Thanks for joining me for Part 3 of the Digging into Online Marketing for Authors series. You may or may not have heard the term “content is king.” In recent years, there has been a movement among internet marketers that has been coined “Content Marketing.” Or at least it seemed like something new to me, but as I dug deeper I realized I’ve been a “content” person all along… I just didn’t have a name for it. LOL!
Now some of the strategies that internet marketers deploy, I don’t think applies very well to an author, especially when you’re trying to market fiction. I do think it’s a good idea to study the industry. Marketers are continuously trying to drive traffic back to their websites with the goal being to capture a new lead or customer. Authors are always trying to attract new readers as well as keep loyal fans.
So, What is Content Marketing?
The Content Marketing Institute states “Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
Now another term to throw at you, would be “Inbound Marketing.” I first heard “Inbound Marketing” from HubSpot a few years ago. They were the first company that I saw investing a lot of time into blogging, social media and providing all types of cool content as free downloads in exchange for your email. Being an author, I started to see the value in offering cool content to my readers. In the quest to attract readers, it becomes really important to stand-out with something unique… that’s probably going to be some type of content.
Many authors spend a lot time posting “Buy My Book, Buy My Book” messages on Facebook or Twitter, making it obvious they’re more interested in getting the sales and/or commission. Now don’t get me wrong, obviously if you put a lot of effort into a book, you want to see some profit. With so many authors and books to choose from, what can you do to attract readers on a consistent basis?What can you do to attract readers on a consistent basis?Click To Tweet
Whether the reader has a desire to improve a skill, be inspired or just to have a story that carries them away from the world for a few hours, the idea is for your books to appeal to something that reader is seeking. As a literary entrepreneur, your marketing goal is to figure out that sweet spot where you’re marketing with the emphasis on “How This Book Can Serve Your Needs?”
So How Do you Find this Sweet Spot for Providing Value?
As I started to explore more about “Content Marketing,” I discovered I had been doing some of this content-driven marketing for years. Content marketing is basically when you create valuable content for others to consume in one or more of the forms below:
- Video marketing
- Short-form, information eBooks (could be short stories or flash fiction for fiction authors)
- Email Newsletters
- Social media marketing
- Slideshares or Presentations
- Graphics and Infographics
Looking at this list, I bet you have tried some of these forms of content marketing too. The thing is as the author YOU are one person so you can’t do all of these, but you can focus on at least one and dedicate time to that type of marketing.
Having valuable content is really essential to building a platform. It also provides you something more interesting to post on social media than the typical, “Buy My Book” post.Having valuable content is really essential to building a platform.'Click To Tweet
I have dedicated time to blogging and podcasting this year. In the past, I have tried both of these ventures, but this is the first time when I’m focused on building a brand that includes nonfiction books and other products.
While I focus on nonfiction with The Literary Entrepreneur, I have been trying out content marketing angles with my fiction book as well. The character blog, EugeenaPatterson.com, has been almost two year experiment that I’m just now learning to focus more heavily on my target audience – baby boomers. I’m sharing all of this because developing content of value is not an overnight success. You have to be passionate about your book as well as what you can do beyond the book to keep the momentum going.
So, what are you doing to bring value to your readers?
Here is a quick recap of the posts in the Digging Into Online Marketing for Authors series.
- What is Online Marketing?
- Authors, Are You Building a Mailing List?
- Content Marketing: What Value Do You Bring To Readers? (this post)
- For #Authors: How to Increase Your Social Media Visibility