So you're out there marketing. You're doing all the right things (or so you think). You're following the book marketing advice of some leaders in the industry. You've got a checklist and you're methodically checking off your goals. But how do you know you're doing everything right? The fact is, most of us don't. Yet we forge ahead, keeping pace with our marketing plan, without ever knowing if it's paying off. We don't see it in sales. Does that mean it's not working? Not at all. You could be seeing the effects in other places but just aren't keeping track of it.
I find that especially in social media you need to keep a close eye on what's working and what's not. If you've spent *any* kind of time online you know that you can be in front of your computer for what seems like 20 minutes and yet three hours have gone by. If the three hours of marketing is paying off, then it's fine to spend the time. But you need to know the difference. Here are a few things you can review to measure the effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of your marketing.
- Jumping in without a plan: Set clear, measurable goals because most marketing is invisible. Let's face it, you send an email and wonder half the time if the intended recipient got it or if it ended up in a spam filter, never to be seen again. That's the power behind goals. You need them and you need to run your campaign by them. So what are your goals? And no, you may not say "sell books." Yes, that factors in -- but there are a million small steps along the way before you even get to sales. Consider these goals and see if any of them fit your book, topic, and future:
- Establish yourself as an expert or get known in your particular field. Hey, maybe you just want to be known as the go-to person for everything related to paranormal romance. That's great and it's a realistic, attainable goal.
- Increase the visibility of your brand. OK, sort of the same as the bullet before this one but more geared to the non-fiction author.
- Increase traffic and incoming links to your website. This is a great goal. Whether you are fiction or non-fiction it's a great focus.
- Do what makes sense for your book: if your followers aren't on Twitter then why have you spent the last month or so promoting yourself on there? Mind you, Twitter works for most of the books we manage, but there are a few that don't make sense. Twitter skews older than most people think so don't be surprised if your YA reader isn't on there. Before you launch head first into a campaign, make sure it fits your demographic.
- Retweets on Twitter: the best sign of success on Twitter is the amount of retweets. Are you getting them and if so, how often? If your tweets are good and your followers are active, you should see a few a week at least (depending on the amount of followers you have). If you're curious about the amount of Tweets that get RT'd -- check out retweetrank.com. Twitter Analyzer (twitteranalyzer.com) is another great tool for determining how far tweets have traveled.
- Site hits: are the hits to your site increasing? Are you watching your analytics to be sure? If you're not, you should be. Watch your site stats closely and monitor the increase in traffic and where it's coming from.
- Inbound links: how many new ones are you getting? Did you do a vanity search before you started this campaign? If not, do that now. Make sure you know how many new incoming links you're getting as a result of your efforts.
- Sign-ups to your mailing list: are they increasing? If you're doing the right stuff in your social media they should be increasing weekly.
- Bit.ly: this site serves as both a URL shortener and also as a measurement tool. Bit.ly can help get you real time results on clicks to links you are posting to Facebook and Twitter.
- Google Analytics: if you don't have any back end web analytics (and even if you do) Google gives you a lot of valuable data.
- Trackur: this is a great monitoring site to see what's being featured on you online and off. It's not free like Google Alerts but much more comprehensive. Their basic package is 18 a month.