By Jori Hamilton
When a new movie is coming out, what’s the first way you hear about it and learn more about its premise?
That’s right, by watching a trailer. Sometimes, by watching it over and over again.
Trailers are great for movies and television shows, as they give you a glimpse of what to expect without giving away the entire story. But, have you ever considered a trailer for your book?
It might sound strange at first, since trailers typically focus on the visuals already included in films and TV shows. But, by creating a commercial for your book, you can bring it to life in a way that people don’t expect, sparking their imaginations and fueling interest. As an indie author, that’s exactly what you need to take your success to the next level.
But, how do you get started in the visual marketing world? It’s easier than you might think.
Understanding Your Audience
As an author, you probably already have a pretty good idea of who your audience is. Most writers have a target demographic in mind when they’re creating books, which is why there are so many genres. For example, you’re probably not going to want to advertise your upcoming novel to teenagers if it’s about a soldier in WWII, and you’re not going to create a trailer for a murder mystery novel with kids in mind.
You’ll need to hone in on your audience, even more, when you’re developing a trailer. The average commercial length for films and TV shows is usually around a minute long, though you can sometimes get away with stretching it out over two minutes. Still, that isn’t a lot of time for you to convey the message of your book. To cut down on the “fluff” and make sure your trailer connects with your audience, practice design thinking and ask yourself questions like:
- What does the audience expect?
- What will they want to know?
- What will they need to know?
- How can you empathize with them?
Understanding those things can help you to create a more detailed trailer with all of the important information—and none of the spoilers!
How to Create a Trailer
Chances are, when you got into the world of writing, you didn’t think you’d have to worry about digital marketing. So, you might be scratching your head when it comes to putting together a quality trailer. But, content is king when it comes to your brand and your business, and that’s exactly how you should start seeing yourself.
The good news? You don’t need a lot of marketing experience or video equipment to make a great trailer. A bare-bones trailer can be made on a computer with no actors or special effects. While it might not be as effective as a more advanced one, it’s a good way to get started and learn more about the process. Other potential trailer types include:
- Cinematic trailer
- Blurb trailer
- Author profile
- Animated trailer
- Book teaser
If you want to create something that looks professional and gets people’s attention, consider teaming up with a professional. Nowadays, you can find a director and/or video editor in the gig economy instead of having to hire a full-time individual to work with you. You’ll hire them for one job with no strings attached, and get a great trailer out of it. If you’re willing to invest in your book and your success, it’s a great way to make sure your trailer looks incredible.
Using Digital Marketing to Your Advantage
Digital marketing is important for every type of business, including indie authors. The best part about digital marketing versus traditional marketing is that you can do it on your own, and you can do it on a budget.
Social media, for example, is one of the greatest forms of advertising an author can have. Different platforms allow you to share news about your book, give behind-the-scenes updates, and share important dates with readers.
More importantly, though, it allows you to connect with your fans. You can answer questions, start conversations, and make your readers feel more connected to you.
One of the most influential aspects of digital marketing in recent years has been video marketing. By 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of consumer traffic online. People like visuals, and video has surpassed the popularity of photo posts by allowing consumers to feel more immersed in what they’re viewing.
Creating a quality trailer and sharing it on social media is a perfect opportunity to get your readers talking. They’ll share it with others, ask questions, and be more intrigued to read your book by the time it comes out.
If you’ve never considered a trailer to promote your book, give it a try. It’s unique, it’s innovative, it’s creative, and it can work to give your next novel the buzz it deserves.
Jori Hamilton is an experienced writer residing in the Northwestern U.S. She covers a wide range of topics but takes a particular interest in covering topics related to freelance writing, business productivity, and marketing strategies. To learn more about Jori, you can follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.