At the risk of dating ourselves, do you remember the hamster dance? Back in the 1990s, a digital revolution happened and everyday people—not just programmers and developers—gained access to the internet and all of the glorious, boogying rodent (and other) content available on it. Businesses soon turned to marketers to use the world wide web to share information about their company, products and services, and soon enough, eBooks became a favorite form of content.

Online content has taken many forms throughout the years, especially as sales and marketing teams have helped shape the digital landscape. Like most trends, marketing fads come and go, so today we’re examining eBooks—do they still hold up? 

What is an eBook?

In our opinion, an eBook is one of the most enjoyable and versatile forms of content to create. By definition, eBooks—not to be confused with whitepapers—are a form of inbound digital sales and marketing collateral designed to educate or inform potential customers about a particular topic, product or solution. This content works well in the early to mid stages of the buyer’s journey, and is great for the awareness and interest sections of the sales funnel. 

Today, you can find eBooks with increasingly interactive content such as quizzes or calculators that can help engage potential customers. eBooks are typically longer than blog posts or articles, and contain a mix of text, images and multimedia content—basically, the perfect amount of information and interesting elements to capture a prospect’s attention. 

What are eBooks used for?

Most businesses can always use more marketing content, but what is the best option? Though video is much the buzz these days (and will likely be for a long while), many organizations need content that is more evergreen and can be created with fewer resources. Now if only there was an option that could fit into your content calendar and budget AND deliver maximum impact… 

While blogs can be too high-level and whitepapers too specific, eBooks are right in the juicy center. There are few content formats that can get multiple departments on the same page, (see what we did there?), but for many sales and marketing teams, eBooks are the golden ticket.

Our reasoning:

    • eBooks create opportunities to showcase thought leadership on a particular topic or product. By providing valuable information to potential customers, you can establish your business or people as experts in your field to build trust and credibility with your audience.
    • eBooks serve as a lead generation tool. Offering a free eBook in exchange for a prospect’s contact information is an easy way for you to build email lists and start nurturing leads through targeted email marketing campaigns.
    • eBooks contain highly-reusable content. The great thing about eBooks is that they can be repurposed into blog posts, social media posts, or videos to help maximize the value of your content and reach a wider audience.
    • eBooks are consumable content worth sharing. eBooks are attention-grabbers and can be shared easily on social media or other online platforms to drive traffic to your website and increase brand awareness.

We love video at Content Matterz, but we also love a good eBook. With a nice long shelf life, not to mention that they’re so dang shareable across so many channels, we’re here to say that this form of marketing content, (done well, of course), is still very much on trend. 

What makes a good, modern eBook?

In today’s marketing landscape, your materials need to be consistent, useful and on-brand. For eBooks, you can’t skip your research. You need a topic that can speak to your audience and where they are in their buyer’s journey. You also need quality copywriting to match your brand’s voice and tone, engaging graphics that reflect your company’s aesthetic and don’t forget the strategy to maximize the impact of your efforts!

Yes, many fads come and go, and the internet has improved from dancing hamsters and primitive websites. But eBooks have evolved from simple PDFs to interactive staples in any marketing campaign, and they still boost credibility while receiving high engagement. With the right combination of strategic planning, writing, design and distribution, you can leverage this DARE WE SAY always on-trend content to grab the attention of your audience and turn prospects into happy customers.