content marketing with books
Content Marketing is defined as the creation of material that does not explicitly promote the brand but stimulates interest in a product or service. This can often be in the form of an article, a blog or a whitepaper, for example. Sometimes, it can be an entire book, independently published and for sale as a standout product. This is the fascinating ‘deep end’ of content marketing and when done well can be an advantageous way to promote your products and services.
Marketing works when you create a strong story. Storytelling is the way we remember things. Storytelling can bring about change, can inspire, sticks in the memory – it’s how we compose our memories, it’s how we retell history. Every culture passes down stories, as a way to remember what is important. Stories are memorable, primarily because they entertain. For marketing, good storytelling can be the difference between success and failure of a campaign. What if we make those stories rich, detailed and we create worlds around what we are offering in business? What if we dedicate whole books to subjects, characters, and tales related to a marketing message?
make it valuable, simples!
Marketing is often seen as fast, digital, served up and disposable even. Books, in contrast, take an investment of time to read, are permanent, are an active choice to purchase. It’s for those reasons why some marketers see books as a valuable alternative strategy – a ‘long game’ if you like, compared to social medias and eMarketing.
There are some great examples around. Take A Simples Life – My Life & Times, Aleksandr Orlov, a hardback illustrated book with high production values selling independently online – and with great reviews.
The character, a billionaire meerkat, is of course the creation of the insurance company, Compare the Meerkat. What is interesting about this book is the depth of detail in the illustrations and extras, creating a vivid humorous backstory for this character through professionally illustrated movie posters, blueprints to a mansion and props photographed for the book. Every page is beautifully put together.
The marketing call-to-action bits – website addresses tucked into the pages here and there are seamlessly spliced into the narrative. It’s a wonderful bit of content marketing. When you consider the story is essentially about a billionaire with little empathy it’s even more impressive a feat.
share your knowledge
Obviously, you don’t have to make the book fiction, it will be more beneficial for many firms to make it a fact packed non-fiction like The Ultimate Bathroom Book, by bathroom company, Soakology (published by Varn).
This book hinges on the premise of showing their audience that they know their subject, appealing to them with information they would find interesting. The book is colourful, covers every aspect of bathroom design, facts on water use and there is a chapter on the craziest bathroom ideas. It has subtle urls included in the copy and a QR code. As well as being sold independently, these books can be promoted as prizes, given to customers, put in showrooms and used for general promotion. They are a really different, impressive piece of content marketing.
recipe for success
Whilst you may notice these kind of content marketing books once in a blue moon, it’s certainly not an overused marketing tactic. The fact is, this kind of marketing is not new, it has been around for a long time. Take the very old-fashioned Perfect Cooking by Parkinson (The Parkinson Stove Company Ltd.) book, published in the 1940s. It is a cook book of recipes entirely for cooking with their range of Crown Cookers. They even have images of the cookers at the back, like a catalogue. As a reader of the book and follower of the recipes, why would you change brand when all your home cooking is based around the operation of one cooker?
Book publishing for marketing purposes can work well. You take time to read a book, you keep a book, you remember a book. You can even be loyal to a book. That’s about as good as it gets for marketing goals.
Want interesting, strategic marketing ideas for your business? Talk to the team at Find Marketing Ltd.