Part 10 – The importance of video content
In today’s digital age, social media has become a powerful platform for authors to promote their books and connect with readers. While traditional text-based posts have their place, the rise of video content has transformed the landscape of social media advertising. Videos offer a dynamic and immersive experience that captivates audiences, making them an indispensable tool for authors seeking to engage, entice, and expand their reader base.
Using Canva, I created an animated GIF that can be easily shared, captures the viewer’s attention, has a call to action, and is easily usable on all social media platforms.
In today’s post, we will explore the reasons why video content is vital for authors when advertising on social media and how it can be applied in practice. From enhanced engagement and visual storytelling to wider reach and multi-platform utilization, we will uncover the undeniable benefits that videos bring to an author’s promotional efforts. We will explore how authors can leverage video content to captivate audiences, breathe life into their stories, and build strong connections with readers. Additionally, we will provide insights into easy-to-use programs that authors can utilize to create compelling video content, allowing them to tap into the full potential of this engaging medium. Whether you’re a seasoned author or just starting your literary journey, this post will equip you with basic knowledge and tools to harness video advertising on social media.
Why is video content so important when advertising on social media?
- It Increases Viewer Engagement: Video content has a higher potential to engage social media users compared to static text-based posts. The dynamic nature of videos, including moving visuals, sound, and storytelling techniques, captures attention and keeps viewers engaged for longer periods. By leveraging videos, authors can create a more immersive and interactive experience, leading to higher levels of likes, comments, shares, and overall engagement. This increased engagement helps authors establish stronger connections with their audience and fosters a sense of community around their books and brand.
- Videos Have a Powerful Visual Impact: Videos provide authors with a powerful medium to visually showcase their books, brand, and storytelling style. Through videos, authors can bring their stories to life by utilizing imagery, cinematography, and visual effects. Book trailers, for example, can capture the essence of a story, entice viewers with intriguing visuals, and create a lasting impression. Author interviews can showcase the author’s personality and expertise, establishing a connection with viewers. By utilizing visual elements, authors can create a strong visual impact that resonates with their audience and leaves a memorable impression.
- They Offer Excellent Storytelling Opportunities: Video content offers authors the opportunity to leverage the power of storytelling in a more dynamic and immersive way. Through videos, authors can craft narratives that evoke emotions, spark curiosity, and showcase the unique aspects of their books. They can use visual elements, music, voiceovers, and editing techniques to create compelling and engaging stories that resonate with viewers. Whether it’s conveying the plot, introducing characters, or sharing behind-the-scenes insights, videos enable authors to tell their stories more effectively and draw viewers into their literary world.
- Your Posts Have a Longer Reach and Higher Visibility: Social media platforms prioritize video content in their algorithms, giving it a higher chance of being seen by a larger audience. When authors incorporate videos into their social media advertising strategies, they can benefit from the algorithmic preference for videos. This can result in higher organic reach, increased visibility, and a broader audience reach. Video content is more likely to appear in users’ feeds and can be discovered through platform-specific features like video recommendations or related content sections. By leveraging the higher reach potential of videos, authors can expand their audience and attract new readers to their books.
Video content is more likely to appear in users’ feeds and can be discovered through platform-specific features like video recommendations or related content sections.
- Most are Multi-Platform Compatible: Video content can be adapted and shared across various social media platforms, allowing authors to maximize their online presence and reach different audiences. Different platforms cater to different content formats and audience preferences. YouTube is ideal for longer-form content such as book trailers or author interviews. Instagram and Facebook support shorter videos, including clips, teasers, or behind-the-scenes glimpses. By tailoring their video content to suit each platform’s format and user behavior, authors can effectively engage with their target readership on multiple platforms and increase their brand exposure.
- They Establish a Personal Connection and Generate Authenticity: Videos provide an opportunity for authors to establish a personal connection with their audience and convey authenticity. By appearing in videos, authors can directly communicate their passion, insights, and unique perspectives. Viewers appreciate the chance to see and hear from the author themselves, which helps humanize the brand and build trust. By showcasing their personality, knowledge, and enthusiasm, authors can create a deeper connection with their audience, fostering loyalty and increasing the likelihood of readers becoming fans and advocates for their books.
By incorporating video content into your social media strategies, you can effectively promote your books, engage your audience, and strengthen your brand presence on social media, where visual and interactive content is highly valued.
Video content is important for authors when advertising on social media because it enhances engagement, creates a visual impact, leverages storytelling opportunities, increases reach and visibility, accommodates multi-platform utilization, and facilitates personal connections with the audience. By incorporating video content into your social media strategies, you can effectively promote your books, engage your audience, and strengthen your brand presence on social media, where visual and interactive content is highly valued. But how can this be applied to help your sales? Because that is our ultimate goal, right? We want our promotions to work so we aren’t struggling for each and every sale we get.
