Hello, SE’ers! It’s Jan again to look at another marketing avenue that has authors everywhere talking.
Yes, I am referring to TikTok.
WAIT! Don’t leave! I hear you, and I feel you, but lets at least take a look at it.
First, a bit of history. This app launched in 2016 and saw about 1 billion global daily users by early 2022. While it started out as a way for users to watch, create, and share short videos online, it has morphed into so much more. The average length of videos is between 15-60 seconds and has become a way to market to a broad audience. Conventional advertising that stresses a product’s superior qualities doesn’t work. Light, fun campaigns set to music hit the spot.
- 43% of users are between the ages of 18 and 24.
- 56% are female.
- About 136 million active users are from the U.S.
- Its users spend an average of 46 minutes per day on it
The ultimate goal is to go viral on the site and spur imitations by TikTok users. How do you do that? And is it really worth it?
Here’s what I found at Kindlepreneur.
- TikTok is currently known for being one of the best, if not the best, social media platforms for organic reach. It is remarkably easy to find readers and other authors and to build an audience of people who genuinely want to read your book.
- BookTok is a subculture of TikTok overall, and it’s pretty much where all of the book nerds live. There is no designated place where BookTok happens or a specific group that you have to join, but most videos in the BookTok community will use the hashtag #booktok.
- When you engage with the BookTok community, you are likely to see a lot of bookshelves. This has become a popular way to add a backdrop to your videos that is relevant to BookTok.
- You’ll see a lot of people talking about stitching videos or videos with the hashtag #stitchthis. Stitching is a way of taking a clip from someone else’s video, then recording your own response or reaction to that clip. Authors and readers will often use this to ask questions, which you can then answer by taking a clip of their video and answering it on your own. This is one of those great interactive innovations that started with TikTok and is one of the reasons why it has grown so large.
- A duet is similar to stitching, but it allows you to take someone else’s video and record yourself reacting to that video in real-time, which makes for great reaction videos.
TikTok is not for everybody.
Just because it’s the new hot thing right now doesn’t mean that it will continue to sell books effectively.
There’s an informal rule in social media marketing that applies to any platform.
20% of the content that you post should be promotional
80% needs to be for engagement.
Take some time to create a few informational videos, some silly videos, some stitched or duetted videos, etc. You will find you get a lot more engagement and are more likely to gain followers if you keep the amount of promotional content to about 20%.
Use hashtags, but Kindlepreneur recommends using no more than 3 to 5 hashtags per video.
Once you start to get into BookTok culture, you’ll start to see that people love beautiful book covers. Therefore, your book cover is now your best friend. Be sure to incorporate it in your TikTok marketing, the more beautiful, the better.
One of the most common forms of content on BookTok is book recommendations and reviews.
Engage with other BookTokers. Whenever you get a chance, be sure to scroll through the recommendations that TikTok gives you and engage with the content that is relevant to you.
As with any social media platform, consistency is key. Kindlepreneur recommends posting at least one video per day and encourages 2 – 4. That’s a lot. TikTok is a numbers game. You want to post as many videos as possible because that will give you the best chance for exposure.
One of the things that TikTok users tend to appreciate is authenticity. It’s okay and even encouraged to let out your silly side, your wild side, your sass, or whatever aspect of your personality you feel is authentic.
TikTok videos are short by design, and you have only a second or two to capture attention. Users are likely to swipe up quickly if your content does not immediately grab their attention. Whilst TikTok certainly started out as a social media platform for a younger generation, it has been widely embraced by a much broader audience. It has become so vast that it is easy to find any niche in any age group. You can find yours as well.
As I promised to do with any marketing strategy I post about here, I experimented with TikTok. I chose to post one video per day. I posted short videos about my books, a book recommendation, a short video about a new iced coffee combo I found, a music video, a bird video, a grandkids video, and a couple of videos from my latest adventure to Universal Studios in Florida.
Here’s what happened.
As you can see, I have a total of 156 followers. The video that got the most likes was of a mama dove sitting on eggs out on my balcony. It got 64 likes and 713 views. The second most viewed and liked was a video of my books on the shelf in Colleen Hoover’s bookstore. She is a huge advocate of TikTok and gives a large amount of credit to the platform for her amazing success as an indie author.
So, is TikTok worth it? As with any social media platform, the answer is yes, but only if you really give it consistent attention and find a niche. Otherwise, it’s just another time-suck.
What do you think? Are you on TikTok? If you are, let’s connect. If you’re not, will you try it?
If you’ve missed any of the other marketing posts, here’s a list.
#MKTG Part 1 – OVERVIEW – BOOK MARKETING OPTIONS
#MKTG Part 2 – FACEBOOK ADS AND PASSION PAGES
#MKTG Part 3 – FACEBOOK ADS DETAILS
#MKTG Part 4 – TWITTER ADS
#MKTG Part 5 – INSTAGRAM
#MKTG Part 6 – PINTEREST
#MKTG Part 7 – IN-PERSON EVENTS
#MKTG Part 8 – GOODREADS
#MKTG Part 9 – AMAZON
#MKTG Part 10 – More AMAZON ADS
#MKTG Part 11 – AMAZON A+ CONTENT
#MKTG Part 12 – LinkedIn
#MKTG Part 13 – BOOKBub Ads
#MKTG Part 14 – Book Blog Tours
#MKTG Part 15 – Paid Book Blog Tours
#MKTG Part 16 – Rafflecopter