Consistent content is essential for attracting readers. It doesn’t matter the format you choose for that content, a video, a blog post or a Facebook live stream, the key is to produce content regularly.
For many authors creating book marketing content can seem like a time-consuming task, eating into precious writing time. Yet creating consistent content is a fantastic, free way to attract more readers to your website and increase awareness of your books. Think of it as your very own PR program.
So how do you create a steady flow of reader-attracting content? As with writing it pays to be organized. For this you need a content calendar.
A content calendar is simply a plan of what you intend to post, where and when. It’s about making sure you are contacting your readers when you should be, staying at the front of their minds and saving yourself time and sanity by planning and scheduling ahead. Your calendar can be as simple as a handwritten journal, an Excel worksheet or you can make it digital with apps, such as Trello or Asana. Do whatever works for you.
Having a content calendar allows you to:
Organize your content – so you know what you publishing and when. Plan the lead up to book launches, giveaway campaigns and important events in advance.
Save yourself time – A content calendar means knowing what you are posting ahead of time so you are not in a panic trying to figure out your content for that day.
Coordinate your social media marketing – Ensure that all your social media channels are giving followers the same message at the same time.
Analyze your results – Identify what content garners the most interaction with your target audience and on which channels. Do certain times of the day work best for you? You can set your posting schedule to capture the majority of your audience at times that suit them.
So, where to begin?
Start with your existing marketing activities
Is there anything you are currently doing to promote your books? Could you be doing this on a regular basis? Is what you are currently doing worth your time?
Add key events and dates
Cover reveals, book launch preparation, book festivals and author events, note it all down in your calendar. What content could you create in the lead up to these events?
Set yourself a publishing schedule
Decide how often you are going to produce and publish content and on what platforms. As with all book marketing your content schedule needs to revolve around your readers. Look at who they are, on what platforms they are found and when is the best time to reach them. Post on days and times that suits your readers. Not sure when this is? Take a look at your social media analytics for some insight.
Set goals for your content
Work out your key messages and goals. Are you trying to build up anticipation for an upcoming book release? Or promote your previously published work? Brainstorm content ideas that both fit your goals and bring value to your readers.
Once you have set out your schedule and decided what type of content you are going to create the next step is to create it. Save time by batching your creation process, film several YouTube videos at a time or record multiple podcasts.
Schedule your posts
Ideally it’s best to plan out your content at least two weeks in advance, if not more. Keep your schedule manageable otherwise you’ll never stick with it. Start small if you have to. Aim to have a steady flow of content in the lead up to events AND during quieter times.
Each piece of content (a blog post, a video, an audio recording) can be posted on more than one social media platform. You can save yourself further time and effort by repurposing your content. Consider turning a blog post into a video, a video into a guest post, a podcast into a blog, a blog into a Pinterest pin or infographic. The possibilities for repurposing your content are endless.
At the end of the day, a content calendar is only as useful as you make it. Use it as a guide to shape your marketing activities and it can help you manage your time and avoid book marketing overwhelm.