In the self-publishing industry, authors rely heavily on social media marketing. Unless you are a member of the lucky (insert tiny number here)% of indie authors who make big bucks off their first release, you don’t have an unlimited budget for advertising. And even if you are at the top, you don’t want to waste money on advertising techniques that don’t work (please see this interesting article on percentages and approximate earnings from ReedsyBlog). So, let’s discuss video content specific to the self-publishing industry using real-world examples.
Video content can be adapted and shared across various social media platforms, allowing authors to maximize their online presence and reach different audiences.
Example Scenario 1: You are a self-published Dark Romance author who wants to leverage video and animation to increase viewer engagement, gain visibility, and boost sales for your latest novel.
- Book Trailer: You have a captivating book trailer designed that highlights the key elements of your new release. The video includes romantic visuals, snippets of intense moments between the main characters, and a compelling score that builds anticipation. You share the trailer on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, accompanied by engaging captions and hashtags relevant to the dark romance genre. You take parts of the trailer and re-release it on TikTok, YouTube Shorts, and Stories (Insta and FB). The visually appealing book trailer grabs the attention of viewers, enticing them to learn more about the book and potentially share the trailer with their network.
- Animated Teasers: You easily create a series of animated teasers that reveal snippets of romantic dialogue or intriguing scenes from your book. Using animation, you add visually appealing elements that complement the tone and atmosphere of the book (think blood-red roses, dark textures, scratches, grunge concrete, skulls, snakes etc). You share these animated teasers on social media platforms, providing your followers with enticing glimpses into the story. These animated teasers not only pique the curiosity of viewers but also create a sense of anticipation, encouraging them to engage by liking, commenting, and sharing.
- Behind-the-Scenes Author Insights: You share behind-the-scenes videos that offer insights into your writing process, inspirations, and the journey of self-publishing your new release. You record short videos (between 2 seconds and 10 seconds) of yourself discussing the challenges and joys of writing dark romance, the characters you’ve developed, and the themes explored in your new book. By giving your audience a personal look into your authorial journey, you establish a genuine connection and build trust with your followers, increasing their interest in the book and potentially encouraging them to make a purchase.
- Interactive Author Q&A: You host a live interactive Q&A session on social media. Platforms like Instagram Live, TikTok, or Facebook Live are fabulous for these. You invite your followers to submit questions in advance and then answer them in real time during the live session. You address questions about your new release, your writing process, and the dark romance genre in general. This interactive video session allows you to engage directly with your audience, making them feel involved and valued. The Q&A session generates excitement, encourages viewers to participate, and promotes the book organically through shares and mentions. You could also use a cross-promotion here – as discussed in our previous post.
- Reader Testimonial Videos: You can encourage your readers to share their experiences and testimonials about your new release through short video clips. You could even offer incentives, such as featuring their videos on your social media platforms or hosting a giveaway to motivate participation (Please see this post for more information on the importance of Giveaways). You share these heartfelt reader testimonial videos on your social media channels, showcasing the impact your book has had on real readers. These videos serve as social proof, validating the quality and appeal of your book, which in turn, encourages potential readers to trust and explore the book.
- Limited-Time Promotional Videos: You create engaging videos to promote limited-time offers or discounts on your new release. You may create countdown videos, animated graphics, or video snippets featuring a call-to-action urging viewers to take advantage of the promotional period. These videos generate a sense of urgency and drive viewers to make a purchase before the offer expires, effectively boosting book sales.
By creating engaging videos to promote limited-time offers or discounts on your new release, you can increase interest and demand for your book. Short clips like this generate a sense of urgency and drive viewers to make a purchase before the offer expires, effectively boosting book sales for a short period of time.
Example Scenario 2: You are a self-published Fantasy author aiming to increase engagement, drive more page reads, and boost book sales for your epic fantasy series, which you have just completed.
- Epic Book Trailer: You have an epic book trailer designed that showcases the thrilling world, diverse characters, and high-stakes adventures of your series. The video incorporates stunning visuals, epic music, and compelling text to immerse viewers in the fantastical realm of the series. You share the book trailer on ALL social media platforms, cutting the trailer into bite-sized portions to increase exposure and maintain viewer engagement. Publish the entire trailer on YouTube once your initial videos have been published.
- Animated Fantasy Map: You have a map of your realm/country/world designed for the interior of your book. You then create an animated version of the map using one of the many free animation programs available to authors (see the points below on appropriate creation software). The map showcases the intricate geography, key locations, and epic journeys that unfold within the books. Have floating text, some close-up photography of each area, and maybe some magical overlays. You share this animated map on social media, accompanied by intriguing captions that pique the curiosity of viewers. The visually appealing animation not only engages fantasy enthusiasts but also provides a visual reference for readers to better understand the world-building within the series.
