14 Tips for Making the Most of Your Multichannel Marketing Campaign
The good news is that book marketing professionals have more channels through which to promote their titles than ever. But with so many choices and decisions to be made, crafting an effective, far-reaching multichannel marketing campaign is more confusing than ever. Book Business spoke with several book marketing gurus to get their takes on what makes a multichannel marketing campaign work.
1. Take advantage of all available marketing channels. Noreen Henson, marketing manager for Demos Medical Publishing, says her biggest difficulty today is “the electronic revolution in information delivery”—and her constant challenge is to ensure Demos’ campaigns take advantage of this evolution. Among Henson’s strategies are: e-newsletters keeping customers informed of the company’s latest offerings, mass e-mail press releases to media contacts, linking campaigns that improve her site’s search engine rankings, and message boards and online communities that are devoted to relevant topics.
2. Leverage the Internet’s full potential. “If you don’t include the Internet, you’re not relating to [kids],” says Jason Wells, publicity and marketing director for high-quality art publisher Harry N. Abrams Inc. in New York City. “… And if you don’t think kids care [about the Web], then how do you explain the e-mails that complain about a new character not having a Web site yet?”
3. Tap online communities and searches. Peter Costanzo, director of online marketing for New York City-based trade publisher Perseus Books, suggests mid-sized publishers like his own company should “leverage the reach of online communities like MySpace and Gather.com, as well as Google Book Search and soon Windows Live with rich, creative content that not only resonates with targeted audiences, but that also attracts new readers by making sure the content provides added value.”
4. Extend the book experience online. Making additional content available online further engages the audience, and many are hoping it will pay off in ways publishers have yet to be able to measure. “It’s about making it convenient for the reader as much as anything,” says Laura Mancuso, marketing manager of Berkeley, Calif.-based Tricycle Press—the children’s imprint of Ten Speed Press. “We haven’t really found the Internet to be a great source of money for our business. But we look at it as an extra value we’re giving the consumer.”
“Kids love the games, the additional material about the authors, videos and all the different interactive elements online that extends their book experience,” Lisa Holton, president of Scholastic Book Fairs, says.
5. Reach your target audience with interactive tools. “Delaying the Real World”—a book billed as a “Twentysomething’s Guide to Seeking Adventure”—touts the Web site www.DelayingTheRealWorld.com, featuring an e-card, an active message board and continual updates from a fellowship winner blogging from Cambodia. “Considering the demographic, 20-30 years old, the site turned out to be the perfect way to inform and connect with the target audience,” says Costanzo.
6. Be targeted with e-newsletters. “A lot of publishing companies bother people with endless e-mails,” says Deborah Shine, publisher of Star Bright Books, Long Island City, N.Y., which publishes children’s books. “I think there comes a point where that can have a negative effect.”
Costanzo says his company has a strict opt-in-only policy and that he won’t buy lists from third parties. “We only target people who have signed up to receive our messages,” he says. The policy has led to the company’s unusually high open and click-through rates.
7. Build a loyal subscriber base. “To build [our] database,” Henson says, “we have run many promotions over the past few years. We have offered book giveaways through outside organizations that are relevant to the title. ... We encourage our customers to sign up when ordering our products and when using our Web site. We do raffles at book shows and exhibits, again for book giveaways, and collect names for our e-zine. We advertise that certain specials and promotions, including book discounts, are only available to our subscribers. We have run blurbs about the e-zine in other health-related e-newsletters.”
8. Maintain a synergistic relationship with other departments. “Online marketing directors and managers for a mid-size publisher should make an effort to have early conversations with editorial, publicity and marketing about what efforts are planned for a book, so that a synergy of URLs, imagery, tag lines, etc., is developed to maximize offline/online awareness,” says Costanzo. “A book jacket, print ad, press release, etc., can really help bring attention to the online marketing on behalf of a title and vice-versa. ”
9. Tap your authors when promoting their titles. HarperCollins regularly conducts webcasts featuring the authors of their new releases. “One of our best-written books was done by a lady in her 80s,” says John Thompson, president of Illumination Arts Publishing, which publishes children’s books. “We’d have to think about whether we’d use her again though, because sales of books have a lot to do with authors willing to do signings, go to schools and do speeches at major conferences. Many publishing companies make the mistake of not picking [an author] who can go out and do the steps necessary to sell the book. They don’t just sell themselves.” BB