Understanding how online and offline marketing channels can work together is essential for your book’s financial success. These channels, if consistently used together, can help you as an author achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. It will also help your book build a continuous stream of income.
Here is a short discussion and explanation about book marketing channels, and how they can help you become a more successful author:
What Is A “Marketing Channel”?
Here is the quick explanation: A marketing channel simply refers to the places where you can interact with your audience. Each of these places, or channels, allows you to show your audience that you have a love for, and expertise in, your particular micro-niche. These channels also give you and your audience a direct way to listen to each other, and share information. This listening and sharing process is how meaningful, long-lasting, and profitable relationships are built between you and your audience.
How Is A “Marketing Channel” Different From A “Sales Channel”?
Here is the quick explanation: A sales channel simply refers to the way your books are brought to, and sold to, the book buyers, or the end consumers. These channels include online bookstores, brick-and-mortar book stores, book distributors, wholesalers, and so on. These are typically called indirect sales channels. But if you are selling your book directly from your home or office, you are also part of the sales channel. This would be called a direct sales channel.
There are two major ways to look at the different categories of marketing channels available to book marketers. These are 1. online marketing channels, and 2. offline marketing channels.
1. Online Marketing Channels
1.a. The Online Marketing Channels You Control
What online methods, or outlets, are you going to use to talk to your audience? And show them you have something to say? This could, and should, involve your blog, article marketing, guest posting, podcasting, making videos, using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. All of these channels would become part of your social media marketing efforts, also known as your author platform.
1.b. The Online Marketing Channels You Don’t Control
Other online marketing channels include those that you don’t have direct control over. Such as blogs and websites that share or repost your blog posts. This also includes reviews of your book that are written and posted on other blogs. Or other bloggers that quote you or your book in their own blog posts. Or they share your infographics, or slideshare decks, or videos, etc.
2. Offline Marketing Channels
Offline channels can also directly affect your online marketing and sales. This includes all of your marketing efforts that are not done online. Some of the more obvious examples are using direct mail postcards and newsletters to keep your customers informed about new information that you believe they would benefit from. Another is sending your clients and customers reminder notices, or birthday cards, for example. And also calling them on the telephone, or texting them a message.
For example, if you are an accountant, you can ask your clients to share one of your online articles with their online audience. Or send your past clients a reminder notice about the upcoming tax season deadlines. If you are a chef at a gourmet food market, for example, you can chat with your customers face-to-face about food; give cooking lessons in your kitchen; give out free recipes, etc.
There are an endless number of offline ways to market to your audience. It doesn’t matter what profession you are in. It just takes some creative thinking, and a desire to share information, to find new and fun ways to build and connect with your audience.
You should now realize that utilizing online and offline channels together can create an extremely powerful and profitable way to market your books. By combining each, you will be creating a marketing program that will build strength and momentum that will continue to help you consistently sell books over the long-term.