But the beauty of content marketing is that it transcends forms and channels; it’s about providing valuable content to your users in whatever form and on whatever channel is useful, convenient, and exciting to them.
And even though books aren’t usually the first thing on the list, they can be a valuable content marketing asset.
In fact, the longer-form, structured content of books can:
- Build your credibility
- Provide something tangible for users to take away from their interactions with you
- Create deeper engagement and more sales (more time spent with your content can sometimes mean a shorter sales funnel)
A Book-Marketing Success Story
Let’s talk about Ingrid Ricks in an example of content marketing in book form. Ricks wrote a memoir and wanted to market and sell it on the Amazon Kindle. Her strategy? Market it with another book. So she published an e-book of short stories, showcasing her humor and writing style and encouraging readers to buy her full-length memoir.
The good news for Ricks is that it (along with other marketing tactics) worked. Her e-memoir climbed the Amazon eBook charts.
What Does Book Marketing Look Like for Businesses?
There are plentiful examples that prove marketing with books—especially e-books—isn’t just for self-published authors. It’s also a tactic that can build user trust for companies across a variety of industries. A book of short articles, for example, could increase subscriptions for a custom publication (digital or print). A “marketing how-to” book could build brand awareness and trust for an advertising agency. A collection of recipes could boost a restaurant’s popularity. And so on and so forth.
Some brands that have used e-books effectively:
The popular email marketing provider boasts a library of nicely designed guides in e-book form, downloadable in PDF, mobi, and ePub formats.
Cookbooks are a staple of this culinary-retail brand, a true pioneer in content marketing. Its digital collection is equally impressive.
The marketing automation software company has won numerous kudos in the B2B space for its Grande Guide e-books. (Disclosure: Kapost, which publishes and powers The Content Marketeer, recently co-published an e-book with Eloqua titled “Content Marketing ROI.”)
Next Time You Think Content Marketing, Think Books
Just as with any other channel or form, books should be evaluated as part of a larger overall strategy. They should add value for your users and contribute to organizational goals. And they are not the right form for every project.
Over the next week, we’ll take a look at the finer details of publishing a book. And if you have used a book to market your products or services, please leave a comment below. We’d love to hear your tips and thoughts.