Write for your audience, and don’t try to impress others with your skill
I recently read a nonfiction book. My assessment was that the author wrote to impress more than to educate. Though I did learn from her words, I’d have gained much more had she gotten out of the way and put me, the reader, first. I didn’t care how educated she was or about her sometimes sassy style. I wanted her to teach me.
Regardless if we’re writing a book, article, or blog post, we need to put the reader first. Our words need to serve them, not call attention to ourselves with our clever use of words or the way we weave a phrase. The same applies to sales copy and marketing efforts for our books. read more>>
Marketing can have one of two goals: make sales or create awareness. Although any marketing effort can do both of these, it will only do one of them well.
This post will discuss ways to create awareness – and when done right, top-of-mind awareness. That is, having our author brand be what a reader first thinks of when he or she considers what book to read next. Awareness, which some would call branding, is built slowly over time. Here are three strategies to consider: read more>>
With an online ad, a book sale is one click away
I once shared columnist Andrew Brenneman’s thoughts on the benefits of print advertising. It is, by the way, a compelling list that includes things we take for granted or overlook. Print advertising is the medium of choice to meet certain marketing objectives.
Notwithstanding that list, he also shares the benefits of online advertising. Consider these when contemplating marketing your book online using paid advertising: read more>>
Designing a great ad is an art that takes practice
In my work as a magazine publisher I see all sorts of print ads, from good to bad, appealing to boring, effective to ineffective. While ad creation is an art, one that requires both practice and talent, it’s also something that can be learned.
The biggest difference between a good ad and a bad ad is the use of white space. Novices fill every square millimeter of space with stuff: information and images they deem relevant and critical to their message. And if the words don’t all fit, they simply reduce the point size of the font until it does. Then to make key words or certain phrases stand out, they use italics, bold, underline, and uppercase. While none of these are necessarily bad, they need to be used with much restraint. read more>>
Social media and its wide reach on the Internet has given rise to word-of-mouth book recommendations. Given this trend, some book marketers wonder if there’s still a role for traditional advertising. Here are three reasons why traditional advertising is critical to promote books in a social media world:
Advertising Influences Recommendations: We don’t form opinions in a vacuum. Outside forces influence us. One credible source is advertising. These visual mediums provide a strong, but subconscious influence of how we feel and think. This includes influencing the book recommendations we receive and give. Sometimes we even make recommendations about books we haven’t read but only saw in ads. read more>>
It seems many authors are putting all of their book marketing efforts into social media. This is often shortsighted and not cost-effective. Though I’m not dismissing social media, it’s critical to proceed only in a practical, informed, and responsible way – and not just because everyone else is doing it or in reaction to the latest trend.
First, it’s called social media, not social marketing. The distinction is key. Use social media for social stuff not for marketing. It seems common sense. While social media can feed into book marketing, it is not a marketing machine. read more>>
Marketing experts says it takes an average of seven marketing touches before a consumer buys a product. Advertisers who run a couple of ads and give up are giving up too quickly. As writers with a book (or service) to sell, we need to keep this in mind if we want to maximize our success.
While we can accomplish each of these seven touches via the same promotional channel, we should tap multiple ones for greater effectiveness. What options might we consider? read more>>
The January issue of DM News (Direct Marketing News) had some interesting commentary about the advertising outlook for 2012.
They note that overall advertising expenditures are expected to outpace the US economy this year.
They also proclaim that online ads are expected to thrive in 2012, growing 11.2% to lead all forms of advertising. (This stat was shared by Stuart Elliott of The New York Times, citing Vincent Letang, executive VP and director for global forecasting at the MagnaGlobal unit of Mediabrands.)
This is good news. Advertising today paves the road for sales tomorrow. The overall economy will surely follow.
The following is from the 2010/11 MPA Magazine Handbook:
Magazine audiences are growing – and young adults read heavily: The number of magazine readers has grown more than 4% over the past five years. Ninety-three percent of adults overall and 96% of adults under age 35 read magazines.
- Magazine audiences are expanding across platforms: The number of magazine websites and mobile apps is increasing; e-readers are projected to grow rapidly – and consumers want to see magazine content on them.
- Magazine advertising gets consumers to act: More than half of all readers (56%) act on magazine ads. Plus, action-taking has increased 10% in the last five years.
- Magazines improve advertising ROI: Analysis of client-commissioned cross-media accountability studies found that magazines most consistently generate a favorable cost-per-impact throughout the purchase funnel.
- Magazines contribute most throughout the purchase funnel: Magazines are the most consistent performer in the purchase funnel, with particular strength in the key stages of brand favorability and purchase intent
- Magazines build buzz: Magazine readers are more likely than users of other media to influence friends and family on products across a variety of categories. Magazines complement the web in reaching social networkers, whom marketers increasingly favor to generate word-of-mouth.
- Magazines spur web traffic and search: Magazines lead other media in influencing consumers to start a search for merchandize online, ranking at or near the top by gender as well as across all age groups. Also, magazine ads boost web traffic, and magazine readers are more likely than non-readers to buy online.
- Magazines prompt mobile action-taking: Magazine readers are most likely to use a text message to respond to an ad and redeem a mobile coupon versus other media. Plus, magazines rank high in generating other mobile action.
- Magazines and magazine ads garner the most attention: When consumers read magazines they are much less likely to engage with other media or to take part in non-media activities compared to the users of TV, radio, or the internet.
- Magazine advertising is valuable content: Consumers are more likely to have a positive attitude toward advertising in magazines compared to other media.
- Magazines supply credibility: Multiple sources show that consumers trust ads in magazines.
- Magazines deliver reach: Across major demographic groups, the top 25 magazines deliver considerably more rating points than the top 25 primetime TV shows.
- Magazine audiences accumulate faster than you think: More than three-quarters of readers read their copy within the first three days. The average monthly magazine accumulates approximately 60% of its audience within a month’s time, and the average weekly magazine accumulates nearly 80% of its audience in two weeks.
There is a troubling trend in advertising; it is making ad buys based strictly on ROI (return on investment) calculations.
This tendency began in earnest with online advertising, which provides readily available performance data, such as impressions, clicks, and leads. Soon, advertisers were justifying ad buys solely using cost-per-click or cost-per-lead calculations – and forgetting the big picture of effective marketing.
For many forms of advertising, performance metrics are not available, so ROI calculations are non-existent or mere guesses. Lacking firm ROI numbers, some shortsighted advertisers are bypassing viable opportunities, such as print, thinking that they are making a wise and informed decision in doing so.
Most advertising builds brand awareness, but does little to generate immediate sales. So even if a unique phone number, email address, or landing page is included to measure response, it won’t matter. Ads that lack a clear call to action will have no action to measure. Branding ads pave the way to future sales, future goodwill, and future top-of-mind awareness. But that is hard to measure and takes a long time to realize.
Marketers who seek instant gratification may opt to rely on ROI to make decisions. However, those who want to be around for a long time, need to invest in branding efforts today in order to enjoy the rewards of increased sales tomorrow.
The long term success for the marketer, their company, and their brand cannot survive solely on ROI-driven media buys.