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Indie Writers and Video Marketing/Branding (Or…I’m a Writer, Dammit, Not a Videographer!)

December 7, 2020 – EG Media Group

Some people don’t like creating videos, selfies or otherwise. That’s okay. Maybe this article will assuage at least some of your hesitation or fear of creating video marketing content.

Video marketing, branding, and storytelling is practically a consumer mandate. And, like every other business, service or artist, video is an important tool an author can use to get his/her brand or book in front of the proper target audience.

In 2021, video will constitute 80% of all internet traffic (Cisco). Just short of 20% of all video content will be LIVE video traffic. So, if, as a brand, business, service or artist, you decline to utilize video in some fashion, you’re going to be harder to find online, period.

According to Social Media Today, upwards of 90% of people admit video is a compelling influencer in their decision-making process (to buy your book or buy into your personal brand).

If it helps to eliminate some anxiety for you, think about making these videos less about you and more about your book. Just understand that, to the viewer, the video IS about you and your brand. Your brand is what your readers, your online audience, learns to expect from you over time. That extends to the product you create as well…your book or series. Every video must have a purpose.

Use LIVE video as a casual way to interact with people online. These can be Facebook Live videos or off-the-cuff short videos you create. Maybe you come up with great book, character or plot ideas while taking your morning walk. Feel free to record a short video while walking and let know viewers what you’re thinking about that morning.

Content is king. Introduce your online audience/readers to what you write, why you write and give them a glimpse into your writing process. Provide a video update about your first book, newest book or ongoing series. Talk about how much fun you’ve had working on your new book trailer. Further legitimize yourself by guesting on a video podcast or developing your own weekly vid-cast. Acknowledge your passion for writing from conception to print. Encourage others to consider pursuing writing themselves…whether a diary, journal, or their own book.

For both LIVE and non-live videos (videos you pre-record, curate, and use for specific purposes) 70-80% of such videos should be value-based rather than sales-centric. To better explain, view some of the playable videos on this link:

The remaining 20-30% of video content should be used to convert viewers (readers), a call-to-action to make a book purchase, join your email list, etc. A book trailer, promo offer or ‘tease’ would be market- savvy sales-centric examples.

A simple guide to video length is as follows: Facebook and Tik-Tok – 60 seconds, Instagram and Snap-Chat – 30 seconds, Twitter -30-40 seconds, YouTube – 2 minutes.

Regarding posting frequency, stick with two compelling videos weekly for the first 3 months (and strongly consider posting Friday through Sunday afternoon).

The above-mentioned videos can be recorded with a newer cell phone. Practice first. Seek feedback or counsel from someone not too closely affiliated with your book project. Pay attention to framing, lighting, and audio quality. Ensure your background is tactful and brand supporting. You may choose to do all your video marketing yourself. You may choose to outsource some or all of it to a strategic book marketing expert or team.

Like your pen or your laptop, consider video content as a useful tool. Utilize it. Be creative, compelling, entertaining, and intriguing. Embrace the experience, even if it means coming out of your shell a little bit to legitimize your brand. Above all, have fun!

- Scott Ragain

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