Internet marketers have traditionally driven sales leads with downloadable guides or white papers. Essentially they are giving away valuable and detailed insight for the princely sum of a name, email address and a telephone number. Keen to appear to be keeping up with the times, I’ve noticed a number of companies have recently rebranded their white papers as eBooks, although basically they are still offering the same tired old free PDF downloads to be read on standard screens.
Giving information away for free does not come without its problems.
- A Gift Horse: Despite the age old saying recommending the contrary, people do like to look a gift horse in the mouth. People are suspicious about free content. They believe they will be sold to and don’t like to part with personal information for that privilege.
- Reach: The reach of your content can be limited by the volume of traffic to your website, the size of your email list and social media following, and size of your marketing budget.
- Experience: The reading experience of a PDF document (particularly a long document) is not great. People don’t like reading at length on screen and let’s face it, you’ll never get round to reading those documents you have so diligently printed out and that now clutter your desk.
- Volume: Marketers often feel the need to drive a huge volume of leads and see the provision of free content as a way of doing this. This is often at the expense of quantity over quality and can create problems for sales teams.
So here’s a solution – start charging for your Thought Leadership content.
Amazon’s Kindle and Apple’s iBookstore have altered the general public’s perception of what a book actually is. For the first time in publishing history it has become cost effective (and perhaps even profitable) to distribute short books to a global market. This is important to marketers because it also has the potential to blur the lines between what is a white paper and what is a book.
There are a number of reasons why you should consider selling your Thought Leadership on platforms like Amazon and the iBookstore:
- Free Traffic: You have the potential to reach literally millions of decision makers who are actively looking to spend money on content. These are people who are highly likely to have never visited your website or been exposed to your marketing collateral.
- Credibility: Rightly or wrongly a book is perceived as a far more credible resource than a white paper (this will come down to the quality of your writing) which is often seen as a blatant sales tool.
- Additional Revenue: eBook vendors often pay a very generous royalty on any titles sold. Given the right topic and a well written book and you could see a substancial new stream of revenue being generated from your Thought Leadership.
Could selling your Thought Leadership content work for you?