Selling a book is a long game. It’s all about staying in the market and consistently doing things to find readers day after day.
One of the best ways to do that is through content marketing. So if you’re wondering what content marketing is and how to use it as an author, well, I have some great news. This article is for you.
What is Content Marketing?
Let’s get down to basics. One of the things I do a lot as an author and a business owner is content marketing. So what is content marketing?
If you watch and enjoy our videos on YouTube, you can bet you’re seeing a great example of content marketing in action. My entire YouTube channel is content marketing, like this video right here:
All the live streams I do, yep, content marketing. My biweekly email newsletter, “The Launch Letter,” you got it, more content marketing.
Content marketing is any value content you create that has a long life. Your audience will find it on search engines, and it sends people to you.
Content takes on many forms. It could be imagery, written texts, videos, in-person content, or audio.
What’s So Important about Content Marketing for Authors?
Every nonfiction author should be doing content marketing. Here’s why:
- It establishes your credibility as an author
- It lets you build a loyal audience
- You get to reduce the cost of your advertising
- It drives traffic organically to your website (no ad spend necessary)
- You’ll have more PR opportunities.
- All this leads to more book sales and business growth.
Need I say more? Now that you know why you should spend time in content marketing, let’s dive deep into how you can do it as an author. Here are six tips on using content marketing to skyrocket your book sales.
Six Content Marketing Tips to Sell More Books
Tip#1: Create High-Value Reader Magnets
Now, the first and most important thing you should create is at least one high-value reader magnet. I’ll link to a video on that at the end, so you’ve got some help and support in creating one.
That reader magnet needs to be set up on an opt-in page so you can collect email addresses and begin building a relationship with people interested in your content.
For example, this link takes you to a simple download page to get the “Business Book” download. Now that’s a great example of a reader magnet.
What you do beyond your reader magnet, well, it’s pretty much up to you.
Tip#2: Pick a Format That Appeals to You and Your Audience
If you’re starting completely new, my suggestion would be to tap into places that already have an existing audience versus setting up a blog on your website and having to drive traffic to that blog.
You don’t have to wait for the search engines to deem you worthy.
Indeed, the content marketing options are endless, and I know book marketing can already feel overwhelming.
So rather than give you a gigantic list of all the things you can do, I’d just have you pick one that appeals to you even a little.
Imagine someone said you could only create one type of content for a year. What’s that content? Will it be audio, written, live stream, imagery, or video? For me, it’s video.
Video content helps my business. It sells books, and it makes me feel good because I’m helping people. Ultimately, I enjoy creating video content for you.
This format is a creative outlet for me. I can teach stuff I’ve learned, which I love to do. And apparently, I enjoy talking where nobody talks back to me.
Now, think about what content kind of gives you that feeling. Once you know that, decide on your platform.
Tip#3: Choose One Platform that Supports Your Format and Get Good at It
You have endless options when choosing a platform. Your platform could be a website, LinkedIn, TikTok, or YouTube.
All I’m asking is for you to commit to one type of content and then commit to a regular content creation schedule no matter what.
You may have noticed that I’ve posted videos every Tuesday and Friday for four years. I don’t miss a day unless it’s during my summer break, where I take a five-week break from posting new content for my mental sanity.
I keep to this commitment by batching content. I usually shoot between six to 10 videos in a day, which takes about three days of prep.
But it’s all batched, so I’ve got a bunch of videos. If I get sick or traveling, a video always comes out every Tuesday and Friday.
So to recap, choose one format for now, then set a schedule, and commit to sticking to that for one year.
Tip#4: Brainstorm Content Your Audience Will Love
Now, brainstorm all the things your book audience will want to hear (or read). Remember that lovely ideal reader we’ve talked about so many times? Brainstorm all the things they’ll find valuable.
And this can come straight from your book. For example, if you look at my book “Self-Publish and Succeed,” you’ll notice correlations between that book’s content and my YouTube videos.
I have a section about copyright pages in the book, and I pretty much took that content word for word and turned it into a video for the YouTube channel.
I’ve also taken excerpts from the book and published them on various websites and in other people’s newsletters. I usually just add some intro comments or closing remarks when I do that.
In every piece of content you create, make sure you have a call to action. You want to send people to that all-important reader magnet you’ve created.
Tip#5: Always Find Ways to Repurpose Content
Now, here’s where content marketing gets fun. You can always repurpose content.
For me, repurposing happens in many ways. Like I said, the videos get turned into articles, the articles get turned into social media posts, and so on.
Other people also use the videos on their blogs. In my biweekly newsletter, I reference some content or pull from the scripts of a video for the material. The list goes on.
Just because you put that content into the world once in one format, you don’t have to stop there.
Use it as audiovisual clips, snippets, and words wherever you can. Very few people will ever see it in all the places or ways. And even if they do, they’re probably going to be okay with it.
Your audience who’ve already seen your repurposed content just might not spend as much time on that content. But usually, you’re reaching different people with different formats.
Tips#6: Use Paid Ads to Drive Reach and Awareness
Now that you’ve got your content into the world, you can finally spend money on ads if you want to. Paid ads that get sent to content tend to cost less than if you’re sending to a buy.
These ads also build a much stronger audience, which leads to book sales, brand awareness, and business growth.
I’ve stopped donating money to Big Blue with only one campaign exception that did perform for me until Facebook abruptly shut it down.
I have not been able to make Facebook ads profitable, but I have had success with Google ads on YouTube, leveraging all the amazing content I have on YouTube.
But I didn’t start with ads. I started with content, and once that content was performing, I invested in ads.
Bonus Tip: Consistent Effort is Key to Content Marketing Success
If you feel that all this content marketing is work, it is, and it’s work you have to do consistently to get results.
Now, there are some companies out there that you can hire to help you, but one action will rarely lead to thousands of sales.
It’s consistent effort over time that leads to your own version of YouTube besties, book sales, clients, and more. That’s why I said pick something you enjoy and stick with it.
You won’t find me hanging out on our social media channels or writing big, long articles for magazines or other places. I can do those things, but I prefer not to. It’s not as fun for me.
As Book Launchers grows, other people on my team are taking on some of those tasks. But for me, you’ll find me hanging out right here on YouTube. So go ahead, say hi on one of the videos, and I’ll prove it to you.
And when you do say hi, let me know where I can find some of your great content.
Looking for a professional team that will help you self-publish? Set up a call with Book Launchers today!
Let’s take your book from concept to copies in your valuable readers’ hands.