The World of Marketing #12: The Magic Long-Term Formula

Let’s assume that you have set up a Facebook group, an author’s page, or a dedicated website which has attracted some followers. You have, to some extent, developed your own group of people. These people have separated off from the wider 'herd' in some small way and decided that they like you or your books to some degree. It might not mean much - a ‘like’ is cheap in the fast-moving world of social media - but it’s something. All those identities who have indicated even a small liking for you differ in a positive way from the general mass of public which you have perhaps been attempting to establish some contact with through ads or what have you.

What do you do next?

Your purpose, the thing burning in both the front and the back of your mind as regards your work, is probably to sell your books to as many people as you can. You’ve created this ‘author platform’ as a shell around your work, but the whole drive of the thing has been to attract as many people as possible to the book or books at its core. If you were to draw an arrow between your book and any group of readers, you would probably draw it pointing from the readers to the book - you want them to move towards it, you want their attention. Anything that points the other way, from you to the reader - an ad, a Facebook post, a message, an email - has as its underlying intention the purpose of making the reader look towards, move towards and finally purchase and read your book.

The entire purpose of marketing is to reduce the distance between the book (or any kind of product) and its prospective readers (or customers).

Conventional marketing does this through a kind of attempted ‘mass hypnosis’, pumping out message after message after message on all available channels with the aim of 'mesmerising' an audience and drawing it in. The main problem with this is that it is immensely inefficient - wasteful in the extreme, in fact. For the amount of hypnotic messages sent out, only a tiny percentage achieve their effect. And it’s by looking at exactly what happens with that tiny percentage that we can spot the clues to doing this better.

The tiny number of people who respond to any ad fall into two basic categories: