Content Marketing for Authors of Fiction
There are some common practices, requirements and techniques used in all forms of content marketing regardless of who your audience is. There are also some very distinct differences in content marketing when targeting specific niche groups and markets.
‘Content Marketing’ is the current hot buzzword in the world of online marketing. It is not new. If you think ‘content marketing’ is new to marketing them let me tell you it has been around for many years. In fact people have been writing and producing content for target audiences for many years.
I started my first website over ten years ago which targeted the tennis coaching industry for which I had a previous life in. I wrote hundreds of instructional articles directly for tennis coaches. It is no different today except that due to Google placing more emphasis on quality content that there seems to be more focus on this term.
Websites and blogs are being ranked and judged by Google on the relevance and quality for content and less on just the key words and mat data.
When it comes to content marketing for non-fiction there is more of a focus on answering someone’s questions and solving their problem. It could be; how to lose weight; how to make more money; how to build a house; how to cook healthy meals; to learning about a new topic or historical event.
Authors of fiction are not necessarily reading for the same reasons or to learn something new. Readers of fiction read for enjoyment, to be entertained, to escape from reality, to live the ‘characters,’ to bond with new characters and story-lines, to be involved in discussion groups or reading clubs, and many other reasons as you would now.
So as an author of fiction what are some key points for success when it comes to using content marketing to build a relationship and engage my target readers?
Here are some tips:
Your audience has specific reasons for wanting to read an eBook in your genre such as fantasy, romance, young adult, crime fiction to adult fiction. The content you post on your blog, website, on social media or in online communities should have the main goal of engaging your potential readers and building a relationship with them based on their interests in reading.
If you are not sure what fans of your genre like to talk about then explore some of the current online communities and forums where your fans already hangout and see what conversations they are having.
There is certain content (video, text, audio, eBooks) that your audience wants from you to meet their expectations and goals. It could be a free video about your plot, a trailer, free sample chapters, an audio interview about your eBook or additional material from a future eBook.
Your audience will at first have an interest in your eBook’s content and they fit in the ‘potential customer’ category. It is up to you to convince them to take that next step and buy your eBook. You can do this via engaging them and providing enough compelling reasons for them to buy your eBook and learn about your characters and plot.
Combining social media with an integrated marketing plan puts your content in front of your target audience and increases the chances of these readers buying your eBook.
If you can produce engaging content that inspires your readers then they will continue to follow you and will want to learn more about you as an author and also your eBooks.
You must provide content that delivers on their expectations. If you fail to do this, then they will see this as a reflection of the quality of your eBook.
What are Your Goals for Leveraging Content?
- Inspire your audiences to check out your social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest.
- Inspire your potential readers to connect with you.
- Convince your audience that your eBook is value for money and is worth buying.
- Inspire your audience to learn more about you.
- Inspire your audiences to engage with you via the content you provide.
- Help you inspire and connect with those who would want to buy your eBook.
- Inspire your audiences to take action such as signing up for your newsletter, Facebook page, subscribing to your YouTube videos or posting a comment on your blog.
Your Target Audience – Questions You Should Ask and Answer:
- What are your goals and objectives?
- Who is your target market (audience)?
- Where does your target audience hang out on the internet?
- What does your audience want and need?
- Who else are they talking to?
- What are they talking about?
- How can you become part of the conversation?
- How can your eBooks help them? (entertain, increased enjoyment….)
- What is the intended action you want the audience to take?
- What content will be required to engage your audience?
- Why should your audience read your blog or content?
- Why should they trust you over more known authors?
Your Content – Questions You Should Ask and Answer:
- Who are the ‘influencers’ in your genre?
- How can you establish contact with them?
- Where can you get your content published for maximum visibility and leverage?
- How will you disseminate your content?
- How will you know if your posts on social media are just a ‘one way talk fest’ where you are just creating a conversation with yourself?
- Are you effectively using content as an integral part of your marketing strategy?
- Do you believe you understand how to effectively create, integrate and get your content in front of your audience?
- Will you syndicate content?
- How will you measure results so that you can continuously optimize?
- How are you going to engage and communicate with your audience?
As a self-published author you take on the task of marketing and promotion. As an author of fiction you must understand who your audience is, what they want and then set-about giving them what they want.
Your content will depend on your specific genre and audience. What fans of adult fiction want will be different to what fans of crime fiction want.