By Michele Linn published December 23, 2010

Content Marketing e-books: 8 Examples that Work

People learn about content marketing in different ways, and sometimes the best way to understand something is to see it in action. Over the holidays, we’ll be sharing a bunch of different content marketing examples submitted by our contributors.

First up: e-books. If you are new to e-books, here’s a quick definition from the Content Marketing Playbook (which, coincidentally, is a great example of an e-book):

Think of it as a white paper on steroids (the sexy white paper): a report, generally 12 – 40 or more pages in length, that presents complex information in a visually attractive, reader-friendly format. The content is both informative and entertaining; the tone, collegial; the format, “chunky” rather than linear, to facilitate skimming and scanning.

Here, Doug Kessler shares two of his favorite examples.

B2B Marketing Manifesto

I don’t want to over-plug, but our B2B Marketing Manifesto exceeded all our expectations this year.

It’s a 48-pager on the new challenges of B2B marketing and the things we all need to get good at.

Four reasons I think it worked for us:

  • It presented the right messages for the market at the time
  • Strong design really ‘sold’ the content
  • A bit of attitude and energy made it fun to read
  • The generosity of some top influencers in the market who gave us great reviews, linked to us and tweeted with intent

The fourth of these is by far the most important — but I guess we wouldn’t have earned that without the first three.

It didn’t hurt that the e-book title included a good search keyphrase for us (B2B Marketing), so backlinks tended to include valuable anchor text.

 

Definitive Guide to Lead Scoring

Marketo’s Definitive Guide to Lead Scoring is another winner (Velocity helped with sub-editing and design).

It’s so effective because it draws on Marketo’s real expertise. No one knows more than these guys about lead scoring, and they really rolled up their sleeves and shared their ‘chops’ with the market. At a time when content is getting shorter and shorter, a ‘definitive guide’ can be exactly right.

More examples

Looking for more examples? Here are some of my favorites, which I recently wrote about at Savvy B2B Marketing when my “Savvy Sisters” and I shared our favorite e-books:

You can also check out this CMI post from David Meerman Scott that covers essential characteristics of e-books and provides a sample of each.

We’d love to get your thoughts. What other examples would you add to the list? Share them in the comments below.

Looking for more ways to maximize the impact of your e-book and white paper content? Get practical insights, advice, and answers in our 2018 Guide to Essential Content Marketing Tactics.

Author: Michele Linn

Michele Linn is the co-founder and chief strategy officer of Mantis Research, a consultancy focused on helping brands create and amplify original research they can use in their marketing. Before starting Mantis, Michele was head of editorial at Content Marketing Institute, where she led the company's strategic editorial direction, co-developed its annual research studies, wrote hundreds of articles, spoke at industry events and was instrumental in building the platform to 200,000 subscribers. In 2015, she was named one of Folio's Top Women in Media (Corporate Visionary). You can follow her on Twitter at @michelelinn.

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