#MPconf16: Artisanal Digital: Handselling your way to the bestseller charts with iterative Facebook ads and social media

mpconf16Iterate iterate iterate | Mark Dawson, indie author, talked the Bookseller Marketing and Publicity conference through how he marketed himself into the bestseller charts. In the last 4-5 years, he’s sold over two million copies of his books and the propellant was social media. Here are his five tips:

1. Target a warm audience. They’re more likely to do what you want if they have an affinity for the genre or similar interests. It’s effective to use interest targeting; target fans of authors where you can go “If you like X, you’ll like  me”. Launch an email list and use it to target those people with ads on Facebook. His list has a 50-60% open rate, and the rest he will find via Facebook. Create a lookalike audience, it will take your reach from 50,000 to over two million.

2. Build a targeted community. Authors must have a Facebook page. Don’t spam sales. Use other pages to build a community that would like your book as well as others, and then target them with your ads.

3. Focus on mailing list growth. You have to give them something. The days are gone when people will follow you for no reason. Offer a novella, a character sheet. Get them to sign up, and the first place you send them via email is to an upsell page, where they can buy your book for cheaper than others.

4. Recruit a street team. From his mailing list, he has about 700 people who can pick up errors and fact check. Many have an interesting background – soldiers, shooters, agents – that means they can pick up factual errors from their own experience. They also get a soft launch – exclusive deals for a book that’s not properly available – you’ll have 150 honest reviews and buys ahead of the hard launch, which will then encourage more buys.

5. Use Facebook live video. They’re competing with Youtube. Facebook live broadcasts have a high organic reached. He has 20,000 likes on Facebook, but reached 30,000 people from a recent broadcast in Tenerife. It’s there to be used, so use it.

More from the Bookseller’s Marketing and Publicity Conference.

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