights from her experience in on-camera communications. See Jessica’s recap for the full Q&A list.

Video Recap of My Session

That’s a Wrap: How to Use 5 Types of Content to Grow Your Authority Online for Jessica’s #SocialMediaBootcamp in Austin, Texas

Thanks for hanging for my recap of Friday’s live talk!

It was an amazing event by Jessica Campos, and I was truly honored to be a part of it. Anything Jessica does is fabulous, so it was a no-brainer “yes.”

capital factory social media bootcamp austin texas

I hope you enjoyed it — in some way, either being there live or reading this recap — and were able to take away a new idea or two to use in your business.

Psst… If you don’t have them yet, don’t forget to grab your copy of my (93+!) slides:

Have questions? Anything to add to the conversation? Were you there? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Happy content marketing,

Julia

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Using Twitter for Book Marketing & Promotion with Rachel Thompson

Calling all authors! Are you wondering how you can use Twitter to market and promote your brand new book? If so, you’re in luck! That’s exactly the topic we discussed in our latest #ContentWritingChat. Some amazing tips were shared from our guest host and our chat participants. We’ve compiled some of the responses into this helpful recap, so let’s dive in!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Using Twitter for Book Marketing and Promotion with Rachel Thompson

Our guest host this week was Rachel Thompson. She’s an author, a marketer, and the owner of BadRedhead Media. Having used Twitter to market her own books, she really knows her stuff! We were excited to have her join our chat and share her expertise.

Q1: What’s the best way to use Twitter to sell books?

To kick off this week’s chat, we asked everyone to share how they felt was the best way to use Twitter to sell books. We received some great responses to this question, so here are a few of the answers:

Rachel’s advice is not to use Twitter to sell. Instead, she said to focus on building relationships with your current and potential readers. When you make that connection with people, it’s going to help you in the long run because people will be more inclined to buy from someone they know and trust.

She also suggests strategically following readers in your demographic. Provide them with valuable content, listen to what they have to say, and be authentic and helpful. They’ll appreciate you for it!

Even though it’s not something that Sarah has experience with just yet, she offered some great advice. She says you need to find your audience, meet their needs, and focus on networking.

Jenn has a great way of looking at selling! She says you need to sell yourself and why your words are worth reading. You also need to sell your words and why they should be read. If people don’t see the value in what you’ve created, they aren’t going to bother making a purchase.

Annaliese agrees. She says it’s all about focusing on the value you can provide. If you want to be successful with book marketing, showcase the value you have to offer.

You can also get creative with how your promote your next book. Have your audience get involved through a contest, which is a great way to get them doing some marketing for you. We love the idea of having them create fan art inspired by the book.

Q2: How many Twitter followers do you need to be successful?

Do you need to have a specific amount of followers in order to succeed at promoting your book? Or does it not matter? Here’s what some of our chat participants had to say:

Rachel was spot-on with her answer here. As she said, it’s all about quality and not quantity. You want followers who are truly interested in what you have to say and the work you’re creating. That’s key to seeing results with social media.

She also said that you should follow readers, book bloggers, reviewers, and publishing influencers. It’s a great idea to keep up with what those people are talking about and taking the time to engage with them.

After all, tons of followers who don’t engage with you won’t matter. You’d be better off with a smaller, engaged group than a larger group who isn’t pay any attention.

Andrea agrees! He said that 100 engaged followers on Twitter is much better than having 10,000 followers who are silent. You need an audience who is actually listening to you and engaging. Those are the people who will be most likely to buy.

Focus on building a following of current readers and potential readers if you want to succeed on Twitter.

Q3: What’s better: automation or no automation?

How do you feel about automation? Is it acceptable when promoting your book on social media or should it be avoided? Here’s some advice:

Rachel recommends ditching the automated DMs on Twitter, which typically come off as spammy and irritate your followers. But she says there’s nothing wrong with scheduling in promotional tweets or valuable content.

Varun doesn’t have a problem with automation as long as it’s monitored. You don’t want to automate conversations you have with your audience because that’s not genuine. Instead, you need to be there in real-time for those types of interactions.

