Hello, is there anyone listening?
If you have lifted your head to answer such a question during the morning commute, you may have noticed the rows of people staring at their phones, instantly getting the gratification of entertainment, news, gossip...anything they want. It’s not that they don’t want to read a book, they have been meaning to do it for a while, but there’s that Netflix season that they’ve started...
So how do you distract someone long enough to get them to pick up your book?
1. Aim to create a thumb-stopping moment on social
A book launch campaign must be compelling enough to stop you from scrolling down your newsfeed. It must create what I call a thumb-stopping moment; drawing an individual into the narrative of the novel. In this world of constant distractions, you need to throw a digital punch to get noticed.
2. Appeal to people’s self interest
Everyone is interested in themselves. If you can find a way to appeal to their desires, then you have the makings of a great campaign.
For example, for Dan Brown’s book Origin, we were challenged to create something that would activate his large fan base and build awareness of the new book. When discussing ideas we realised that there were millions of fans that would love their own signed copy. We set about making this possible through the magic of personalised video and created the world’s first ever virtual book signing. As part of the campaign users got to see a video of Dan Brown sign their own name in his actual handwriting.
3. Design your campaign for the right demographic (colours, social network, language etc)
When creating your digital campaign, it is so important to have a clear picture of the type of person you are hoping to attract. Once you know the ‘who’ then you can decide the ‘what’. Details such as the colour of buttons and even specific phrases can subconsciously draw in your intended audience. The best way to get it right is to test on a sample audience.
4. Remove as many barriers to entry as you can
Imagine for a moment walking into a shop and the shop assistant approaches with a clipboard. He demands your name and email before allowing you to browse the shelves. Would you turn around and walk out? I would.
Needless to say, it’s the same with a digital campaign. We were tasked by St Martin’s Press to come up with a digital campaign for An Anonymous Girl, the new novel by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. Our challenge was to invite their target audience of predominantly young females to spend a few minutes taking a morality quiz and whilst doing so, experience a scene from this psychological suspense thriller. We removed all barriers to entry. Once you land on the microsite, a chatbot starts immediately. Only at the very end is there the option to sign in for entry to a sweepstakes and to receive the first chapter for free.
5. Always keep in mind the campaign goals: data capture, pre-sales, word of mouth
It is very easy to get carried away with an idea and lose sight of why you are creating the campaign in the first place. If data capture is the primary goal, then you need to provide a strong incentive for someone to give you their data. If word of mouth and shareability is the aim, then every thought needs to go into what you are asking people to share with their friends and understand why they might do that.
Start with an idea - it’s the quickest way to fail the campaign goals
If you work backwards from a campaign idea, you will not end up with the success you envisaged. I am often pitched an idea for a campaign with the words ‘we think it would be fun to..’. Invariably, after delving into the motivation for running the campaign, it becomes clear that the idea will not deliver the desired results.
Start with your goals and work forward from there.