I’ve been a bit slack on blogging lately as much of my writing time as been taken up with NaNoWriMo, but I wanted to share this information on book promotion.
So, how do you promote stuff on the internet? You know… stuff.
Stuff like books.
There are many different ways to promote your book on the internet. Perhaps the favorite two ways of promoting an idea is to use social media and by writing a blog–both of which offer your ideas to the world (for good or for ill).
But there is another way and this is the option of paying for online advertisement (word ads).
There are benefits of using ads. One of them is that you can get your information or product out there for people who do not run in your circles (social media or your blog readers).
A little while ago I received an offer for $100 in free Bing Ads. Perhaps you’re wondering if anyone uses Bing. I wasn’t sure, but I thought I would try it out. On a side note… just for fun, try replacing “Googled” with “Binged” in a sentence. Like this, “Hey, so I wanted to know the closest pizza joint around so I binged it last night and it turns out that Gino’s Pizza is…” Doesn’t that sound like fun? This is a great way to make friends and influence people! See if you can just consistently do this and if someone comments on it, just look confused like they really aren’t up on what’s cool.
Anyway, I thought I would explore Bing Ads to promote my blog and to see if it works. I figured if it did work, then when I publish (Spring of 2018) I would know if it’s worth the effort and cost of advertising with Bing Ads. I figured that trying it out now (for free) would show what kind of results I could end up getting and this would help me to see if it’s worth trying it out with book promotion later.
So this is how Bing Ads work:
You set up an account with them and create a new campaign. This campaign might be called, “PromoteMyBook2018.” The name of the campaign is just so you can recognize it. The customer doesn’t see that information.
You set up your campaign with an Ad title (what people WILL see) and the link you want to them to see along with another short phrase–kind of like a subtitle for your Ad. You also choose keywords (people search and if they use your keywords, your ad may pop up). When it comes to the money part of this whole thing, you set up your budget of how much to spend per day (I started with $5 and eventually increased it to $8).
After you put all this information in, you have to let Bing know how much money you want to spend per click. The more you spend, the more excited Bing gets about showing your ad so the more people see your ad. When someone clicks on the link, that’s called a “click” (hard to remember, that one) and this is where it costs you money. At the time of writing this blog, the average being spent on a click by people with Bing Ads was about 84 cents. This wasn’t what I was spending, this was the average per-click cost across the board with Bing Ads. You can, however, set your amount at whatever you want. More money gets you more attention. Less money gets you less attention.
You can set your budget for this per day, but in the end you need to keep a close eye on this. You may not use up your whole budget each day, but in case you do, you want to keep an eye on your account to see if it’s producing the results you want.
Since I wanted to see how Bing Ads produced results over a longer period, I initially set my daily budget low ($5).
So, what I did was I picked my keywords and set my “per click” amount at 20 cents. Loads of fun! I started getting lots of views of my Ads fairly early on in the process (these are called impressions). These aren’t clicks, they are times when my Ad showed up on someone’s screen. Considering that people do actually Bing stuff (not just Google it), I ended up having my Ad show up a 1000 times in very short order. What they say is a good click response is around 2%. So if your Ad has 100 impressions, you should get 2 clicks on your ad. I’m closer to about .2% which means I’m not very good at this at the moment. By the end of my add run (when I was out of money), I was well up over 1% so it was starting to come together for me.
After about three days of this, I was up to about 17,000 impressions (my Ad showed up 17k times) and 43 clicks. I had also raised my per click amount up significantly on certain keywords and spread the target area out a little bit (it started with just US and Canada, then I spread it to a lot more of the English speaking world). The fourth day (after spreading out the target area) was the first day I reached the $5/day budget I had set. When you reach your per day budget, they just stop showing your Ad. By the end of the fourth day, I was down to about $86 left of the original $100.
At the time of writing this blog, I have not tried out Google Ads, but I hope to in time. When I do I will either update this blog or write a new one for Google Ads.
So, how does this help your book promotion?
Well, simple. Set a budget for yourself on how much you want to spend, set up your campaign and away you go! You can use Bing Ads to reach people who are searching for a book like yours.
The nice thing about it is Bing Ads will give you an accounting of how many people have clicked through to your link (perhaps your website or maybe to Amazon so they can buy your book). You can also, however, see what keywords are attracting the most attention. If someone is Binging “exciting new thriller novels” and someone else is Binging “thriller novels,” you might see that “thriller” is popping up as your most useful keyword. For my blog promotion, “writing” was the popular keyword. This is helpful for you to find out what keywords are the most useful for attracting book buyers to your book.
I ended up getting hundreds of “clicks” through to my site through Bing Ads. Since this was free for me, it was worth doing as I didn’t have anything I was trying to sell. Once you have a book you are looking to sell, this may be a worthwhile venture!
What people tend to do is they try to attract interest by the Bing Ads. Your goal is not to take people right to a shopping cart! To do something like that has produced poor results for people. The goal is to take people to a “landing page”. This landing page is a place where information about your product (presumably your book) is provided and interest is peaked so that people can go from there to purchase your book.
So… the way this works is you would use something like Bing Ads to get people to come to your landing page (a page on your site where you show how awesome your book is). Once there, you will hopefully peak people’s interest in your book and you can send them to Amazon or wherever your book is being sold. If you are sending them to Amazon, I would look into Amazon’s Affiliate Program. I will be blogging on this program soon, but until then, you’ll have to look into it yourself. 🙂
The best thing to do is set a relatively small budget and try it out for your book. See if book sales go up!
Caution: I would recommend you set your payment type to “Prepayment”. This way, you pay for an amount of Ads (say $100) and then when that runs out, you have to pay more. If you have it set to “Postpay” (you pay after your Ads are up) and you’re not careful with budgets and so forth, you may find you end up logging into your account and owing a lot of money in advertisement. Make sure you set your budget and Prepay is a smarter way to go.
Comment below with your experiences with Bing or Google Ads.