Posted by Juliet Madison
Today for my Marketing Mondays post for authors, I’m talking about Occasional Marketing. No, this isn’t promoting your books occasionally as in here and there, sometimes, when you feel like it…etc, it is about using special occasions to help market your books to potential readers, or linking your book to an occasion that matches the themes or feel of the story.
Do you have a book about babies or royalty? Then I hope you took advantage of the recent birth of the royal baby and did a spot of promo relating to it! This is what I’m talking about… taking something in the media, or using an established special occasion or event to ride on the hype and make your marketing more targeted and relevant. For example, if you did happen to have a book about babies or royalty, then on twitter you could tweet something about your book in relation to the royal baby and add the hashtag #royalbaby – this means anyone clicking on or searching for this hashtag can see your tweet, along with all the others who have tweeted using the same hashtag. (For more on hashtags and using twitter, see this post). See what hashtags are trending on twitter in the side menu… do any of them relate to your book? Most of the time probably not, but get used to keeping an eye on the trends and if they do, tweet!
Apart from royal babies, what other occasions can you link to in your marketing? Here are some ideas:
- The popular occasions that occur on specific dates like Christmas, Easter, Valentines’ Day, Australia Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, New Year’s Eve/Day, Queen’s birthday…etc.
- Other occasions and events like political elections, celebrity romances, The Oscars, The Emmy Awards, The Golden Globes, media scandals, and certain news stories in the media (be tactful and appropriate though, and choose these carefully). If your book is wedding themed, keep up to date with celebrity weddings and engagements and get in on the fun with social media.
- Even seasons of the year, months of the year, days of the week…etc if they relate to your book. Eg: my book The January Wish is releasing in—you guessed it—January. 😉
- If your book has medical themes you can even utilise certain awareness days for health conditions that are held throughout the year, and maybe link to charities or helpful advice as well, so you are being useful and not just promoting your book.
- Have a book about a reality show? Promote (especially using twitter) during the time a related reality show airs, and tap into the crowd of people already discussing it. Use the official twitter hashtag of the show, but remember; interact as well, don’t just think about promoting. Get some discussions happening.
- What about popular conferences and conventions? If they relate to your book and you’re not attending, look at ways you can still make use of the power of occasional marketing.
Here are some ideas on how to make use of occasional marketing:
- Blog posts – create an interesting title to catch people’s attention and discuss something relating to the special occasion, and filter in bits and pieces about your book.
- Share short excerpts of your book at regular intervals throughout the day on facebook, during the day of a particular event or occasion (eg: New year’s, The Oscars…etc).
- Post pictures relating to the event on your facebook page and encourage sharing.
- Find & share pictures on Pinterest for the occasion, including your book, and put everyone who repins your pictures into a draw for a prize.
- Hold a contest (blogs are good for this) relating to the occasion and your book. Eg: In hindsight, a good contest revolving around the royal baby would have been to get people to guess either the sex of the baby and put all correct answers into a draw for a prize, or guess the name of the baby, and whoever guesses correctly wins a copy of one of your books, or a gift card, or another prize of your choosing. What about a contest to guess which movie will win best picture in the Oscars? Think about the various special occasions on throughout the year and how you could make it fun for people. You don’t have to have giveaways, it can just be for fun, but giveaways do attract more people.
- Tweet with related hashtags during events and think up interesting, funny, or helpful tweets that help promote your book or your blog posts or attract new followers…etc. Not sure what hashtags to use? Search for a few variations and see which ones get the most action.
- Hold a facebook event. This could be a virtual way to enjoy an event that you can’t attend live, along with other likeminded people, and give exposure to you and your books at the same time, especially if you have a giveaway for all participating attendees.
- You could even hold a reader appreciation event in your local area with the theme of the special occasion and have your books available for signing, swag to give away, do a reading…etc.
Are your marketing juices flowing? To take action and utilise the power of occasional marketing, create an ‘occasion calendar’ and jot down different strategies you could employ around the time of each occasion. What occasions suit the themes of your book? Maybe brainstorm with some friends and help each other come up with ideas. Also, keep your eye out for popular topics in the media and be ready to pounce! (in a totally helpful, useful, ethical and appropriate way of course!).
Remember, occasional marketing is a way to connect with people who are more likely to be interested in your book, as opposed to more general one-size-fits-all marketing.
Have I missed mentioning any popular occasions? Let me know in the comments, and tell me your ideas for your own occasional marketing, or if you’re stumped, mention your book and the themes in it, and I (or another blog visitor) might be able to help. 🙂
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