Let’s Think About This: Why a book may be a marketers best friend

Let's think about how your book can be the foundation of your marketing.

Photo: Vladimir Kudinov

Writing your book helps you think deeply about the unique value only you can bring to your audiences. It will help you crystallize your ideas into memorable, actionable thoughts that will interest and attract potential influencers and customers. In public relations we talk about the “hook” – the core idea that makes someone say, “I get it, it’s relevant to me, and I want to learn more.”

Brains are fantastic logic processors, but research shows that emotion is what moves people to action. Developing an emotional hook is what will really get people to buy into your ideas, services, or products. Working together, we can find your hook.

In the rest of this blog post, let’s explore how your book can be the foundation of a complete marketing plan. The book by itself is valuable, but can also become a calling card that expands into a number of ways to build your audience and influence.

Free stuff

Author and entrepreneur Seth Godin is one famous example of using books to spread ideas and build business. His website bio explains that Godin, among other things, writes about the way ideas spread.

Godin’s promotion of his concept of “Permission Marketing” is a classic example of how you can use a book to attract an audience for your ideas, products, or services.

One of Godin’s favorite tactics, met with some skepticism at first but now widely used, is giving away free chapters of his books. He introduced the tactic to successfully launch his first book, titled Permission Marketing, in 1999.

A core tenant of Permission Marketing is that you build relationships with your potential customers (or others you want to influence) before you ever start to convince them to buy. What could be better than giving something of value to someone as a way to start a relationship? Let’s face it, everything from food samples at Costco to t-shirt cannons at sporting events are a daily reminder that all of us love free stuff.

Go to www.sethgodin.com and you’ll see examples in his Free Stuff section.

A library of valuable stories for your content marketing plan

How do you make all that free stuff? When you use the book-writing process to refine and articulate your ideas, you’ll instantly build your collection: Blog posts, social posts, short ebooks, web content, infographics, media pitches, and more. All of this valuable content can easily be extracted from the full text of your book to publicize your book, your ideas, and attract eyeballs to what you have to offer.

In the past few years, this way of marketing has grown tremendously in popularity. Now known as Content Marketing, Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose are the primary evangelists for this alternative to “interruption marketing,” aka advertising. Their Content Marketing Institute is a fantastic source of knowledge on how to plan and execute successful content marketing programs.

Once you have your book, it can be excerpted and reshaped into valuable content that will keep your audience tuned to the marketing channels you choose.

Interestingly, even Pulizzi and Rose will tell you that what Seth Godin does and Content Marketing aren’t new ideas. Marketers of brands like Betty Crocker (recipes) and Sherwin Williams (home decorating tips) have provided free, valuable content to their target markets for decades. In fact, Pulizzi and Rose named their weekly podcast “This Old Marketing” just to remind everyone of the timeless value of this marketing method.

(Note: As an attendee of a recent Content Marketing World conference, I’m well prepared to help you develop a plan for your content marketing program, including your book, to tell your story to the world.)

Credibility and authority

Would you like to be on the TED Talk stage, a radio or television program, or quoted in news stories. Writing a book will also bring you authority and credibility as a subject matter expert. What better calling card for speaking opportunities, media pitches, and building your personal brand than to be introduced as “author of the book…”? Your book also becomes a leave-behind or call-to-action for your audience to – as Seth Godin would say – continue the conversation.

Finally, don’t we all want to leave a mark on the world? Whether it’s leaving a legacy of best practices for your family business, sparking new ideas, or changing the world, your book will live on. We’re all on this earth for a short time, but your book can continue to carry the power of your ideas for decades to come.

Keep your audience tuned in

Really, writing your book together is just the start of all a book can help you accomplish. Though good writing is a product of hard work, it may also be the “easiest” part of the process. Be sure to team with someone who has a full range of expertise to write your book and help you get it into the hands of those who are important to you.

So now you can see that, once you have your book, it can be excerpted and reshaped into valuable content that will keep your audience tuned to the marketing channels you choose. It will become your best friend in saving time and effort in promoting you and your ideas in the months and years ahead.

Leave a Reply