In the last post of the Author Series, we discussed how to find out who your book's target audience is. Now, we have to look at how to find them and connect with them.
Digital marketing has made it possible to reach your readers in ways not previously possible. You can engage with people all over the world, in any target audience, and convince them to buy your book. All you need is internet access!
But the online world isn't small - how do you find where your readers are and reach them?
Start with a professional Author Website:
This point is relevant for all target audiences, because it's the base of digital marketing. Having a great website with information about yourself and your books should be your first step.
People want to know you're a legitimate author before they purchase from you, and a website will show that you're a real writer with high-quality books. It will allow readers to connect with you and learn more about you, and a well-written blog will keep them coming back for more.
Don't forget to design the site in a way that shows your genre. For example, a children's author will have a fun, colourful website. An adult romance author, however, will likely use dark colours, particularly reds. Good branding will show your audience that you're an expert in your genre.
Connect with your audience through Social Media:
Social media is where most of your marketing budget will go.
Facebook ads are vital to many authors, especially those self-publishing, because the ads target the specific audience directly. Looking for women aged 30-45 in the US who are interested in fantasy? Facebook can find them.
Social media marketing is also a great way to connect with your audience organically. Your fans will be excited to interact with you! Plus, building a following - before your book is even published - is a great way to create momentum and sell pre-orders.
Research your target audience and find out which social platforms they use. Generally, older audiences prefer Facebook, but younger audiences prefer Instagram. They may even use newer apps like Tiktok to find out about new books. Or, book-specific social media platforms, like Goodreads.
If you're traditionally publishing, remember that agents love an author who already has a social media following, because they know the book will be easier to market!
Keep fans updated with a Newsletter:
A great way to stay on your fans' minds is sending an email newsletter. You can use it to update readers on your writing and let them know about upcoming releases or events.
Email is most used by older Millennials and Gen X audiences, so if your readers are around the 35-50 range, this is a great place to start!
Your newsletter may include:
A snippet of your latest blog post
Updates on your writing
Teasers for upcoming books
Information on author events
Deals, giveaways and freebies
You can encourage fans to sign up by offering a free short story or chapter sample in exchange for their email address. If they like your content, they'll be happy to keep receiving your newsletter!
Gain exposure through Influencers:
Lastly, you'll want to connect with influencers who can promote your book to the right audiences. This can be someone with a good social media following, a trusted blogger, or even a journalist who can review your book or promote an event.
Influencers have a great say in what people buy, so working with the right ones is sure to work in your favour! Most influencers will have an email address you can send a query to, so search their website for a way to contact them. Usually, you'll send them a free copy of your book in exchange for exposure to their following, but some require payment.
Are you ready to start reaching your audience online? Next week, we'll talk about what to post on social media.
If you need help with marketing your book, contact me for information on my author virtual assistant services.