When it comes to automating promotional posts, there’s nothing wrong with that. You simply shouldn’t automate engagement.

As David pointed out, it can help you reach people across multiple time zones.

Javier suggests finding a balance when it comes to social media automation. It can free up time for you to schedule certain pots in advance, but he agrees that you need to engage in real-time.

To really drive that point home, do not automate engagement with your audience!

On the flip side, a few of our chat participants recommend saying NO to automation.

But as Sarah said, it’s all about doing what works for you and your brand. That’s what matters in the end.

Q4: How can an author brand themselves on Twitter?

How do you go about branding yourself on Twitter? Check out this helpful advice from Tuesday’s chat:

One of the main things to keep in mind when branding yourself on social media? Keep it consistent! Rachel also says you need to tailor your message specifically for Twitter.

Elizabeth suggests using branded images, which makes your content recognizable on social media. She also says you can get involved in Twitter chats to establish your brand’s voice.

Varun’s advice is to build a relationship with your audience and don’t forget to connect with book lovers and reviewers as well. This is essential for book marketing!

Make sure you aren’t ignoring your fans on Twitter. Take the time to engage with them and build a relationship.

Cheval recommends focusing on providing valuable content for your audience. This will help you bring in new followers and build your brand’s presence overall.

David also said to share your insights and expertise to provide value to your audience. He had a great idea of sharing your writing process for a little behind-the-scenes content.

Q5: What’s the best way to build relationships on Twitter?

Now that we’ve already mentioned the importance of building relationships on Twitter, you need to know how to actually going about it. So, what’s the secret to connecting with your audience? Check out this advice:

Rachel’s advice is to follow people who are your ideal readers. Make the time to interact with them. They’ll take notice! This is the start of building a relationship with new people so you have to be willing to put yourself out there.

She suggests asking questions and even asking for opinions to get the conversation started. It’s so simple, but it works!

This is such a great reminder for all of us on social media! Talk WITH your audience, not at them. Conversation is a two-way street.

Annaliese says to engage with people one-on-one. Find new people and give them a follow. If you’d like to reach out to someone who is high-profile, she suggests sending a personalized message to start the conversation.

Sarah knows Twitter chats are where it’s at! They’re an easy way to make connections with other like-minded people. Find some in your niche and start participating.

Courtney also recommends joining Twitter chats. As she pointed out, it’s also an opportunity to learn new things. You can find out a lot about your audience by connecting with them through chats.

Varun’s advice is to engage in real-time conversation. He suggests starting your own Twitter chat or being a guest on another popular chat. It’s a great way to leverage someone else’s audience.

Twitter chats, one-on-one conversations, and genuine interaction are essential in Elizabeth’s book.

Zala says you should be a cheerleader for others! Be interested in what they have to say, reach out, and support one another. This is so effective when it comes to building real relationships through social media.

Q6: How can an author incorporate blogging and Twitter?

As an author, you probably know how effective both blogging and Twitter can be. But how do you go about incorporating these two things into your online strategy? Take a look at these suggestions from this week’s chat:

On Twitter, you can find relevant hashtags for sharing and promoting your work. As Rachel mentioned, she started a hashtag that encourages people to share their blog content. This will really come in handy for authors who want to expand their reach on Twitter.

She also mentioned how blogging consistently can help with SEO. This is great if you want to increase traffic to your website and build your online presence overall.

Jenn sees it as an opportunity to share your words, your thoughts, and your experiences. You can make use of both Twitter and blogging for this.

Elizabeth suggest using blogging as a bite-size way to give people a taste of your writing. It’s a subtle way to go about book marketing that can yield great results. If people like what they see on your blog, they’ll be more inclined to purchase your book.

Q7: What are Twitter Lists and how can authors use them?

You can add specific users to a “list” on Twitter, which helps cut down on the noise and gives you the chance to see updates from just those people. But are you actively using this feature? Many people forget all about it, but it’s worth making use of it! Here’s how you can use Twitter Lists as an author:

Rachel recommends using Lists to filter your followers. She encourages you to create as many as you want. They can also be private or public.

