eBook on a shelf with other books.

EBooks May Be The Most Effective Content Marketing Tactic

Each year, the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) publishes the results of a benchmark study of small business content marketing. One perhaps surprising result taken from the 2015 study: eBooks are seen as the most effective content-marketing tactic.

A bit of background: CMI surveyed small-businesses (defined as companies with 10 to 99 employees) to better understand whether and how they use content-marketing strategies to grow their businesses. They found a high percentage (86%) use content marketing in some way.

CMI asked these businesses to rate the effectiveness of a variety of content marketing tactics. Top of the list: eBooks, tied with webinars and webcasts.

The top six options among small businesses were:

  • eBooks (65%)
  • Webinars/Webcasts (65%)
  • In-person events (62%)
  • Videos (61%)
  • Blogs and Newsletters (tied at 60% each)

While content marketers may think of online and in-person events as natural vehicles, eBooks do offer both perceived value and persistence. A prospect might return to a well-chosen eBook on more than one occasion, each time directly or indirectly remembering the marketer that offered the book.

Because eBooks are a strong content-marketing option, publishers may want to take a second look at the opportunity. The CMI study found that the top three content-marketing challenges smaller businesses face are:

  • Producing engaging content (58%)
  • Producing content consistently (53%)
  • Producing a variety of content (45%)

Marketers looking to offer eBook content could find reliable partners among publishers, particularly those imprints specializing in content of value to specific audiences. The result would be win-win: publishers could gain more sales of existing or adapted content; content marketers would benefit from greater effectiveness, increased loyalty and sales growth.

However the content is developed, eBooks are an effective content-marketing tactic, offering both perceived value and persistence. Content marketers are on solid ground in considering them as part of their content strategy arsenal.

Brian O'Leary

About Brian O'Leary

Founder and principal of Magellan Media Consulting, Brian O’Leary helps enterprises with media and publishing components capitalize on the power of content. A veteran of more than 30 years in the publishing industry and a prolific content producer himself, Brian leverages the breadth and depth of his experience to deliver innovative content solutions.

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