Why You Should Be Using Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing has been proven to affect sales dramatically, why? Because we trust word of mouth over advertisements. As an author, you can use influencer marketing to spread the word about your book and increase sales, keep reading to find out how!

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What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing is a form of social media marketing that prioritises word of mouth. It involves providing something of value to an influencer, in exchange for them promoting your work across their social media channels.

How can I use this?

Authors can use influencer marketing to promote their work by reaching out to influencers and providing a free copy of their book, whether paperback, hardback, eBook or audiobook version(s), in exchange for them talking about your book.

When I was a debut author, I knew that not many people knew who I actually was, even if I did have social media, I still wanted to grow my reach and get the word out about my book. So, I contacted bookstagrammers (book influencers who use the Instagram platform) and asked if they would do a grid post featuring my book, in exchange for a press box which I sent them - hardback copies of the book included.

Where can I find influencers?

You can find influencers virtually anywhere! Here's a few ideas;

  • Other Authors - A good way to utilise influencer marketing is to partner with other authors in the same genre as you. This is beneficial because these authors have built their own platform with the same target audience as you, meaning more of their followers are likely to purchase your book, especially if their favourite author is recommending it.

  • Book Clubs - You want to find readers who are most likely to purchase your book, which is why reaching out to book clubs, especially those who feature other books in your genre, is a great idea.

  • Book Blogs - Again, we're rolling with this idea of finding readers in your target audience, which is why reaching out to online book blogs who have a high reach and number of monthly users to promote your book is a fantastic idea.

  • Bookstagram - I personally utilised this type of influencer marketing to promote Cloaked Shadows, and it worked wonders! Bookstagrammers are book influencer who use the Instagram platform. This type of influencer marketing also ensures you can grow your Instagram account, as they bookstgrammers can tag you.

  • Book Boxes - This isn't technically influencer marketing as you're not providing anything for free, however having your book featured in a book box is a fantastic way to ensure more people get your book in their hands. This is important because they'll then share your book on their social media, meaning others will see it and buy it and so on. It's a constant loop of reach.

How do I reach out to Influencers?

It's important to reach out using the contact they'd prefer and more likely to look at. For example, book bloggers and book clubs generally use their website to reel readers in, so emailing these contacts would be better. Bookstagrammers use Instagram as their main platform, so reaching out via DM (direct message) would ensure they're more likely to see your message.

Here's an example of what I messaged bookstagrammers who I wanted to partner with me:

Hey, I love your page! I'm a YA Fantasy author and my debut novel, Cloaked Shadows, is due to be released in February. I'd love to send you a free press box (book included) in exchange for social media coverage - a grid post as a must. Please do let me know if this is something you're interested in. I'm hoping to send the boxes at the end of the month to align with the week my preorder campaign starts. I hope to hear from you soon!

After they agree, I tell them that I'll be back in touch nearer the time to collect their delivery address and, once collected, I'll send them another message with everything I expect from them. This includes ensuring the correct information is shown in their posts, such as release date, how they can order, blurb. I also set a date a wanted all posts to be uploaded by and sent them examples of types of posts I liked the layout of (for photographs) so that they had something to compare their work to.

Here are the photographs I got, which I also had permission to repost to my Instagram and use for promotional purposes...