Instagram is undoubtedly one of the most popular social media networks out there. Currently, the platform has over one billion monthly active users.
For book writers, it offers an incredible opportunity to grow their business by letting you connect with, and promote books to a targeted audience. There are a number of different ways this can be done.
I will discuss a few of these ideas in the paragraphs below.
Components of Instagram Marketing
From a book writers’ perspective, there are mainly three different components of Instagram marketing.
Influencers are typically Instagram users with a large, targeted following. For instance, there are users like @bookotter and @parnassusbooks that are followed almost exclusively by book lovers.
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Spreading the word about your book through such influencers can help you reach a niche audience of book lovers quite efficiently.
This is perhaps the most traditional way to reach an audience of readers. Instagram ads are available in five different forms: photos, videos, carousels, canvas story ads, and story ads.
It is worth pointing out that Instagram ads are integrated with the Facebook Ad Manager. This provides you, the advertiser, with a large wealth of user information required for effective audience targeting.
Instagram Business Page:
Quite recently, Instagram introduced Business Accounts that allow for greater control over your account. For instance, unlike personal accounts, business accounts can also include phone numbers and location on their profile.
Why would a writer need it? Well, a significant amount of promotion happens offline through public readings, meetups, and forums. Event managers are constantly on the lookout for writers who can attend such events. Letting them contact you with ease can go a long way in your book promotion.
In addition to this, a business account also gives you Statistics to analyze the performance of your posts, and an ability to create and manage ads
Finding your Target Audience
On Instagram, you can use a variety of different strategies to find your target audience.
Hashtags play a big role in discoverability. Instagram provides a way for its users to follow posts tagged with specific hashtags.
For instance, if your book is thriller novel with a feminist lead, you could tag your promotions with hashtags like #thrillers and #feminism to reach out to readers who are interested in these topics.
It is however not a good idea to throw in a random bunch of hashtags related to your book. Some hashtags are more popular than the others and thus have better visibility on the Instagram Explore section.
Since Facebook acquired Instagram, it is now possible to advertise on Instagram directly from Facebook. You can create an integrated campaign for Instagram using Facebook’s highly targeted behavioral filters that can scrutinize users on the basis of their reading interests, genres they are interested in, and books they like.
You can also use simple promotions within Instagram to promote your book. To begin, you have to select a post from your profile and use the in-built promotion feature in your Instagram business profile to boost the post and get lots of engagement. You can also add a call-to-action (CTA) button, and create a special audience for your post based on targeted interests, location, and demographics.
Finding the right influencer can make or break your marketing campaign. Large influencers are not only expensive, but may also have a very generic audience.
A good idea here is to find influencers who focus on a niche albeit with a relatively smaller following. In my experience, an Instagram following between 3000 to 50,000 followers is ideal. Not only is it cheaper to partner with such influencers, they also offer a much better ROI than larger Instagram account.
For representational purpose only
Finding such lesser known influencers can be tricky. The most efficient way to do this is by checking out a larger, celebrity account and looking through the list of people they follow.
For instance, you may start with the Instagram account of JK Rowling and check out the comments on her submissions. Find someone relevant? Go through their profile to check a list of their followers. Keep drilling through this rabbit hole and you may find a bunch of highly targeted influencers you can reach out to.
What Kind of Content Should You Create?
Although your presence on Instagram may be purely to promote your book, do not be one-dimensional in your content production. Building a personal brand and engaging with your readers is also incredibly important.
Sharing photos and videos from your book signings is a start. To engage your audience, you may also share other pictures of you reading your favorite book, share quotes that you love from other books, or ask your followers to submit pictures of them reading your book.
The objective here is to not simply peddle your book. Instead, build a connection with your followers. More importantly, produce content that your followers will be eager to check out and engage with. All this not only helps build your brand, but also improves your visibility and helps with building a steady inflow of new followers to your Instagram account.