Book as Content Marketing, Learning from Gosend's Book

In Indonesia content marketing in a blog format is common, content marketing in social media content is regular. But what about doing content marketing in a book format? That's what Gosend did. And I must admit, they have done it very well. That's why I was so excited to buy the book and to learn how Gosend execute this project.

As you can see, the book is Kiat Jitu Menjadi Best Seller (The right way to become Best Seller). I found out about this book last month in June through a news portal. It was said that Gosend launch a book in their marketing campaign. But in reality, I find a digital history that mentions that the book is already published in May. Yet the book seems just available widely in early July.

Despite that, the book was written by some Indonesian marketing and management experts, namely Yuswohady and Rhenald Kasali. When I figure out the book was available in public through Gramedia (the biggest book retail in the country), I decided I must have one.

The book's appearance

So, here's the book. I bought it from Tokopedia, a member of Goto Group (Gosend parent company). It has a soft cover and 173 pages. The price tag is quite low for this thick book. Normally, you can buy a book like this for about 100k rupiah or more, considering this is a business book too which sometimes a bit pricey. But it was sold at 90k rupiah and I see some sellers are offering a discount.

I am not quite surprised with the discount, because this kind of book is very niche and not many people are interested to buy one. From a bookstore perspective, this is a brand activation book, therefore you can't risk holding it in the store too long. The demand is quite low and sometimes it is no longer relevant for several months because the book it is likely to contain a limited-time promotional program.

Well, I think it is enough to talk about the introduction. Through this article, I have the intention to tell you my opinion about the book as a whole. This was probably quite different from a common book perspective. I try to write this as a case study story. Because as I told you, I want to learn how Gosend executes this project.

So let's go.

Ariel Noah as Brand Ambassador on the cover

First of all, through the cover, you can see Ariel (Nazril Ilham), a vocalist of the well-known band, Noah. I think he is a brand ambassador for Goto, Gosend to be exact. Since last year, he did appearing on some TVCs related to Gosend. I don't have much interpretation about why he was chosen.

Probably it was because he is a middle-aged adult that quite active and creative, and often relies on a delivery app like Gosend. He is a representative of an Indonesian creative middle-aged man who is active, creative, and fun. At 40 years old, most Indonesian men are busy with their career peaks or decide to quit their job to pursue their passion. It was very hectic, it was messy, and need much help.

I am not a fan of him. But from a marketing perspective, choosing him as a Brand Ambassador for mid-term (almost more than a year) is a good move. I think he can be considered a role model for many Indonesian men, in terms of career, hobby, and persona.

Excluding his past scandal of course. Showing his profile on the book cover probably intended to attract this target market. A middle-aged man, in pursuit of their entrepreneurship passion, creative, having fun, and chill.

Ok, I am done with the cover.

The blurb problem

On the back, on the blurb, it is written that the book was a tribute from Gosed to Indonesian social sellers and small businesses. With some remarks from notable people like Rhenald Kasali and Sandiaga Uno, Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy. Does it quite effective to attract a buyer? I don't think it is.

Let's talk about the copy, in copywriting perspective, the blurb is crucial. It gives you context about what is the book all about. Without the context, most book prospects are reluctant to buy the book because most of the time, the cover is not always communicative. The true purpose of a cover is to grab your attention. To make it stand out on the shelves, then bring them to read the blurb. The blurb is the decision-making moment, that's why most books put the price tag on it. As you read the blurb, you will decide whether to buy it or not.

You might argue that this experience only happens at a book store, but not at an online marketplace. Well, it's true. But considering the book is also available throughout the Gramedia bookstore nationwide, the way you write and design the blurb matter.

Further, as a physical book, the cover, the blurb, and the sideline will be the face of the book. Imagine you put the book on your bookshelves and there's a chance someone will find it and wonder what is this book about. He/she will also decide does it is worth reading or not.

On the online marketplace, the only way to show the book is through the cover. As I already argue about the cover, it is fine and appropriate. Nothing special except the Ariel part.

Let's back to talking about the blurb copy. Honestly, I am disappointed with the copy. It doesn't tell you what is the benefit for you as a reader. It is more like Gosend trying to show themself that they are the hero for the small businesses and social sellers. Instead telling us that we can learn how to build a business in the social media era and use Gosend as the enabler by reading the book.

Yes, there is a social signal through the power profile testimonials. But if the main copy wasn't compelling enough, the social signal could be pointless.

So, I am done with the cover and the blurb, let's jump to the inside.

The first thing that I try to figure out from this book is, who is the writer? I try to find it on the cover and the blurb, but there was no explanation. It is only written Gosend Indonesia. That's why I try to find it in the book through ISBN. The official registration of the book in the National Library. Here's the result.

