4 Creative Ways Authors are Using Mobile Marketing to Engage Readers
In 2013, indie authors self-published around 458,000 books, up a staggering 437 percent from 2008. Our ranks are multiplying on practically a daily basis, and with competition that intense, your marketing efforts need to be just as fierce. Often a sale begins with a connection, as readers look for ways to decide between the plethora of literary options on offer. Get a leg up – and book shipped – with these smart ways authors are engaging their readers with mobile marketing.
Sell Yourself First
Every sale begins with you, meaning your online presence is the first opportunity you have to connect with potential customers. Create profiles on the major social media sites – Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ are no-brainers, and LinkedIn can be surprisingly useful for authors – and offer fans insight into who you are. Using a pseudonym? The process is still the same. Just make sure you do the following:
- Include details that define you as a person and give readers a way to understand you a little better. Post videos of bands you like, do a little #tbt with childhood photos, or share your grandma’s recipe for banana bread.
- Update your pages regularly, even if you have to use a utility like Hootsuite to organize your post and schedule them ahead of time.
- Respond to your readers’ comment and create an ongoing conversation. One study found that 53 percent of Twitter usersexpect a response within just one hour.
Send Out a Plot Preview
There’s a reason that spoiler sites are so wildly popular. People become almost addicted to new information about their favorite characters and literary worlds, and getting a hint about what’s to come can lead to incredible word-of-mouth advertising for you. One way to officially “leak” some information on your upcoming release is to send out a series of short teasers via email. A simple graphic with your cover art and release date accompanied by a short excerpt should do the trick. The open rate of mobile email has jumped by an impressive 180 percent; now is the time to take advantage.
Set Up an SMS Subscription List
We’re all used to signing consumers up for email lists or even direct mail campaigns, but it’s time to shift our efforts to SMS lists. Text is just one way mobile marketing helps drive sales, as amply demonstrated by The New York Times. The Times’ “My Alerts” program is a brilliant illustration of how content-driven websites can use text enrollment to establish and build a rapport with its readership. By staying in communication with periodic updates and branded messages, the paper and its digital presence remain top of mind for consumers and it’s easier to organically work in mentions of new services or products.
Take Your Literary World Mobile
When you’re reading a great book you never want it to end. Now you can give your readers a way to continue the story, with them in control no less, via a mobile app. Your branded app can include all kinds of utilities, from users forms perfect for debates about plot lines or characters, a FAQ addressing all your most frequently asked questions sent in by readers, fan fiction submissions, a mobile game based on your book – in the world of mobile apps you are limited only by your imagination, and that isn’t much of a limit at all.
Mobile accounts now account for around 70 percent of all consumer interaction with any given brand, and you, as an author, are in fact a brand. Bringing your literary work to the masses requires a deft use of mobile marketing, and by making connections with your readers and using the ideas above to engage on a daily basis, you can continue the conversation far beyond ‘The End.’
What do you think of what I’ve covered so far? Will you start your mobile marketing campaign? I would love to read your comments below.
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