Online Marketing experts love to use fancy words like SEO (search engine optimization), SEM (search engine marketing, aka “paid search”), SMO (
social media optimization), and ROI (return on investment) when dealing with businesses, but do these apply to Authors?
Yes! With 15 million books online (in both print and eBook) and considering that there is a new book published every 5 minutes, Authors have more competition than ever before. GoodReads alone has 68 million readers and most of them might not know you exist.
Book promotions are not enough, especially since we live in a "what's in it for me" world. Readers, just like any other consumer, want value for money, and most of all... FREE stuff. So if you have any hope to increase your sales or get your book to Best Seller status, those fancy words are your key to success.
Now to the big question: How do you use them and give your readers what they want at the same time?
SEO - Blog posts direct traffic to your website. By posting regularly and optimizing each aspect of your blog post for search engines, you will increase traffic, newsletter subscriptions and book sales. They key is to post content of interest that will be in the search parameters of your readers and encourage them to engage and amplify your content. Make sure you keep them coming back for more with special offers if they subscribe to your newsletter and or share your content. Also, a little Author PR goes a long way. Take time to guest post on blogs, offer review requests and interviews. Offer to write articles for online magazines on a subject matter that will interest your ideal reader. Market yourself everywhere on online website directories. Have an Amazon Author page, Author website and Author ads on industry websites. Host or be hosted for Giveaways, online events and book promotions. Make sure your name is everywhere, and that when people do visit any of your profiles, that they get hooked enough to buy your book!
SEM - It would be great to reach 70 million readers with just a blog post or a Twitter status update. In reality it doesn't work like that. You can be the best at target audience mapping, but your readers are a diverse set of humans, with varied interests, from different backgrounds and demographics. To get to them, you need to make sure your book is visible to them, be it on Social Media or Amazon. The only way to effectively do that is through Pay Per Click advertising or Sponsored ads. It's tricky for most people, but if you can get your key words, search tags, and other metrics just right, your ad will appear where and when they are online. Then all you have to do is reel them in with an offer they can't refuse. Think FREE stuff!
SMO - In order to leverage social media to achieve your goals as an Author, you need to have a constant presence. Even harder, is to have a consistent presence on all social media platforms. From your headers to your posts, everything must be uniform on all platforms, and everything you post must be in line with your brand, your voice and your reader's interests. Interact with your current and potential readers and allure them to become brand ambassadors. Having die hard fans talking about you non-stop are better than 5000 reviews.
ROI - All of the Author PR, PPC ads, and Book promotions is time, money and resources you invest in yourself and your work to achieve your goals. Whatever your goals were when you set out a Campaign, the Return On Investment will enable you to measure the true success of that Campaign and determine whether or not you had achieved that goal. Your ROI is tracked, managed and measured not in terms of profit, but in terms of what it cost you compared to the results. A retweet from Stephen King might not translate into sales, but the exposure to a new readers are priceless. It is therefore important that everything you do is quantifiable and traceable on Google Analytics or by other means.
In closing, every Author's dream is to have their book read and reviewed by 70 millions readers! Their goal in the end is to have their book read and reviewed by as many readers as possible. Achieving your goals is not impossible. If you are willing to put in the time and resources you can try it, refine your skills at all these fancy words and be a great success...eventually. Or you can get the professionals to help you.
Books On Fire Tours Blog Tours and PR Services.