Setting Up Effective, Long Term Author Marketing Strategies

A huge and very common issue with authors is trying to run a coherent marketing plan while also trying to put out new content. The end result often looks like sales slumps & ineffective promotions that seem to go nowhere and just cost money.  In today’s episode we discusses how to set-up a consistent, evergreen author marketing strategy. While this might not be a list of every single thing an author can do it DOES cut through the fat and only focuses on what is currently moving the needle the most.  Listen as Jonny discusses what to expect from Facebook ads, AMS ads, book discovery sites, and newsletter promotions. He’ll also show you how to effectively run long and short-term promotional campaigns together in a way that maximizes your sales & audience building!

Episode Highlights

  • Today’s episode is about how to set-up a consistent evergreen author marketing strategy
    • A great strategy is one that will have maximum effect with minimum movement
    • The focus should be on what works best to keep your sales consistent
    • This is all about understanding the difference between different marketing tactics & how they work independently as well as a unit
    • When you know these differences you can set up a marking plan that will produce consistent, quality results
  • There are a handful of authors who have rock solid marketing strategies
    • And then there’s the rest who don’t have a coherent strategy, which is also normal
  • A promotion schedule should be just as easy as a paint-by-number template
    • There are different kinds of promotions and different kinds of outcomes
  • You can set an expectation with your marketing plan
    • Expectations should be in-line with reality
  • Focus on PPC or pay-per-click
    • Fiction authors should stick only to FaceBook & AMS Ads to keep the costs down
    • AdWords and Bing can get expensive for most authors
      • But, they can also be profitable if you know your numbers and have backend products
  • Heavy Focus On Facebook ads
  • The goal is to optimize the clicks to your book OR the cost per subscriber
    • Most authors will run an ad and end it when they don’t see a result as early as they were expecting
    • Advertising can be terrorizing for a lot of authors
    • The longer you run your ads on Facebook, the more data you can get
    • Facebook will know who to target depending on your parameters but will also optimize over time
    • An ad will have an average run of 2 days depending on the budget (7 is ideal according to FaceBook)
    • If you keep testing, you will see results and what actually works
  • Your main goal for your ad is to get at least a 3% unique click-through-rate
    • Relevance score should be at least 5%
    • Test 6 different images in running an ad
    • 1 or 2 out of 6 images will likely attract more than the rest
    • If all of the images aren’t working, it’s okay to just start again
    • Make sure you give them enough time to cook
  • The things that you should be testing are images, ad copy, headlights, calls-to-action, and your audience—they should be tested one at a time
  • Facebook is the best place to build your mailing list
  • Building your subscriber list should be an effort made daily
    • It takes a long time to see results so just be consistent
    • As time passes, the power you have in selling your books will increase
  • Newsletter promotion is the next vital part of your evergreen marketing plan
    • It is simple and has the most basic expectation
    • Most authors use newsletter promotions to measure their other promotions which is a BIG mistake
    • So effective you can “hit send/sell book”
  • How to leverage book discovery sites
    • Discovery site newsletter promotion is effective, but it needs to be coordinated within a 24-hour period
    • You want to stack multiple stacks on top of each other in just 24 hours
    • It laser targets the email tracker for multiple sites
    • Authors love this because it works well and fast
    • The downside is you can’t run it very often
    • It has a massive short-lived effect
  • AMS ads are great for boosting your page-rate
    • They fall under the slow-burn, long-term category of ads
  • We stack long-term promotions then punch in short-term promotions
  • In 2011, Jonny launched a site, I Love Vampire Novels, without any idea if it would work or not
    • 6 years later, Jonny was able to grow from nothing to 135K subscribers, 5 book discovery sites, 3M readers weekly and now works with close to 15K authors helping to sell their books
  • Build your marketing plan so you will become a juggernaut on your own
  • Have your long-term Facebook ads build your platform and push your first book in the series combined with your coordinated book discovery site punching in every 60-90 days
    • In order to do that, you should run a 90-day set promo or a free promo
    • This tactic can lead to your slow and effective growth
  • Newsletter building is running traffic to your website by having a free copy promo in exchange for their emails
    • This can impact your selling power over time
    • This is vital for every author
  • With book discovery sites, rent a space on a group newsletter based on your genre—the goal is to schedule it within a 24-hour period
    • You want to maximize the punch effect
  • In the long run, your aim is to make your ads more effective, but more cost efficient
  • How to make your numbers work is something you figure out from previous episodes
    • Have list-building ads running all the time
    • For single genre series, have long-term Facebook ads that push the first book of the series to hook readers and create steady traffic
    • Rotate 60-90 days on coordinated book discovery sites and run promos twice a year or depending on your book release
  • There are lots of promotional strategies that you can use, but the strategies that were discussed in this podcast are the most effective for long-term, measurable gains

3 Key Points:

  1. Facebook ads are not email.  They don’t always create immediate results.  More often than not it takes multiple tests and  time before you see the gains.
  2. Your mailing list will be your ultimate weapon in business; the sooner you build it, the better.
  3. Set expectations that will help you track if your marketing plan is working or not.

Resources Mentioned: