There are a number of ways for small businesses to market themselves to customers, but the best are those that demonstrate the expertise with which they operate in a given industry. It's important to demonstrate to customers and clients that an organization is capable of speaking as experts about the financial situation in a particular market, the best ways for consumers to choose certain products and ultimately why a particular business' offerings are the best available.
Blogging and social media sharing are excellent ways to do this because they reach a large audience and are generally easy to compose. However, sometimes it's important for company leaders to go more in-depth. White papers allow for more detail in the explication of certain ideas, but there is a format that gives companies even more room to showcase their knowledge – ebooks.
In the past, publishing a book was an expensive affair whose costs prohibited many people from actually writing one. Besides the fact that the equipment itself, such as paper and some sort of printing press, was expensive and therefore limiting, the process of generating copies could quickly make costs spiral out of control. Self-publishing may have once been an option, but it was likely lacking the professional look that most companies would want.
Since the internet has become ubiquitous, people have been able to share as much text as they like at little to no cost. However, it's only recently that the rise of e-readers such as the Kindle has made it appealing and acceptable for people to read self-published books on the go. This presents enormous opportunities for companies interested in expanding their positions as intellectual thought leaders.
According to the Huffington Post, the number one platform for delivering trade-related material is the ebook. It is particularly good for small businesses, which only need to devote time and resources to actually writing the book itself. Distribution is simple and can be done in relative concert with a social media campaign or blogging efforts. Here are some additional reasons why small businesses should consider working toward the publication of at least one ebook.
Provide valuable leverage
One of the single most important things that a small business can do is to gain contact inormation from a variety of customers. These people will presumably then be able to receive email and social media messages that alert them about deals, promotions and other marketing events. However, organizations generally need to offer something in return for this invasion of their personal lives.
An ebook that is well-researched and written by someone who knows a great deal about a particular market is generally going to be perceived as well worth the small price of one's contact information. It is a good idea to offer a sample that will draw readers who are interested in a certain type of product or service and then require them to offer contact information in exchange for additional pages.
One of the reasons that consumers select companies is because they demonstrate expertise and set people's minds at ease. When decent sums of money are concerned, it can be nerve-wracking for clients to do business without assurances that organizations know enough to meet their every need.
The existence of an ebook on a particular subject is often more than any customer could ever ask for in terms of credentials for expertise. This is particularly true in niche markets that find a few businesses competing for the attention of a select group of clients. In these instances, it isn't hard to show that one's organization is a cut above the others by writing a detailed book about the limited niche that it occupies.
Acclaim and citation
An ebook that contains useful information is likely to be cited by other sources and used as a resource for bloggers, writers and anyone who has interest in a particular company's industry or line of products. Consequently, hosting an ebook can help to drive traffic to a website if it is externally linked to by other web pages.
Additionally, the writer of a book (presumably the owner of a small business) can now claim to be a published author, lending further credibility to any claims of expertise to clients. It isn't often that people get to admit that they're published authors, so this can help make the difference between a customer who chooses a competitor and one who decides to select a company that created an ebook.
Meet other authors
If more and more people decide to publish ebooks, the community of authors is necessarily going to grow. Writing a book requires research and detailed citation, at least if an author wants to be taken seriously as a writer. Consequently, companies that create self-published trade books would do well to cultivate relationships with other ebook writers.
This will make it easy to expand one's horizons within a market and increase the odds of lead generation. The more well-known and well-connected an organization is within an industry, the more likely they are to attract new and curious consumers.