Here’s another post from Ronita Mohan, one of this blog’s favorite guest bloggers. Book marketing is like building on quicksand: just when you think you know what’s what, everything changes. Thankfully, Ronita shares here some tips about the book marketing trends for the new year.
Ronita is a content marketer at Venngage, the online infographic and design platform. She is an avid reader with an interest in mystery fiction, history, graphic novels, marketing, and diversity. Twitter: @Venngage
How To Market Your Book In 2020
The marketing world is in constant flux, and book marketing ends up being impacted by these changing trends.
In 2020, certain aspects of book marketing will remain the same. For example, social media and networking will be just as important as they’ve always been.
But you also need to know about the new ways you can use the digital sphere to reach your audience in 2020.
1. Year-Round Promotions
Book promotions have generally been limited to the run-up to a book launch and for a short time after. But in 2020, this particular aspect of book promotions is going to change.
Instead of setting aside a specific period of time during which to aggressively promote an upcoming book, authors are going to find more value in promoting all-year-round.
This ties into two aspects of the digital marketing sphere. One, that audiences no longer appreciate being promoted to.
The denizens of the internet want news and entertainment when they visit social media—advertising and promotional content needs to be sparse and far between.
Secondly, authors are being viewed similarly to influencers and celebrities—they need to create their own personal brand.
This can best be achieved by promoting your book throughout the year. Ideally, this will be via subtle endorsements instead of heavy marketing gimmicks.
Book marketing is going to need not just a change in technique but also in mindset to be successful in 2020.
2. Quality, Not Quantity
As one would expect from reading point one, too much promotional content will lose authors their audience, and prospective sales.
The focus has to now be on the quality of the content, not quantity. Don’t write a blog post every day if you have nothing to write about—but when you do, pack it full of great content.
Share writing tips, publishing tips, personal experiences from the book world. Educational content like this is incredibly popular for your audience.
The same goes for social media. Maintain your presence on social platforms by sharing insights into your day and your writing life, but don’t bombard readers with messages.
Make your audience feel excited to see your posts by limiting them but ensure they pack a punch so people keep coming back for more.
3. Email Marketing
Nicholas has written a whole series on email marketing, covering everything from How to Create the Perfect Email Opt-in Form to Proven Email List-Building Techniques and Top 7 Email Marketing Strategies For Self-Published Authors.
In 2020, email marketing is going to yield results, more than social media, or video marketing, or even SEO.
People are still more likely to check the emails they receive after subscribing to your site—and they will interact with those emails.
The conversions you will see with email marketing cannot be discounted. So, spend your time in 2020 building up a strong subscriber list who will boost your conversions.
As for creating quality emails, take a look at these newsletter examples for inspiration.
4. Personalized Advertising
Not all authors can afford digital advertising, but it can increase your follower numbers and boost website traffic, as well as sales.
If you can spend on advertising, do it. The price for sponsoring a post or creating an ad isn’t as prohibitive as it used to be. Take a look at these Facebook advertising tips and read Nicholas’ series of posts on Amazon Advertising for some expert advice on the subject.
But if you are going down the advertising route, do some research in advance. Look at the analytics generated on your social media so you can understand your audience.
Personalization has become huge in advertising. If you can segment your audiences and create tailored Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter ads for them, you will see success in 2020.
5. New Social Platforms
This is a tricky one and not something you can really prepare for—social media has a habit of adding new platforms every so often. If you don’t believe me, check out Nicholas’ post on the number of active social media users for 2019.
Snapchat was the newbie all this while, but now the latest platform to take the world by storm is TikTok. In 2020, who knows what it will be?
But that doesn’t mean you can’t have an open mind about it. TikTok is a great deal of fun and appeals to younger audiences.
If your target readership is young, you could look at joining TikTok, just for fun, but also to reach out to your audience.
The point is, don’t be afraid to try new things. If it works for you, great! If it doesn’t, you don’t have to stay on the platform.
Not all social platforms have the same kind of appeal to audiences. Choose the ones that work best for you and create the best content you have for those platforms.
6. Long-Tail Keywords
I don’t want to get too technical here but there are a couple of SEO-related changes happening that will affect book marketing in 2020.
First up is the rise of voice search. Because of the popularity of devices like Amazon Echo, iPhone’s Siri, and Microsoft’s Cortana, search engines have had to adapt.
People aren’t simply typing in words like ‘book+author’. They are asking questions like:
Alexa, what is the name of the book about dragons by such and such author?
You can see how that impacts your SEO strategy, can’t you?
Another change affecting SEO is the zero-click result—when Google effectively answers your query via a snippet on the first search page.
Google takes the information from the most popular content and answers the question so the user doesn’t have to click on anything.
So, how do you bypass these changes?
Use long-tail keywords—such as phrases and questions, not just one or two words—in the title of your content, across the body, and in the alt-text for your visuals.
Regular search isn’t going anywhere, but you should be aware of how voice search and zero-click results will impact your content marketing efforts.
Chatbots don’t directly impact authors, but they are a phenomenon that is fast taking over the world, so you should know about them.
Take a look at this piece on the history of chatbots to understand why you should be considering them for your content marketing.
In essence, chatbots are far more sophisticated now than they have ever been, and they are only going to get better.
They’re a great way to engage visitors on your website and on social media (Facebook chatbots are a thing!) and can answer quick queries in case you aren’t online.
Use them to answer questions about your books, characters, etc. There are a number of inexpensive chatbot sites that can make attractive and interactive chats for you without breaking the bank.
While many aspects of book marketing are going to stay the same, there are innovations that you should know about.
The important thing to remember is that people are looking for quality reading, posts, and articles online.
Your readers don’t need to see you every day, but they need to like whatever you do present them.
Whether you are doing your marketing yourself, or your publisher is doing it with you, may your efforts be fruitful and successful!