- Character Art and Backstories: You can have visually striking character art designed for your book, swag, or special edition signings. Animate these and share them on your social media platforms. You can accompany the images with brief character backstories or intriguing snippets about their role in your series. By combining captivating visuals with character insights, you generate interest and curiosity about the rich cast of characters in the series. This approach encourages viewers to engage with the posts, asking questions or expressing their enthusiasm (or hate) for specific characters.
- Author Reading: You may try recording yourself reading an exhilarating excerpt from your series. The video features your expressive narration, emphasizing the suspense, magic, or intense action within the chosen scene. You should share this video on social media platforms, inviting followers to experience a taste of the adventure that awaits inside your books. The dynamic reading engages viewers, allowing them to connect with the story on a deeper level and potentially inspiring them to seek out the full book for more immersive reading experiences.
- Animated Quotes: You may like to try creating animated quote graphics featuring powerful lines and memorable passages from your book. Using captivating visuals, animation effects, and elegant typography, you can design visually appealing quote graphics that convey the essence of the series. You would share these animated quotes on social media, encouraging followers to like, comment, and share their favorite quotes. The visually engaging animations catch the eye of viewers, sparking discussions and potentially motivating them to explore the books further.
- Interactive Lore Videos: You can produce interactive lore videos that delve into the history, magic systems, or mythical creatures of your chosen world. These videos offer deeper insights into the world-building elements of his series, enhancing the reader’s understanding and immersion. You must encourage viewers to engage by leaving comments, asking questions, or sharing their own theories and interpretations. The interactive nature of these videos fosters a sense of community and sparks enthusiasm for the series.
By strategically utilizing video and animation, self-published authors like you can increase viewer engagement, gain visibility, and boost book sales on social media. These dynamic and visually appealing content formats create intrigue, foster personal connections, and generate excitement among viewers, ultimately leading to increased interest, word-of-mouth sharing, and a higher likelihood of book purchases.
At this point, you’re probably crying a little on the inside, thinking you are short of funds or time to create authentic video content, right? Fear not! If you are a member of my Patreon – I have you covered. Depending on your Tier, you can have new video content created every month, use any of the templates I’ve made specifically for this purpose, or have me create a cinematic book trailer for your new release. However, if you aren’t a member (YET! haha), there are loads of creation software available for you to create your own masterpieces – for FREE or a minimal startup cost.
- Adobe Spark/Adobe Express: An online tool that offers a user-friendly interface and a range of customizable templates for creating videos, graphics, and web pages. It provides an intuitive design experience without the need for advanced technical skills.
- Canva: A versatile design platform known for its extensive library of templates, graphics, and customizable elements. It offers a drag-and-drop interface that simplifies the process of creating visually appealing videos with text overlays, animations, and music.
- BookBrush: Book Brush is an online design software for creating custom graphics for authors. It is a lot like Canva but built specifically for authors. Book Brush is designed so that anyone can use it, even those with no design skills. Their video creation software can be a tad glitchy, but it is getting better every day!
- Animoto: A video creation platform designed for users with minimal editing experience. It provides ready-to-use templates, stock footage, and music options, allowing authors to create professional-looking videos by simply uploading their content and customizing the visuals.
- Lumen5: An AI-powered platform that transforms text-based content, such as blog posts or articles, into engaging videos. Authors can input their text, select relevant visuals from a database, and let the platform generate a video with automatic transitions, text overlays, and background music.
- Biteable: An online video maker with a vast library of templates, animations, stock footage, and music. It allows authors to customize text, colors, and visuals to create eye-catching videos for various purposes, including book promotions and social media marketing.
- iMovie (Mac) or Windows Movie Maker (Windows): Built-in software programs that offer basic video editing capabilities. Authors can import their own footage, images, and audio to create and edit videos directly on their computers.
When selecting a program, you should consider your technical skills, creative preferences, and the specific type of video content you want to create. It’s advisable to explore different options, experiment with the tools, and choose the one that best aligns with your goals and capabilities.
Basically, what all of the above information condenses into is that video content is important because it enhances engagement, creates a visual impact, leverages storytelling opportunities, increases reach and visibility, accommodates multi-platform utilization, and facilitates personal connections with the audience. By incorporating video content into your social media strategies, you can effectively promote your books, engage your audience, and strengthen your brand presence in a digital landscape where visual and interactive content is highly valued.
NOTE: These are just my personal opinions and are meant to be used to help you, not as a definite instruction manual. The opinions or views expressed here are not intended to treat or diagnose issues; nor are they meant to replace the treatment and care that you may be receiving from a licensed professional. Neither Patreon, nor I, are responsible for the outcome or results of following any advice in any given situation. You, and only you, are completely responsible for your actions.