An eBook can be a powerful asset when building an inbound marketing strategy. But, to turn that investment into a success, you need to get it in front of the right people.
For marketers looking to grow their business, or writers simply looking to publicise their own work, social media is the key to eBook promotion. Take advantage of all the channels at your disposal. However, the ‘click-through’ nature of social media makes it ideally suited to promote your downloadable eBook.
Your social media strategy should be two-pronged. First is your own campaign — create social media banners and artwork, slot them into your active social channels, and regularly post links. This also means writing related blogs and promotional material that directs people (through links) to your eBook — generating as many avenues as possible by which your target market audience can discover your eBook.
The second strategy is to maximise the amount of organic traffic generated by your eBook. This means making it easy to share links and actively encouraging others to do so through their own social media accounts. This is incredibly valuable because it extends your reach beyond your immediate network. It is also self-sustaining. Depending on the topic, this approach can continue to grow the visibility of your content and brand long after a campaign has concluded.
Conduct your own campaign
Generate organic traffic
This article is a guide to optimising the results of this second strategy — promoting your ebook on social media through generating organic traffic. We will focus on the details of making easy-to-share links that maximise the effectiveness of posts and supporting content — helping you make the most out of your social media campaign.
There are three ways to maximise the shareability of your eBook:
If you think about the online material you encounter, there are often a set of icons along the side or bottom of the page. These correspond with their related social media outlets. If you have ever clicked on one, you will know that they allow you to easily share the content you are viewing. What you may not know is that these links are easy to make and allow for pre-formatted messages.
The following will detail the technicalities of tailoring links for the top three social media platforms to include in your eBook — or any online material you want to promote.
You can use a variety of programs to design your eBook — InDesign, PowerPoint, Word and others. In all of these, along with blog editors, website editors and other online platforms, you can import images, scale them and manipulate their position on the page.
You can find social media logos in a variety of colour patterns with a simple Google Images search. Import that image into your document. Then, the only thing you need to do in order to make that image a ‘button’ is hyperlink the appropriate URL.
The URL you need to modify to create your LinkedIn hyperlink looks like this:
The blue half should remain unchanged. That is the script that initiates the share. The red text is the link you want shared. Replace that with the URL of your eBook landing page — or whatever page is the focus of your promotion.
With eBooks, it is critical to direct people to your ‘gate’, rather than the actual content. The whole point is to gain their contact information. For example, the link above takes you to the landing page for our eBook on using eBooks to improve inbound traffic
Once you have constructed the right URL, simply slot it in as a hyperlink in the desired location. That could be a LinkedIn icon or simple text - share on LinkedIn
When a reader clicks on the links (feel free to give it a try) a new window opens. There they are able to edit the description, add a comment and post to their account directly from your content.
Creating a shareable link for Facebook works exactly like LinkedIn. The editable URL is also divided into two sections:
You just need to change the part in red to the URL of the landing page for your eBook. Then simply hyperlink the image or text you want the reader to click on in order to share your material. Like LinkedIn, readers will be redirected to a page that enables them to add a comment or edit the description.
Twitter looks hard, but it is actually easy. Plus, you are able to pre-write the text you want people to share — creating consistency around messaging and making it as easy as possible to share. The URL you can edit is:
If you place that text in a URL, you will see it takes you to a prescripted twitter post that reads:
“.@gripped_ can help you build an inbound marketing strategy. Check out our eBook at: https://bit.ly/2JRQ9ew”
As with the others, don't alter the beginning section in blue. What makes this confusing to look at are the ‘%20’ left in BLACK. %20 codes for ‘a space’. Replace the words in red, and add/delete additional %20(s) [spaces] if necessary to create your own pre-scripted message.
All you need to do is make sure that you do not exceed the Twitter character limit. If it fits, you will have created a button that leads readers to share a customised tweet that they don't even need to write. For the purposes of twitter, it is a good idea to use a URL shortener like bitly to minimise the characters wasted on the link.
For those looking for an even easier solution, you can sign up for services such as clicktotweet — that takes care of the ‘%20’ process for you. For the brave, just cut and paste the link above, hyperlink it into your text, and you are good to go.
Social media is a powerful tool to maximise the visibility of your messaging, material and brand. Beyond drawing their own traffic — shares, likes and links increase your SEO ranking. A well-executed social media campaign, and a little bit of luck, can reach people you had never considered and provide you with a stream of inbound contacts for years to come.
The ultimate goal with social media is to reach the visibility and critical mass required for the promotion to take on a life of its own. Getting your embedded links right (making it as easy as possible for people to share your material) is one of the simple steps you have under your control to maximise the chances of that outcome.
Never forget, however, it is of primary importance to make content worth sharing. All the ad buy and link placement in the world won't help you if you don't have anything to say. Plus, if you draw traffic to a disappointing eBook, it may spread brand awareness, but the association will be negative.
For help writing a killer eBook, look at our how-to guide, or check out our eBook for a more detailed explanation.
Gripped is an inbound marketing agency that believes growth is science, not art. Made up of growth-focused inbound marketing black belts, proposition gurus and sales enablers we are obsessed with your growth and your success.
We work with B2B tech and software businesses in the UK. We help shape your growth strategy, deliver on-going inbound marketing programs and sales enablement services.