In last week's blog, we discussed using advertising as a hook for launching your PR campaign, making publicity the focus of your branding efforts, not an advertising "gimmick" the core of your brand definition. That is, the classical ad-centered paradigm was turned upsidedown (or right side up *wink*).
This week, I wanted to touch on how to use PR to actually build an unknown brand because most of us Indie Authors have a brand recognition problem to overcome with our readers--at least, at first. Click through the jump break to read more.
The Slow Burn
Advance promotion is a concept I've practiced for a while and it seems to work every time I do it. I don't know if I've heard or seen other Indie Authors doing this but the traditional publishers know this trick. They spend lots of money on advertisements to do advance promotion of a new release for their biggest names.
For an Indie Author, however, the "slow burn" might be more manageable. It's a situation where you "leak" information to the media in order to build interest about the forthcoming release in a suspenseful way--that is, build anticipation for the launch. This is more than simply blogging or advertising on blogs. This involves getting others to talk about it. If you simply get others to blog about it, they aren't talking about it, they're giving you (essentially) more ad space. You need there to be a "buzz" about the launch.
The way to create a "buzz" is to create an interest; the way to create an interest is to identify a motivating factor. A brand, without a motivating factor, is just another brand. Unless or until your brand is "unique" and "compelling" in its own right, there is absolutely no reason for any reader to buy your brand rather than someone else's.
The New Category
I keep returning to this concept of launching a new brand by launching a new category. There's a reason I do: the Law of Category (Immutable Law of Marketing Law 2 and Immutable Law of Branding Law 8). If you aren't familiar with the concept, try my handbook, The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing (for Indie Authors) to see how classic marketing laws apply to our "unique" Digital Publishing industry challenges. It's available from Smashwords in all popular eBook formats (Kindle, Apple/iPad, Nook, Kobo, etc.)
I'm pushing you towards my handbook not merely for me to make a sale, but rather, because in it, I've collected together and summarized (in a more concise manner than I have here on the blog) all of the salient concepts you'll need to know to figure out how to (a) define your brand and (b) launch a new category for it. If you don't already have your brand defined, that's the place to start. Soon I hope to edit and polish my branding series into an easy-to-read handbook as well.
The new category step in the branding-launching process is critical. The media only want to talk about what is "new" and they don't really care about your claims to being "better." Give a clear understanding of what makes your brand new and different, and the media will want to talk about it.
Tomorrow I'll have a Tuesday Tip for you on new eToys you might like. I just got a few new tools for cartooning my book covers but haven't quite decided which one to feature first so I hope you'll come back tomorrow to find out.
Thanks for stopping by!