Look, there’s just no point in denying: Lead generation got hard. Bloody freaking hard. Not that it was ever easy, but you have to admit: The days of people signing up for any email list that caught their eye are long gone.
Today, buyers have too much choice, too many opportunities, and are too freaked out by all the talk about online privacy to hand over their emails to anyone who asks.
But does that mean you can’t generate leads anymore? No, of course not!
However, just putting an eBook out there and hoping for the best probably won’t get you any meaningful results.
These days you have to promote the heck out of your lead magnet and use multi-channel approach to drive potential traffic to it. And then, do even more work to convince them to sign up.
That’s what I’m going to talk to you about in this post.
I’ll show you how to market and promote an eBook to generate leads using our recent eBook as an example and tell you what we’ve learned in the process. If you don’t have an eBook for your marketing, you can learn how to create an eBook as a lead magnet here.
So, let’s begin.
About Our Campaign
I’m sure (hope?) you’ve noticed me writing a bit about social proof recently.
And earlier last year I wrote about the best ways to use social proof in Facebook ads.
We used all this content to promote an eBook –The Ultimate Guide to Social Proof Marketing.
Our goal was, of course, to generate leads. But we also wanted to test the best ways to market an eBook.
And here’s what we’ve found.
#1. You Simply Have to Create a Killer Landing Page for the eBook
This step is actually super important.
Although some of your blog visitors might prefer to download the eBook directly from the site (more on this shortly), not launching a separate landing page for the lead magnet will limit your promotion opportunities.
After all, you can’t run ads to leads to a blog post (well, technically you can, but I doubt it would generate any meaningful results). Nor you can position an eBook on its own in Google.
But a landing page allows you to use various channels to attract and convert highly relevant visitors, ones already looking for the information from the eBook and ready to sign up.
As Ryan Lynch from Hubspot put in this guide:
Landing pages serve the dual purpose of capturing leads and warming up potential customers. Both of these are essential stepping-stones before moving a customer further down your sales funnel.
At minimum your landing page should include:
- Headline communicating your USP.
- Image that gives the page a context.
- List of benefits of your offering.
- Lead capture form.
We’ve talked about landing pages a lot here on AdEspresso already. To find out more about building an ideal landing page for your eBook, check out our massive landing page resource list, guide to converting users on a landing page, the 7 landing page distractions that kill conversions or tips for designing an A/B test for your landing page.
And here’s an example of a lead generation landing page from Hubspot:
To promote our Social Proof Marketing eBook we launched a simple landing page:
How did the page perform for us?
2.6% of people who saw a link to it on our site, clicked to the landing page.
The landing page converted at 51.73% (submissions). However, many of these people are already on our various lists. The page generated 13.28% in new contacts signups.
#2. Promote Your eBook from Within the Blog Too
This is the absolute minimum. Your readers are lazy. Not everyone will want to go to a landing page to download an eBook.
Therefore, put up a signup box all over your blog to allow readers grab the eBook without having to stop reading your content.
Your bottom-of-the-post CTA leads the readers to take action straight after they finished reading the content. And by including the signup form on the CTA, you reduce the amount of work they need to do to download your eBook.
How did the box perform for us?
First things first, we didn’t launch the signup box right away. Instead, we had a call to action that would take readers to the landing page. Therefore, our results here don’t include the people who have clicked to the landing page before we put up the box.
How Did It Do?
The average conversion of the box was way lower than of the landing page. Between 3 posts we had it on, the average conversion was just .58%.
So while that not might sound like much, this was at the very end of the posts about social proof marketing. So I still think that putting up a direct signup box is worth it. Although it’s something you may have to test for yourself.
#3. Promote the Hell of the eBook with Facebook Ads
Facebook ads are a great way to promote your eBook to a very specific audience. And no, I’m not saying that because of what AdEspresso is. It’s a fact:
Facebook Ads allow you to target people almost guaranteed to be interested in your eBook’s topic.
You could, for example, insert a Facebook Pixel tracking code and target people who have visited blog posts relevant to your eBook (more on this in a second) or use a list of current customers to find people similar to them. The options are many.
The point is, Facebook Ads allow you to reach a highly targeted audience and attract them to your eBook.
For this campaign, we launched a single ad, promoting a blog post that linked to the eBook’s landing page (at the time. Note the post features the signup box).
We have a full post just dedicated to ebook marketing with Facebook ads.
#4. You Must Tell Your Email Subscribers About the eBook
This is where our strategy fell flat on its face.
You see, here’s the deal: Your eBook shouldn’t be just for new customers only.
In fact, the eBook could help strengthen your relationships with existing clients, establish your authority status, help them, and increase their trust in you.
But … /*cough*/ … you see… we never emailed our list about it.
I know, in hindsight, I know it was stupid not to do it.
Don’t repeat that mistake. The moment your eBook goes live, tell your existing audience about it. Pronto.
#5. Support Your eBook with Blog Posts
I’ll tell you, this is by far my favorite strategy of them all.
Granted, it requires fair bit of planning and preparation that you should do even before the eBook goes live. But it can deliver kick a** results over time. Its premise is simple:
You need to develop a secondary, supporting content for the eBook. These posts should be relevant to its topic to attract highly targeted visitors. Optimize those posts for keywords related to the topic of the eBook and then promote the lead magnet with a bottom-of-the-post CTA or a popup.
As a result, you should have a number of content pieces, ranking in Google for keywords people searching for the topic of the eBook would use, driving them to the site and prompting them to grab the lead magnet.
Genius, isn’t it?
Now, I don’t have a proof for that. But that’s what I think companies like Hubspot do to promote their eBooks.
They seem to start with the lead magnet, then develop a series of complimentary blog posts they use to promote the eBook.
Here’s our Google Analytics stats:
And second, although much more mild, “doh!” moment…We didn’t differentiate which eBook was downloaded on the blog posts. So although there’s a 1% conversion rate, it could be for any of our ebooks. And while we could assume it was for the Social Proof book, you know what they say about people who make assumptions…
So there you have it…
The 5 must-do strategies for promoting a marketing eBook. These are the absolute minimum we think you should do to market an eBook.
But hey Pawel, honestly, is there anything else you guys should have done?
I’ve already mentioned that we should have emailed our newsletter subscribers about the eBook. That was a major oversight on our part.
We also should have advertised the eBook’s landing page with Facebook. We’ve only ran ads to promote the massive guide to social proof marketing (which in turn promoted the eBook).
We also could have created a Lead Ad to promote the eBook directly.
And finally, we should have taken up our own advice and split test the landing page to find the best converting option.
Next time hopefully…