You thought the hard part was over. Your book is complete and published, isn’t it? But as soon as it’s ready for distribution, you come across another obstacle: marketing your book. In today’s social media climate, you need to learn how to promote your book on Instagram!
Book marketing can be a nightmare. You’ve heard horror stories about how expensive book promotion can be. And it doesn’t help that the market is cutthroat.
The truth is, yes, today’s publishing world is saturated. And that’s why book promotion these days often fall on authors, whether you’re self-published or using a traditional publisher.
And yes, reaching potential readers for your book does require a lot of hard work. But hey, anything that’s worth doing is worth flexing your muscles, right? And why stop now, when you’re at the final hurdle of becoming a full-fledged author?
The good news is that the world has gone online, and social media is present almost everywhere. What these present for you is an opportunity—another route you can use. Thankfully, this route is cheaper than traditional marketing!
And in terms of social media platforms, the one that’s particularly helpful for you to crush your book sales goal is Instagram.
Of course, you mustn’t take book marketing lightly. But you don’t have to feel helpless about promoting your book anymore. Let’s dive in and see how you can make Instagram marketing work for you.
Instagram is an interesting social media platform to run book marketing campaigns. What makes it such a great venue? Let’s take a look.
According to Hootsuite, Instagram today ranks sixth among all social media platforms, only behind Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat. Instagram is also the sixth most visited website. This detail is unsurprising, considering over one billion people have Instagram accounts now, making the mobile app with the fourth most users.
But what you’d be fascinated to know is that 90 percent of Instagram users follow a business. And among Instagram users, 50 percent become interested in a brand after seeing an Instagram ad for it.
Hootsuite’s research also found that 50 percent of people have visited a website to make a purchase after seeing a product or service’s Instagram Story.
Given Instagram’s popularity today, ignoring the chance to find and reach potential readers from this social media platform would be foolhardy.
Instagram has many features that may help you find and engage your target readership.
The platform, of course, is primarily known for its photo and video sharing feature. On Instagram, you’re compelled to share interesting content. You have much room to be creative as you share content that relates to your book.
Be it a quote from your book, an image in it, or a personal story that you have about it, you can be as creative as you want on Instagram. And through your photo or video post, you can encourage potential readers to interact with you. You get opportunities to start a conversation with them and help grow your followers and readers for your book over time.
Another invaluable feature that can help you reach new readers is an Instagram Story. An Instagram Story is published separately from the photos and videos that can be found in a user’s Instagram profile.
According to HubSpot, Instagram Stories are effective in driving engagement as they help build brand awareness and grow traffic to content even outside of Instagram. In fact, brands such as Doritos and Chameleon Cold Brew experienced growth thanks to Instagram Stories.
Instagram shares that over five hundred million accounts use Stories on a daily basis. What’s more, research found that 58 percent of the people surveyed say they become interested in a product or brand after seeing it in Stories. Also, 45 percent of the people surveyed prefer Stories for becoming aware of new trends.
On Instagram, you can reach out to influencers, or those personalities who have legions of followers online or have established a name in their respective online communities. If you build a partnership with them, these influencers can help endorse your book to their audience or bring awareness to your book.
On Instagram, you have three profile options: business, creator, or personal. Each Instagram account type has its unique advantages and disadvantages. But because your goal here is to market your book, the best option for you would be an Instagram business account. Why? Read on to find out.
Over two hundred million business accounts are on Instagram today. But the good news is people visit these profiles every day.
Instagram business profiles, unlike the other ones, have access to premium features optimized for brand marketing. These features are Instagram Insights, Instagram Ads, Promoted Posts, Instagram Shopping and Checkout, contact options and action buttons, Quick Replies, branded content approvals, link on Instagram Story, and inbox management.
One of the main differences between an Instagram business profile and a personal one is that the former comes with analytics.
Analytics are crucial in marketing because the stats you can extract from this feature help you know whether you’re reaching your target audience. Analytics also help you understand which content resonates with your followers.