It turns out that the book was written by the Gosend internal team. This is my first time finding out that the book writer can be registered as an institution or organization. I understand that this could happen because the writing itself can be written outsourced, by a freelancer, consultants, or someone else who isn't part of the company. I, also have the experience to handle this kind of project, writing books for institutions. 

Brand Identity consisstency

As I open the book, I am so pleased with Gojek's universe of Brand Identity. It is so consistent, it is so holistic even Gosend can use it universally. That also includes the original illustration that can be used by the companies around it. This is why reading the book is fun. You can see this is a well-designed book. In the future, if I want to layout and design a book or ebook, I will refer to this book. 

Brand Identity is a must and talking about content marketing, it is way much more important. Because you are talking about consistency. Brand Identity elements like logo, color, symbols, and illustration, are the perception builder alongside Brand Voice. In content, the brand voice can be expressed from the words, the jargon, the headline, and the campaign that the brand offer to us, its audiences, its prospects, and customers. 

As a part of a decacorn company, this level of consistency is so great. All of us must learn from Goto let alone Gosend on this. 

The Lessons from the book

This is the true intention of content marketing in a book format. To put brand exposure to the reader. The difficulty of putting Brand, product, or services on the writing is how to keep the writing less arrogant and to keep the story authentic. 

1. In every story, they are able to put Gosend product in perspective.

Why do I say that Gosend can maintain its consistency? Because of the writing, they were also able to brief their contractor to write the book accurately. Some notes that I have about the content marketing in the book are: 

In this case, Gosend tries to expose their successful partner (mitra) who uses the product and services for their business. This is the core of the book. Success stories from various social sellers and small business founders. I could say that this book is an inspirational book. When you read the book you will have a feeling that you will be able to achieve the same success by using Gosend. 

If you know about content marketing, there are four types of intention from content. Educational content, entertaining content, inspirational content, and commercial content. Here at Kiat Jitu Menjadi Best Seller you will find more than half of the book is about inspiring stories. It will move you to do something, it will urge you to start a business or optimize your business. By doing what? By signing up and using Gosend solutions, which are Gosend Instant and Gosend Sameday. Then hopefully your business will become the best seller. 

See? Now you understand the logic of the book. It is all about creating inspiration for social sellers and small business owners to use Gosend. 

This is also clearly told by the Gosend's executive. 

"we write the book to answer the needs and to equip the small businesses, especially social sellers with relevant knowledge, therefore, they can maximize their business potential in a digital age."

Head of Logistics Gosend, Steven Halim said at a launching event,

To keep the message consistent, it also tries to disguise another Brand that is not related to Goto. Why this is important? Well, businesses are likely also using another solution, right? But the story was written as if they only using Gosend. 

I try to find an outsider Brand that is mentioned in this book, but I only find Whatsapp and Blackberry. In some stories, it even mentions ojek online instead of Gojek which is a similar product, but it doesn't. It probably refers to Gojek competitor, Grab. Obviously, you can't mention competitors in a branded story, right? Especially it is written on success stories. 

In Indonesia, we have an idiom which say, "penjual kecap selalu bilang kecapnya nomor satu." (Ketchup sellers will always say that his ketchup is the best). 

In terms of why Whatsapp and Blackberry are mentioned, I think it is a fragment of editing failure. Because the writer or the editor can also disguise it with a word like aplikasi kirim pesan (messenger apps). 

I think this problem is not quite significant because it doesn't ruin the reading experience. 

2. The book is mainly inspirational content

If the book is inspirational, does it mean all of the stories are success stories? Well no, reading inspirational stories for 170+ long pages can be tiresome. The editor knew it and they tried to put another type of content which is educational writing. This part of the book is written by some Indonesian management, business, and marketing experts. They are:

  1. Rhenald Kasali,
  2. Yuswohady,
  3. Wulan Ayodya,
  4. Arief Ardinugroho, and
  5. Yudo Anggoro.

Their writings are placed in a good way through the middle of a chapter. So you will not constantly read inspirational stories. But also have a guide on how to do business better. 

"So, there is the educational part. What about the entertainment? Is there any fun part in the book?" 

Well, I doubt there are any entertaining stories existing in the book. Because the entertainment is mainly delivered through illustration. You will find interesting and fun infographics with original illustrations in the book that include a cartoon version of Ariel, the brand's ambassador. There is no comic, or comedy story in it. 

That's why the book can be categorized as a high-level book. It needs a level of understanding as an adult. No wonder the book is labeled for 18+ readers, even though in my opinion, the book can also be useful for teenagers or young adolescents. Probably because this is a commercial book, you can't sell a product directly to a minor. Further, it was also written a quite formal way so it is not suitable for youngsters.

So, what next? I think we can talk about citation.

