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3 Reasons Why Authors Should Use Inbound Marketing to Build an Audience

POSTED BY doug ON November 20, 2015

3 Reasons Why Authors Should Use Inbound Marketing to Build an Audience by Jandra Sutton

When you think of marketing, you probably think of the old-school methods – billboards, magazine ads, TV commercials, and even online advertisements (pop-ups, anyone?). While these traditional forms of marketing are still successful for many, more and more marketers are turning to inbound marketing to build their audiences.

What Is Inbound Marketing? 

Simply put, inbound marketing focuses on bringing potential customers in (earning their attention) rather than going out and finding them (buying attention).

In other words?

Inbound marketing emphasizes the creation of content (blogs, podcasts, social media posts) that attracts your audience to your book or brand. This means that the audience is in the driver’s seat – they choose to opt-in to your content by reading your blog, subscribing to your podcast, or following you on Twitter – whereas traditional marketing forces you in front of your audience, whether they like it or not.

So, Why Should Authors Use Inbound Marketing?

  1. It’s easy to use.

Traditional marketing can be tough to master and afford. 

With inbound marketing, you’re creating content that attracts people to you. If you’re an author, you’re already a content creator! Tweets, blogs, and Facebook posts can all bring people into your circle, where they are more likely to be interested in your books.

We’ve all been trained to click away from disruptive ads online, while watching video, even on our cell phones, meaning it’s harder than ever before to capture someone’s attention using the old rules of marketing. 

Inbound marketing circumvents this distaste for traditional marketing by letting the customer choose you. You’re no longer interrupting, but instead your goal should be to provide value – whether that is informational, entertaining, or emotionally stimulating.

  1. It builds superfans.

In order to earn your audience’s attention via inbound marketing, you have to engage with them!

Think of traditional marketing as a megaphone – it’s one-way! Inbound marketing creates a two-way dialogue that allows your audience to feel more connected to you.

Being relational – connecting with your audience instead of simply trying to sell to them – allows you to create fans (and superfans) who will spread the word about your book.

Why does creating fans matter more than gaining sales?

Because a single fan is more likely to return for your next book (and bring ten friends with him), whereas there’s no guarantee that a single sale will compound and create growth. Once someone’s purchased your book, if they aren’t connected to you in some way, what’s the incentive to buy another?

Engagement keeps bringing people back.

  1. It costs less.

Inbound marketing is done by producing engaging content – via social media, blogs, podcasts, etc – that earns potential customers’ attention by providing value.

Not only does it cost less to produce these forms of content, the return on investment is typically much higher, meaning you’ll get more bang for your buck with inbound marketing.

The One Downside of Inbound Marketing?

It takes work.

Unlike traditional marketing, where you can place an ad and pray people click it without lifting a finger, inbound marketing is not a “set it and forget it” strategy. 

While it might take a little more time and effort, there are far more benefits that come from growing your audience through inbound marketing than picking up a few sales the old fashioned way.

If you don’t have the time or resources to launch an inbound marketing campaign, you can easily outsource content creation to experts who know what to say, when to say it, and to whom you should say it. (Want to get started right away? PR by the Book can help you build a social media campaign that utilizes inbound marketing to grow your audience!)

A Bonus Reason Why Inbound Marketing Rocks

Growing your audience with inbound marketing means you’ll have an existing platform built when your next book comes out (as well as books three through ten).

What other tool can prepare the market for books you haven’t even written yet?

If you’re looking for a more in-depth explanation of inbound marketing, check out HubSpot’s information of inbound marketing here. Want to get started right away? HubSpot also offers a free interactive guide to getting started!


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