When you've worked hard creating your latest book offer and it's finally time for promotion to get sales coming in, finding ideas for content that really knocks your prospects' socks off can be a big problem.
If you're struggling to figure out the right type of content to create to have your prospects yearning for a taste of what's to come, there's a simple answer that's no further than a click away.
It's social media!
Sites like Facebook, Twitter and Reddit, among many others, provide a veritable smorgasbord of opportunity for you to find out exactly what makes your ideal prospect tick and how you should best present your promotional content.
Social media gives you the power to really listen in on what your potential readers have to say and tap into their true desires. After all, answering the questions your audience has is the foundation of creating content they'll value.
Here are some tips and strategies on using various social media platforms to discover endless ideas for your next content marketing blitz.
Question and Answer Sites
Who, what, where, why, when and how? These are questions asked by people around the world, millions of times each day.
Luckily, the proliferation of question and answer sites on the internet makes it possible for you to find out the kinds of questions your audience is asking. It also lets you to jump right into the conversation when you want to and answer their questions yourself.
Here's how to use Q & A sites to spark content ideas:
Look for frequently asked questions and topics. Browse questions related to your literary niche and note the questions that seem to pop up again and again.
When you see the same questions being asked constantly, it usually means two things.
The topic is very popular among your prospects.
The question hasn't been answered adequately enough for them to stop asking about it.
How can use this information to your advantage?
First, you can answer the question yourself. However, instead of rehashing similar answers to the ones already presented, put your own unique spin on the topic and answer the question in a new and interesting way.
Sometimes a simple change in perspective is all you need to attract the attention you want.
If there are any unanswered queries, take the time to craft a thoughtful and concise response on the Q and A site in question. And if it's appropriate, use the seed of inspiration to create a longer and more detailed answer on your own author website or blog.
When you're ready to dig in, check out these two very active sites for some question and answer inspiration and ideas.
Goodreads: Reader Q & A and Ask the Author
While blogs themselves aren't usually considered to be 'social media', the comments section is a completely different story.
Active readers of a blog who participate regularly in exchanging opinions and asking questions are some of the most valuable resources you can have in order to guide your content creation strategy for book and self-promotional marketing.
Another thing that's awesome about using this idea generation method, is that you aren't only limited looking at the comments on your own blog.
Any publicly published blog on the internet in the realm of your niche is prime real estate for research purposes.
Read through all the blog comments on your own site and on sites offered by authors whose readership mirrors your desired audience and look for trends and topics that are unmistakably important to them.
It's very easy for questions and comments to get overlooked in a barrage of blog comments. These comments and questions can turn out to be golden nuggets of content marketing inspiration, if you make the effort to find them.
No matter what types of book you write, there's always an author or book critic who's considered as the ultimate influencer in that niche. They are what Oprah is to talk shows or Deepak Chopra is to alternative medicine.
These are the people who set the trends and the overall direction of what readers look for in their next book purchase.
To find inspiration and ideas for your content marketing, think about following the biggest names in your niche to find the topics they focus on. Use you findings as a springboard for your own promotions.
Be creative and put your own spin on an already popular topic, then bring it full circle right back to you book offerings.
Trends sell, and even though they tend to fizzle as quickly as they blow up there's still opportunity to gain exposure for your books and brand while riding the wave while it lasts.
Nowadays hashtags have basically become their own unique language among social media users who use them.
What you may or may not realize however, is that hashtags are often a quick and easy way to find out what is most important to your prospects who use social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
Each hashtag is usually followed by a specific keyword or keyword phrase that demonstrates a topic that the user is focused on in their tweet or post.
Use this information to look for keywords in your followers' timelines and in the timelines of people you follow to spark new ideas for content marketing.
You can also take interesting hashtags you find and use them to search Twitter and Facebook. This gives you even more insight into what others using those hashtags want to know more about.
Like and Share Trails
In a similar fashion to using hashtags for content ideas, observing the things that your prospects like and share gives you valuable insight into the types of topics that would work well for your content marketing campaign.
Social media likes and shares within your niche are a clear indication of the ideas that resonate the most and the least with the kinds of readers you want to attract.
The more shares and likes a blog post, tweet or article gets, the more interested your target audience is, and the more likely they would respond positively to a similar piece of content you create.
Follow the breadcrumb trail your readers leave behind and you'll be led right to some of the best ideas for content on your own website.
As you scan your social media timelines always keep in mind that what your readers like and share give you excellent clues to the topics that interest them the most.
Put the previous social media idea generation strategies to use and you will most certainly discover an endless source of inspiration for crafting compelling content.
However there's one more equally clever way to use social media to tap into your prospects deepest desires. Simply ask them what they want!
It is surprising that such an obvious way to use social media slips under the radar for some many self-published authors.
This works especially well if you already have a sizable following that you've built a strong rapport with.
Stepping out of your shell and asking your readers exactly what kind of content motivates and inspires them will always point you in the direction you need to go with your content.
Build strong relationships and it's easy to get your social media followers to tell you what they want.