As authors, understanding the essentials of marketing for your business is a vital part of your success strategy.
In this article, we take you through the fundamental areas of marketing, and how to best showcase your unique selling proposition in the marketplace.
Identify Your Target Customer Base
In order to attract potential buyers, you’ll need to ensure that you can identify your core target market or those that are most likely to purchase item from your portfolio. Customers are your guiding star when designing your next product or item in the marketplace.
Having them in mind, will help to inform your decision making when it comes to scaling the business or launching specific marketing campaigns or strategies to increase sales overtime.
Dig Deeper into Demographics
Set up a general profile of your target audience by mapping your core customer. Describe the type of of person who will use the item, including their interests, lifestyle, work, cultural background and age. These factors will all have an impact on purchasing patterns, and the the earlier you can gather this information, the more you can influence your product to best connect with its core audience.
“Customers are your guiding star when designing your next product or item in the marketplace.”
Test Item Tags
Experiment with demographic-specific tags to source insights into what connects with your buyers. Depending on the item type, try adding tags that reflect the styles, moods or tastes of your buyers. Find keywords that your buyers are comfortable with and make sure to use those terms in your item tags, titles and descriptions.
What are customers looking for at a particular time and why is that important? Authors should be aware of seasonal shifts in trends, especially around the holiday season – like Christmas for example. This is part of knowing your target audience and trying to connect your item with what is going on in the world, their world. By doing so, authors can proactively design items that they know buyers will be thinking about and looking for at that time.
Pay Attention to Your Fans
As you grow in sales, make sure to pay close attention on what part of your work is connecting with buyers. You can spend some time investigating what your buyers are looking for in the marketplace through simple searches, comparing similar items with your own.
Also, if you have any social media channels, this can provide a valuable way to learn about your customers behaviours, including their interests and preferences. Set aside some time to learn about this. Often social media channels are mainly prioritised as places for people to put out content, as opposed to engaging with content already existing and looking at it from more of research perspective. Look to interact and engage with your buyers, ask for feedback and thank them for their support.
“This is part of knowing your target audience and trying to connect your item with what is going on in the world, their world.“
Interact with the Community & Forums
Authors can learn more about their target audience by connecting with their online communities, especially the forums. Customers can ask lots of questions and provide feedback on what they need – which is absolute gold for you own customer research! This will help you to discover pain paints and be able to strategically meet these needs in your own work. Understanding these needs and features will also help to evolve your keywords and search terms as certain features become important and trends change.
As your sales grow, it’s important to keep an eye on trends and statistics. A Google analytics subscription will help to provide a breakdown of demographics and behaviours. Its equally important to spend some time looking at the marketplace and see what sells and what doesn’t. Compare and contrast how they are presented and the search terms used. Consider whether some items may need to be refreshed and use it as a way to test specific a hypothesis.
Make sure to also keep an eye on trend reports and industry news which will be able to provide an insight into what is popular with buyers at the moment and examples of good practices.
“Customers can ask lots of questions and provide feedback on what they need – which is absolute gold for you own customer research!”
Find Your Brand Voice
Your customers need a reason to choose your item over others. This requires authors to have a strong brand identity, which will help their portfolio stand out from the crowd. Look to establish your key point of difference, a speciality or a niche and really work hard at making it be the best you can be, whether thats customer service, quality or a specific style.
If you’re having trouble figuring out your brand voice, look to your brand’s values, your target market, your items unique features and the problem that you’re trying to solve for your customers. Ask yourself what would you want your customers to feel when looking at your items and how would they be using them in their day to day life.
“It’s equally important to spend some time looking at the marketplace and see what sells and what doesn’t.”
Check out our two part Branding Guide – the first guide takes you through the important basics of branding and defining your author brand, whereas the second guide looks at developing your branding voice and includes a series of examples taken from stand out branding techniques in the marketplace.