Our blog post from October 2020 by Erica Wright, titled Marketing to Millennials: Native Advertising, explains the types of sponsored content that appeal the most to millennials. But how does an author or publisher go about purchasing and targeting sponsorships for social media ads?

Sponsored content is a type of promotional media that’s paid for by a publisher or author but shared by another brand, social media platform, or influencer. As Marketing to Millennials: Native Advertising tells us, native advertising is the most effective method of content creation because it blends in with the other types of content one might encounter on social media.

Sites such as connect publishers and authors with social media users who focus their content creation on reviews of literature (aka book influencers). This is a sponsorship option that does not require a publisher/author to create or promote their own material. Rather, the publisher/author pays influencers to review or promote their books, making it a rather hands-off promotional opportunity, but the cost varies.

When posting content on Instagram or Facebook, certain posts can be turned into advertisements that will appear in the app users’ feeds with identifying information (disclosures) that they are ads. The advertiser then has access to the metrics which detail audience engagement with the ad, which can inform future sponsored posts.

Meta (the company that owns Facebook and Instagram) now features a “brand collabs manager” tool that allows influencers or creatives to connect with publishers/authors looking for help promoting their books or social media pages. When Facebook and Instagram accounts are linked to each other, ads placed through one social media outlet will automatically be shown on both Facebook and Instagram.

According to Kindlepreneur, there are a few key settings to utilize when placing ads through social media outlets such as Facebook and Instagram. At the Campaign level, during which you will set your campaign objective, selecting the “traffic” objective will send ad viewers to a book product page for the lowest cost. Word-of-mouth marketing just might sell the most books. For this reason, book-centered marketing strategies should attempt to drive “traffic” to a book to increase the audience’s exposure to the book title and cover, and improve familiarity with the book’s brand to further improve the effectiveness of word-of-mouth marketing. Other objectives available at the Campaign level include: brand awareness, reach, engagement, app installs, video views, lead generation, messages, conversions, catalog sales, and store visits.

At the Ad Set level, advertisers have the opportunity to select the target audience, which uses demographics such as location, gender, age, interests, and language. There are also options for selecting placements for the ads, such as social media news feeds vs. stories. Meta offers an option to decide where to show ads if the “Automatic Placements” option is selected.

While placing paid advertisements for books might be intimidating at first, I hope these tips will make the process a bit easier to navigate and encourage publishers and authors to have fun with their content creation and drive traffic to their books.

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