Video Marketing and Social Media Tips

Videos make a lasting impression. We live in a visual, media-rich world. Marketing via video continues to rise. Experts say 86% of all content will be in video format by 2022. Let’s look at current trends first, then move on to how writers can dip their toes into video marketing without suffering a panic attack. BTW, if you missed John’s clear and concise post about Zoom, be sure to check it out.

Video Trends

Instagram and Facebook Stories allow users to share short-form, vertical videos that disappear after 24 hours. Instagram Stories have 500 million active daily users. I know! That number shocked me, too.

Stories should be informal, relaxed, and allow viewers a quick snapshot of your day or a behind-the-scenes glimpse of your world.

Optimize for Mobile Users

There’s a higher demand for vertical videos that fit on mobile screens. Why? Because 75% of users watch videos on their phones and vertical fits better than horizontal.

Length

Try to keep marketing videos to under two minutes. The shorter the video the greater chance of viewers watching till the end. This “rule” can change according to platform. On Facebook, if you run over, I wouldn’t worry about too much unless it’s an ad. Ads should be kept as short as possible. On Twitter and Instagram, keep it bite-sized.

Live Video

Eighty percent (80%) of shoppers say they’d rather watch a live video than read a blog post. Shoppers age 18-34 watch live content daily.

Optimize for Hearing Impaired

Add captions for the hearing impaired. This tip will also add clarity if the speaker has an accent. Plus, some viewers prefer to watch video with the sound off.

YouTube

As far as SEO — Search Engine Optimization — goes, YouTube tops the list. To give you some idea of why, YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine. With this in mind, I created a nonfiction book trailer, uploaded it to YouTube, and shared the video across social media.

As you can see, I didn’t include captions like I should have. Yet, after I posted this video, the book rose to #1 New Release, proving (at least, to me) we can veer away from these “rules” and still be effective.

Writers & Social Media

Whether we like it or not, social media is a must for writers. With fewer book retailers, the discoverability of books depends on the author’s online footprint. Regardless of genre, it’s a fact that social media buzz directly impacts sales. More than 40% of book recommendations come from word-of-mouth, which often originates online.

Whenever a fellow writer asks me for help with social media, my top tip is to be yourself. Be genuine. Social media should be fun. If you’re not enjoying yourself, people will notice.

Always conduct yourself as a professional, but don’t hide the real you while doing it. There’s so much garbage and negativity on social media. As writers, we need to rise above it and not get swept up in a pissing match over political views or coronavirus facts vs. misinformation. If we’re not careful, our opinions on certain subject matters can and will hurt our writing career. Non-writers view us as neutral, and we need to live up to that standard.

You might say: Gee, we’re not even allowed to have an opinion? Of course, we are. What we don’t need to do is broadcast it all over social media. Same goes for complaining about rejection letters, querying, writing, marketing, books we didn’t enjoy, critiques, fellow writers, etc., etc., etc. Use social media as if the whole world is watching, because the whole world IS watching.

The follow-up question I most often receive is, “Be genuine, got it. But how do I let readers know the real me?”

The answer is simple. Share your joys, your passion, your excitement. For example, I recently shared a video of my first reaction to opening the box of PRETTY EVIL NEW ENGLAND paperbacks. I broke almost all the “rules” stated above here, too, but my Facebook audience didn’t care. They loved being included.

Your turn, TKZers! What are some ways you’ve used video marketing?

Join the giveaway for a chance to win the paperback of Pretty Evil New England: True Stories of Violent Vixens and Murderous Matriarchs. Winner will be notified via email and announced in my November 2, 2020 post. Good luck!

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Buy my soap–it’s rounder

By Kathryn Lilley

Publishers could learn a lot about market research by studying soap makers.

Consumer brand-makers have long studied every nuance of customers‘ shopping habits; they understand what makes a shopper reach for a particular product–why they reach for Dove soap, for example, as opposed to a nearly identical brand. Size, shelf placement, branding, color combinations, labels, price points–it’s all been studied, calibrated, and expertly wielded to part you from your money the next time you’re in the grocery store.

But in the publishing world, consumer marketing research seems to be woefully lacking. What makes a book-shopper shell out $25 for a hardcover book by an unknown author? Does anyone really know? Damned if most people in the publishing business seem to.

Authors don’t know, either. We’re always told, “Just write a good book, and readers will come.” I have visions of writers building ball parks in Iowa corn fields, waiting for Shoeless Joe to arrive for a book signing.

I’ve decided to run an unscientific poll to learn exactly why people bought their most recently purchased book. Is the conventional “superstar” theory correct, and did you buy a book by a major author? Or did you hear about a book or author from a review? From a blog? Did you wander the shelves and get drawn like a moth to a compelling cover and jacket copy? Or were a couple of factors involved?

Visit my poll, vote, and let me know how you made the decision to purchase your most recent book. Let me know how the poll can be refined or tweaked, and if there are any other polls you think would be worthwhile.

I’d also be interested to hear if anyone is aware of any hard core data about reader buying habits. Right now I get the sense that writers and publishers are simply wandering the corn fields. And we’re going to be stuck out there for a long, long time.

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