As a writer, the thought of producing and publishing a video is probably the furthest thing from your mind because, after all, pen and paper are your weapons of choice.
The truth is that as book marketing evolves, every self-published author should be looking to increase their arsenal of promotional pathways.
In modern internet marketing, video has become one of the most invaluable methods you can use to get your message out there and to connect with your target audience. In fact, video is one of the fastest growing segments of marketing mediums online. This means that even writers can benefit from the changes in the way that internet users are consuming information.
If you’re wondering how you could possibly benefit from getting into video production and are feeling more than a bit intimidated, here are some important things to note.
- Using video to promote your books doesn’t require having Hollywood level videography and editing skills.
- You don’t need to hire actors or even be on camera yourself if you don’t want to.
- Putting together a short and simple book trailer is all you need to harness the power of video and tap into one of the many platforms available where your future readers congregate.
What is a Book Trailer?
If you’re a fan of blockbuster movies you’ve likely seen your fair share of trailers.
These short 90 second teaser videos give you a synopsis of what to expect from the full-length film.
Studies show that a significant portion of movie goers sight the trailer as a major influence on whether or not they end up seeing a film.
The power that a well-developed trailer has on a prospects decision making is the difference between a movie that becomes a box office sensation and one that has a mediocre reception at best.
The same goes for self-published book promotion.
Having the right video, that is distributed through the right channels and that connects you with the right audience has to power to transform your entire marketing strategy and supercharge the overall success of your book release and ongoing sales.
You can use your book trailer to promote any kind of book from titles geared towards children, to mystery and adventure novels, personal memoirs and even educational books.
The bottom line is that if you can write about it, you can use video to promote it.
Feeling stumped for ideas?
There are lots of formats you can use to create your book promotion videos. Consider experimenting with text based videos with voice over, animated clips, talking head or even live action clips.
Your imagination is the only thing standing between you and the perfect trailer to promote your next book.
If you’re ready to start using video as part of your self-publishing book promotion strategy, here are some top tips to get you started on the path to success.
Create a Video Production Template
Self-publish a lot of books and want to be able to quickly and efficiently crank out teasers to promote each and every one?
Think about designing a video production template to shorten the task and make creating future videos faster and easier every time.
If you look closely at trailers for all the different genres of Hollywood blockbuster movies, television series and even small-scale film festival offers you’ll quickly notice a common pattern to each.
You should always design your trailers with these three main goals in mind.
- Grab your audience’s attention. Start with a dramatic or eye-catching opener that practically forces viewers to stop whatever they’re doing and focus all their attention on your video.
- Explain the premise of your book. While you don’t want to give away the whole story, the middle of your trailer should focus on conveying the feeling of the content inside your book. Introduce characters, situations and give a bird’s eye view of what readers can expect when they get their hands on your offer.
- Close strong. The last part of your trailer should focus on sealing the deal and making sure that your prospective book buyer feels compelled to buy your book or at the very least visit your blog and find out more about it.
And one more important tip. Always make your video trailers short and to the point.
That’s why they’re called “teasers”.
Book trailers, like movie trailers, are designed to give a very small taste of what your prospect can expect.
Another important truth is that many people’s attention span for video commercials is very short, so try to keep your trailer between 30 and 90 seconds in order to have the most successful result.
Share your Book Trailer with your Fans
One of the best ways to launch your book trailer and start getting some traction is by releasing it to and sharing it with your core fan base via social media channels and on your list.
Publish your video to as many high traffic social media streams as possible.
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the best places to start your video promotion efforts, but don’t forget your mailing list.
Your list of readers who have personally requested that you send them more information about your work and book offers is your number one resource for promoting your latest work.
These true fans are the most likely to share your video link with friends and family members, in forums and Facebook groups and in emails forwarded to like-minded colleagues.
Start a YouTube Channel
Once you get the hang of planning and producing your own book trailers, it’s important to share them on the most highly trafficked spots for video online.
Based on this requirement it should come as no surprise that YouTube plays an important role in online video promotion efforts.
While there are other video sharing websites such as Vimeo and Dailymotion, YouTube (which is owned by Google) holds the lion’s share of the online video audience.
Once you’ve started your channel and posted your first book trailer, your next step should be posting a link to your YouTube channel from your author blog, in your articles and anywhere else you think a link would be appropriate.
That way you build out your promotional web and your readers discover the trailers for any new books you release over time when you add the clips to your YouTube playlist.
Don’t forget to optimize your videos so they get found easily in major search engines for keywords that strongly relate to the topics in your books.
Video search results are now considered a major part of Google’s algorithm and studies show that internet users are consuming more and more information via video vs copy.
Edit, Test and Tweak for Best Results
The key to making the most of your book promotion videos is to never stop trying to improve them. If you document how you create your videos along with the response you get from each one, you’ll quickly discover the best formula to use with your audience.
Consider creating slightly different trailers directed towards the same group to split test your videos and figure out what type resonates with your core audience the most.
Keep testing and tweaking subsequent book trailers until you find that your video views and conversion rates are consistently high.
The true power of video lies in the fact that it quickly captures the imagination of the person watching it.
While your book trailer videos don’t need to be fancy to be effective, they do have to be interesting, easily consumed and give clear direction to your prospects, telling them the next step to take towards becoming a paying customer.