Hello Writers! Happy New Year!
I’m excited about 2018 and looking forward to sharing more in-depth author marketing tips.
At the end of 2017, we completed a comprehensive 4-Unit, 16-lesson Digital Marketing Course – whew! If you want to check back on the lessons again, here is a link to Lesson 1.
First, I’d like to say Congratulations on getting through the 4-Unit course. You’re a trooper! To kick-off this year, I’d like to dive right in with some ‘bonus’ content related to Display Advertising, Mobile Advertising, and Media Planning. These elements didn’t fit perfectly into the Digital Marketing coursework, but should not be overlooked.
Without further ado:
Bonus 1: Display Advertising for Authors
While scrolling through websites on a desktop or a smartphone you have most likely come across all types of different advertising techniques. When you are working on your marketing and advertising approach, it really helps to look into these different techniques to see how you can use them to your advantage. Today we will talk about display marketing and the pros and cons of using this type of marketing approach.
So what exactly is display advertising? Display ads are the banners that appear in a highly visible spot on a webpage and the boxes of text between paragraphs or in a sidebar that are obviously advertisements. They usually appear in areas that have been created specifically for ads. While display ads may appear as a video, they are designed to stay in their specific area on the page, unlike the more disruptive ads such as pop-ups or scrolling ads that are known as “rich media”. Display ads are very obviously advertisements, making them a little different to the native advertisement. A native ad tends to blend into the content on the page and is not so easily detectable as an advertisement. A display ad, on the contrary, is very obviously created as a means to a quick and easy conversion.
The great side of display advertising is its flexibility: you can create all types of formats and sizes depending on the site that they will appear on and where you want them to appear. They can easily be tracked and customized to fit a certain target demographic, so you could use a display ad to really pinpoint exactly the people you think would be interested in clicking through. However, the flexibility of this type of advertising also means that it is literally everywhere, so commonplace that people tend to zone it out, scrolling past without even seeing anything. How often do you scroll through your favorite website and completely ignore the sidebar? How many ads do you think you could tell us that you have seen today? So if you decide to use display advertising as part of your general marketing approach it is important to create something that is really going to attract your target within less than a second.
A typical place for authors to advertise is Amazon Marketing Services.
You want to catch your potential customer’s eye. This can be done by creating an ad that is appealing and gives just enough information to draw someone to click on it but doesn’t overwhelm them so they lose interest. Assume that your target audience is smart and savvy and be direct in your approach – they will appreciate your honesty and integrity, and it provides a positive view of your business in general. In addition to all of this, try to create an ad that looks like your brand – something that stands out but also blends in with your overall voice.
Once you have set up your campaign you will need to identify how you are going to track it, and if necessary, optimize your work. Use your analytics tools to see how many visitors your site or page is attracting, their demographic, whether they are returning or not, what your click-thru and conversion rates are, and your social media metrics. You should also analyze your cost per click or cost per lead calculations to see if your display advertising campaign is providing you with a positive ROI or not. You can configure your analytics to do the work for you, and if the numbers are not adding up then it may be a case of reviewing keywords or updating your target demographics. Or you may just decide that this advertising technique is not working for you.
An authorpreneur who does not have the funds for a full advertising campaign can look into the benefits of performance-based and affiliate marketing. Performance-based advertising only costs you if your ad generates a certain action. The benefit of this type of advertising is that you won’t be out of pocket if it doesn’t work, but it is important to do that backend work to ensure that once a potential customer has clicked on the link (and you have paid for it), they are interested enough to convert that click into a sale.
Affiliate marketing works best for those who have a good base following and basically means that you are paid to promote a certain product to your fans through your landing page, social media, and/or blog. Affiliate marketing works best when you are able to naturally promote something that you believe in and that you use yourself. If it doesn’t appear natural, your followers may sense that you are trying to sell them something and just scroll on by.
In any case, whether you decide to invest in a display advertising campaign, performance-based marketing, or jump on the affiliate marketing route, be sure to consistently apply optimization strategies to your marketing campaigns, so that they bring continue to provide you with a good ROI. Use your writing talent to create great content, learn all about SEO techniques to ensure your content and ads appear all over the place, exactly where your target demographic will be and be prepared to use analytics to track successes and tweak content when something isn’t working as well as it should do.