As Jenn said, Lists allow you to segment people into specific groups. An author might opt to create lists for readers, influencers, and bloggers.

Create Lists for promoters and readers for efficient book marketing on Twitter.

Lists allow you to filter out the content that doesn’t matter and focus on what really counts. You’ll be able to easily keep up with what’s going on in your niche with these curated lists.

Annaliese also suggests using Lists to stay used on trends relevant to your audience and industry.

Q8: How do you find readers/your demographic?

To wrap up the chat, we asked everyone to share their advice on how to find your readers on Twitter. Here’s what you need to know:

Rachel recommends using Manage Flitter, which allows you to input keywords for tweets or bios. You’ll be able to easily find people you’re looking for.

Eddie’s advice is to scope out other Twitter Lists and check out social media groups, like the ones on Facebook.

Varun knows Twitter Advanced Search can come in handy when searching for your target audience. He also said to use popular hashtags or search generic terms to locate them. You can even check out your competitors! After all, you need to locate your audience and connect with them for successful book marketing on Twitter.

Join the fun every Tuesday at 10 AM Central Time! Follow us on Twitter (@ExpWriters and @writingchat) and be there for the next live chat!
#Contentwritingchat

business ebooks

How to Create & Market Powerful Business Ebooks

Today, long-form content rules the roost.

But here’s what you didn’t know: could the head honcho in said roost quite possibly be the ebook?

Today, the average content length of material that ranks #1 in Google sits at 2,450 words (see more stats on long-form content).

While many people put out long-form blog posts, ebooks are a fantastic way to provide long-form content that does what most long-form blogs don’t—or an amazing way to build a “content upgrade” onto an existing post.

In addition to the fact that ebooks are ideal for providing relevance and value for consumers, they’re also a highly trusted form of content that has the potential to boost the image and authority of your brand hugely.

Let’s discuss how you can improve your brand across the board by creating compelling business ebooks.

Learn how to improve your brand across the board by creating compelling business #ebooks. 📚 Click To Tweet

business ebooks inset graphic

Why Business Ebooks, & Why Now

Right now, 57% of marketers think that ebooks are a very effective marketing tactic.

Even back in 2013, 34% of B2B marketers were using ebooks, and that number has exploded since then.

In addition to their widespread use and perceived effectiveness (one study revealed that including a free ebook download on a website could increase conversion rates by 10.8%), there’s also the fact that ebooks are easy to produce, highly interactive, convenient for users, and in-depth enough to offer real value on a particular topic, concern, or problem.

 

Readers love the comprehensive, easily accessible approach to a particular topic that is the ebook.

One ebook has the opportunity for far more traction than one long-form content piece. Why?

  • You can create a landing page for your ebook which can be re-shared, and re-linked to in multiple blog pieces, social media posts, and landing pages
  • The best part: you get personal email addresses every single time someone wants to get a copy (time to do some email marketing and start conversion funnels to your readers’ inboxes!)

While most people imagine ebooks to be cheap or sales-y, the modern marketing-centric business ebooks of today are highly researched, well thought-out pieces of material that include things like graphics, links, important stats, and truly useful information.

Because of all of these things, ebooks claim a unique position that allows them to drive leads to a brand and make it easier than ever before for companies to enjoy the traffic, conversions, and engagement that long-form content so often produces.

How to Create Your Own Highly Successful, In-Depth Business Ebooks

There’s plenty to be gained from a great business ebook, and marketers who want to produce them successfully need to follow several steps:

1. Develop a plan for your upcoming ebook

Because ebooks are often several thousand words long, it doesn’t behoove anyone to go into the project blindly. Instead of assuming that you can just write the ebook as you go, sit down and develop a plan right now.

For your plan to function well as a guide throughout the writing process, it will have to cover a few key points.

