Marketing, One of The Most Important Tools In a Writer’s Tool Belt
Whether you are a self-published author or you’re trying to build an audience for your blog, at one point or another, you will probably dabble in paid advertisement. We are surrounded by ads everywhere we go. Facebook has them, Reddit has them, Amazon has them, everyone has ads nowadays. It’s a huge industry. With large industry comes a great deal of choice, and while that is great, it can be hard to navigate and decide where the best place to market your book or blog would be.
My regular 9 to 5 is in the advertising industry, and I have marketed my own blog and books in the past. Today, I want to share with you some of the marketing avenues I’ve used or encountered, and my thoughts as to why you may want to use one avenue over the other.
Facebook Ads – Blog
Facebook is one of the big dogs in advertising. Almost every major brand you encounter in your day-to-day life leverages Facebook, and with good reason. Based on an article by SocialMediaToday published on April 24, 2019, Facebook reaches approximately 2.38 billion users. The amount of reach a brand can get on that platform is huge. However, it may not be the best avenue for your book. Why you may ask? Let me explain.
When it comes to paid advertising, it’s important to think about user intent when they are on a platform. When a user is on Facebook, what are they doing? They’re probably reading, commenting, and engaging with other users. The main purpose of the platform is engagement with other users. This is perfect for someone with a blog. Your goal is to get people to engage with your content, which is what the user is trying to achieve by leveraging the Facebook platform.
However, marketing your book might not be as successful here because the user intent is not necessarily to shop. This doesn’t mean users won’t end up buying your book after seeing your ad on Facebook, but you might not get the best bang for your buck here. It is good for increasing your brand awareness, though! If you want users to become more interested in you and your work, I might would suggest Facebook so people become familiar with you.
Google Ads – Blog and Book
If you thought Facebook was huge, let’s talk about Google. Google is an advertising powerhouse, and the advertising options are endless. You have display ads, text ads, shopping ads, video ads, etc. The potential with Google is massive, and I encourage everyone, if you can only afford one paid advertising platform, Google is a good one to consider. Let’s go over why in more detail, though.
Just like with Facebook, it’s a great way to build up brand awareness, especially with display ads. You can create eye-catching banners with your book cover and have those banners appear on sites across the web. Same thing with a blog. Create banners with eye-catching text and headlines to get users to check out your content.
Something that Facebook can’t really do, though, is hone in on user intent. Google is a search engine whose goal is to give users answers to the questions they are asking. If your ad can answer a user’s question, they want to show it. As a result, you can leverage keyword targeting. Using keywords, you can target words or phrases that a user might use to find your book or blog.
For example, if I want someone to read my blog post about making bread, I can target keywords like “bread making,” “how to make bread,” or “bread recipes.” However, just because you use those keywords doesn’t mean your ad will show up every time a user uses them. Quality is important, so Google will take into consideration the quality of your ad, your post, your website, etc. As long as you have all your ducks in a row, though, you can get good, meaningful traffic to your blog.
For someone trying to market books, the same could apply here. What genre is your book in? Target keywords around that genre. If you have a fantasy novel, target keywords like “fantasy novels,” “fantasy book recommendations,” or “new fantasy books.” These are just a few examples. The amount of keywords and other layers of targeting are immense in the Google Ads platform. I can’t encourage you enough to give it a try.
Instagram – Book
When we think of user intent, one might say, “People don’t go on Instagram to shop, so why would I advertise my book there?” On the contrary, Instagram has made changes to foster it as a more “shoppable” platform, specifically with Shoppable Posts. This allows users to click the post and be taken to the store to buy the item. With Instagram being a visual platform, this is ideal for users to view products before they take the plunge.
How Instagram can work for bloggers, too
Now, while I do suggest that this platform is best suited for books, there are ways to make it work for blogs. Since Instagram is a visual platform, you will, of course, need good images. Then, once you have images, I recommend leveraging a tool like Linkin.bio. This will allow users to go to your profile, click that link and select what post they want to read. It’s not ideal, but you can get some decent traffic from this method.
Twitter – Blog
Various blogs and articles have recommended Twitter as a news source. Though this is anecdotal, I’ll mention it, most of my friends leverage Twitter as a news source. Why? You might ask. Time is of the essence, and the human attention span is shrinking by the day. Twitter forces users to limit their tweets to a character limit. Thus, news is provided in bite sized chunks. It’s the ideal format for news today.
As such, your blog is probably best advertised on Twitter. People are already on there for their news. It is worth noting, people are on their to consume short content, so advertising long content may not be ideal, but between advertising your blog and your book? Blog is the best for Twitter.
It’s all about user intent. When you use any of the platforms listed above, keep in mind how you as a user would use them. However, the best thing you can do for your blog and book is test. Test all of these platforms. Test more than what I mention above. The more you test, the better your marketing strategy will be.
Thank you so much for reading.