As a writer, the focus is on getting more reviews on Amazon for your book. While that focus is needed on the world’s largest online bookstore, it’s important not to prematurely limit your options. Authors can use a wide array of marketing content to promote and market their books.
One of the most underrated tools in book marketing is the testimonial. When used right, testimonials can reinforce your book’s credibility, intrigue readers, and introduce your book to new audiences. The key, though, is using them in a way that increases value to your potential reader. Testimonials are a time-honored tradition in books, but they can be easily ignored with a turn of the page. This limits the potential marketing impact of your book’s testimonial.
Getting the most value of your testimonial starts with the viewpoint of the reader, not the author. Getting that “marketing-worthy” testimonial is an important milestone (and ego boost) for any author, but it is only the first step. You need to use that testimonial in a way that adds value to the future reader.
That’s why this article is finding ways to turn your hard-earned testimonial from static words on a page (or screen) into an active part of your marketing strategy. The goal is to help you integrate testimonials into your marketing strategy which you can tweak, as needed, to get the marketing impact that you are looking for.
The first thing you need to market a testimonial is a person who will give you a good testimonial. Remember, think from the reader’s perspective, not just your own. When thinking about who to ask for a testimonial, consider fit, availability, and influence. Consider several options from a “dream fit” (a highly influential person who might offer a once-in-a-lifetime testimonial) to “good fit”(an influential person who is easier to reach like a professor, coach, or employer).
2. Make sure the testimonials you use pack a punch
Once you get that testimonial, you need to market it effectively. Readers will not be interested in long, drawn-out testimonials that tell them how much of a good writer you are. They have other things to do. That’s why you need to stay focused on keeping testimonials short, powerful, and relevant. Pick out the most powerful parts of your testimonials and share them.
3. Sprinkle testimonials around to spread your influence
This tip applies to both print and eBooks. Many authors are content to just leave their testimonials (and reviews) in one spot. Don’t make that mistake! Use testimonials wherever you do your marketing: on social media, on your website on your blog posts, on postcards, whatever. Find ways to creatively weave testimonials into your marketing.
4. Showcase the right kind of testimonial at the right spot
It’s important to spread your testimonials around for exposure, but it’s also important to consider how they appear. You don’t want to bombard your potential readers with testimonials when they first land on your page. Instead, focus on the reader’s perspective. Read through your testimonial and ask “What does this tell the reader about my book?” Focus on where the reader might be in their journey to your book and your goals. Are you introducing the book to a new visitor to your website? Are you making that last effort to convince a reader to buy? Consider a completely new testimonial or a different quote from a testimonial you used earlier.
5. Experiment with your testimonials
Marketing a book is more art than a science. That said, it doesn’t mean that you can’t conduct experiments. In fact, as an author trying to market your book, you should be conducting experiments all of the time. Using your testimonials, you can test the appearance of testimonials as well as the number of testimonials, and the channels you market them on. For example, you could measure the number of clicks your testimonial received when shared on social media or leading to your website. You could try placing testimonials in different places on your author website to see how this impacts your website visits and conversions.
6. Use testimonials in addition to other cool stuff
As an author, it can be tempting to look for the “hook”. It’s our job to find the words that will shock, intrigue, and awe. The same thing goes for marketing and advertising where the most creative and attention-grabbing wins. This philosophy works, but it has a limited shelf life. As an author, don’t make the mistake of relying on one type of content. Use them all: blurbs, reviews, cover reveals, social media posts, blog posts, etc.
The Big idea: Use Book Testimonials Actively In Your Marketing Strategy
The ultimate objective in all of these suggestions is to gently nudge authors from passive to proactive marketers. If you are in charge of marketing of your book (Hint: That’s every author!), you need to accept the reality of marketing in today’s world. We live in a world with short attention spans, a constant flow of content, and non-stop entertainment. Because we live in this kind of world, authors have to adapt. They can’t afford (literally) to sit down on the laurels of a simply well-placed testimonial or review. They have to keep contributing daily to the platform. As authors contribute to that platform, it carves out a legacy for future readers to follow.