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.