Essential Rules to Live By:
I wish someone told me there are certain non-negotiables to marketing, before I entered the world of marketing, so I wouldn’t have made a fool of myself. I entered my first marketing role quite a few years ago, and to that job, I brought with me a few misguided pre-conceived notions about marketing. The most dangerous notion being, assuming I could simply advertise my products on social media from the start. No value offers. No personality. Nothing. I quickly learned that you have offer something, some value, bring your personality to the table in order to increase my engagement, but we’ll get to that later, trust me.
Luckily for you, I made mistakes, so you won’t have to. I’ve improved and honed my marketing skills over the past few years, and I was lucky enough to realise there are a few non-negotiables to marketing.
These are the golden rules to marketing, so pay attention, and make notes:
Content is King:
Burn those three words into your memory and repeat it like a mantra every-time you think of new marketing methods.
You can learn the intricate ins and outs of Facebook’s Ads Manager and throw a £1000 daily budget into your many split-audiences and split-campaign objectives, but if your content is poor, if you’re using a shoddy image or a video shot with a 2005 Sony Ericson, then your campaign will fall flat on its face. Thud, bang, lights out.
Remember to look at the content around you and I don’t mean scrolling on your Instagram feed for 5 minutes and then going back to your Netflix series. I mean, you need to make a proper report.
Analyse your competitors, what sort of content do they release, is it visual, is it professional photography or is it digital design? What sort of engagement do they receive? How many social media sites are they on? Which sites are they not on? What sort of value are they providing with their content? Are they missing any areas of value or lacking in detail? These are just a few questions to consider.
The final point is key, whatever your competitor is doing wrong is essentially a gap in the market. While you shouldn’t base your entire strategy around it from the get-go, you should pay close attention to it and see if you can fill that gap and provide your audience with the content and value they’re so desperately yearning for!
Provide Value before you Promote:
Have you ever spoken to someone in real life who spoke about themselves non-stop and never asked how you’re doing? That’s how a lot of authors look like on Twitter and Instagram. They promote, promote and promote without ever listening to their audience and providing the value that they’re so desperately seeking!
It’s simple, provide value to your audience. If you’re an author, you should have a pretty good idea of what sort of advice and help you’d like to be receiving. Writing tips, marketing tips or simply some writing related humour.
If you can’t provide advice or help, then just have a conversation and support other authors, be nice. It’s certainly better than aimless promotion.
We’re not saying promotion should never occur, it’s most certainly important, just remember to provide some value first, that’s how you draw your audiences attention.
“I’m getting no traction; I can’t be bothered anymore” – probably some aspiring author after a few weeks on Twitter. Here’s the thing about marketing, it’s really fun to do, until it’s not. I’ve spoken to a lot of aspiring marketers who have asked me, ‘how do you stay motivated?’. The truth is, I don’t. Some days, I’ve woken up and realised I have to put more time and effort into a channel that has been underperforming for weeks but I just get on with it. I do the work. I don’t care if my writing or content comes out looking like hot garbage on the first draft, I can always edit it later! Let me tell you, that’s when you really learn about yourself and how far you’re willing to go to achieve your success. Ask yourself are you willing to work even when you don’t want to? Even when you’d rather be watching your favourite Netflix series? Don’t be an excuse generator, be an excuse incinerator.
Consistent posting on your marketing channels such as your blog, Twitter, Instagram etc, is what separates you from a lot of authors. Let me tell you, when you combine consistency with high quality content, and you have a delicious recipe for success.
Don’t believe me? Go to a successful YouTuber’s channel such as ‘Jenna Moreci’, go to her videos and sort it from ‘oldest to newest’. You’ll notice three things:
You’ll see consistent posting; most successful YouTubers post on their channel 4 to 5 times per month.
With successful channels, you’ll notice, as time goes on, the quality of the content is slowly getting better, the author of the videos is slowly but surely understanding what works with their audience, and what doesn’t work. That only happens when you post consistently, make mistakes quickly and learn with speed of Usain Bolt, not literally of course.
You’ll notice the engagement suddenly shoot through the roof, that’s what happens when high engagement, excellent SEO rankings and word-of-mouth all combine.
Consistency is key, there’s no way around it. There’s no secret to staying motivated either, some days you’ll have to grit your teeth and get through it. It’s never as bad as you think it’s going to be.
That’s it. Those are the three staples of marketing. These really are non-negotiables; you cannot avoid the universal truth that’s been laid out for you in this blog post. These three rules alone won’t lead you to glory, but they will be the backbone and foundation of your success. Who said it would be easy? Nobody.