10 Must-Have Features to Include in All Ebooks and Whitepapers
By John Bonini
So you've got ideas for your next series of Ebooks and whitepapers?
Perfect timing! As we've put together a list of ten essentials you should be including in order to keep your readers coming back and converting.
After all, there's nothing worse than generating a lead, only to have them never visit your site again because you committed several snafus that have them turned off to your content and maybe even your company as a result.
So check out our list of what to include in all of your Ebooks and whitepapers, and be sure to refer back to this list whenever you're generating content for a new offer, as missing even one of these features could negatively impact your ability to generate leads.
Interested in featuring killer Ebooks and whitepapers for your company? Contact IMPACT and learn how we can help!
10 Essential Features for Ebooks and Whitepapers
1. Great Cover
You know the saying, "never judge a book by its cover?" Well...throw that out the window.
You have tons of competition out there, and a sure fire way of attracting the eyes of prospects is by creating something that's...well...visually attractive. This is the part where your content writers really have to butter up your graphic designers.
"So I know you're crazy busy, but you're just the BEST at creating Ebook covers!"
Hey, it usually works for me. (Thanks @bobbyjkane!)
Ok, so back to business. You're going to want your Ebook cover to be the following:
- Visually attractive – Use colors that stick out but are also easy on the eyes.
- Branded – Make sure readers know this is your publication. Include your logo and and/or authors name on the cover.
- Pictures – Pictures are essential. They breathe life into the cover and make it more visually attractive and credible.
The bottom line is, people will judge your Ebook by its cover, so be sure you're putting your best foot forward. The overall design of the Ebook is just as important as the content it contains!
2. Attention Grabbing Title
No one wants to read your Ebook titled, "Why You Need a Good CRM"
However, they will want to read your Ebook "Make More Profitable Sales Calls with a Good CRM."
You want to instantly convey value in your titles. What will your readers get out of reading your Ebooks or whitepapers? Cost savings? Time savings? Profit? Readers are much more inclined to download an offer they think will give them results or value of some sort.
Convey action in your titles as well. Instead of, "How to Improve Your SEO," use "Rank Higher in Google with 5 SEO Secrets."
What's the action here? Ranking higher in Google of course, and who wouldn't love to do that?
Numbers work great as well. Let readers know exactly what they're getting, and how much of it.
3. About the Author Page
People love doing business with people. They also love reading information they know is fresh and original. There's simply no better way of doing this than by including an about the author page that highlights who wrote it.
Throw their handsome mug up there on the page. Include a brief background of the writer, as it inserts a little human element into the writing. The last thing you want is your Ebook to come off as robotic and cold.
Rather, you'd like it conversational and all warm and fuzzy for the reader. This is also a good way of building the social following of your employees, as you can include social sharing buttons to their individual social networds so readers can follow them for even more resourceful information.
4. Table of Contents
Make it easy for your readers if they'd like to skim your content for the valuable information they need.
There's nothing more frustrating then having to continuously scroll down a page to find what you are looking for. And the last thing you want from your readers is frustration, as frustration often does not lead to a sale.
5. Remarkable Content
This is the most important factor, as if the content within your Ebooks and whitepapers isn't helpful and resourceful, you'll leave your readers annoyed and far less inclined to visit your site again or do business with you in the future.
Obviously you want to have someone who is a strong writer develop the content for your Ebooks and whitepapers. But great writing isn't enough. The content must also contain great and resourceful information. After all, isn't this why readers took the time to download the offer?
It's extremely harmful to think, "well, I already have them as a lead in my system now, who cares if they like the content?"
It's not easy making a sale to a lead who felt shortchanged at the promises of your Ebook or whitepaper. They're already annoyed with you and perhaps think this is the way you conduct business.
Provide value in your content, your readership will thank you for it.
6. Data and Statistics
So your content is great and all, but...who are you again?
I mean, what qualifications do you have to make these proclamations and help me?
Assume all your readers will be this skeptical and hesitant to trust your opinion. For this reason alone, it's important to back up all of your work with statistics and data from reliable sources. This will lend credibility to all of your content as well allow readers to trust your opinion in the future as well as on any sales calls they might be taking part in.
7. Graphics and/or Charts
Remember all that sucking up you were doing to your graphic designer for the Ebook cover? Well, it's time to stroll by their desk once again.
All great Ebooks and whitepapers have relevant images and graphics to help illustrate the point you are trying to make in your content. Charts are also helpful to help readers visualize some of the stats and data you may be presenting to them.
The bottom line is it also makes your content much easier to read, as blocks of text can often times intimidate a reader to the point of hitting the back button. So work with a graphic designer to ensure your Ebook is just as pretty as it is resourceful.
You don't want your readers to end their readership with you at the conclusion of your Ebook, do you? Of course not.
Provide internal links throughout the content of your Ebooks or whitepapers that drive readers back to other helpful blog articles or premium content. You can even link back to some of the service pages on your website in an effort to get some of these readers on the phone.
Links provide your readers with the opportunity to continue their readership with you by visiting other areas of your website. If you're writing an Ebook or whitepaper, you must have other helpful content somewhere on your website, right? Well...drive your readers to it!
9. Social Sharing Buttons
Wouldn't you love to have your content shared all over Facebook or Twitter? Well...provide your readers with the opportunity to do this.
Include social sharing buttons on the bottom of each page of your Ebooks and whitepapers. Yes....every page. So if your Ebook is 40 pages, you should give the readers 40 opportunities to say, "hey, this is pretty good, I think I'm going to re-tweet this."
Don't just include Facebook and Twitter. Include LinkedIn, Google+ and whatever other social networks you are using to provide the greatest opportunity for social media engagement.
Make it easy for your readers. Don't make them have to do all of the work themselves if they want to share something. Provide the social sharing buttons so all it takes is the click of a mouse.
This is very important. Consider who you are trying to target with each specific Ebook and whitepaper.
If you're targeting top-of-the-funnel leads, include a call-to-action on the last page of the Ebook that drives readers to a middle-of-the-funnel offer. You want to continually push leads further down the sales funnel in the hopes that they eventually become a lead.
Include a call-to-action button on the last page of the Ebook that acts kind of like a landing page. Convey value and let readers know why they need the next offer, and provide the CTA so they can click through and download it.
Convert More Leads!
Looking to deliver more powerful Ebooks and whitepapers? Give us a call at IMPACT and learn how we can get you started!
Wondering where to begin?