If you've been in business for more than five minutes (ish), you've heard the term "content marketing." If not, you should check out this post from Rachel Parker—resident content marketing genius at Resonance Content Marketing.
You might be wondering how a book fits with your content marketing strategy, and that's a Happy Pants Books "favorite question." Because there's a near-endless list of possibilities for leveraging book content in promoting and growing your brand. Here are three you can use right away.
Let's start with an easy one—the ever lovin' blog post!
You've gotten the advice again and again: "Create a blog and consistently update it to grow your audience." Those are blissfully true words. They're the common sense of the content marketing world. But often, many people find that following this advice is a chore (and sometimes expensive).
Crafting new content, consistently and regularly, is time consuming and often tedious. For a mid- to large-sized corporation, having a regularly maintained blog can often become a full-time task for a dedicated employee or contractor. That makes it an expensive endeavor, and one that's often neglected, in favor of things that require less maintenance.
For a sole proprietor, there often isn't a budget for getting someone to maintain a blog full-time, so it falls on them. One more arduous and time-consuming task to add to the ever-growing workload.
But maintaining a blog with relevant, useful, engaging content doesn't have to be quite so difficult. In fact, if you've already put in the time or money to craft a book, as part of your platform, you have a valuable shortcut, right at your fingertips.
Your book is an organized ecosystem of ideas and philosophies and strategies that are relevant and useful to your target audience. So why not leverage that work to help build that audience further?
By excising a few sections of your book, and using them as a jump-off point for blog content, you can easily create weeks or months of posts in just a couple of hours.
Don't worry about giving the milk away for free ... you're just giving some samples. These bits are appetizers, meant to draw in more people for your tribe, and encourage them to buy your books, book you for appearances, hire you for consultations or any other call-to-action you can think of.
Social Media Posts
Similar to blogs, social media has its own challenges. For starters, it needs to be engaging. You're having a conversation, not broadcasting a message. So simply taking content from your book and posting in on a social media thread isn't going to be very effective.
But you can still leverage that content to actually start those conversations.
If your book is about fly fishing in Montana, you could use quotes from the book as a starting point for conversations with your readers. Here's an example you might use on Twitter:
"Fly fishing is the contemplative man's recreation." What do you think about out there? #FlyThinking
That's just 100 characters. Plenty of room for people to retweet and add-to. And as they do, you can jump in and engage them further, liking and reposting their tweets, responding with comments and questions.
You can also do this in tandem with the blog posts from above. Repost comments from your blog on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere else that is appropriate, and link back to your post so readers can see more. When you can, tag the commenter on these social media outlets. People love it when they get recognition for being clever.
Free Ebooks for Building Your List
The ever-important list! It's the blood in a marketer's veins. Without it, we're all just talking to the wind, and hoping someone hears. With it, we have a means of being direct and targeted, of building raving fans for our brand.
You must love the list. You must serve the list. But first, you must build the list.
Chances are, there are sections or even chapters of your book that can stand on their own. These contain ideas that are useful, in and of themselves, in the context of your field of expertise. They can often be boiled down to tips and tricks for the reader. They are perfect.
Excising some of your book's content and crafting it into a stand-alone ebook is a great way to produce some valuable marketing content that your readers will love. With just a little bit of effort, you can produce a wonderfully laid out PDF, complete with its own original cover, that is perfect for giving to people who sign up for your mailing list.
Going back to our fly fishing book, you might put a CTA on your website that reads like this:
Sign up for my mailing list and get this easy guide to tying an improved clinch knot, FREE!
If you've already presented that content in your book, then you already have all the verbiage and images it takes to create a short, simple ebook, perfect for a free download, and an incentive to join your list.
BONUS! At the end of that ebook, you can put a CTA for people to go buy and read your complete book. Give them a link where it can be bought online, or encourage them to go pick it up at the bookstore. Since they've come this far, they're clearly interested in your topic. Now is your chance to make a quick book sale, for the price of a freebie (that also netted you a new contact).
Now you've created new content for site that generates more leads and more opportunities, and you've pitched your book at the same time. Win, win, win.
Think Creative and the Content Will Come
By now you should be seeing all sorts of ways to leverage this book that you spent so much time or money developing. There are more. Way more. You can use your book in everything from creating online courses to crafting a topic for keynote speaking to creating an email nurture campaign for people who join your list. The possibilities are only limited by how creatively you approach this chunk of content you own.
If you need a little help with getting a book into your arsenal of content marketing tools, we're here for you. Contact us about ghostwriting, finishing, or even promoting and leveraging your book. The benefits grow larger every day, so start now!