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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Budget Marketing: Target Practice by Suzanne Rock

When I was younger, archery was one of my favorite activities at summer camp. I practiced enough to become quite good at it. I wasn't splitting arrows or anything, but I got to the point where I could hit the center of a target with some reliability.

The same is true for marketing. The key to effective marketing is finding your target reader and then giving them a high quality product. Not only will this save you marketing dollars, but time as well.

So much time and money is wasted marketing to people who have no interest in your book. By finding your niche of readers, your message will have a greater chance of being heard.

Below I've discussed the steps in targeted marketing in more detail.

The first step is to define your audience. Find something unique about your book that will speak to a certain group of people. Does your hero ride a motorcycle? Own a bar? Is your heroine a vet or a knitter? Does your story take place in Argentinaor Australia? Does the heroine drink wine? Does the hero own a dog? Thinking outside the box will extend your reach and help build your audience.

Another way to think about this is to think of the demographic of your reader. What is your typical reader's gender/age/education/income? What do they value? Do they live in houses with white picket fences or condos in a high rise? do they drive a Chevy pick up truck or a Prius? All of these things will help you define your market.

Okay, so you've defined your market. Now what? The next step is to go were they hang out and get to know them. What are their likes and dislikes? What are their habits? Do they live mostly in one part of the world? Are they internet savvy? Do they get their news from yahoo or blogs or a newspaper? This information will help you tailor your message so that it resonates with them.

Don't just browse the posts, become an active participant. The more you post, the more likely people will remember you. Post links to useful web content that helps the discussion (not necessarily links to your business). This will establish you as an authority on the topic and a "go-to" person for information. Be helpful and courteous, but above all, be nice. Don't shoot yourself in the foot by airing grievances or complaining in these forums. Those types of things are better done in private.

Once you've found your target audience and have gathered information, design a message. This is where your tagline comes into play. Think of it as what you tell people when they ask you what you write. Whatever you come up with, it shouldn't be more than one sentence.

Make sure that your message is professional in appearance and is consistent. Use the k-i-s-s approach (keep it simple stupid) so that it is easy to remember. Most people don't like the "hard sell" where you are blunt and forward about your product. Try putting links in your email or forum signature, or creating an eye-catching profile page. That way if people are interested, then they'll have the information they need. Mention your product only if it comes up in conversation, and then only in passing. This way people won't feel like they are being sold to.

If after a time you feel like you aren't seeing an increase your sales, go back to step one and redefine your target audience. Then try it again. Keep going until you reach your goals.

It's tough to find the right people in the right place at the right time, but it can be done. By using these steps, you strengthen your chances of reaching your target audience and building your fan base. Good luck!

How about you? Do you have a marketing strategy that works for you? Tell me about it in the comments section. I'd love to hear about it!

BIO: Award winning and bestselling author Suzanne Rock resides in central Massachusettswith her college sweetheart and two daughters. She started writing erotic romance in 2009 and sold her first story, Spyder’s Web, to Loose Id in June of that year. She now has over twenty dark, edgy, erotic stories to her name. In addition to writing, she teaches courses on craft and the publishing industry through Romance Writers of America, Sizzling PR and Savvy Authors. She’s also the social media coordinator for Pink Petal Books and runs a blog called “Romance on a Budget” where she not only gives writing and marketing tips, but provides ideas to help keep that spark in your relationship without breaking the bank.

1 comment:

Nancy said...

Love the hints and will institute them. I try not to always blog about me, which is why I have guest authors on my blog. I now have a few more ideas to get the word out about what I write, Thanks!