Hello all! I'm a day late, but I'm excited to participate in the Online Marketing Symposium hosted by Arlee Bird, Yolanda Renee, Jeremy Hawkins, and Alex J. Cavanaugh. It's such a great idea. I look forward to reading the posts.
“On event day you tell us about a marketing idea that you've used and what worked or didn't work. Your post could describe a campaign that succeeded in a big or small way or one that failed drastically. Tell us about a business campaign, an organizational event, a fundraiser – anything where a bit of promotion was necessary!”
I'm an author, so my marketing attempts have been related to selling books. I've tried a variety of things, and although in aggregate, my attempts at marketing have probably increased sales, on the whole, I've felt like I've been putting in a lot of work for limited reward. So, I'm still looking for good ideas and am not flush with them myself.
As for traditional marketing, as in paid ads, I have bought ads through Facebook, Goodreads, and Google. None of them seemed to have a dramatic result, but I am happy with Facebook ads and will continue to use them. They're cheap, and it's an easy way to get more people to see your posts.
However, if you want lots of likes, my best bet has been joining large group giveaways where authors pool money to giveaway a Kindle or the like, and then use a Rafflecopter form where entrants like your page to get entries. I've gotten hundreds of likes that way. Laura Howard's recent giveaway was one of the most successful.
I think that marketing is often about doing a lot of little things that add up in the end, but if I had to choose ONE thing that worked well, the choice is easy.
The most effective sales tool I've found was attending the 2013 YAB Fest, a local author festival. This was awesome for the following reasons:
1) Sales. That's the whole point of marketing right? And, this worked. The festival bought several boxes of my paperbacks to sell at the festival and at their bookstore. I actually made some $$.
2) Connections with authors. I got to sit on a panel with some amazing authors, and met even more in the private author room. I ate lunch across from David Levithan, and sat next to Ernest Cline on the panel! And, although meeting famous people is cool, it's even better that I met other authors more like me--local authors that I became friends with like Krissi Dallas, Rachel Harris, Cory Putnam Oakes, P.J. Hoover, and Mari Mancusi.
3) Connections with readers. It was so wonderful meeting local readers. I gathered a few new fans that I know will probably keep buying and reading my books, and that's obviously awesome. I have an awesome online network, but it has it's limits. I got to tap into a totally new group of potential readers, and was able to give my book to some new reviewers.
4) Connection with a book store. Because of the YAB fest, I made friends with Danny and Julie Woodfill of The Book Spot. They are likely to buy my future books and have shown interest in hosting a signing for me.
5) Free cupcakes. Okay, I'm joking on this one. But, the free cupcakes in the author room of the festival were really awesome. Thank you Cupprimo!
So, how did I manage to get such an incredible opportunity? I asked! I found the local festival online, and sent the organizers an e-mail, which I set up somewhat like a query letter. And, they said yes! So, it never hurts to ask.