The Facebook and Instagram algorithms are ever-changing, presenting a real challenge for anyone working in marketing and charged with managing social media. For publishers it can be even harder. How many angles can you photograph a book from before your audience is fed up with seeing it pop up on their feed? How do I make a children’s book sound appealing to an audience of grown-ups? There is no one-size-fits all strategy but here are some top Instagram tips that can help you market children’s books.
Cater to your followers
If you’ve already built a nice follower base, start digging into the analytics to find out what they like and who they are. Instagram will tell you your followers age, gender, location as well as your most popular posts. Use all that data to your advantage! For anyone starting from scratch, decide who you’re looking to bring on board and have a look at children’s brands outside of publishing for inspiration too.
Parents of babies and toddlers want books that are bright, fun and encourage early learning. Books with flaps or sliders can be showcased with stop-motion videos or highlight key features such as thumb-tabs. If you know most of your followers are middle-grade book reviewers, you’ll need a different approach that focuses on making the most of the cover artwork and sweep them up in the thrill and uniqueness of the story.
Collaborate with influencers
This tip won’t come as a surprise as most publishers will reach out to bookstagram influencers these days. The real value lies in going beyond the big well-known accounts.
For children’s books, there are plenty of mummy bloggers out there with a smaller number of very engaged followers who produce beautiful content. Reach out to them when they only have 5,000 followers and build a great relationship. They will still be posting about your books when they hit 30k followers and without charging exorbitant fees.
Plus, you can repost their pictures (with credit via tagging of course) on your own feed. User generated content is an underestimated resource on Instagram and repostapp.com will help you out.
Use the book
This may sound like a no-brainer but we don’t always allow ourselves enough time to think. Really consider all aspects of the book you’re marketing and get creative.
Does your book involve a mystery where kids think a monster is stealing their packed lunch? Partner with a brand that produces sustainable lunchboxes and host a giveaway. Got a picture book about a chameleon? Why not find reptile-loving influencers to complement your bookish contacts!
For illustrated children’s books it’s more straightforward, as posting slightly edited versions of the inside spreads usually goes down a treat with any audience. Remember Instagram is a visual social platform and use the amazing art at your disposal.
Maximise your reach
The same golden rule applies to Facebook and Instagram: the more engaging your content, the higher your reach. Comments, likes and shares will signal to the algorithm to show your content to more people. This is why catering to your followers and using the book is so important, but there are other ways to boost your reach.
Check your Instagram analytics and find the times most of your followers are online and schedule your posts to match. You can do this by connecting your profile to Facebook Business Manager or use a tool like SproutSocial.
Instagram tends to push it’s latest features over other content, so start experimenting with reels to reach new people and give your audience something new. Even publishing Stories regularly will help and you’ll see a higher reach on your posts on the days you do.
For children’s books, don’t be afraid to use non-book hashtags. Hunt for those related to education, play, kids ages (baby, toddler, pre-school…), parenting and more. A tool such as Later.com will even give you hashtag suggestions which can come in handy.
Elke Desanghere is Digital Marketing Manager at Nosy Crow, a multi-award-winning independent children’s publisher. She’s constantly looking for new ways to market titles online in the most effective way and loves the creativity involved in working with children’s books.If you need specialist help with your children’s books digital marketing, contact us at BookMachine Creative Agency.