Google “content marketing” and you will find endless definitions and examples. Our focus lies within the world of authors and thought-leaders and the specific content marketing strategies they’re embracing in 2020. If you’re preparing for a book launch and love the idea of selling to an already engaged community, then it’s time to learn the power of assessment marketing, e-learning courses, and podcasts.
At Alter Endeavors, we work with authors and thought leaders who are actively building their online platform in anticipation of a new book launch. Whether working with a publisher or self-published, a new author or bestseller — the key to a successful book launch is to create and foster engagement within a relevant community.
Selling a book isn’t necessarily a linear process. Rarely does the customer journey go straight from awareness to purchase. Here’s what Nick Alter, Principal at AEDC⚡️, had to say when I asked his thoughts on purchase behavior as it pertains to books and thought leadership.
“The process begins and ends with trust. Even if you are a best selling author, if you are trying to grow your audience base, your marketing efforts have to communicate why folks should not only follow you but invest in what you are selling.”
For the remainder of this blog, I’m going to tell the story of a book I’ve been wanting to write and how I could use these tactics to promote that book. The book, for the sake of this blog, is titled, “Life with a Weimaraner.” (Below is a picture of Charlotte, my Weimaraner.)
Assessment Marketing was originally viewed as a trend. The concept was tainted by half-developed strategies that had high visibility [think popular Facebook and Buzzfeed Quizzes]. However, Assessment Marketing, when done right, continues to be a valuable method of content engagement.
Part of my strategy for “Life with a Weimaraner” is to build out a newsletter that provides updates on Weim training tactics and user-generated content to promote the community I’m building. To get people to join this community, I’m creating an assessment “Is your Weim a good or bad Weim?”. At the end of the quiz, the user is told whether they have a good or bad dogge and is prompted to sign up for my Newsletter by taking the assessment.
Ways I can promote my assessment can include organic search traffic, paid ads, social media, including a call to action on my website, or even for a more advance end-user product — a code within my book to take the assessment as part of the “value-add” within the book.
Almost all non-fiction books include an educational aspect. A book, coupled with an e-learning course, provides a structured environment to further engage the reader. E-learning courses are a great way to create a passive revenue stream that ties back to your platform and content. Finally, an e-learning course is an opportunity to build a community around your brand. I’ll explain:
“Life with a Weimaraner” also offers an E-Learning Course for $199 on how to work with your Weimaraner to overcome anxiety – a common issue among the breed. I market the course through social media ad campaigns as well as through my newsletter. The course gives participants access to community chat boards and other value adds, furthering the engagement with my brand among users.
There are two particular “Learning Management Systems” that I would recommend for your WordPress site. The first is Learn Dash. Learn Dash is a great starter platform. It has a straightforward plug-in that allows for on-site e-commerce or outsourcing to a third party such as PayPal. Learn Dash allows for a content types such as video, audio, or worksheets. The platform also includes assessments and feedback to provide a quality user experience at a fraction of the cost of other solutions. However, Learn Dash is limited to the design of your website and is implemented through an iFrame or embed code.
The other is Litmos. Litmos is for those looking to build a more advanced e-learning course that includes features such as badges, leaderboards, and a plethora of other options. Litmos even allows for custom CSS code to create a completely unique look and feel for users. While Litmos is more expensive, there is much more freedom on the platform to build an e-learning course that matches the look and aesthetic of your brand.
There’s no doubt about it, podcasts are in right now, and they’re not going anywhere. Easy to consume, podcasts are quickly overtaking audiobooks and becoming more popular with a variety of users. Podcasts serve as a quality lead magnet, as engaged listeners are likely interested in your book’s subject matter. When marketing a book, a podcast could relate back to the subject matter of the book, or as we’re seeing more and more now among our clients, include a chapter or part of the book released weekly.
Here’s how I could use a Podcast for “Life with a Weimaraner”.
I’m starting a podcast where users can submit stories of life with their Weim. I release the podcast weekly and host the podcast on a solution like Libsyn that I then flow into my WordPress site. As I build towards my book launch, my podcast episodes include plugs for my new book to an engaged audience.
These 3 creative content marketing strategies focus on first building an engaged community to promote your new book. Don’t rely on passive strategies — whitepapers and “free chapter downloads” do little to entice users to subscribe to your community. If you’re preparing for an upcoming book launch, utilize content strategies that invite your audience to interact with and invest in your story.
Want to learn more? Let’s get started.