Guest post by Jill Bennett
Why should you be a book marketer when you can be a book marketing strategist? A marketing strategist:
- Analyzes data, trends and projections
- Researches the targeted group of consumers
- Works with people or teams
- Figures out the best way to generate sales
A degree in marketing isn’t necessary to be a strategist, but it can help you develop and practice skills, learn essential marketing principles, and understand how to apply these principles to drive sales. But you can also acquire these skills from self-teaching. This guide will help you become an autodidact marketing expert.
1. Sales funnels
Read a lot of marketing books and you will encounter this word a lot. A sales funnel refers to the purchasing process customers go through, from awareness to interest to purchase. Imagine a funnel—that conical utensil you use to pour liquids into small-mouthed containers. Now, imagine that liquid is your target customers. How do you nudge people to be aware and interested in your book and then turn them into customers?
To answer this question, you need a solid plan.
Create a list of your objectives and goals. Maybe it’s selling at least 10 books a month or making writing your main source of income. Include the time frame you plan for achieving those goals.
3. Marketing plan: Identify your audience
- Who are your target audiences? You may already have a good idea of your book’s intended audience, but you’ll never know who else is reading your book until you conduct research. If your book is already out, check your sales channels and social media platforms, such as Amazon and Facebook respectively. Study the profiles of buyers and interested prospects. Who are they? What’s their age? What do they do? Are they women? What other books do they read? If your book isn’t up for sale yet, study the readers of similar books.
- What needs do your target audience have that your book can satisfy? This is the next question. Once you have this answer, you can find out what can influence their buying decisions. Make your marketing message appeal to their needs and wants.
- How can you reach them? Through which platforms, media and places can you communicate and influence your audience? These places are your ticket to book sales.
- Where do they buy their books? Sell your book where customers are searching, and don’t make them jump through hoops to buy your work.
4. Marketing plan: Market analysis
This is the part where you perform market analysis. Consumer behavior, market trends and technological advances can all affect your book’s performance in the market. For instance, since e-book readers are the device du jour, so making your book available in digital format will help bolster sales. There are also trends in genre—there was a time when fictional vampires and werewolves were hot!
Studying the competition is part of the market analysis. This part will determine how you can stand out from the thousands of other books that get published every month. There’s nothing wrong in doing what works for them, and there’s definitely nothing wrong on focusing on what they’re struggling with. Spy on your competitors, legally of course.
5. Action plan
Lastly, create your plan of action. Come up with action-oriented steps that will accomplish your goals and objectives. Use the data you’ve analyzed to create these steps.
Book marketing is a science, and it’s through research, study, measuring data that can turn you into an expert in this field. Identify the following:
- Promotional items to use (print materials, merchandise, etc.)
- Events to facilitate (book launch parties, book signings, speaking engagements, etc.)
- What social networks to use
- What content to post on your blog and social networks
- Other offline and online tactics that can give results
Don’t forget to consider budget in all of this. If you’re on a tight budget, run your marketing campaign for as long as your budget will allow.
About the Author:
Jill Bennett a marketing specialist for LitFire Publishing, a company based in Atlanta, Georgia. She has several years of publishing and book marketing experience under her belt. Also under her belt is the mastery in taking care of three cats named Ginger, Pepper, and Marty.
It’s been a pleasure hosting you on 4writersandreaders, Jill. You’ve left us with excellent strategies on how to get our books into the hands and hearts of our target readers.
WRITERS & READERS:
Jill and I would love to hear from you.
Happy Reading, Writing & Planning your marketing strategies! ~ Bette A. Stevens