The Ultimate B2B Content Marketing Tactic? Publish a Book
If you’re a B2B marketer and an expert in your field, there’s a content marketing tactic you should seriously consider: Writing a book.
Here’s what makes a book such a powerful element of a smart marketing strategy, especially for B2B marketers.
How Books Differ from Other Content Marketing Approaches
Most content created for a content marketing plan – such as blog posts, articles, case studies, newsletters, white papers, webinars, infographics, and videos – is quickly consumed and thrown away. You might share it with colleagues or print it, but otherwise, it’s typically viewed and gone.
Books differ in important ways. A book is long-form content, often hundreds of pages. A book has far more depth and often has monetary value. Most of all, a book is something you keep.
5 Marketing Advantages of Being an Author
Even more important, a book can super-charge your marketing strategy. Here’s how:
- Makes you an authority in your field: Writing a book gives you gravitas and makes you an authoritative figure in your industry.
- Gives you credibility: Credibility in critical when selling products and services to business decision-makers. Being an author instantly makes you more credible as an industry expert and shortcuts the process of earning credibility.
- Accelerates trust: Stephen Covey’s book, The Speed of Trust, describes trust as “the one thing that changes everything.” Becoming a published author accelerates the time it takes to become a trusted resource.
- Helps make you a darling of the media: Publishing a book is one of the best ways to get free publicity. A well-marketed and promoted book can result in high-profile interviews and opportunities to be quoted in industry media.
- Produces invitations to speak: Authors also get asked to share their knowledge and point of view as speakers, which can further boost your visibility.
The Steps of Publishing a Book
If you’re ready to become an author, how do you write a book? Witty recommends the following steps:
- Blueprint the book. Develop a plan for your book’s content. Create the title, subtitle, and table of contents. If you’ve been producing other business-related content as part of your marketing plan, you probably won’t be starting from scratch. Compile and review your existing content and you may find that the book outline comes together fairly quickly.
- Determine the marketing strategy. Before you start writing, it’s critically important to plan how the book will be promoted and how you’ll utilize the book in your company’s marketing. Be clear about the outcomes you want to achieve and the metrics for success.
- Create the book. There are three approaches to writing a book, says Witty:
- Write it yourself: It’s by far the most time-consuming approach, but “it’s the best way to show the personality of the author,” Witty states.
- Hire a ghostwriter: Find a professional writer to author the book for you under your direction.
- “Talk” your book to an interviewer/writer: Having a professional editor interview you can be ten times faster than writing a book on your own.
- Publish the book. You can work with a traditional publisher, use a service like CreateSpace (Amazon’s self-publishing platform for printed or e-books) or Smashwords (an e-book service), or hire a company like Witty’s that works with business book authors. However you choose to publish, Witty strongly urges business authors to invest in having a book professionally designed. “Your book needs to look as good as any book at Barnes & Noble,” he advises.
- Market the book. Execute the marketing strategy you’ve developed to promote the book and/or use it in your company’s marketing plan. Be sure to distribute copies to clients, prospects, and staff and to use portions of the content for other types of content marketing.
Bottom Line: Being an Author is Smart Marketing
Writing a book is a major commitment but the marketing payoff can justify the effort, especially for B2B services providers looking to differentiate themselves in a competitive marketplace. If you really know your stuff, now may be the time to write a book about it.