These are as follows:

  • Topic. First of all, you’ll have to decide which issue you’re going to tackle in the ebook and how you’ll approach it. To flesh this out, consider consulting your Q&A section or the comments on your blog or social media pages. More likely than not, readers are already giving you a great glimpse into the type of content they’d like addressed, and paying attention to these sections can provide valuable insight into the direction of your book.
  • Target audience. Once you’ve decided on your topic, you’ll need to determine who your ebook is directed at. If you don’t already have a target audience or a series of target personas drawn up, take some time to do that now. This is a simple step, but it’s one that will ultimately impact the effectiveness and relevance of your ebook.
  • Target keywords. Ebooks are more impactful when they’re optimized for SEO. To ensure that your ebook makes a splash with your readers, research your target keywords before you drop into the writing process. By researching keywords and discovering which ones your readers are searching for, you’ll be much more readily able to deliver highly targeted content that appears in search results and can go a long way toward boosting your conversions.
  • General outline. Aside from the things mentioned above, your ebook plan will also need to include a general outline of the content you’re proposing to cover. Consider drawing up a map of sections; content included, sources, and key points. While this may seem unneeded, it can be an essential foundation when it comes time to write the ebook.

2. Get to writing your content

Now that you’ve developed an outline for your ebook and a plan for its execution, it’s time to start writing.

Without question, this is the most difficult part of ebook production. Writing a great ebook takes time, and you can’t expect to rush through it and turn out a quality product. Instead, spend as much time as is needed to craft a quality piece of content that displays your expertise, relevance, and authority.

If you don’t have time to write the ebook on your own, consider hiring professional copywriters to do it for you. By working with copywriters who are familiar with ebook structure and outline, you can quickly produce a quality piece of content without shouldering the burden of its creation on your own.

Once your ebook is written, it’s time to get to work editing it.

While you should be sure to read through the ebook several times on your own, you’ll also need to consider hiring a professional editor to check it through for you. This helps cut down on mistakes and ensure that your final product is a streamlined and professional as it needs to be.

Once you’ve reached this point, it’s time to begin to promote your ebook. This will make your launch easier and streamline your marketing process down the road.

3. Improve the text with visuals

The best marketing ebooks of today include quality visuals throughout. To ensure that your ebook is as useful and relevant as possible for your readers, dress up the text with quality visuals you either produce or purchase. While stock photos have their place in ebooks, you’ll be better off opting for unique, high-quality images that are relevant to your specific content.

Once you’ve peppered your content with relevant visuals, put the icing on the cake by including a compelling call-to-action at the end of your content. Examples include “Download X today,” “Like this ebook? Share it with your friends!” and “Contact us today for an X.”

4. Design a beautiful cover (or have one designed for you!)

While they say to never judge a book by its cover, many people do.

This is particularly the case with ebooks, since most people are viewing thumbnail images of a cover. If the thumbnail image is grainy or low-quality, it’s highly likely that the buyer in question won’t opt for your ebook, and will head to a separate site instead.

Because of this, it’s critical to spend the time and money needed to create a cover that actually reflects your brand. For best results, the cover should be simple, attractive, professional-looking, and consistent with the rest of your brand.

Check out the cover page we custom-designed for a client:

express writers sample ebook

Stay away from kitschy covers or covers that aren’t relevant to your book’s content. Don’t rely only on stock photos, either. Our team uses a paid subscription to the Adobe suite and creates every image from scratch.

5. Publish and market your ebook

Now that the hard part is done, it’s time to get to work publishing and marketing your ebook.

Once you’ve published your ebook in either PDF or e-reader format, you have actual content to market, and it’s time to get busy doing so.

If you’ve already begun promoting your ebook, the chances are that you have an email list, or a group of followers interested already. If so, send a notification out to these fans to let them know the ebook is live and then ask them to review it once they’ve finished.

Once you’ve done that, it’s time to take steps like releasing chapters of your ebook on your blog or social platforms, sharing ebook related visuals, offering free promotional downloads, or getting industry influencers to review the ebook.

