Welcome, authors, to the inaugural article of our recurring series Inbound Marketing For Authors! This series will explore Inbound Marketing: what it is, how it works, best practices, and more. In today’s installment, we’ll explain the concepts behind Inbound Marketing and how it can give you the best bang for your buck.
What Is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound Marketing refers to marketing activities that organically tempt visitors to come to you, rather than you having to use traditional Outbound Marketing strategies (e.g., mailing fliers, placing ads, etc.) to get people’s attention. Inbound Marketing catches the attention of customers, makes the brand easy to find, and draws customers into making a purchase by offering them interesting content.
If you think of yourself as a brand—an author brand—you can begin to conceptualize how you might lure potential fans and buyers of your books to your author website.
How Does Inbound Marketing Work For Writers?
For authors, Inbound Marketing uses website and social media content—blog articles, videos, photo galleries, etc.—to entice potential fans into buying books (or attending readings, etc.). The most common and effective way to convert users into fans and buyers is to use a mailing list to send subscribers content that is created to generate sales. From blog articles about interesting topics to online editions of your latest published works, you can create content that will appeal to your target audience while also maintaining a focused message that complements your author brand.
Inbound Marketing: Benefit vs. Cost
Inbound Marketing strategies have proven effective for commercial businesses, and those same strategies can bring the same level of success to authors who use them correctly. Increased traffic to your author website—with the right calls to action—can lead to book sales, seminar registrations, bigger audiences, and more.
However, keep in mind that Inbound Marketing strategies require a lot of time and effort, and the results are usually not visible for at least six to nine months.
Besides time and effort, money can be a cost factor as well. There are many Inbound Marketing firms that provide services to businesses for a premium. What do these companies do?
Some of these companies charge hundreds or thousands of dollars—which may be fine for large businesses, but not for a typical author! For authors, Inbound Marketing strategies can be implemented without large PR mechanisms in place. With the proper knowledge and abilities, anyone can become an Inbound Marketing specialist! And authors have the added advantage of being skilled writers, which makes creating quality content that much easier.
We hope you learned some helpful tips for your own author brand’s promotional strategy. Inbound Marketing can be very effective if done properly, but remember: Results aren’t instant. As long as you put in the time and effort, you can increase your book sales using these strategies.
In our next Inbound Marketing installment, we’ll address:
- Setting up your mailing list
- Integrating your mailing list into your author website
- Sending out your first mailing to subscribers
QUESTION: Have you used Inbound Marketing techniques to boost sales or grow your audience?