With the rise of tablet and e-reader popularity, ebooks have become an important part of legal thought leadership. Ebooks are an incredibly powerful lead-generation tool and a key piece of a robust content marketing strategy. They allow law firms to position themselves as thought leaders by sharing their expertise while garnering useful information on leads like their email addresses.
However, too often, marketers don’t create ebooks because they aren’t sure where to start. How do you craft an effective law firm ebook? Here are 11 elements of a successful ebook promoting your law firm.
Elements of a Law Firm eBook
1. A Descriptive and Interesting Title
Choosing the right title is crucial because that’s what is most likely to convince people to download and read your law firm ebook. Particularly when it comes to content shared on social media, the title is what piques someone’s interest. Your title should be attention-getting and also make it clear what your ebook is about. What will the reader gain by reading this content? Demonstrate the value in a concise, compelling way.
2. Great Visuals for the Cover
People judge books by their covers. They need to be visually appealing and also in line with your brand guidelines and other creative elements. Highlight the title and make it easy to read, and include colors or themes that are present in your marketing. It’s a good idea to feature an image that is attention-getting but not too busy. Finally, if you produce multiple ebooks, follow a single formula with your graphics so that they are consistent and easily recognizable as part of your brand.
3. A Tagging System so That People Can Find the Right Content
You may have different client personas based on demographics or legal challenges. If part of your strategy is to target people with customized content, you’ll need a way of categorizing the material. Let your readers know which items will be of interest to them with a sorting system. You can use iconography, color schemes, or tags. If you already use such a system on your blog, you can tie ebooks in so that people are familiar with the way that you organize content.
If you haven’t created client personas yet, start by creating an ideal client profile with this free guide: A Law Firm’s Guide to Creating an Ideal Client Profile.
4. An Author Introduction
Readers are generally interested in the credentials of the book writer, so make it easy for them. An “About the Author” page can be helpful, particularly if your team has different authors writing about different topics. You should include a brief bio of the author detailing their expertise, a headshot, and a way to connect with them such as their social media information.
5. Table of Contents
This is a staple for any lengthy written material, whether printed or digital. It’s important to give readers a sense of what’s in the book and how it’s organized. It’s also helpful in finding and referencing specific information later on. Make it as user-friendly as possible by using a program like InDesign where you can hyperlink chapters/sections, creating a sort of interactive table of contents and allowing readers to jump to a certain section of the ebook when they click on the related link in the table of contents.
6. New Chapter Pages
Readers find it helpful to see clearly distinguished book sections and chapters. People like having a visual indication of their progress in a book, and again, individual chapter pages make it easy to find information later on. You can use individual chapter pages to display the title of the chapter and also highlight a few of the most important points that will be found within.
7. Social Sharing Components
Social sharing buttons are important in any marketing materials, but especially digital content. The landing page where you gate your law firm ebook is a good place for these buttons, but remember that people might not be ready to share before they’ve read the material. It’s a good idea to put the buttons on a few pages throughout the book, and on the final pages, so that people can share the ebook as they are reading or afterward. Some marketers even add a small footer on each page which includes contact information and social sharing buttons.
8. Visuals to Break Up Copy
Large blocks of text can be cumbersome and intimidating to read. Visual elements not only add to the page and make things look more interesting, but they can emphasize your most important points. Everything from headers to bolded text to screenshots, charts, and pictures can and should be included throughout the book. Many times, visual items can help you to explain concepts that are more complex.
9. Service Call-outs
Ebooks tend to be most effective at generating leads within the top of the funnel. In order to do that, you need to include truly valuable and educational information – not just a sales pitch. That being said, you should still take the opportunity to mention your legal services where appropriate. This is particularly true if people are in the awareness stage of the client lifecycle and just learning about various legal services. Tying together the information in the ebook with how your firm helps address those challenges is a subtle but impactful way of promoting your services.
10. The Ability to Read on Mobile or Print
Chances are your law firm ebook will be a pdf or some other format that is easy for people to download. Some of those people will read everything on their tablet or device, and some will want to print the ebook or even hand it off to other people. For this reason, it’s important to make sure everything you create performs well (and looks great) on mobile. At the same time, consider the layout of the ebook and make sure it still looks how you want it to when printed. Make sure to test each of these methods before promoting the ebook externally.
11. A Call-to-action with Impact
One of the most critical elements is a final CTA. Once someone has completed the ebook, what do you want them to do? Whatever it is, tell them. For example, if the content is geared toward people in the awareness stage, you might want to encourage them to move onto a middle-of-the-funnel stage. That might include reviewing some case studies or downloading a template for specific tasks. Whatever it is, make sure it’s crystal clear.
If you’re in the process of creating your first law firm ebook, use this guide as a checklist for the things that are more likely to make it a success. If you are creating a stable of ebooks, make sure to keep them consistent and cohesive from a branding perspective – and be sure to review all of your material to look for these components. If you need more help creating effective digital marketing content, reach out to our team. We help firms to create content that demonstrates their expertise and reinforces their brand with potential clients. Contact us today for a free consultation.