When it comes to sharing your ebook, you’ll want to spread the word on your personal website’s homepage, your blog, and all of your social media pages.

You’ll also want to consider constructing a landing page to advertise the ebook, sending out email newsletters, and writing about the ebook in guests posts on related sites.

When you combine all of these things, you’re well-equipped to create a quality, informative promotional strategy that helps your ebook go far.

The Case for Business Ebooks

Designed to be useful, relevant, informative, and highly accessible, business ebooks are the perfect marketing strategy for your company.

While ebooks can’t and shouldn’t be the only content you rely on, they’re a wonderful way to dig deeper with your audience and provide unique value that’s hard to come by in other formats.

Because of this, they’re gaining prominence throughout the marketing community and becoming virtually synonymous with successful marketers in all industries and specialties.

When You Need Amazing Ebooks – Contact Us!

Ebooks can be difficult to create on your own. Luckily, we can help. Our skilled team of marketing copywriters specializes in helping our clients craft creative, professional ebooks.

From our ebook copywriting to design services, we do it all, and we’re here to help you develop and produce an ebook that will drive leads and boost your business in the long run.

Check out what we’re capable of: see a full example ebook! Need ebook services? Request them through our Content Shop.

ebook

How To Use 3 Major Content Game Changers: Infographics, eBooks & Brochures

Alecs is the Client Accounts Manager at Express Writers.

Content is a little bit like clothing.

We all know which types we like best and, after awhile, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut so to speak, recycling the same 4 items time and time again, leaving 90% of the vast closet untouched.

While you may not be literally reusing the same pieces of content over and over again, I’m willing to bet you probably reuse the same types of content – blogs, tweets, links, etc. While there’s nothing wrong with this content on its own, it can make your brand feel stale, boring and predictable if you don’t branch out – just like that dingy grey sweatshirt you love so much.

But what if you brought in fresh new infographics, ebooks and brochures into your content wardrobe?

It might make your brand feel a little like this…

new clothes

3 Amazing Content Forms & How to Benefit From Them: Infographics, Ebooks, Brochures

Major content game changers

In order to switch it up and give your brand new life, try experimenting with the following types of content.

1. How To Use Infographics

Infographics are the belle of the ball right now in content. Their most obvious winning factor is that they drive insane traffic to your site. Just how insane, you ask?

  • Infographic search volume has increased over 800% in the last 2 years.
  • The brain processes visual information at a rate 60,000 times faster than it does textual information.
  • 65% of people classify themselves as “Visual learners”
  • People who use infographics on their site grow an average of 12% faster than those who don’t.
  • Infographics are shared on social media 3 times as often as all other types of content, which means they have a high potential to go viral.

Personally, our brand infographics, like this one, have garnered 3x the average shares one of our blog posts gets.

How’s that for content that is in-demand? In addition to being in-demand, though, infographics are also amazingly functional. This owes to the fact that infographics pack a ton of information into a small, easily digestible mechanism and can help your readers better understand your topic. Because of this, they’re shared more often, viewed more often and understood more comprehensively than text-based content.

In order to use infographics effectively in your content, there are several things you need to consider. First of all, the infographic should be strictly information-based. Don’t ever use an infographic to pitch your company’s many virtues. These infographics defeat the point (viral information sharing) and use the infographic’s power for evil rather than good. Instead, focus on taking an issue your industry faces, a hot topic that will encourage sharing or an interesting development and breaking it up to provide your audience with further information. If you need help coming up with an in-demand and genuinely interesting topic for your infographic, consider consulting resources like Google Trends or viral Twitter hashtags.

Once you’ve chosen a topic, you’ll need to gather information. When citing sources for your infographic, make sure they’re reputable sources comprised of industry experts and high-profile sites. Pulling information from obscure sites increases the likelihood that the information will be incorrect and decreases the likelihood that your infographic will receive a good reception (people don’t like sharing faulty information, after all). When gathering info, think about which statistics will make a good visual. Increase or decrease in revenue, for example, can be illustrated by a bar graph. Stick with great sources and highly visual statistics and you’ll have a great infographic in no time.

