Getting started with book trailers and more
Video content can be a great way to market your books, but if you’ve never made this kind of content before, it can be hard to know where to begin. How do you make video content, and where do you publish it? To answer these questions, we caught up with Kevin, Lead Marketing Designer on the GALATEA Marketing Team, to talk all things video. Here’s what Kevin had to say:
Why should writers make book trailers or videos about their books?
Trailers and other videos are one of the best marketing tools out there, specifically for paid advertising. Video content has been proven to be the most engaging and seen type of content in the world, and mixing that with paid advertising, which allows you to show your videos to millions of people around the world, can bring a book’s popularity to skyrocket. Of course, a good video piece is not all that it takes to succeed; at the end of the day, retention of readers depends on the content of the book itself and whether it appeals to large audiences.
Where can writers publish video book content?
If a writer is looking to publish a video without having to pay for it, authors can publish them on:
- Social media channels, especially TikTok and Instagram.
- Facebook, especially Facebook Groups aimed at readers but also the author’s own Facebook Group. Facebook Groups are an amazing tool to gather a community of readers.
- The author’s website.
- The author’s YouTube channel. In this case, tags are essential. Without tags, no user who is searching for content similar to yours is going to find your video. Have as many tags as possible, don’t hold back. Same for Instagram, TikTok, etc. When starting to create a presence on social media, hashtags are a must.
- Paid social advertising networks: Facebook Ads, Google Ads, TikTok Ads…
How can writers get their video content seen on social media?
As mentioned above, do not hold back on hashtags, until the network’s maximum number of hashtags is met. Genre-specific hashtags are important:
#ParanormalRomance #ParanormalRomanceBook #FantasyRomance #Sci-Fi #ScienceFictionBooks #ThrillerBooks
But also, appealing to users looking for author content is good too:
#PublishedAuthor #IndiePublishing #AuthorsOfInstagram #IndieAuthors
I’d recommend looking at other author’s profiles and posts and to write down an extensive list of hashtags that could be useful to promote marketing content (such as videos). Then, try every hashtag when starting to create a post.
You should also see how many posts said hashtag has. For example, #authorsofinstagram has +6 million posts. That is a very diluted pool where your post might not be seen due to the high number of posts being shoved into it. A rule of thumb is to have around 50% of your hashtags be those with big numbers of posts (diluted) and at least 50% more niche and specific. For example, the hashtag #romanceauthors on Instagram has +60K posts. That is much less than the first one mentioned.
What style of video content works best?
It largely depends on the social platform, because one needs to use a size that is the most popular for each independent platform. For example, you’ll get more views and engagement on Instagram feeds with the aspect ratios of 1×1 (square) and 4×5 (slightly vertical). For Instagram stories and TikTok videos, 9×16 is the one to go to. For YouTube, horizontal is key.
Look at the different networks and plan a different content strategy for each, as best-performing content for one platform may not work for another. For example, the kind of content that works on Instagram is highly curated, beautiful, and Photoshopped content, whereas TikTok benefits from content that looks like UGC (user-generated-content), aka more amateur-looking.
Lastly, captions are a must! Most social media users watch their content with sound off. Especially on Facebook, where the percentage of no-sound users goes up to 70%.
Where can a writer find royalty-free video footage to use?
Other video stock platforms, like Shutterstock, Depositphotos or iStock have extremely high-quality stock footage. However, it does get quite pricey.
Which editing software or apps do you recommend?
Lightworks is a free video editing software that is popular for its number of features, despite the zero-cost factor. Usually, laptops and PCs come with in-built, simple video editing software too.
For more professional videos, one should use either Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro. YouTube is a great free source of educational material on both programs.
Do you have any editing tips?
The only real tip I can give is to watch tutorial videos on platforms such as YouTube or Skillshare (an affordable educational platform with high quality courses, aimed mostly at digital creators). There is no one piece of advice that will make everything easier: one has to learn how to use these programs, at least to a beginner level, or hire a freelancer to put the video together.
The fast storytelling method is key, as users on social media do not have a long attention span. You have to get to the point quickly to grab their attention.
Happy video-making, everyone!
You can market your books with video
While creating your own book trailers, TikToks, or video ads may seem daunting at first, as we’ve learned, anyone can market books with video! Just follow Kevin’s simple tips to get started: use hashtags to get your content seen, produce fast-paced videos that get to the point quickly, and explore free or low-cost resources and tutorials to get you going cheaply.