By Cristian Stanciu
We focus a lot on familiar social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram, and blogging and newsletters as ways to market ourselves and our books, but how many of us think to utilize video? In today’s post, Cristian Stanciu explains how and why we should use video and gives examples. Have you used video to market your books in a way that Cristian hasn’t mentioned? If so, tell us in the comments.
Video marketing is so obvious a choice that most independent authors forget it’s available to them. Videos are not meant to be used only by entrepreneurs and businesses. If you’re an author with a book to sell, using the visual medium can expand your reach and introduce the writer behind the book to the audience.
For authors who need more convincing, here are a few reasons to adopt video marketing:
- Video content makes it easy to reach out, make a personal connection, and engage with the audience.
- Video content showing authors talking about their book begets the feeling of familiarity and trust in the audience.
- Authors have multiple channels such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, etc. to promote their videos.
- Video content will continue to be the focus for social media platforms because visuals keep users hooked to the screens longer than texts or photos.
Want more people to know about your book? Here is what you should do.
Ways to Reach More Readers Using Video Marketing
Book trailers have the same effect on the viewers as movie trailers do. They:
- create awareness
- help you engage with potential readers
- entice them to buy the book
Trailer videos provide a glimpse of the main characters and the general preview of the story to evoke curiosity and engage the audience.
To make an awesome book trailer, keep the video short and sweet, no more than a minute or minute-and-a-half long. We don’t have to tell you but hold back the crucial sections, plot twists, and no hint about the ending.
Book trailers have the ability to reach millions of people in a short time. Here are two of the best book trailers that awed the audience:
Lily Alone (by) Jacqueline Wilson
This brilliant book trailer about three siblings from a dysfunctional family has garnered over 2.5 million views. The professionally made trailer could be easily mistaken for a movie trailer.
Leviathan (by) Scott Westerfeld
This book trailer of Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan uses illustration to bring the steampunk genre to life. The captivating trailer has more than 600,000 views on YouTube alone.
Author Behind the Scenes Video
Most readers would want to know the person behind the words. Avid readers are fascinated by the creative and writing process of great writers. Authors can create ‘behind the scenes’ videos that:
- share the writing routine
- talk about workspace and inspirations for the book
Behind the scenes are supposed to be casual and authentic. So, from your side, no preparation is required. Keep the video simple and casual, and share it with minimal editing. Such videos help authors make a personal connection with the audience. It also builds trust and interest in the author’s works. These things will eventually lead to more followers and readers for the author.
The author behind the scene videos takes different forms. For example, New York Times bestselling author John Green has a successful YouTube channel Vlogbrothers: John and Hank Green. The ‘Fault in Our Stars’ author and his brother Hank vlog on subjects that their target audience enjoys and relate. Their daily vlog covers a wide range of topics including:
The YouTube channel has over 3 million subscribers and over 800 million views.
Author Interview Video
We’re giving a modern spin to a marketing technique that is at least two centuries old. As part of a well-crafted publicity campaign, authors partake in interviews that are either done privately or with an audience.
Author interviews can be an excellent technique to connect with potential readers. YouTube hosts plenty of author interview videos. We have nothing against publishing the whole video, even if it’s an hour or longer. That said; splitting the video into multiple clips works better with the Millennials and Gen-Z.
An interview with author Nicholas Sparks
In this interview that he did for Audible, Nicholas Sparks, the bestselling author of Message in a Bottle, The Notebook, and See Me talks about his latest novel, his writing process, and more.
Book Reading Video
Some might feel book reading sessions are an outdated concept in this day and age. In fact, many authors and readers still enjoy a good book reading session.
There are many valid reasons for adopting this technique of book marketing. For one, the authors meet the readers in person. Secondly and the most relevant to the digital age, the video of the event can be published on the author’s website, YouTube, and other social media platforms.
Read-aloud sessions are a win-win situation for authors and readers. For readers and parents of kids stuck at home due to the COVID-19 crisis, watching book reading videos is a great way to keep the kids active, educated, and entertained. On the other hand, for the authors, sharing a few pages or a chapter can generate interest in the book.
In this short read-aloud session Jeff Kinney, the author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, reads from his book.
Book Giveaway Video
No. Book giveaway sessions won’t hurt authors. Interestingly, it’s one of the best marketing tools for new authors to attract attention and create awareness about the book. Even experienced authors can benefit from this technique, especially when they are planning on a book series.
Book giveaway events are becoming increasingly popular in social media. Instagram hosts the maximum number of giveaway sessions because it has the highest engagement rate for businesses.
For example, in a recently held comment-based book giveaway session on Instagram, the organizers wanted to share information about their new book. The organizers announced a free copy plus an audiobook to 15 lucky winners. To take part in the book giveaway draw, the participants had to follow the organizer’s Instagram account and share the names of five friends in the comments field. Through the social media event, the organizers earned:
- new potential readers
- user engagement
- new Instagram followers
Suggestions to Increase the Impact of Your Videos
Now that you know what to do, let us share a few tips on how to do it right and make the most of your videos:
Connect with Your Audience
It’s important to build a rapport with your audience right from the start. Speak directly to the readers and your choice of words must help you:
- and engage the audience
Keep the Videos Short
Readers could lose interest in the video after a few minutes. On social media, it’s much easier to keep the viewers hooked with short videos.
At the end of the video tell the viewers what to do next. The CTA must help achieve your goal. It could be anything, including:
- register for a book launch event
- buy the book
- sign up to win a discount, etc.
Post on a Consistent Basis
Social media platforms favor consistency. Plus, posting videos regularly will increase engagement with your readers by way of:
Tips to Promote Your Videos on Various Social Media Platforms
Best Practices for Creating Effective YouTube Videos
- Keep the videos short to increase effectiveness. Videos under three minutes are better at holding the viewer’s attention until the end.
- Optimize the video description section with an interesting title and keywords. The video description also helps the YouTube search algorithm understand the content of the video.
- Select video thumbnails that attract attention and make users click on the link.
- Ask your viewers to engage with you by sharing their views in the comment section.
- Encourage viewers to subscribe to your YouTube channel so they know every time you release a new video.
- Post consistently; perhaps once a week or at least a month.
How to Promote Your Videos on Facebook
- The start must be the best 10 seconds of the video. On average, it takes a viewer 10 seconds to decide whether to continue watching a video or move on.
- Add captions to engage viewers who don’t unmute the video.
- Use Facebook Live to get live reactions and real-time comments from the viewers. A stunning 78% of Facebook Live users believe that live features lead to deeper engagement with the viewers.
Suggestions to Maximize Your Reach on Instagram
- Tap into the popularity of Instagram Stories by sharing the lighter moments of your life with your followers.
- Repost videos and comments that mention you or your book. Add these videos and comments to your Instagram Stories.
- Like Facebook, the sound on Instagram is muted automatically. So, add captions to the videos to increase their reach.
Video marketing: The only guide you’ll ever need
With video marketing, the possibilities of connecting with potential readers are endless. Bear in mind that video creation isn’t expensive. Video production and video editing costs have drastically come down.
Shed your inhibitions about videos, work on a strategy, stay authentic, publish consistently, and build trust – soon your efforts will pay off.
Cristian Stanciu is a freelance video editor, owner and post-production coordinator of Veedyou Media – a company offering video editing services to videographers, marketing agencies, video production studios or brands all over the globe. I can catch up with him on his blog or on LinkedIn.