Another difference between a business profile and a personal account is the privacy settings. In particular, unlike the other account types, only personal accounts can be set to private.
Also, unlike Instagram business and creator pages, a personal profile can be linked to not only one but as many Facebook pages as you like. Business and creator profiles can connect to only one Facebook profile.
Setting up an Instagram for business will only take you a few steps. The social media platform offers a step-by-step guide by on how to set up your Instagram business account. Meanwhile, for your business account to succeed, Instagram offers three key tips:
As mentioned earlier, Instagram now has more than one billion active users. Think of the potential readers from this number! But how do you reach your target audience on Instagram? How do you get Instagram followers? This sections looks into a few things to keep in mind as you embark on your indie book marketing journey.
Implemented in 2016, the Instagram algorithm plays a huge role as to whether your content gets seen on this popular social media platform. Hootsuite defines the Instagram algorithm as “a set of rules that controls your content’s organic reach.”
What the Instagram algorithm does is prioritize posts deemed “best” or worth showing to a particular person. The algorithm decides on this using so-called specific signals.
This simply means that if the Instagram algorithm thinks your content is the most relevant for a person’s search query, your content will be given the most visibility—and the other ones will get placed further down—in that person’s news feed.
What’s tricky is that the Instagram algorithm is regularly subject to change. Still, no matter the changes to the algorithm, three main ranking factors can help inform your Instagram marketing strategy, according to Shopify.
The first major factor is relationship. This is particularly critical when people who’ve interacted with content on your Instagram account in the past are more likely to see your future content. The algorithm considers people who reacted to your previous posts to be the most likely to take interest in your latest content. In other words, if you want to increase your organic reach, you must consider strategies that will help you develop a good engagement rate.
The second major category is interest. This category for Instagram ranking signals looks at how Instagram users interact with other posts and accounts comparable to yours. The assumption is that users who engage with other content that’s similar to yours will also likely see the posts you have on your Instagram account.
The third main ranking factor is relevancy or timeliness. This factor refers to the timing of your post. Accordingly, the Instagram algorithm considers newer posts more relevant to people. Hence, such new content ranks higher than old ones in the news feed.
In light of that third factor, a simple way to get your content seen and improve your engagement rate is to identify the best time for you to post to Instagram. To know the best timing, you should consider the behavior of your target audience. Next, factor in the industry benchmarks. Finally, make sure you know when your target audience is on Instagram.
Just like on Twitter, hashtags are a good way for your content to get noticed on Instagram. However, how hashtags work on Twitter and Instagram differ. As such, you must do proper research and experimentation if you want to use effective hashtags for Instagram.
On Instagram, hashtags have different types and corresponding audiences. As you develop strategy for your book marketing, knowing about the types of Instagram hashtags is vital.
The first type is community hashtags. On Instagram, communities exist, and these hashtags are a good way of reaching them. Community hashtags, which connect users who share similar interests, have nine distinguishing types.
The second type, meanwhile, is branded hashtags. Branded hashtags are tags created to promote a brand or a campaign. Accordingly, branded hashtags are a way for people to find their favorite brands on Instagram.
Branded hashtags can also be used to collect user-generated content, or brand-promoting content that takes any form. This could be text, videos, images, reviews, etc.—anything created by people rather than brands.
The third type is campaign hashtags. Unlike community and branded hashtags, the third type—campaign—are short term and run only for a certain amount of time (e.g., a few days, a season, or a year). As the name suggests, campaign hashtags are tied to specific campaign. For example, say a new product launches or you have a special company event.
However, for an Instagram hashtag strategy to be effective, it must reach not only a lot of people but the right people. (Meaning your target audience.)
Your book marketing strategy, therefore, must be able to make the most of Instagram hashtags that help introduce the reader to your book and grow engagement. A few of the ways to do so include the following:
We know how hard you worked on your book. And like you, we want your book to be in your readers’ hands, not on a shelf somewhere.
Our team at Elite can give you a leg up in making your books more visible. Talk to one of our publishing experts today and get a marketing plan that works for you.