3. Proper citation can create an authoritative book

Content marketing like this book is also able to create Brand Authority. Why? Because you have data, you also cite other authoritative resources. but because it is delivered in a physical book, Gosend won't gain many benefits from the citation. Because unlike digital content, such as blogs or webpages, a book can't give a link of reference to its primary source. In digital marketing, we called it backlinks which are quite important for search engine optimization (SEO). 

Some Brands that realize the importance of backlinks decided to do content marketing campaigns through ebooks or white paper instead of books. The reason is that they want a digital reputation. What about Gosend, don't they need it? Absolutely they need it, but Gosend products and services are mostly embedded in mobile apps. Which cannot be cited or linked with other pages. That means, the activation to generate networks and build reputation is through offline presence. Through the business owners' network, they are likely to recommend Gosend solutions via word of mouth. 

That's another make-sense logic, right? This is why I am so excited with this Gosend's content marketing case even though I don't have the access to confirm all of my suspicions. 

Then, what can you find also in the book? As I read the book until finished, I found what I have predicted because the book is a content marketing initiative not just an ordinary book. On the back pages, after all the chapter ends, you will find some kind of product knowledge brochure. It tells you about Gosend's products and services, including Gosend Instant, Gosend Same Day, and many more that can help business to thrive by utilizing the instant delivery that Gosend has. 

If you are familiar with corporate whitepapers or reports, you will find this practice is common. After you deliver the content, whether it is educational or inspirational, at the end section, you, the reader will be asked to do something. In copywriting, this part is the product benefits and call to action section. 

4. Limited time marketing campaign on a lifetime book?

As a business owner, or a social seller, would you like to use Gosend after reading this book? It is likely. And you will be offered more benefits through Gosend Best Seller of the Month (#Gosendbestseller) campaign which can give you many bonuses. I try to find out what are these benefits, and I find the official page. As I can guess, the marketing team probably did a mistake by only running the campaign in June! 

Why this is could this be a terrible mistake?

Because content marketing through books lasts more than just a month. It could last more than a year. Considering the book circulation itself can be slow. What if the reader just figures it out in July like me? What if the business owner finds the program in September? The funneling process starts from the book until the landing page could be a dead end. And Gosend probably can lose its prospects. 

I understand marketing campaigns should be in limited time. But in this case, limiting the campaign will make the book partially unusable. Why? Because it was intended to be part of the marketing campaign as a whole. Further, content marketing could live longer than the shelf display life. 

If it is only for a limited-time marketing campaign, Gosend can just publish several inspirational articles or content on social media and websites. Then run advertisement on them. It could be more effective and immediate than writing a book. Let alone it can be easily tracked and measured, not like analog marketing tools. I am wondering, would Gosend extend their #Bestsellergosend campaign? Who knows. 

5. Lovely credits for every team that's involved to make the book possible

Well, at last, we finally come to the last part. While I do hate how they execute the marketing part of this book, I appreciate the very last piece of the book: the credits. As I said earlier, I couldn't find any credit that mentions who write, designed, and edit this book. It turns out that Gosend put the credits on a few last pages. 

It does mention the experts, the Gosend team behind the project, and the creative consultants (aka freelancers) who makes the book possible. This is quite uncommon for a corporate marketing tool. Because it means, the book will also promote these consultant's services which most of the time is not preferable. Most Brands will choose not to mention who was their contractors and consultants to maintain their reputation and authority.

So, I love how Gosend credits the team and it could be a best practice for the future of book as a content marketing initiative. 


To write a book as content marketing campaign is tricky. Because the initiative would be stuck in an analog format which is not easy to correct, revise, or update. Therefore you have to keep in mind many things that could be a problem.

As I already mentioned in the marketing campaign part mistakes, a book can be a lifetime opportunity. And we as a Brand can see it as such. The book can bring you leads at any time and that's how content marketing works.

Even though the campaign is in limited time, your Brand can utilize dan keep updating the digital channels by using the book as the first touch point. I think, using book as content marketing initiatives should be seen as a strategic move rather than just a tactical one. Because contents, most of the time, need more moments to show their potential.

In the end, based on my experience and limited knowledge, I consider this book a good example of content marketing in Indonesia. We can learn and copy how it was done by Gosend. Also, we need to avoid the same mistakes that have been done.

Fyuh, that's it! I think I am already cover the whole part of the book. I am so surprised that I can write this review. The last and only curiosity is about how the team collects the story and write the pieces. It could be so intense and fun. But I am sure the budget is quite enough to compensate. I hope someday I can talk with the team behind this book to clarify some questions and learn how to execute this kind of project properly.

So, thank you for reading this piece, see you in the next content marketing case studies.

Does your Brand want to use the book as content marketing? you can contact us TEKNOIA Creative. We are a content marketing agency that will help your Brand to grow through effective content. We have the experience to write and publish books and magazines for several Brands and profiles for their professional or commercial presence. Contact us now.