Today’s post is a bit different to our usual content. Rather than focusing on the writing, it’s looking at how you develop an audience for it once you start getting some publication successes under your belt. I’m very interested to learn how Facebook can be used for this, after all many people are hanging out there a lot. So I invited Ben Heath to write a guest post about how you can use Facebook ads, which are pretty low cost, to get yourself some loyal fans.
Ben is Founder and CEO of Lead Guru which produces high quality Facebook advertising resources for business owners, marketers and entrepreneurs. He’s provided a step-by-step guide that you can follow to get building your audience. Let us know what you think in the comments below.
How Authors can Use Facebook Advertising to Develop a Fan Base
Facebook advertising can be used very effectively to achieve a wide variety of business and marketing related objectives. One of its best applications is undoubtedly brand or fan base building.
Over 2.2 billion active users are on Facebook and the average smartphone user checks the app 14 times per day. That means just about everyone’s target market is on Facebook and they can be very easily reached. And the specificity with which you can target people also means your Facebook advertising cost doesn’t need to be that high.
Authors, like many content creators, need a loyal fan base to enjoy long term, sustainable success. In this article, I’m going to show you how to do just that.
Identify Potential Fans
The first step of any fan base building mission is to identify great candidates. Facebook has an incredible array of targeting options that you can use. When establishing who you would like to target, start with the demographics. What age and gender are your existing fans? It’s best to be specific here. What locations are they primarily in?
Then move onto interest and behavioural targeting options. What you select here will entirely depend on the topic of your books. It’s important that you set some time aside and go through the options. You’ll most likely find 4 or 5 options that you think would work well.
A great tactic for finding interest targeting options is to search for better known authors that write on about a similar topic or in a similar way to you. Those people would naturally be great fan candidates of yours.
Also, if you already have a few Facebook page likes (1,000+) then another great targeting option to try, is Friends of Page Likes:
A lot of friends share similar interests and are of a similar demographic.
They will also see that their friend has liked your page, whenever something of yours appears in their Facebook newsfeed.
That bit of social proof will help grab their attention and hold it.
Warm Up Cold Audiences with Content
Once you’ve identified some great fan candidates, it’s time to let them know who you are and why they should be interested in what you write about.
The absolute best way to do this, is with content.
I would have thought that most book purchases are a result of a personal recommendation or because the purchaser knows the author and the quality of their work.
The first will come naturally, if your work is good enough and after you have generated a reasonable number of sales.
The second, you have more control over.
Creating content that you can promote to your fan candidates is fairly straightforward for non-fiction writers. Simply convert small parts of your book into blog posts or videos.
Even though blog posts maybe a more natural content medium for authors, I’m still a big fan of using Facebook video ads. They’re a great way to educate your target audience. As a Facebook advertising content creator, that’s what I primarily use.
I know of fiction writers that have taken chapters from their book and promoted those on Facebook. Writing short stories that can be advertised to your fan candidates can also be an effective strategy.
When it comes to content creation and distribution, consistency is key. No one is going to become a fan of yours by consuming 1 piece of content. You need to commit to regularly creating content and getting that content in front of your target market.
Use a Lead Magnet Campaign
Once your target market have been warmed up with your content; ideally over a period of at least 30 days in which they consume multiple pieces…it’s the perfect time to get your audience to take the next step and join your email list.
If you don’t already have an email list then I would strongly recommend you start building one. Email lists are fantastic tools for content distribution and generating sales. Having thousands of loyal fans on an email list when you launch a new product, or in your case a new book, guarantees immediate sales.
So how do you add thousands of fan candidates to an email list?
In summary, you need a lead magnet.
A lead magnet is something small and valuable that you give to your target market in exchange for their email addresses. Lead magnets are often reports, guides, video training, cheat sheets, etc.
For example, one of my best performing lead magnets is my Facebook Ad Template.
Advertising a lead magnet to people that have already consumed your content on Facebook can be very effective. In order for a lead magnet campaign to work, the lead magnet needs to be highly appealing to your target audience.
For most businesses, I recommend creating lead magnets that help their target market achieve something they want to achieve or avoid something they want to avoid. And of course, as an author, this strategy may work well for you.
However, I have seen plenty of authors use a chapter of one of their books or even a whole book as a lead magnet.
I know the idea of giving away free books might be painful (you can charge for postage or use an ebook) but there is a lot of value in adding fan candidates to your email list.
You’ll find it much easier to convert those people into true fans by regularly sending them great content…
And once they’re on your email list, it costs you next to nothing to market to them for years to come.
If you’re an author looking to build a fan base with Facebook ads I would recommend using a 3 step strategy:
- Identify Fan Candidates
- Warm Up Cold Audiences with Content
- Use a Lead Magnet Campaign
Before you go, I’d love to know what your experience has been with using Facebook ads to build a fan base.
Please leave a comment below with what has worked and what hasn’t worked for you.