The 2016 Frankfurt Book Fair concluded Sunday, and I was lucky enough to attend the fair’s first four days. I previously reported on an in-depth rights session led by Jane Tappuni and Kris Kliemann, as well as Wiley CEO Mark Allin’s keynote address at The Markets, the one-day lead-in to the fair’s official opening day.
Below are some highlights from sessions on book marketing and analytics:
Book Marketing Through YouTube
Naomi Bacon, a freelance consultant and creative strategist who previously worked at Pan Macmillan, discussed why YouTube is a powerful, untapped resource for book marketing.
The video platform has more than a billion users, and it’s the second biggest search engine after Google. What’s more, it has an infinite capacity for content.
Bacon broke her presentation down into five lessons.
1. Audience-first approach. Bacon said that, especially in marketing, we can be blinded by our own objectives and not necessarily consider our audience to the degree that we should. It’s important to remember our own biases and agendas.
2. Content creation and collaboration. Bacon creates content through the principles of the acronym “SCHEMA,” which stands for SEO (proper tagging, titles and keywords), consistency (regular uploads and similar video lengths), housekeeping (customize video thumbnails), evergreen (long shelf life), management (moderate your channel) and analytics (use the metrics to see what works).
Three key questions to keep in mind:
• What services are you providing?
• What information are you imparting?
• What are you asking people to subscribe to?
And when it comes to collaboration, it’s important to look into advertising guidelines so videos that are ads are properly labeled as such.
3. YouTube ads. Choose your format (trueview in-stream ads vs. bumper ads) and choose your target audience (demographics, placement, interests and remarketing).
4. Analytics. Consistent views, audience retention, audience demographic, and CTR and earned views are important metrics to keep an eye on.
A formula Bacon suggested to measure engagement is as follows:
Engagement = (Likes – Dislikes + Comments + Shares + Favorites + New Subscribers) / Total Views
5. Selling books through YouTube. Bacon discussed the importance of using tracking links through services like Bit.ly, as well as using affiliate links to push sales.
The Value of Reader Analytics
Andrew Rhomberg, whose company, Jellybooks, tests books before publication to see how they well they perform, discussed the merits of his data-driven approach.
Most publishers, Rhomberg told the audience, don’t have a ton of data on their customers’ reading habits—this despite the proliferation of digital reading. Calling Jellybooks’s technology “Google Analytics for books,” Rhomberg described how code is placed into an EPUB3 file, and the ebook is then distributed to a group of test readers, who are fully aware of what is going on. At the end of each chapter, they hit a button that syncs their reading data.
Jellybooks typically tests books out for publishers several months ahead of publication, as reader tests take 4-6 weeks. Publishers must then look over the data and see if any changes to the text must be made.
Rhomberg discussed how some publishers are under the impression that don’t need to care if readers are actually finishing their books, as it only matters whether or not they’re buying them. But, Rhomberg pointed out, those who don’t finish a book don’t recommend it, and word of mouth is a primary driver of sales.
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