24 Content Marketing Ideas for Authors

One of the benefits of owning the copyright to a book is that you also own the rights to any derivative works, so let’s use it!

Content Marketing Institute published a playbook with 24 content marketing ideas that help businesses connect with their customers. Their playbook inspired me to do a remix of their list with tips to help authors find more ways to remix their own books.

  1. Blogs-Use your blog to talk about what inspired you to write your book, share book excerpts, current events related to your book topic, the history of your book’s topic, controversial opinions related to your book topic or fill it with stories that offer examples of your book’s topic in action.
  2. eNewsletters-This refers to an email mailing list, which is the cornerstone of any platform because it let’s you consistently reach out to people who opted in to hear about your message. You can use it to send out blog updates or use it to replace a blog and share the same type of information you would if you were blogging.
  3. Case studies-Case studies are brief stories that define the impact of a specific action. These are especially helpful for consultants, coaches, teachers, advisers and other educators who want to show how their solutions have worked out for others.
  4. Videos-Use the magical combination of pictures and sound to visually show your book’s lessons or illustrate points that may be difficult to understand without images.
  5. Guest posts-Find a blogger who often talks about your book’s topic and write guest posts for them. This is really effective when they allow you to include a brief biography (which should have a quick plug for your book) and link back to your own website or blog.
  6. Articles posted on your website-If you don’t want to blog on a regular basis, you can always publish articles that offer in-depth explanations of information your readers may find valuable. This still gets the information out there without building an expectation for you to publish each week.
  7. In-person events-Book fairs are always great places to promote your book, but don’t miss out on local festivals, fairs, expos and conventions that may be related to your book’s topic. If you don’t want to pay for a booth on your own, you can always find other authors to help you split the cost. Let your readers connect with you!
  8. White papers-This is a type of report that usually focuses on statistical research and data or explains complex information and is most often used when communicating with businesses. If you have numbers to support your book’s message, consider pulling them together into a 5-20 page white paper that you can share for free online using tools like Slideshare and Pinterest. Visit CMI’s White paper library for white paper design ideas.
  9. Online presentations-Let your message speak for you by transforming your book into a series of dynamic PowerPoint slides that you share through Slideshare. This is a great way for you to share all the pictures you didn’t put in the book. And if you did put pictures in your book, this is your opportunity to share them in full color. The key is to include a slide with your contact information so viewers can track you down and become a platform follower-or at least buy your book!
  10. Webinars/webcasts-You don’t have to rent a conference room at the local hotel to teach your book’s message. You can use webinars/webcasts to introduce people to your message no matter where they are in the world. All they need is Internet access.
  11. Research reports-You will be hard to ignore once you begin conducting and publishing original research related to your book’s message. You can partner with others to do the research to lighten the load. (Depending on the topic, you may even find a grant to fund the research.)
  12. Microsites-Chances are that your book’s message applies to more than one specific group of people. For example, an author who wrote about his September 11, 2001 experience in New York realized that history buffs are not the only ones who can benefit from his book’s message-individuals who have dealt with death or any kind of loss can relate to his recovery experience. So he could have two microsites-one with content dedicated to 9/11 historians who want to know the facts related to the event and the other with content related to the emotional aftermath of stressful events. What microsites could you create?
  13. Infographics-Your book already shares your message in words, so how can you share it with 2D images. Fiverr.com has a lot of designers who can help you turn your lists, procedures, timeline of events, or other abstract concept into a beautiful visual representation. The best thing about infographics is that people like to share them through their social media accounts. 
  14. Branded content tools-CMI used quizzes as an example of a branded content tool. But this can be anything that you create that your clients find useful and you can share online through your website for free. Other examples might be checklists, action plans, custom calendars or other tools your readers and potential readers and download to get information related to your book’s topic.
  15. Mobile apps-If Charmin-the toilet paper company-can think of an app related to promote their product, you can certainly think of one related to your message. Their mobile app helps you find public restrooms while you are “on the go.” What can you help people find? And don’t let the technical side of building an app discourage you. Freelancing sites like odesk.com are filled with qualified people who can help you bring your app idea to life.
  16. Mobile content-Mobile apps can be downloaded onto smartphones and stored on their screen. But mobile content is information that is designed to be read on a mobile device. You can accomplish this by making your website, blog, or other content mobile device friendly.
  17. e-Books-You already wrote the book, so why not publish it as an e-book too?
  18. Print magazines-Think of the print magazine as the physical version of the blog idea above. You don’t have to be the only person writing the articles in your magazine, you can always invite other content experts to share their story so you can maintain the role of the editor. This gives your readers access to updated information each month, or every other month, or quarterly, or over any other time frame that you choose.
  19. Books-I know what you are thinking, “but I already wrote a book.” This is true, but is that the only book you have in you? We all love a good sequel or behind-the-scenes story.
  20. Podcasts-You already wrote about it, now talk about it on your own talk show. Podcasts can be shared on iTunes or on other podcasting sites with people who want to hear your story or listen in on your interviews with people related to your book’s topic. There are several online resources to teach you how to do a podcast from your computer.
  21. Digital magazines-I know that I told you to think of the print magazine as the printed version of a blog, but that was then. Now, I want you to think about doing a digital magazine that has subscribers but does not have the printing or mailing costs. The key difference between the magazine and the blog is the emphasis on pictures and the layout. Issuu is a great way to share a digital magazine. 
  22. Print newsletters-Newsletters can be as short as two pages. As long as it includes information that your readers find valuable, you can start a newsletter subscription. A while ago I read about a model who started a two-page newsletter that shared modeling tips, dates and locations for open calls for models, updates for competitions and even pageant information. As her subscription grew, so did the size of her newsletter.
  23. Annual reports-This is definitely a strategy born out of the business world, but don’t dismiss it so quickly for your book. If you take time to track your book sales, the events you are invited to speak at, the amount of platform followers you have in the form of social media account followers and mailing list subscribers, and other stories about how your book has affected people over the past year, you will have some interesting information to share with potential partners or sponsors for your current book or future books. Think about it.
  24. Games/gamification-In an earlier blog I talked about how Robert Kiyosaki wrote the bestseller Rich Dad, Poor Dad to promote his financial literacy board game called Cashflow. If you get creative, you may be able to transform your book’s message into a game that helps readers learn and put your message into action. It can be an online game, a computer game, a board game, a word game, or anything that you can think of.

I highly recommend that you read CMI’s “Content Marketing Playbook” for more information and business examples related to each of the 24 content marketing ideas above. Their website is filled with information about content marketing and how to build a content marketing plan of your own.

I just hope that these 24 ideas spark your creative genius to help you remix your book’s message into marketing ideas to promote your book…or to help you think of new products you can sell in addition to your book 🙂

What other book-related content marketing ideas can you think of for your fellow authors?

Image by: Matt @ PEK from Taipei, Taiwan (CX Mobile Apps  Uploaded by russavia) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


Danielle Fetherson

Danielle helps aspiring authors become published authors. She believes that everyone has at least one book on the inside of them that can make a positive impact on someone else's life. If you have been thinking about writing a book, learn how to start your book today with the free resources at DanielleFetherson.com.