When I was a kid, one of the proudest days of any school year was showing up with that new lunchbox. It was a little metal box that mom would pack a sandwich and maybe put an apple in, and maybe some chips wrapped up in tinfoil. And then you’d have a thermos, in there might be milk or some juice or whatever.
But, there was nothing like grabbing that thing by the handle and then parading down the hall to the lunchroom as everybody watched you carry around Superman or Spider-Man or whatever it is that you had on that lunchbox. And as you’d open up the metal clasp, it would go clink. It was pure joy.
Now, fast forward to today, you get these things called Lunchables, and they’re plastic containers with a handful of different foods like crackers, and meat, and cheese, and maybe a snack. But you take out a cracker, you put on a piece of meat, you put on some cheese, and you eat it.
The nice thing about the Lunchables is each one of those things has its own compartment. So, nothing gets contaminated by each other as otherwise, the meat would make the cracker soggy and the cheese would smell like meat. So, having them separated makes it taste better. But there was nothing like carrying around that metal lunchbox.
I was listening to a podcast and they were talking about a thing called the bento box. And a bento box is a Japanese kind of like a lunch tray where it has these compartments for different parts of a meal. You can buy them on Amazon and they come as disposables or washable and reusable ones. But the concept behind the bento box is you put small portions into these little compartments and it keeps each one of them separated like the Lunchables but it creates more of a full meal as opposed to just a snack.
And what I want to do today is talk about how your marketing message, when put into a marketing bento box and turned into bite-size pieces, can work better. So, let me explain.
The idea behind a bento box is it’s a simple lunch. It’s not about convenience, it’s about having a well-rounded and balanced lunch, meaning there’s meat, and there’s rice, and there are vegetables, and there could be fruit. The bottom line is, it’s kind of like a TV dinner but with everything fresh. If you have this bento box, you have a limited space to be able to put everything into.
If you think about your marketing message, we are better off serving our audience by making big and complex subjects simplified, and the best way to do it is to compartmentalize them. That’s one of the reasons why I really like creating eBooks.
Ebook = Boxed Lunch
Think of an eBook as a box that contains segmented parts of a full marketing meal. Each part can be a standalone item but when combined with each other, it creates this balanced experience. Not everybody will eat it in the same order, the same way that some people will put cheese first or meat first on those crackers in their Lunchables. People will pick and choose the parts that they find tasty.
And not everybody’s going to eat in the same order, but you hope that it creates some filling sustenance for your marketing message to be consumed. So, the way that I try to create an eBook is to think of it as individual pieces.
Every eBook should have an intro, and a conclusion, and then about three to five key points. So, let me give you a sample or an example of what I think it should be like. You can decide what works for your topic and your industry.
By segmenting each piece and making it stand on its own, you have a much more sustainable marketing message…
- Chapter 1 – Intro
What’s the big idea? What’s the concept and what does your audience need to know? What makes this different or better? Or what problem does it address or solve? That’s your intro.
- Chapter 2
Next, the second chapter should be about, “Why should I care? What’s in it for me? What pain points of time or money does this solve or address?”
- Chapter 3
Next, you could talk about, “How does this make my life easier or better?” I usually say, “Better, faster, cheaper, pick two, the two things that are going to stand out to help your audience get the message.”
- Chapter 4
Next, what’s the payoff? Again, what’s in it for them, for your reader, for their employees, and/or their customers?
- Chapter 5
How about doing a chapter on how hard this will be to obtain or realize? “What are the obstacles I can expect? Show me how other people have overcome them.”
- Chapter 6
Next, “What will I miss by not doing this? Is there a reason why I can’t put this off? What advantage would I have over my competition?”
- Chapter 7 – Conclusion
And then finally, a conclusion, “How do I get started? What are the next steps? What do I need to know or what resources should I gather before starting?”
Each one of those seven pieces could be a standalone post, but by thinking of them as individual marketing pieces, you now can turn them into exactly that, an eBook.
Think about creating those bite-size pieces to put in that bento box:
- Blogs, you could create five to seven blogs.
- You could do videos around each one of those core points.
- You could create awareness graphics. Those could lead back to the blog posts which could then drive traffic back to download the eBook.
- You could also create separate emails for each one of those topics
- And social posts that, again, could drive people back to the blog or to the eBook.
Each one of those pieces is part of that complete well-balanced marketing message meal. The goal is to get people to want to taste each one. But if one stands out to them, let them eat that whole portion. So, the concept of the bento box is to break your ideas into individual little trays, but you’re putting it all together in a complete meal.
That’s exactly what we did way back yonder before we had the technologies that we had today. We used to have to do things in small spurts, whether it was newspaper advertising, or radio commercials, or TV ads. Now, we feel like we have people’s attention so we can garner it longer. But in reality, the attention span has gotten shorter.
So, think about how you can compartmentalize each one of those ideas into one cohesive bento box of marketing.
And finally, remember, the cover of your eBook is just like the images on the outside of those lunchboxes. As you’re curating your content across the internet or on your website, you want someone to look at that bright, shiny object and say, “Man, that looks delicious. I’ll have what they’re having.”
I would love to hear your thoughts on using eBooks as a part of your marketing message and how you separate things into bite-size, digestible chunks. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas, or questions about amplifying content within your marketing system.