When it finally comes time to design your infographic, you can either pay a designer (don’t be surprised, though, if prices top out around $1,000) or you can do it yourself. Free web-based platforms like Easel.ly, Piktochart, Infogr.am get the job done with professional results and can help you stand out from the pack in an instant.

2. How to Benefit From Ebooks 

Ah, eBooks – the quiet princesses overthrowing the palace one step at a time. Ebooks now top paperbacks in sales numbers and are set to completely overtake the paper dynasty any day now. As a marketer, though, it’s possible that you don’t want to sell your eBook and that you only want to use your eBook as an incentive. This is without a doubt how eBooks rose to prominence in marketing and is still one of the primary ways they are used within content strategy.

The reason for this is that bundling has long been a market strategy to help consumers make purchasing decisions and to help differentiate a company from its competition. For example, when a consumer purchases a piece of clothing from an online outfitter and finds a $100 voucher for a new online wine club (a sister company of the clothing retailer) enclosed, that consumer is much more likely to buy from that retailer in the future. Similarly, when a customer visits your site and finds that you’re offering samples of your content or (better yet) entire courses for free in eBook form, they’re very likely to stick around to see what else you have to offer. This approach also proves to consumers that a company is so confident in the quality of its product that it is happy to literally give some of it away.

Though compiling an eBook may sound complicated, it’s pretty simple. All you need to do is find a topic you want to write about (consider serialized topics you’ve blogged about in the past, consistent questions your customers ask, a problem many of your customers have or a new development you’re excited to debut) and write content (for more information about how to actually write an eBook, check out this HubSpot resource). In order to ensure that your content is as good as it possibly can be, ensure that it compliments your current brand, that it looks professional and that it is executed with precision. Enlist professional help to get your cover image on point and then give the eBook away as an incentive to subscribe to your company’s email list or as a promotional item bundled into more extensive courses or workshops.

3. Brochures Are Coming Back & How You Can Use Them

Did you think that brochures were an archaic form of marketing that nobody used anymore? Did you think that they were reserved for medical companies in doctor’s office waiting rooms and weight loss products? Think again. When done correctly, brochures can be a helpful piece of content that is ideal for spreading the message about your services and helping customers understand your mission. Alternately, brochures can be used to announce new products or services or to promote excitement surrounding sales.

Thanks to today’s technology, it’s completely possible to design web-based brochures that can be downloaded as a PDF or delivered directly to your customers’ inboxes. No matter what form you choose for your brochure, there are a few rules you should always abide by when creating brochures. The first is to be knowledgeable about your customer. Consider what the point of the brochure is – are you looking to promote information? Boost excitement? Introduce a new service? Now think about how the brochure needs to be laid out in order to communicate that – what kind of information does it need? Which questions should it answer? Once you’ve answered those questions, you can dedicate yourself to the writing process. In many ways a brochure is a small sales pitch and, as such, you should be writing great headlines and ensuring that your CTAs are on point. Even though a brochure is a somewhat rare form of content nowadays, it needs to fulfill all of the tasks of any other piece of content: provide information, intrigue audiences and tell them where to go next.

The Case for Content: How Infographics, Ebooks and Brochures Can Overhaul Your Brand

Today, everyone is online. That much is obvious. What people do online, though, is a bit more of a toss-up. While you may have a good audience for blog posts or podcasts, expanding out into other forms of content can help you reach new audiences and promote your message in a different way.

There are dozens of different types of content but for the brand that truly wants to overhaul its image and put forward a brave new face, there is no content so heavy-hitting and valuable as infographics, eBooks and brochures. Customizable, highly distributable and easy to create, these pieces of content are a fantastic way for you to spread information, drive people back to your site and ensure you’re casting your net as widely as possible.

Because, hey, while we all love that dingy grey sweater, it’s time for a change every now and then, don’t you agree? Who wouldn’t want their brand refreshed and dressed as well as a Marilyn Monroe?

Check out our infographic service to get started!