By Mariah T.
Being able to create and implement an effective marketing and promotional strategy can be of the utmost importance for new authors, especially if you aren’t working with a publishing company. You simply don’t have the resources to hire a full-time marketer, so you are going to have to start yourself off until you can get a foothold in the publishing world.
In addition to being a more cost-effective option than conventional strategies, doing your own marketing means that you get more control and you can put exactly what you want out there. Here’s what you should know before becoming your own marketer.
Guerrilla Marketing Strategies
While certainly not for everyone, guerrilla marketing tactics can provide a range of advantages that you might do well to consider. Artistic installations, creative signage, and a celebration of their surrounding community are all hallmarks of a guerrilla marketing campaign. As an example of guerrilla marketing, consider the suspense novelist M.J. Rose. Rose hired an Etsy artist to replicate the necklaces that appear on her book covers to get people excited about her upcoming book.
Such efforts can go a long way towards ensuring you stand out and differentiate yourself from other authors. If you can get involved with local schools or community groups, you can get a lot of your marketing done for you for almost no cost. Guerrilla marketing is often an ideal way to establish a more unique and distinctive brand and can usually be accomplished for much less overall cost.
The Power of Social Media
Social media sites, services, and platforms have quickly grown from a niche marketing concern to the front lines of any online promotional campaign. As Bear Fox Digital Marketing explains, you can hyper-target customers that are most relevant to your products and services, allowing you to reach an audience you might otherwise miss. For example, Monica Leonelle used a Twitter campaign to get fans excited about her book The 8-Minute Writing Habit to great success. You can do something similar by using hashtags related to the title of your book.
Marketing yourself through social media can often be done at little or no extra cost and may afford valuable opportunities to find new fans and create important relationships. With bookstagramming increasing in popularity, social media can be used to create a ripple effect, one that may allow you to reach a much broader audience than would have been possible through other means.
Content-Based Marketing Campaigns
Quality content can be used to do much more than market your books. Blogs, newsletters, and other online publications can provide savvy authors with the chance to promote their books while also educating their fans regarding their books, upcoming tours, and other events.
A more prominent online presence can be essential for ensuring the success of other digital and online promotional efforts. In fact, according to a Book Business Magazine survey, 68 percent of surveyed respondents reported that social media is the primary marketing platform for book sales. Part of gaining social media followers and building an online presence is creating online content. Quality content-based marketing campaigns can play a key role in establishing an author’s brand as well as fostering relationships with potential readers that can lead to greater success in the days to come.
Cross-branding and Partnerships
Even the most basic marketing campaign is not without costs, but several strategies may be employed to help ensure promotional efforts are able to fit within the available budget. Working in concert with another author or a local business to create a more effective advertising strategy may do much more than merely lower promotional costs.
Partnerships and cross-branding opportunities can allow you to take advantage of an established customer base. This level of exposure is invaluable in the competitive world of publishing. Being able to avoid the expenses needed to attract the attention and interest of potential customers can allow superior promotional campaigns to be created for a fraction of the cost that you might expect to pay otherwise.
Online and Digital Promotional Solutions
Online tools, such as mobile marketing or data analytics, can be used to create even more promotional opportunities or to enhance the impact of other online advertising efforts. With mobile marketing tactics, authors may find it much easier to interact with both existing or prospective fans.
However, this may be something that you wait on, until you have more success as an author. If you haven’t gained a lot of followers and fans yet, you can track your performance, but it may not be the most cost-effective solution.
Crafting the Most Effective Marketing Strategy
Different authors often have different needs, and no one single promotional strategy may be able to fit them all. The most successful digital marketing campaigns are those that have been assembled with a specific author and campaign in mind, and then configured and fine-tuned over time. Digital marketing has several key advantages, including the ability to be more readily adapted as needed. A more flexible and nimble marketing strategy can allow authors to better capitalize on new trends and interests.
Using online tactics can spare authors the added overhead and marketing costs associated with more traditional strategies. The lower total cost, greater flexibility, and the means to make contact with prospective readers and specific demographics that are more likely to be interested in your books are all key factors that make online and digital marketing efforts such a valuable resource.