Anatomy of an eBook Launch: How Our Team Makes Content Marketing Magic

August 22, 2016

If you have ever taken an anatomy class—or played Operation—you know the human body is a complex system made up of hundreds of smaller complex systems. Each system depends on the others to get things done. Without the muscles, the skeleton can’t move. Without the nervous system, the muscles can’t fire. And everything depends on the brain organizing the whole operation, giving the illusion of a single coherent whole.

A good content marketing program works the same way. You have a lot of moving parts made up of moving parts, but with the right brains in charge, everything works together seamlessly.

At LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, we’re fortunate to have a team that makes the complex look simple. We have an “all-in” strategy for launching an eBook that tends to get fantastic results. So I figured it was time to switch on the X-Ray and give you an inside view of our process. Here are some of the ways we make sure our Big Rock Content finds an audience:

1. Blog Post Launch

This is a no-brainer, but many marketers leave it out. If you’ve written a great piece of content, feature it on the blog. Cover some key takeaways in the blog post, but don’t be shy about asking readers to fill out a form to get all the value. We find eBook launch posts tend to be some of our most-viewed, most-shared posts. And, of course, we follow up the initial launch post with themed posts over the following days and weeks:

2. Influencer Activation

We love having influencers contribute to our eBooks. It makes the content better, gives me an excuse to chat with marketers I admire, and helps when it’s time to promote the piece. We send all the influencers a notice when the eBook is about to launch, including pre-written social messages they can use for quick and easy sharing.

2. LinkedIn Marketing All-In

We think if LinkedIn Marketing Solutions are good enough for you, they’re good enough for us, too. We run LinkedIn Sponsored Content targeted to the most relevant subset of the marketing community, and we A/B test creative and CTAs to get the best results.

We give the launch an extra boost with LinkedIn Sponsored InMail. Again, we change the targeting depending on the specific content of each eBook.

To get the more casual viewers in, we also run a few variants of LinkedIn Display Ads, optimizing for performance over time.

4. Showcase Page Post(s)

We always post at least a launch notification on our LinkedIn Showcase Page. Frequently we’ll pull a compelling quote or stat out of the eBook and use them for posts linking to the landing page, too:

5. Subscriber Email

We send our subscribers an email notification that the eBook has launched. The email is a pared-down version of the announcement blog post—it includes an explanation of what the asset is, and a few points to show what readers can learn from it.

6. Ballroom Social Media Blitz

Each of our social media audiences are a little different from the others, so we make sure to hit every channel. That includes promoting it via our Twitter account and encouraging our team to share it on their personal accounts. We also create images with quotes from the content that we can share across social media:

To make our Big Rocks make a big splash, we hit all available channels on day one. We don’t think of promotion as an external add-on. It’s built into the content, from the influencer participation to the infographics and quotes we plan to carve out later.

If you want to have a successful launch, start with the strong skeleton of great content. Then flex your organic muscles: Let your blog subscribers, followers on social media, and influencers know the eBook’s out. Flesh out your strategy with paid promotion that hits the day of launch. Then keep your anatomy in tip-top shape with follow-up derivative assets like infographics, blog posts, and interviews that link back to the eBook itself.

For more advice on creating and promoting big, bold content, download Creating Your First Big Rock.