If you’re a business professional plugging into social media and content marketing strategies, then you might be familiar with eBook marketing. But if not, the idea is this: if you can funnel your expertise into the creation of a bookworthy resource, people are more than willing to sign up for your email newsletter or follow you on Twitter in return.
A master of this strategy is Tim Grahl, an expert on book launch marketing who wrote a free eBook titled The Book Launch Blueprint.
But as you scroll through Grahl’s eBook, you’ll find that it’s text-heavy. It reads like a print book. Although this approach works for him because his killer content can stand alone, most eBooks should engage the reader with visual elements.
The Twitter eBook: a case study
A prime case study of effective eBook graphic design is Twitter’s Website Conversions Playbook. Take a second now to follow the link, flip through the pages, and follow along with our analysis below.
Start with stock photos. But not just any stock photos. On page 8 of the playbook, notice how Twitter selects two stock photos that capture their target market (the social media junkie) without being cheesy. These examples are both hip and professional. To get a feel for your ideal stock photo library, set aside an afternoon to browse through Canva’s comprehensive list of 73 stock photo websites.
Tweak ’em. Once you’ve got your stock images, head on over to Canva or another image-editing tool for overlaying your images with text, borders, graphics, social icons, etc. You’ll notice on page 29 and 33 of Twitter’s playbook that a little overlay goes a long way. As long as it’s not sloppy–which is nearly impossible with pre-set Canva options–the images will stand out and be more memorable in your reader’s mind. (Can you tell we like Canva?)
Target your market. Make sure all of your images fit the style and subject matter of the eBook. What tone do you want to convey? Serious or light-hearted, expert or peer, authoritative or confessional? Twitter’s Website Conversions Playbook appears to be targeted towards young business professionals and entrepreneurs, so they use technical but comprehensible business lingo (targeting, optimization, bids, etc.).
Be consistent. The best blog and social media marketers know that your readers and followers will recognize your work more quickly if all of your content cover photos follow the same color/pattern scheme, font styles, layout, etc. Here at Michigan Creative, we try to use our logo and color scheme as often as possible in social media image posts, and we would emphasize the same for an eBook.
Repeat your header and footer. Notice how Twitter’s footers remain consistent to remind you what you’re reading, which section you’re reading, and how far along you are in that section.
Use screenshots as needed. For obvious reasons, Twitter’s playbook screenshots are mostly of Tweets. Your screenshots should be tailored to your services and your specific target audience. What can you see that they can’t? What processes would be easier to explain through screen shot?
Bonus tips and ideas:
Use author/employee photos. Readers like to know where their information is coming from and why you’re qualified to present it. They’re also more likely to trust you if they know you’re a real live person! This kind of page is best reserved for the beginning or end of the eBook. Include a brief bio to solidify your credentials.
Be flashy. If you offer creative services, then don’t be shy about experimenting with eye-catching color combinations. Twitter is quickly recognized by its classic blue color, so their limited palette works for the playbook, but it might not work as well for you.
The team here at Michigan Creative is currently working on an eBook resource compiled from the entrepreneur guest speakers of our Business Machine Podcast. Stay tuned, because we’re excited to dish out the best of the best!
To find out more about how Michigan Creative fits into your design plan, check out our design page.