Recently, Meta (the parent company of both Facebook and Instagram) shifted the preference of posts from static images to video posts. For the past few years, there’s been a move to video, but now we’re seeing organic – and paid – reach with Meta’s push to provide engaging, thought-provoking ‘Reels’. Authors of all sizes are jumping on board with video posts and video advertisements (like book trailers) to boost their marketing efforts, and help readers to discover their books.
Reels are short-form video content that’s easily digested by your readers, and can be just several seconds long! This short-form video format is a massive hit with viewers all over the world. Platforms like TikTok are absolutely blowing people away by providing a new, and interesting, marketing avenue for your books. The incredible thing about the ‘TikTok’ format is that your short, vertical videos can be recycled for multiple platforms – make one video for Reels, and you’ve got an excellent promotional video for Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts, too!
You can see a TikTok book promotion video posted by Angela Hoy (the publisher of WritersWeekly), RIGHT HERE.
Why exactly would you want to make the move to short-form video content? The answer is two-fold! For newer authors with a smaller, or even zero, budget for marketing, video posts (including animated cover reveals, short snippets of your book with fancy text and moving elements, or perhaps even gorgeous visuals to complement your characters or world building) offer better reach on your posts, and can offer a higher conversion rate than on traditional static images. The more people who see your work, and the more engaged they are with the ad, the higher the chance that people will take the plunge, and purchase your book(s)! Studies show that customers prefer video content, too.
Instagram is seeing a decline in organic and paid reach on static posts, and there’s a clear preference for users to utilize every element of Instagram to market their work properly. A great strategy for all authors is to make use of the Reels feature once a week, alongside regular ‘Stories’ (even something as simple as a view of your workspace, or a quick update on your novel) and ‘grid’ posts (the posts on your profile!).
For more established authors, or those looking to spend on social media advertising, video advertisements are leaps and bounds ahead of standard images. Across the board, authors who buy advertising space on social media are seeing a higher conversion rate as well as a lower “Cost Per Click” (or CPC, for short). Facebook video ads, for example, receive 10-30% more views than image ads, for example. Newer authors can see the benefits of cheaper paid ads, too, which helps all authors better utilize their ad spending money.
For videos that you intend to use as Reels, Shorts, or on TikTok, there’s plenty of great ideas for you to utilize. As I mentioned above, animated reveals, short excerpts from your book, or stunning visuals can help you craft a great video to hook new readers. With a bit of time, most authors can learn to make their own gorgeous short-form videos, and there’s plenty of designers who offer the service, too. It needn’t be expensive to create your own video posts, either – with websites such as Mixkit offering breath-taking video stock footage free of charge. Stock sites such as Depositphotos and Shutterstock sell affordable videos so it’s never been easier to learn how to create wonderful videos!
A great tip for creating short-form video content is to make sure viewers know that it’s for your book as quickly as possible. With short videos, it’s vital to engage your customer immediately. But, there’s sometimes some confusion when authors don’t put their cover or a small notice that it’s from their book! Remind yourself during the video creation process that your goal is to help readers discover you, and your goal is to “stop the scroll.” Offering readers an insight into your work process, or reading an engaging, exciting snippet aloud is often a great way to garner attention, and helps your readers to better relate to you or your characters.
Video creation can be great fun, and you can do so many fun things with video content that you simply can’t achieve with static posts. Have you dipped your toes into video ads yet? Were you one of the pioneers of video content for authors? For me, creating show-stopping videos is an enjoyable marketing task, and one that lets me stay creative during the marketing process. Achieving higher engagement and reach on videos is a great bonus! I encourage you to start playing with the video tools available to you (whether that’s in Canva, Premiere Pro, or something else!) and take your creativity to the next level! Provide your new and existing readers with an insight into your novel, or a small peek into your creative workflow, and discover exciting results across social media.
Kristy-Leigh Avery is a UK based fantasy and Romance writer with a fondness for video games, cats, and history. Currently, Kristy is working on a steamy Romance trilogy and spends her days creating bespoke designs for authors and gamers in between playing games and reading horror novels. Her favorite time of year is the Autumn, and her work reflects that, with most of her novels being set during October or the cooler, orange-toned months of the year. Her favorite genre of any type of media is horror or thriller, and she has a particular love for strong, female protagonists with agency and sass.
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