22 Tips for Building Communities
19. Personalize marketing efforts.
“Another way we’re able to connect with audiences and create that sense of community is to think of ways that our marketing can simply add value to someone’s life,” Bennett says. “One example recently is an e-card we did for a book called ‘Pray Big.’”
Marketing efforts for the book, from a first-time author, featured an e-card meant to be sent to a friend to let them know they were being prayed for. The cards were sponsored, “so in that way, the very nature of the card made a connection to the content of the book, but the marketing connection itself was a bit softer,” she notes.
20. Use online features to fulfill a dual purpose.
When planning Web site features meant to promote a book or encourage return visits, keep their audience-building potential in mind. Feedback and comment sections, for instance, have “taken on a renewed purpose with the conversational style and interactivity that blogs have promoted in the last few years,” Bennett notes.
In other words, comment sections should be thoroughly integrated into a Web site, rather than treated as add-ons, if the goal is to promote and build an online community.
“Other elements that help create a sense of community, particularly online with book marketing, are blogs from the authors [and] value-added resources and downloads,” she says.
TIPS FROM … Ellie Berger, President, Scholastic Trade
Scholastic is the world’s largest publisher of children’s books.
21. Good Web content builds lasting loyalties.
Children’s-book publishers need to be marketing the books and authors online, “where kids are spending their time,” Berger says.
“By engaging them with exciting content, interactive games and activities, the books and characters become familiar. Then, when they see the books in the stores and in the classrooms, they want to pick them up. It’s a way of building loyalty and community that can continue to grow between publication dates,” she says.