By The WBR Team
In November 1913, an American theatre audience experienced what was widely described as “an entirely new and unique stunt”. They had come in to see a film, and much to their surprise, they also got a sneak peek of an upcoming show, enticing them to buy tickets for the full musical.
This was the birth of the movie trailer. Since then, movie trailers have evolved, maintaining a pivotal role in the promotion of films across the globe.
More recently, authors have also started leveraging this promotional tool to effectively market and generate buzz around their books.
The big questions here are: do you need a book trailer? And how important are book trailers to your overall marketing strategy? Let’s find out.
What is a book trailer?
A book trailer is a short promotional video that gives readers a glimpse or a sneak peek into what your book is about. Just like movie trailers, trailers for books are meant to entice your audience and motivate them to purchase the book.
When done right, this tool can elevate your marketing strategy and lead to even better results.
Why do you really need a book trailer?
There are so many noteworthy benefits of adding a book trailer to your marketing strategy. For the sake of this blog, we’ll focus on the big three:
1. It allows you to reach a broader audience
In Q1 2023, reports showed that online videos had an audience reach of 92 per cent among internet users worldwide. Further studies also show that 87 per cent of marketers feel that video has a direct, positive impact on sales.
This means that as a new author, book trailers present an incredible opportunity for you to reach a broader audience and make more sales. The average internet user watches about 17 hours of online videos per week mainly because videos are easy to consume and share.
So, when you create a book trailer, you’re giving your audience a sharable, fun, and easy way to learn about your book, allowing it to get in front of more people in the process.
2. It leaves a lasting impression on your audience
By combining emotionally appealing visuals with a captivating script and audio, an effective book trailer gives potential readers something to think about. The more effort you put into creating an engaging trailer, the more compelled your audience will be to actually read the book.
3. It offers you an additional piece of marketing collateral
Whether you have a fully functional book marketing strategy or not, creating a trailer for your book serves as an additional piece of marketing collateral which can – and probably should – be repurposed to create further content.
What makes a good book trailer?
An effective book trailer does two key things:
a. It ignites curiosity about the book (i.e. the book’s offer, how it can solve the reader’s problems, etc).
b. It encourages people to take the next step in the sales funnel – purchasing the book to find out more.
While there’s no silver bullet for achieving these things, there are a few hacks that can help you create an engaging book trailer. Whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring a video production company, the following tips will stand you in good stead:
1. Keep it short, simple, and catchy
One thing to always bear in mind is that the book trailer is only a teaser, not a tell-all. While you may have many juicy, trailer-worthy details to share, remember to keep it short and simple. Overly long trailers may cause your audience to lose interest and scroll away before getting to the main content.
For best results, try to keep your trailer under 90 seconds.
2. Soften your sell
While the ultimate aim of book trailers is to direct people to buy your book, the last thing you want to do is to come on too strongly. This only strips your trailer of its entertainment value. Instead, focus on the book itself. What makes it attractive to your potential readers? What’s in it for them? How could their lives change for the better once they read the book?
Prior to this stage, you should already have your reader profile, i.e. who your book is for and what their specific interests are. Use this information to tailor your book trailer accordingly and ensure you’re truly speaking to the right people.
3. Use high-quality audio and graphics
It goes without saying that your audio and visuals should be of stellar quality, as it’s the first contact readers have with your book. Additionally, be careful not to use copyrighted material. No one wants to have a lawsuit looming over their book launch!
4. Highlight positive reviews and endorsements
If you’ve received any positive reviews – either from your beta readers or other industry experts – it’s worth highlighting these in the book trailer. This adds a layer of credibility to your book, making it more appealing for your audience.
5. Add a compelling CTA
The call-to-action (CTA) crowns all the efforts you’ve put into your trailer so far. You need to have a strong CTA that highlights what your audience’s next step should be – whether it’s purchasing the book off Amazon or signing up for an exclusive discount.
You want to be as clear and direct as possible here. This way, you’ll get more precise results.