By Heather Redding
We get it. You’re an author and not a salesperson, which could be why you’d rather be writing than promoting your books.
Engaging in book promotion isn’t the only way to attract your target audience, though. Instead, you could focus on using your knowledge and expertise to educate people and naturally draw them into your world of books. Content marketing is the name of this strategy.
Content marketing is a marketing approach that revolves around consistently creating and distributing relevant, useful, and engaging content to attract a defined audience and convert it.
Here are practical ways to use content marketing to get more readers and convert them:
1. Make the Article and Blog Look Good
The overall user experience and bounce rate can affect a website’s performance in search engines. If the bounce rate is too high, for example, it signals to search engines that your website isn’t suitable for users, and that could hurt your rankings. That’s why dwell time is a crucial ranking factor.
You want people to visit your website, interact with your content, and return to it next time, right?
Well, then you need to give them a reason to do that. But how do you achieve that?
Write Skimmable Content
In recent years, the attention span has plummeted. That’s why most people read online content during lunch breaks or when waiting in a queue.
So, to avoid losing your readers, you need to write skimmable content. Here’s how to achieve that:
Write Catchy Titles
Attractive titles will draw the attention of a broader audience. To write such titles:
- Use numbers. And that explains why listicles do well.
- Include an emotional adjective, such as absolute, strange, fun, effortless, incredible, and essential, in the title, to describe the problem of your readers.
- Make a promise in the title and fulfill it in your content.
- Use words like why, what, when, and how.
Use Shorter Paragraphs
To retain your readers’ interest, don’t include more than three sentences per paragraph. No one will read a huge block of text, even if it contains the best content.
Make it Media-Rich
The human brain is used to processing visual information, as 90 percent of all the information that goes to the brain is visual.
That’s why our brains process images 60,000 times more than text-based information. So, you should include media in your content.
Here are the popular types of visual content to include in your posts:
Videos: According to statistics, videos can increase traffic by as high as 157 percent, and after watching a video, your readers are 50 percent more likely to look for more details about your book. Use short videos to convey useful information to your audience.
Images: Include relevant, high-quality photos in your posts to make the content more engaging and attractive. The image could be for one of your books or one related to the topic you’re writing about. You can also use meme generators to create memes, which are popular on social media.
Infographics: After writing a blog post, use tools like Canva to create an infographic. Be sure to strike the right balance between text and images. Infographics work well on social media, especially Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook, which is why you should share them with your audience on those platforms.
2. Write for All Buyer Stages
People who visit your website are at different stages of the buying journey. To write content that will benefit people at different buyer stages, you need to understand your audience.
Here are the four stages of a buyer’s journey and the type of content to create at each stage:
1. Awareness Stage
At this level, users realize the need or problem and the need for a solution. This realization triggers them to research and gain a better understanding of the issue. To appeal to buyers at this stage, you can write blog posts, eBooks, research studies, analyst reports, and other educational types of content.
2. Consideration Stage
Potential customers know what they want, and are looking at the available options. While they know your website has a solution, they aren’t ready to commit yet. Instead, they’re comparing different books, their prices, and more. You can use expert guides, case studies, videos, or podcasts to get their attention.
3. Decision Stage
At this point, buyers know which product to buy. They are gathering more information to be sure of their preferred option. So, you can allow them to access testimonials and book reviews.
4. Loyalty Stage
Finally, buyers have bought your book, but content marketing should not end here. You still need them to buy more books or share the news with their friends. At this stage, you may use email newsletters, surveys, new book updates, promotions, and more.
3. Make the Content Super Useful
Whether you’re a fictional or non-fictional author, chances are there’s a lot of competition in your niche. Thus, to stand out from the noise, you need to share valuable content. Here are some ideas to start with:
- Using tools like Answer The Public and Bloomberry to find out what questions people are asking and then write a post that answers each of those questions.
- Write long-form, in-depth content. Not only does it position you as an expert, but it’s also useful for SEO.
- Give out some information for free. For example, if you’ve got a book series, you could make your first book free. It’ll pay off at some point.
4. Work on User Engagement
Your goal isn’t just to pump amazing content; you also want to engage your readers so you can understand their needs better. To drive user engagement:
- Use the active voice to speak to your readers. Active voice gives your content an informal and conversational tone. It also elicits an emotional impact, besides creating a sense of immediacy.
- Ask questions toward the end of a blog post or in social media posts to engage your audience.
- Use polls on social media to find what your audience has to say about a specific topic.
The Importance of Keywords in Your Content
As part of the ways to help you understand the needs of your readers, you should write content based on keywords. Most importantly, give each article a focused keyword. Mostly, use long-tail keywords but also remember to integrate the other types of keywords so that you can appeal to a broader audience.
To get more readers who’ll buy your books, you need to understand your target audience and write valuable content that meets their needs. If you do this often, you should start seeing a rise in your website traffic and book sales.
Heather Redding is a part-time assistant manager, solopreneur and writer based in Aurora, Illinois. She is also an avid reader and a tech enthusiast. When Heather is not working or writing, she enjoys her Kindle library and a hot coffee. Reach out to her on Twitter.