As a self-published author, if you want your book to get noticed by anyone outside of your immediate family and circle of friends you’ll have to approach marketing in an effective way.
But there’s very good news!
Just as self-publishing makes it possible for any writer to transform their ideas into a marketable book, content marketing makes it possible for anyone who can communicate well with words to create a marketing machine that works just as well as promotion backed by big money.
The key to what makes content marketing work so well for self-published book promotion is that it allows you to pre-sell your audience on the idea of buying your book.
When your audience is warmed up before they see your book offer, they arrive on your sales page feeling like buying your book is the natural step to take next.
Your Author Website is Your Foundation
If you’re a writer who plans to self-publish your books, you must have an author website. There’s no way around it.
Your author website is like your launch pad, your ground zero or your calling card. This is where all of your current and potential customers will go to find out more about who you are, what you stand for and what you have to offer.
Done correctly, your author website is also the place where you will collect the emails of people who want to hear more about your current and upcoming projects.
It’s where you integrate your email marketing, blogging, social media and other content marketing strategies that all point your target audience to the goal product – your books.
Consider your author website as your content marketing “hub” and make it something special. Check out author websites from E. L. James, Gillian Flynn and Mark Dawson for inspiration.
Blog Your Way to Exponential Success
Having a blog is one of the best ways to leverage the power of content marketing to attract and presell customers to your brand and offerings.
In fact, along with social media and email marketing, blogging is one of the types of content marketing that provides the highest return on investment.
Because people want fresh content delivered on a continual basis.
Today, 81% of people looking for goods and services do research online before they make a purchase.
Knowing this fact, means that one of your major goals should be to provide members of your target audience with as much information as possible. This makes it easier for them to come across your information during their research, which leads them to your book offers, and eventually, to the point that they make a purchase.
Blogging offers the perfect vehicle for this process to happen and the benefits are tremendous:
You create many opportunities to get found in the search engines.
You attract your ideal customer by writing blog posts that specifically interest them.
You boost the SEO factor of your website and book offers.
You build trust and likeability with your audience with regularly updated and interesting blog posts.
You keep your audience up-to-date on tidbits about your books, drawing them in and warming up to buy before you launch each new book.
Stay Top-of-Mind with Regular Emails
I mentioned earlier that one of the most important aspects of your author website is having a way to collect the email address of anyone who comes across your page looking for more information.
Email marketing is a powerful weapon to use in your self-publishing success arsenal.
When done the right way, email marketing offers one of the most effective forms of content marketing that you can use to presell an audience and get them excited and eager to buy your book the moment it comes out.
Studies show that 80% of sales happen after five follow-ups (or a total of six contacts)! This is because today’s consumers mainly buy from people they know and like.
By marketing on an ongoing basis with email, your potential customers get to know more about you and your books as you provide them with targeted and helpful content delivered on a regular basis right to their inbox.
This helps to deepen the newly established relationship over time, with the goal being to earn a sale and win a new customer for life.
Using a good email marketing system gives you the power to automate the entire process with just a few clicks of a mouse.
Done over a period of days, weeks or months, effective email marketing puts your audience into the right frame of mind to hit the “buy” button when it’s time for your book release.
Give Something Away Now to Sell More Later
Along with establishing a stellar author website, blogging on a regular basis and having an email marketing system in place, one of the best ways to leverage content marketing to presell your next book is to give a book away now.
This advice probably sounds like the exact opposite of what you think you should be doing, but hear me out.
Many savvy self-published authors have caught on to the fact that when it comes to selling books, brand recognition and exposure are two of the most important factors for success.
After all, if no one knows your book exists, how can they possibly buy it?
That’s where “giving away the farm” so to speak comes in.
If you take a quick look at the Kindle listings on Amazon for one the bestselling self-published authors Hugh Howey, you’ll notice that along with his regularly priced offerings, he also offers a few book titles at absolutely no cost.
He is more than willing to give something up without asking for anything in return because the result is typically a new raving fan who goes on to buy his books again and again.
What does this tell us? That as authors trying to earn a living by selling our books, we should never underestimate the power of “Free”.
Content marketing is a very powerful tool for gaining attention and attracting a large targeted audience to your books without spending a lot of money to do it.
The keys to success with preselling your offers with content marketing are simple:
Create an author website that showcases your work, answers reader’s questions and gives them a way to stay in touch with you.
Start a blog and keep it updated on a regular basis.
Send email updates out consistently to stay top-of-mind with your audience.
Be generous and give some valuable content away every now and again, even if someone has never bought from you before.
Use your content marketing efforts to leave a “trail of breadcrumbs” that all lead back to your book offers.
Follow these steps and you’ll never run out of prospects who are warmed up, presold and ready to buy when you have your next book release.