By investing time in your mobile book marketing now, you’re setting up your author brand for the future. Your readers are already on mobile, so what are you waiting for?
There’s a lot for authors to do these days. Independent authors find themselves being writers, publishers, business people, and marketers. It’s all important — authors don’t just have to write and sell books, you need to sell yourself. Many readers want to connect with the person behind their favorite book.
One of the easiest ways to reach your readers is through mobile book marketing — marketing that targets consumers when they’re scrolling on their smartphones. Given that over half of people now browse the Internet through their phones, that’s a lot of potential readers.
But there’s an art to mobile marketing. We’re bombarded with so many marketing messages that you’ll need to work hard to get people’s attention. Here are some creative ways to get started on your own mobile marketing strategy.
1. Have a mobile-ready website
Before anything else, make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Other elements of your mobile marketing campaign will likely lead people to your website. If your website isn’t mobile-optimized, then people might not stay for very long.
Plus, nearly 60% of all online searches occur through mobile. If your website isn’t mobile-responsive, then it isn’t ranked in mobile search results by Google. That means your website won’t be seen when someone searches for a book on their phone. You’ll miss out on a lot of potential readers.
Having a mobile-responsive website isn’t tricky either. Most web developers will now create a mobile-friendly version of your website as standard. If you develop your own website through a builder like Squarespace it will be mobile-optimized by the platform. If your website is relatively old and not optimized for mobile, it’s worth getting it refreshed. It’ll keep you on the radar in our mobile-first future.
2. Dive into social media
Social media is a great way to build your author brand as well as tell people about your work. Author J.K. Rowling uses her Twitter platform to keep fans updated with her upcoming books and current news. The good thing about social media is that it’s already mobile-friendly, so you don’t have to do too much heavy lifting. Simply posting to the channels puts your brand in front of your readers’ eyes.
There are some best practices to be aware of when using social media.
- First, make sure you’re on the right channels. It’s better to focus on one or two social media accounts and to do them well instead of sporadically posting across every platform.
- Regular posting is essential to keep people engaged. Even something as simple as a snippet of upcoming work or a snapshot from a book signing can create some great buzz.
- People hate missing out on stuff. Use this to your advantage by offering exclusive content.
- Create fresh content. Don’t copy and paste the same material across all your channels. Why would someone want to follow you on Instagram and Twitter if they both have the same stuff?
3. Apps to update your readers
Apps can be a great way to engage with your readers and build a community around your writing. This is especially relevant if you are planning a series. Search for Harry Potter in any app store and you’ll find a range of different apps available. Admittedly, J.K. Rowling will not have come up with all of them, but you can see just how much people want to carry the Harry Potter story on beyond the books. There are quizzes, games, and trivia apps that offer facts about the famous wizard.
You can create your own app to help bring your writing to life. If you’re a fiction author, you can create an app so people can learn more about your characters. Among other things, nonfiction lends itself well to quizzes.
Apps are a great way to market to people in a subtle way. When people are playing with your app, your story is front and center in their minds. It can build reader loyalty. If people stop using your app, you can send them friendly reminders through push notifications. Those notifications can also be used to market new books or events like book signings.
You don’t have to know how to code to create an app either. There are app builders available that can create tailored apps from scratch through a drag-and-drop format.
4. Email marketing
In addition to online searches, mobile now makes up the majority of email opens. People quickly open their inbox on their phones and skim through emails on-and-off throughout the day. If your email displays oddly on their phone, it’s a sure-fire way to end up ignored.
You need to use a responsive template, an email that can display well on desktops, tablets, and phones. It optimizes images and fonts to the screen size that the email is displaying on leading to a much better reader experience. If you embed links in your email, make sure they lead to mobile-responsive websites.
5. Advertise your work
Setting up a mobile advertising campaign means your mobile-friendly banner ads will display across various websites. It can be a great way to publicize a new book and reach a wider audience.
There’s also social media advertising, which delivers sponsored posts to people’s newsfeeds or sends direct messages. Again, this is a great way to promote a new book or raise your brand awareness. As a bonus, you might gain more followers.
Make your marketing unique
Your mobile marketing should be as unique as your writing. What works for another author won’t necessarily work for you. Always consider your readers and what they might respond to. Build your marketing strategy from there.
And keep this fact in mind: browsing on mobile devices is predicted to increase sevenfold by 2021. If you want to grow your readership, a mobile strategy should factor into your plans.
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