BONUS 2: Mobile Advertising and Media Planning
These days we are so used to switching between devices in order to access online content that we don’t even stop to think about it. We may read the headlines on a tablet over breakfast, check the weather from our mobile phones during our daily commute, and watch a movie through our smart TV when we get home. Books are now read through all types of devices, and it is pretty much imperative for any budding authorpreneur to factor this into their overall marketing plan. This means that you need to be all the more aware of how well your marketing copy translates across different devices. Your marketing content needs to work on desktop and mobile, and on all of the different types of mobiles devices. In addition to this, you also need to study when and why one device is used over another, and factor that into your overall plan—it has become increasingly important to consider both content AND context when it comes to mobile marketing!
With mobile marketing, you can really broaden your reach. Study your target market’s demographics and the context of their mobile use. Do they tweet over breakfast and peruse Instagram at lunch? Do they read or listen to books on their commute home, or is that more of an evening habit? This information can really help you hone into where you can market your content. Authorpreneurs will find it very valuable to create an online profile via social media, as this is an important first step into getting your name out there. Give your potential readers some insight into who you are and how you write, interacting with them on a regular basis. There are also other ways to build up readership via mobile marketing that have proven success rates: preview new plots via social media, use an SMS mailing list in addition to an email one, or even create your own free app. The key here is to be present, consistent, and update frequently.
As with any marketing campaign, proper review and planning are a must to succeed. A successful mobile marketing campaign requires an in-depth study of target market demographics as well as use of mobile device, at what time, and from where. If I am sitting in front of my laptop eating my lunch at work I am more likely to be reading through a news article or blog post. If I am on my phone waiting for the bus I will probably be scrolling through Twitter or Facebook. We all have our online habits and routines, and a savvy authorpreneur will be able to use their analytics to narrow down the areas when and where their campaigns will attract the most people. The end goal will always be to convert clicks into sales, so use all of the tools available to you to get to this goal! There are quite a few free and paid tools online that will help you drill through all of your analytics, as well as through your fans and followers’ backgrounds to help determine who they are and what they like to see. Your aim will be to see the percentage of mobile users in your midst, and how they use their mobiles – this will then help you determine how you configure your content. Do your users open email on their tablet? Then your newsletter must be configured for that device. Do your readers seem to click on your paid Facebook ads? Then use that to your advantage.
Just like any other marketing strategy, it’s important to set goals and KPIs for your mobile marketing plan. Once you have used your data to analyze your target market and create an overall view of your readers’ general personas, you can set certain attainable goals. A goal might be determining how to market your business across different channels while maintaining your brand voice, or testing out the difference having a mobile-friendly web page makes. With the number of people using a mobile device to access all type of information today, mobile-friendly content is a must. Analysis shows that if a page doesn’t load fast enough, or if you have to scroll to read something, then people tend to abandon ship within a few seconds. You want your content to be accessible, but also clear: your message needs to come across rapidly, and still remain attractive. (Another potential goal for you!).
Basically, your aim will be to use a media strategy that includes mobile devices in your overall marketing goals. There is a constant push to create bigger and better mobile and tablet devices, and with over 60% of people using their mobile phone or tablet to open emails and search for content, it would be in most businesses’ best interest to make sure their content engages people on all platforms. With proper research, you can also find the perfect way to engage your market over several different channels at once.
Growth Hacking Tip: Make your 404 page a landing page
When people get lost on your site, why not prompt them with something of value and a call-to-action? Popular giveaways can include ebooks, checklists, and course signup pages for lost visitors.
Photo(s) of the week: The hubs and I traveled via Subway from Brooklyn to Queens this past week while my parents were visiting. We had a daytime date where we went to see Never Built New York at the Queens Museum. Afterward, we had a late lunch at Himalayan Yak Restaurant. Pictured is the Yak Momo off the ‘Yak Yak and more Yak’ Restaurant-only Menu. Eaten with a side of Yak cheese (not pictured) and butter tea.
Kiddo of the week:
He asked Santa for a ‘squid pillow’ and this is seriously the cutest one available on Amazon:
Next time we will dive into a new series: Facebook Advertising for Authors. I can’t wait to share these tips with you.
Have a great week!
ps. A quick heads-up: I’m doing another Teleseminar on January 17th with the NonFiction Authors Association. Click HERE to learn more.
Get the 2018 Build Your Author Business Plan Course
Learn how #authors can use Display Advertising for positive ROI: [Marketing and Optimization] Display Advertising, Mobile Advertising, and Media Planning for Authors https://t.co/CsioEgmofO via @Marquina
— Marquina (@Marquina) January 9, 2018
Also published on Medium.