How to Drive Book Sales With Audience Development & Content Marketing Tactics
Direct-to-consumer marketing requires a paradigm shift for many book publishers. We haven’t traditionally thought about using content to attract readers as a step toward establishing ongoing, direct relationships. Nor do we think as much about understanding the experience our readers have with our books, beyond the moment at which the books are bought.
That needs to change to reflect how consumers discover and purchase products online, and given the powerful role that content plays in marketing today. This shift requires that publishers master new skills in order to capitalize on direct relationships with readers. Here we’ll explore how publishers can use feedback loops, conversion architectures, and content marketing, all of which leverage direct-to-consumer relationships to drive consumer engagement and sales.
Nearly three years ago, HarperCollins U.S. appointed a director of audience development, a role classically reserved for periodical publishers. Since then the company has become quite sophisticated in slicing and dicing its audience data to reveal reading behaviors and interests that can be targeted to drive sales.
We’ve also seen a slew of major publishers relaunch their sites—or launch standalone platforms that serve specific verticals or reading communities—with the aim of engaging consumers with content (AKA, content marketing), instead of offering a bland ecommerce experience.