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Getting your name out there can be a challenge, especially for up-and-coming authors who may just be breaking into the industry for the first time. After all, while you’ve probably already done your research on which platforms have the best self-publishing deals, you still need people to find and purchase your book before you gain any benefit from these deals.
This is where marketing, both online and offline, comes in. So, the chances are you’ve set up a website, and begun working on your social media presence. Perhaps you’ve even got an active blog; after all, you are a writer, so this is a great way to keep your readers engaged between publications, collect feedback, and stretch those creative muscles.
Yet, while written content is a critical element of your marketing efforts, you could have an even greater impact by working video into your strategy. Here are just a few ways adding this marketing tactic to your repertoire could work for you.
Recommended reading: How To Manage Your Writing Time Effectively
The most obvious reason to embrace video content is that it enables you to tap into new audiences, reconnect with former readers, and reach people in a new and different way. The consumption of video content is as prevalent as ever, and research suggests that video marketing can generate a significant upturn in qualified leads.
Short-form content is a great place to start, as it’s simple to create, and easy for your audience to digest. Once you’ve gotten them hooked, you can funnel them to your channel, or your website, where you can ultimately convert them into a dedicated fan.
There are numerous places to post your content, from creating a YouTube channel to sharing material on your own website, or via platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and even Amazon’s Prime Video Direct service. Each platform will tap into a different audience and will record metrics such as views and conversions according to slightly different parameters.
It may take some trial and error to navigate these options at first, but once you get into the swing of things, this data can be immensely valuable. For example, this data can help you to identify the most successful pieces of content, and figure out what works best on each platform, which should ultimately facilitate the optimization of your content going forward.
The mushrooming of social media has created a societal shift. As our access to celebrities, authors, sports stars, and brands increases we want a face to see, hear and connect with. Your audience doesn’t just want to read your work; they want to get to know you. What does this mean? You need to engage with them.
Video content gives you the opportunity to connect with your readers in a new and more direct fashion and gives them a peek behind the scenes at the same time. Plus, this type of interaction can be a two-way street, as it enables you to gather valuable feedback about your work, and even to crowdsource ideas.
This latter tactic might feel like cheating, but actually, it’s a brilliant way to give your readers a sense of agency and cause them to feel more invested in your work, as they will have become part of it. Your task then is to use your magic to give those ideas substance.
Other ways to engage could include posting progress reports, talking about your creative process, or even hosting Q&A sessions, either live or prerecorded, depending on how confident you’re feeling.
You could even host an online event, such as book launch party, which enables you to get a large percentage of your readership involved all at the same time, no matter where they are in the world. This is an excellent way to build excitement for a new release and to establish links within your community of followers.
Sometimes creating video content can simply be cathartic. Your use of this outlet will be dependent on your audience, and the standard you have set for your personal brand. However, if it is in keeping with your overarching approach to audience engagement, there’s nothing wrong with the occasional candid video. Take a look at this post from Colleen Hoover, which she titles “This is what career rock bottom looks like.”
The ability to see behind the mask, and get a glimpse at the real you can be extremely valuable to your readers. It enables them to establish a deeper emotional connection to you and your work and reassures them that at the end of the day, you’re still a human being. This can be doubly helpful when a project is moving slowly and your growing fanbase is becoming impatient for the next installment.
Let people know what else is in your life, warts and all. You may be an author first, but that’s not all you have going on. Are you training as a chef? Learning to play the flute? Planning to sell a business this year? Something that sounds like a breeze to one person can be a great source of difficulty to another, and we can all empathize with general self-improvement. Perhaps George R. R. Martin would receive less flak from fantasy fans if he released video explanations of his signature delays instead of just tweeting.
It can also be a great way to share good news, or just spread the joy when you’re having a good day. As an added bonus, according to the Q3 report from Tubular Insights, uplifting stories have seen a significant upturn in views and a 74 percent rise in engagement throughout the first half of 2018.
Another fantastic implementation of video content is to use it as a collaborative space. Take a look at Matt Finch’s YouTube Channel for example. Not only does the channel have a memorable name, and an instantly recognizable profile picture, but the channel is packed with content involving other writers, creators, and influencers from throughout the RPG industry.
In these videos, guests discuss their personal projects and collaborative efforts, talk about past successes and failures, and even critique and promote each other’s work. If you jump across to one of the ‘featured’ channels, such as Questing Beast, you will see that they have similar content cross-promoting Matt, and his company, Frog God Games.
This is something that anyone can do. Start by working with a few close friends, particularly those who have already established themselves online. This familiarity will enable you to have a relaxed conversation, and set the tone for the sort of content you want to create. Going forward, you can reach out to other names within your industry, and perhaps even create new opportunities for collaboration and co-creation.
Whether you choose to focus on just one of these avenues, or mix and match to build a more comprehensive video marketing campaign, this is one area of your inbound strategy that you shouldn’t overlook. Creating great video content does not have to be a chore. Start with a format with which you feel comfortable, and keep an eye on your performance metrics so you can learn what’s working, and what needs a rethink.
Websites such as Powtoon, Renderforest, and Moovly even offer handy tools which make it straightforward for anyone to create their own videos, even if they have no prior experience in this area. Remember, this is an opportunity to engage with your audience in a new way, so have some fun, and give them a glimpse of the person behind the books and blog posts they have already come to love.
Kayleigh Alexandra is a content writer for Writer zone and Micro Startups—a site with a conscience. Check out their articles on content writing, charitable causes, and marketing. Follow them on Twitter @getmicrostarted.
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