On the most basic level, no one can buy your product without knowing about it. (Yes, generality since gifts happen, but someone, somewhere has to know of it unless we’re lucky enough to get into say, a bundle purchase. Let’s stick to generalities, or else this entire post is going to get way too long).
Driving awareness is what most people think they’re doing with their AMS, Facebook, Bookbub ads. And yes, any ad that lets a buyer know of your product when they didn’t know about it before is driving awareness. But…
Certain types of promotions are more effective at driving awareness than others. Compare, say, a billboard to a classified ad. One will grab a lot more attention than another.
In this case, awareness via newsletter swaps, Facebook Advertisements, banner ads (when they’re seen) are probably better. Again, the old saw about something needing to be seen 7/13/etc times before action is taken comes into play. The more often you show something, the better.
A real life example of that is an HSBC experiment where, instead of spending all their money on a few, big splashy ads in a newspaper, they broke up their ad spend into a lot of smaller ads that were spread throughout the paper. Their research showed that there was a much higher level of recall of the ads / brand when they did that.
Biggest thing – generate awareness in a myriad area.
Second thing – do it consistently. It’s like a child bugging you. If they come up and ask for candy once, twice, thrice, you can ignore them / tell them no. But if they’re persistent, they often wear the parents down.
You’re the child. Be persistent.
On that note, there’s something to be said about unpaid placement. Certain writers, certain personalities are very, very good at generating what is basically unpaid advertising / promotion. Whether it’s due to the things they say or do or because they are amazing writers or just good at social media; they’re able to get people to talk about them.
And any publicity is good publicity, right?
Not really, because some things can really damage your ‘brand’. So be careful about being contentious unless you really are willing to go down that route.
Still, there are a lot of unpaid placement opportunities. Blog interviews. Reddit posts. Facebook Social Groups. Talking to people on social media. Hell, old school newspaper interviews and book signings.
All that takes time though, so making sure you allocate time to do it is important. And remembering to do it well.
But, here’s something as writers we should have; once we’ve released a few books.
And specifically, superfans. Once you’ve started generating fans, you can transition them to being superfans. People who will recommend, suggest, push your books.
How? Yeah… don’t ask me. I don’t do it on purpose, though I understand there are a few books out there that discuss this. Watch the people in your genre, see what they do. Sometimes, some personalities and marketing tactics work well at doing that.
Myself, I’m just grateful when people read my work. And I work hard to get better at writing so that they are rewarded with better books.
Consider generating awareness as the first step in getting your works known. A lot of that work is going to be untraceable, because you’re just wearing people down. But it does have a benefit.
Look to social media to help with unpaid placement. Consider other unpaid opportunities.
And fans can vastly increase your reach. Set things up so that they can help you – from giveaways to print books that they can give.
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