As we emerge from a time where the only way for us to communicate was through social media, it becomes clear that we are now more connected than ever. As these online platforms developed, influencers started appearing, promoting and reviewing various products, including books. People have started to take most of their recommendations online. Now that their presence is well established on social media, publishers have started considering working with book influencers on marketing campaigns to promote their books differently.

Earlier this week, The BookMachine hosted an event called Book Influencer Secrets and Maximising Social Campaigns Reach. Influencers from YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok participated alongside people from the publishing industry to discuss the importance of working in collaboration to boost book campaigns online.

Thanks to TikTok’s algorithms, one video can be enough to ensure the sales of a book. If that video becomes viral, a book can very easily sell out in no time. The platform is continuously growing and evolving, and publishers could take advantage of the everchanging trends.

On Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, things are a little different. It is more about the influencer’s posts and presence on the platform. This allows them to form a strong audience and a sense of community amongst followers. But they tend to have niche interests. Their followers might be fewer than other bigger accounts, but they assure that their promotion of a book guarantees sale, as they know what they and their audience like and want to read. It is about targeting an audience and community rather than send out expensive targeted ads which do not work as efficiently.

Influencers agreed on the fact that it takes them about a month to prepare content for a book release. They like to take the time to read the book, plan posts ahead of time and then start posting before, on, and after the release of the book. They rarely get paid for these collaborations on marketing campaigns, so most of them do have a day job on the side which might take up most of their time. Publishers need to get in contact with influencers early enough for the campaign to be a success.

It is also important for publishers to know who they are talking to. They cannot just send their books to every influencer on their contact list and expect a positive reply from them. Publishers need to do their research and be aware of an influencer’s interests and preferred genre before deciding on contacting them. No one will post something positive about a book they are simply not interested in.

One last interesting thing on which everyone agrees is that influencers are relevant and useful in marketing campaigns, but there is little chance that a publishing house’s online account would not work as well. It has been seen from different brands trying to become influencers that it would be a bad idea. People do not like direct and heavy advertising online, but they are much more receptive to recommendations from an influencer they like and trust.

Publishers should learn to work more with influencers as it clearly is the way to go when it comes to online marketing. Social platforms continue to grow and develop every day and are a tool that could have a positive impact on marketing.