Are You Using Videos in Your Marketing Efforts?

In 2017, 90% of the most shared content on social media was in video format. The increase of video online is phenomenal. Check out these statistics:

  • 55% of people watch videos online every day.
  • By 2019, global consumer Internet video traffic will account for 80% of all consumer Internet traffic.
  • 92% of mobile video consumers share videos with others.
  • Companies using video enjoy 41% more web traffic from search than non-users.

Not only are people watching videos online, businesses are finding that videos are effective in selling products. Here are some more statistics that back up this claim:

  • 90% of users say that product videos are helpful in the decision process.
  • Including a video on a landing page can increase conversion rates by 80%.
  • After watching a video, 64% of users are more likely to buy a product online.

Videos are a powerful marketing tool. Should you be using them? Yes.

Creating videos to use in your book marketing campaigns can be a challenge, especially if you write fiction. Other than creating a book trailer for your book, what type of content should you put in your videos?

Interestingly, Curata, a content creation company, found that the top three most effective types of video content are:

  1. Customer testimonials (51%)
  2. Tutorial videos (50%)
  3. Demonstration videos (49%)

Here is the good news. Every author can create the most effective videos—customer testimonials.

Customer testimonial videos don’t have to be fancy. They can just be a quick 30 to 60 second video of a reader talking about how great your book is. Just like this testimonial video for my book Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace.

Getting customer testimonial videos doesn’t have to be difficult. With a Smartphone camera, you can take them and your readers can create them. Here are three quick ideas to help obtain customer testimonial videos on your book:

  1. Film your friends or family members who love your book sharing their thoughts.
  2. Ask your readers to film their review of your book and share it with you.
  3. Hold a contest with a great prize (like a gift card to a restaurant) and make the entry requirement be that readers share a video of themselves raving about your book.

Make videos a part of your marketing plan for 2018. Start today. Get one or two video testimonials from readers that you can share on your website and on all your social media channels.

Related Posts:
Creating a Book Video Trailer
Using Videos to Promote Your Book
How Visuals Affect Purchasing Decisions

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Do You Believe in Your Book?

I recently heard about a woman who loves to write. People who read her manuscript tell her that her book would sell. The writing is phenomenal.

Because this woman does not have a platform and would be a first-time author, others encouraged her to indie publish her book. One indie publisher actually offered to publish it for her.

However, the woman declined. She did not like the idea of having to promote and market her book. She did not want to do all those activities. Instead, she wanted someone to do those for her.

She found a company that told her they would publish and market her book for $10,000. They showed her how to start a Go Fund Me account to have people give her the $10,000.

Here is the irony. It takes promotion and marketing to get people to fund a crowdfunding project. So, whether this woman wanted to admit it or not, she had already begun to promote and market her book—the very thing she was opposed to doing.

If you are like this woman and don’t like the idea of promoting or marketing your book, consider this question:

Do I believe that my book has the power to help someone change their life for eternity?

Marketing a Christian book is a lot like sharing the Gospel. How will people hear and believe unless you tell them?

It’s not “send someone else” but “Here I am, send me.”

You won’t spread the Gospel if you don’t believe it is true and has the power to change people’s lives. The same is true for your book. You have to believe in your book, that it has information that people need to improve their lives to be able to promote it.

Here is another way to look at it:

  • Would you send ten emails to turn a person away from bitterness to forgiveness?
  • Could you push yourself to do a radio interview if you knew someone listening would seek treatment for their addiction and be restored to God?
  • How many restored marriages is a book signing worth?

Here’s the deal. When God is in an activity with you, it’s not your power, your strength, your genius that is driving the results. It’s God.

Marketing your Christian book is not about promoting yourself. It’s about promoting a message that the God of the Universe entrusted you to write down and share. It’s about spreading the Gospel and bringing light to a dark world.

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Are You Expecting Fast Results?
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Photo courtesy of Ben White.

The Antidote to Holiday Travel Stress

If you have ever traveled for the holidays, you know that it is stressful. Holiday travel is often marked by crowds, delays, and traffic jams. All this stress can cause headaches, heartburn, and short tempers.

Here is the good news:
Authors and publishers have the cure for holiday travel stress.

Barnes & Noble, Inc., the world’s largest retail bookseller, recently commissioned an independent survey to explore consumer reading habits around the holiday season. Conducted as an online poll among the U.S. general population, the study revealed that Americans turn to books and periodicals on Thanksgiving Eve more than any other day of the year to help ease the stress of traveling. Historically, the Thanksgiving holiday is the busiest travel time of the year.

The study also found that:

  • 73% study participants reported that reading makes a trip more relaxing.
  • 72% said reading a book they enjoy makes their trip more enjoyable.

It appears that READING is a great antidote to holiday travel stress.

Additionally, study participants also reported that the top five benefits of reading a book while traveling are:

  • Reading is a good pastime if I get delayed while traveling (56%).
  • Reading is relaxing and helps ease the stress of hectic traveling (53%).
  • A good book “transports” me somewhere else (47%).
  • I can catch up on books that I have wanted to read, but normally do not have the time to read (47%).
  • Reading gives me a chance to learn something new (46%).

