Today, every author needs a digital marketing advisor, or at least an experienced marketing advocate to protect their interests. This can be an agent, a marketing savvy friend or a digital marketing consultant, but the need is unquestionable and the development of your digital brand is essential for your book’s success.
I have put together a list of aspects of your marketing plan and the type of advice you need to market your book successfully. If you are a marketing savvy author, consider this a checklist for yourself if not, then think about who is giving you the advice you need:
Your digital marketing advisor should advise you on the best platform to use for your website, and work with a web designer on design, architecture and content. She should make sure Google Analytics is set up on the site along with a mailing list sign-up and social share buttons. Once the site is launched, she should track the analytics, specially the bounce rate of your site. If needed she can prepare monthly reports on the analytics, and suggest changes and updates to the site. Every quarter she should analyze how the site is working and suggest changes and upgrades. Once a year, both of you should plan on a deep dive to revise and refresh the website content.
It takes a long time to grow an email mailing list, but it is well worth the effort. Your mailing list is your most valuable asset as an author so it’s important to set it up and maintain it effectively over the long-term. I consider the members of your mailing list your super fans (and here’s a blog on how to cultivate them)
It is important to have someone protect and cultivate that list. Your advisor should discuss the benefits of different list hosting companies. She should work with you to create and develop a newsletter; coordinate the plan and timing regardless of who is doing the actually content creation and distribution. She can also provide reports on a regular basis with the goal of growing the list and improving the open and click rates.
Some authors might cringe at the thought of a regular blog due to the time it takes, yet blogs are the king of content in the social media world. They can help you build your audience, connect with readers, build trust and drive traffic to your site to sell your book. Your marketing advisor should help you decide on topics that would be timely and would work for your audience. She should help you develop a calendar with topics that would be relevant to the media and your readers.
A marketing advisor should help position your brand by linking your website to social media platforms and work with you to create profiles at Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and LinkedIn as needed or as appropriate. She can advise you on the positioning of your brand and on best practices of each of these social media outlets so you know what to post and when.
Representation With The Publisher and Others Interested in Supporting Your Book
It is of benefit to you to work with someone who can coordinate the campaign with your publisher and can help build and manage that important relationship. Your agent is probably your best bet, but you may not have an agent or you may need more support with marketing and publicity timing. Your marketing advisor can coordinate the launch of your book campaign to make sure all aspects are optimized and that there is coordination between the different parties for the best results.
You may have support from your employer or friends or influential colleagues and it is critical to have a plan and give them specific things to do to help you. You marketing advisor can coordinate the tweets, reviews and word-of-mouth so necessary for your success.
Recently, I was speaking to an author and asked her, “How is your digital marketing working for you?” She answered, “I don’t know.” Then thought for a moment and said, “How would I know that?” If you feel the same, it is time to get some strategic help.
Marketing is more complicated today due to numerous options and ever-changing social media landscape, but it is also more exciting and measurable than ever before. Where you spend your money, time and talent should be a calculated decision, and with the right advisor it can be.
© 2014 Fauzia Burke. All Rights Reserved.
Fauzia Burke is the Founder and President of FSB Associates, a digital publicity and marketing firm specializing in creating awareness for books and authors. For online publicity, book publishing and social media news, follow Fauzia on Twitter: @FauziaBurke. To talk with FSB and ask your book publicity questions, please join us on Facebook.