No one knows more about using the new Real-Time tools and strategies to spread ideas, influence minds and build business than David Meerman Scott. He's a marketing strategist, speaker, advisor to emerging companies, and author of ten books including three international bestsellers.
Web content sells. An effective content strategy, artfully executed, drives action. Organizations that use online content have a clearly defined goal—to sell products, generate leads, secure contributions, or get people to join and deploy a content strategy that directly contributes to reaching that goal. Content takes many forms including an effective content-centric Web site, blogs, podcasts, and e-books.
As a resource for buyers to learn about answers to a market problem, e-books are a valuable resource. But for many people and organizations, an e-book also has a less tangible effect. E-books do much more than just sell product. E-books directly contribute to an organization's positive reputation by showing thought leadership in the marketplace of ideas. This form of content brands a company, a consultant, or a non-profit as an expert and as a trusted resource to turn to again and again.
So what is an e-book? For the purposes of marketing using web content, I define an e-book as a PDF-formatted document that identifies a market problem and supplies an answer to the problem. The best e-books don't sell a product, but rather brand an organization as thoughtful in a defined market space.
In the B2B world, e-books are like the hip and stylish younger sister to the nerdy white paper.
I recommend that e-books be presented in a landscape format, rather than the white paper's portrait format. The e-book has more white space, more graphics and images and is written in a lighter style than the typically dense white paper. E-books (as marketing tools) are free and I strongly suggest that there is no registration requirement.