Everyone wants holiday travel to be less stressful. Now you have the perfect countermeasure for holiday travel stress: Books for travelers to read!

This holiday season, in addition to promoting your book as a great gift, let people know that reading your book may well be the remedy they need to combat stressful holiday travel!

Feel free to use the graphic in this article to promote your books as a great way to combat holiday travel stress.

Related Posts:
Six Reasons Books Make Great Gifts
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Age-Old Marketing Wisdom for Authors

Wise King Solomon said that there is nothing new under the sun. His advice is still relevant today, and so are these eight common English proverbs. Let each one give you wisdom for your book marketing journey.

1.  A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Anything that takes a long time to finish begins with one step. Marketing a book can be overwhelming. The number of tasks can be daunting. Instead of looking at the whole picture, look at one step at a time. Ask yourself: What is my next step? When that one is done, then ask again and repeat the process.

2.  A picture is worth a thousand words.

An image not only tells a story, it draws people in. This is especially true on the Internet with social media. Use images to convey your marketing messages. Studies show that people engage more with social media posts that contain images. In fact one study showed that social media posts with pictures are 40 times more likely to be shared than those posts that don’t feature a picture.

3.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

What is “beautiful” is different for each person. That means that not everyone will like your book. Not everyone will find your story beautiful. Don’t take it personally. Know that your book is not meant for everyone and seek the people who will find the beauty in your book.

4.  Better late than never.

Promoting your book should start about a year before you publish it. If you failed to promote your book before you brought it to fruition, take heart. It is better to start marketing your book late than to never market it at all. If you have stopped marketing, it’s not too late to pick it back up again and remind people that your book exists and meets a need for them.

5.  Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

In marketing, it is a little of this and a little of that makes the most impact. No one marketing channel or task will ensure your book sells well. Don’t just use social media. Don’t just advertise online. You have numerous options for promoting your book. Use as many as you can.

6.  Fortune favors the bold.

Those who are willing to take risks tend to be more successful than those who play it safe. Take some risks with your marketing endeavors. Some will fail, but some will pay off.

7.  Honesty is the best policy.

It is always better to tell the truth than a lie. Make sure that your marketing messages are truthful and that you can fulfill your promise to your reader.

8.  There is no time like the present.

Don’t procrastinate. Don’t wait. Do it now. Yes, it may be uncomfortable. But, if you don’t try, you can’t succeed. Start doing whatever marketing tasks you have been putting off today. Write that press release. Email that influencer. Call that radio producer. Schedule that book signing.

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Marketing Wisdom from the Master
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Photo courtesy of Picography.co.

Are You Expecting Fast Results?

I recently read the book Miracles: What They Are, Why They Happen, and How They Can Change Your Life by Eric Metaxas. In this book, Eric tells numerous stories of modern-day miracles.

One story in the book is about a woman who suffered from two autoimmune disorders. She was deathly sick and had to live in almost complete isolation because her body reacted violently to any chemical. She could only eat a handful of foods.

After this woman accepted Christ, a group of people began praying for her healing weekly. After a year or so of doing this, they saw a little improvement, but not much. One member of the group thought they should call in a lady who had a prayer ministry. The lady came and prayed for the sick woman.

This lady did not pray for just one day with her, she prayed for five full days with the sick woman. At the end of five days the woman was healed.

This story convicted me. I give up too quickly.

I once fasted and prayed weekly for healing for a neighbor. I felt led by God to do this. However, after a little over two years with no results, I became discouraged and gave up.

Yes, I still prayed for her healing, but not with the same intensity and petitioning as previously. Fortunately, God works in spite of our failings (after all, I did not feel him release me, I just quit from discouragement). A couple years after I quite fasting and praying for her healing, my neighbor was miraculously healed by God after nine years of illness.

It’s our culture. We expect everything fast. We move rapidly and thrive on immediate gratification. This is why:

  • We expect fast answers to prayer.
  • Fast food is so popular and a thriving industry.
  • Fast and Furious is such a popular movie series.
  • 53% of mobile Internet users leave a webpage if it does not load in 3 seconds.
  • You only have eight seconds to hook a reader with your book’s cover.
  • We expect fast answers to prayer.

The problem is that the important things don’t come fast or immediately. Consider:

  1. The prophet Samuel’s mother, Hannah, prayed earnestly for children for years before her petition was granted.
  2. On average, a person hears seven to twelve times about a new product before they act and make a purchase.
  3. It takes nine months of blogging on a regular basis to develop a following.
  4. The average nonfiction book sells 3,000 copies over its lifetime, but only 250 copies in the first year.
  5. According to Mark Schaefer in his book, Known: The Handbook for Building and Unleashing Your Personal Brand in a Digital Age, it takes 30 months to become “known”. That is two and one-half years of consistently putting yourself and your books in front of your target audience to drive exposure and sales.

What about you? Are you expecting fast results? Do you get easily frustrated when your book promotion results are not what you expect? Remember, marketing a book is a marathon, not a sprint.

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Photo courtesy of Thomas Borges