However, not much has changed over the years. A whitepaper is still a whitepaper. You fill in a form, you download it, you read it. How can we spice the trusty eBook up and make it more engaging?
Interactive content is a marketing trend that many smart marketers are getting clued up on. Instead of exploring interactive content on a broad level, today I want to dig deep on how you can make your eBooks and whitepapers more interactive.
Finding a topic and testing small
If you’re looking to get a quick start, then I highly recommend you take already existing piece of content or eBook (providing it’s still relevant) and giving it an interactive spin.
We’ll get into the logistics in a second (the costs and effort of testing are lower than you’d think), but for now think of this b2b marketing tactic in terms of framework. Interactive eBooks work best in a course format.
So, if you’re thinking about creating interactive content out of an existing eBook, first decide if the different chapters and sections would make sense in a course format.
Can you picture these chapters making up the components of a course syllabus?
Repurposing content might not always be the best course of action. If you’re looking for a fresh start then be sure to go broad and research accordingly.
A great tool for finding topic ideas is BuzzSumo. Type in a keyword and you’ll find the most popular pieces of content related to that keyword. This a great tactic when looking for the hottest and most popular topics right now.
Once you have a topic for your interactive eBook, it’s time to get creating.
Building your interactive eBook
Interactive content does sound sexy, but the potential resources needed to create it can be incredibly daunting.
Luckily, there are tools out there that make it super easy to create interactive guides quickly and easily. One that I highly recommend is Guides.co.
Guides.co gives you a platform to easily create and promote interactive guides. You can structure content in different sections and give readers actionable tasks, which is what makes them truly interactive.
The other benefit is that you can embed media elements like video, which is something you can’t do with ordinary eBooks.
Because you’re giving your readers specific activities throughout each step of your guide, it gets them to commit to your content and actually take some form of action.
The more they invest themselves into your content, the more likely they will be to take a stronger call-to-action at the end of your content, such as a consultation or purchase.
Another great Guides.co feature is how it provides landing pages. Check out The Ultimate Growth Hacking Sourcebook for example. It has a description, course overview and author bio, which helps to position yourself as an expert.
Most importantly, it’s conversion-driven, as people must opt-in to read your content. This saves you the effort of building landing pages from scratch.
Now you have your content and a platform to deliver it in, it’s time to drive traffic. A good distribution plan is key to effective content marketing, so let’s dig in.
Distributing & driving traffic to your interactive eBook
Distributing your interactive content is no different to ordinary content, and although it’s a complete topic in itself it does deserves a mention here.
First off, be sure to distribute amongst your owned media. Mentioning it in relevant blog posts, sending out to your email list and making your customers and partners aware is a good start.
If you’ve established strong influencer relationships, be sure to ask them for help in getting the word you. Good influencer marketing ensures a strong win-win-win situation, so make sure there’s value for both your influencers as well as their audiences. Relevancy is key.
Communities are an undervalued source of valuable followers. If you’re not establishing yourself as a presence in forums and other communities relevant to your market, now is a good time to do so.
It’s often seen as a fairly old school digital marketing practice, but as long as you’re targeting active and passionate communities this still works very well.
Finally, if you’re using paid amplification, such as Outbrain and Twitter ads, make sure you test the receptiveness of your interactive content on a small scale first.
Platforms like Outbrain are more geared towards traditional articles, but Twitter, Facebook ads and the like may work very well.
Interactive content is growing increasingly popular right now, but like all content marketing efforts it should always contribute to your overall marketing goals.
The great thing about interactive eBooks is that, as your readers progress, they’re committing themselves to your content. Every time they take some form of action they’re essentially giving a ‘micro-yes’.
Each micro-yes makes them warmer to a call-to-action that guides them further down the funnel. So when they come to the end of your content be sure to ask them to commit further. T
his could be in the form of a purchase, consultation or other lead generation mechanism.
No matter what it is, take advantage of this heightened state of engagement and guide them further down your sales cycle. This is where the real success lies.