New Year, New Marketing Tactics!
Staying abreast of the latest marketing trends can be both exciting and exhausting for authors who are trying to attract new readers. Whether you’re a self-published author who does it all, or you have an entire marketing team to support you, authors still need to drive their own brand. Just as an author’s unique writing style is what ultimately creates a bond with readers, an author’s unique marketing style is what attracts the right readers in the first place.
Get creative this year and find the marketing tactics that feel exciting and sustainable for YOU!
Which New Marketing Tactics Should Authors Try in 2019?
From Alexa and OK, Google, to ChatBots and data, these are the marketing tactics that will help authors sell more books in 2019!
Build a Messenger List. Many, many authors have email lists so they can inform their readers of sales, new books, and exciting promotions. Tools like MailChimp and Constant Contact have helped authors stay in touch with their most loyal readers—but there’s a new way to keep in touch, and now is the time to give it a try!
While it’s easy to ignore an email on a busy day (studies show that the average adult receives over 100 emails per day), a Facebook or WhatsApp message can feel personal. SingleGrain shared these stats in a recent post:
”Messenger sees open rates of 80-90% and click-through rates of 20% (and sometimes as high as 50%!), which means that Messenger marketing is about 10x more effective than email marketing.”
For more info on this tactic, I recommend the SingleGrain article.
Use Free Analytics Tools to Learn About Your Readers. OK, I’m just going to list a bunch of resources here. Check them out and see what works best for you!
Insights and analytics for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, etc. Easy, free, and super informative!
Google Trends—See what search terms are trending in your niche (then use them in your blog posts or on your website).
Think with Google—Consumer insights and trends.
Hootsuite Analytics—if you use Hootsuite to schedule your posts, you can access their free analytics tools.
CamelCamelCamel—Weird name, but super useful tool for people who don’t have access to Nielsen Bookscan (NPD Bookscan) data every day. Set up free alerts for when your book is reduced in price and view your price and rank history from Amazon. Another interesting tool for this type of alert is AMZ Alert, but it’s an investment.
Find Micro-Influencers—Influencer marketing has been around for a while (probably forever), but in 2019, authors should focus on the micro-influencers as much as the big social media brands. While the big names on Facebook or Instagram may work with you to promote your book, often they charge money or are difficult to work with. Approaching ten smaller brands and reaching out to do a trade or a giveaway can yield higher results. When you’re searching, look for people who post about books like your book, or topics like your topic!
Help Alexa Find Your Book—Just when you figured out SEO, now it’s time to transition your strategy to attract people using voice search! Most people phrase their voice searches as questions, so creating content that answers a specific question can help your answer get delivered by Alexa or OK, Google. To find out what types of questions people are asking about your topic or niche, check out Answer the Public. Type in a search term, and all the variations of asked questions pop up. Plus it’s a really fun site to use!
Share Your (Real) Self. GenZ (people born from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s) makes up about 25% of our population. And these kids are readers—as suggested by the heartening increases in physical book sales and independent bookstore numbers! One 17- year-old interviewed by The Bookseller late last year said: "Reading is only time I can have proper down time and away from all the noise".
Though of course it’s impossible to define an entire generation with a blanket rule, it’s also fair to say that many GenZ book buyers are looking for voices with authenticity and integrity in addition to innovation. This means that if you’re a grouchy older person who loves cats, you’ve got to own it. You can’t pretend to be a hip jet-setter if you never leave your comfy writing nook. GenZ readers can sniff out the BS a mile away, but there is plenty of room for authentic voices of all kinds!
Join the Conversation. I know, I know, authors have been doing this since the early days of social media—but asking questions, commenting, commenting back, replying, retweeting—all these are opportunities to create connections with potential fans. Join Facebook groups about your subject matter. Treat it as research on your readers, and listen to what they’re saying. It will pay off and create new opportunities for you in 2019. Guaranteed!
And one old-school tip to finish this article off. Find your platform and jump all the way in. Be where your readers are. Create images and messages that are the right size and shape and format for YOUR primary platform, and then share it on other platforms as well.
Here’s a rough breakdown of who is using various sites:
Facebook: 62% of online Seniors aged 65+ are on Facebook and 72% are between age 50-64, 88% of online users of age 18-29 are on Facebook, 84% of those 30-49, 82% of college graduates are on Facebook. The average time spent on Facebook per visit is 35 minutes up from 20 minutes previously. (Source: Omnicore Agency)
Twitter: 43% of 30-49-year-olds Twitter users use the platform to receive news, 32% of U.S. teens use Twitter, but only 3% say it’s the platform they use most often. (Source: Hootsuite)
Pinterest: 81% of Pinterest users are females (though Pinterest reports 50% of new sign-ups are men), 93% of active pinners said they use Pinterest to plan for purchases and 87% said they’ve purchased something because of Pinterest. The top category in the US is Art, Art Supplies & Hobbies. (Source: Omnicore Agency)
Instagram: 57 million users (3% of all users) between ages 13-17, 270 million (32%) between ages 18-24. Even gender breakdown between daily active users. (Source: Hootsuite)
Reddit: “The basic takeaway for both age and gender is simple: the biggest part of Reddit’s audience skews young and male.” (Source: TechJunkie)
Goodreads: Most users are women between 18-45. (Source: Statisa)
Whatever you’re doing in 2019, do it with enthusiasm—and keep it up! Let your unique voice be heard.