Definition: Ebooks (electronic books) are online texts that are paid-for, downloadable, or viewable from a web browser. Retailers and other online businesses use ebooks as part of their content marketing strategy, which can help establish a brand as an authority in a given space.
Content marketing allows ecommerce businesses to reach a broader audience thus creating the potential to increase their customer base which can result in increased sales. While content marketing such as posting to social media sites, blog articles and e-books all allow online merchants to boost their online reputation and improve brand awareness, there are pros and cons to including ebooks in a content marketing campaign:
Once an ebook is created, there are two primary distribution strategies:
Gated content - Often used for lead generation, where users enter their contact information to access the ebook in its entirety. The downside to gated content is that a large portion of readers may not be interested in the publisher's products or services, which then wastes valuable sales time and resources. Gated content is recommended for B2B organizations engaged in a long sales cycle.
Ungated content - Freely-accessible e-books can make the content seem more trustworthy, since the publisher is not directly asking for anything in return. Ungated content can also benefit from substantial organic search traffic, thereby increasing reach. An ebook could be published on a single page, or broken up into chapters.