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15 Instagram Book Marketing Ideas from Publishers

31 March 2016

From BookBub:

Why are publishers using Instagram to promote their books and brands? According to Socialbakers, the top brands on Instagram have a 47x higher average post engagement rate than the top brands on Twitter. And then there’s the scale. As of September 2015, Instagram had 400 million monthly active users, more than Twitter’s 316 million. So while Instagram isn’t an ROI-driven marketing tool, it can have a big impact on book branding.

If you’re looking to use Instagram for book marketing but aren’t sure what kinds of pictures to post, take a look at what publishers are doing. We’ve compiled some great ideas for Instagram content thanks to the stunning photos they’ve been posting!

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4. Showcase books in relevant, interesting settings. (Bloomsbury Publishing)

A common trend is to post photos of books on a table with an assortment of props. Instead, try placing the book in a scene relevant to a scene from the book!



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8. Make clever use of props, rather than having them just be part of the background. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

In these examples from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the props are relevant to the book and tie in to a giveaway they’re running. It’s a creative way to get fans to engage.


Link to the rest at BookBub

Advertising-Promotion-Marketing, Social Media

9 Comments to “15 Instagram Book Marketing Ideas from Publishers”

  1. This is a great post which I really needed. Instagram is new for me and I had no idea how to use it to market my books, but this I can use! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Looking through this and some of the related stories, I have to ask if any authors reported success with an Instagram campaign?

    Talking about branding and impressions is all well and good, but is there anything measurable?

    • Great question and I hope someone with experience answers.

      I’m not a social media person. I prefer to write and occasionally pay a newsletter for a promotion. I find that is a better use of my time.

      But I still like to hear what others are doing successfully.

    • I agree. This approach works more for a publisher looking to do creative things with different books, imo. That said, Instagram is very hard to measure, having worked with it for brands. You can sell through IG, although I’d imagine that works best for non-fiction. Like, a fitness IG person who writes a book and sells through IG could make a fortune. I’m not so sure that would work for a fiction book where the author didn’t already have a huge following.

  3. I see lots of nice “Instabook” tagged posts. I wonder about sales, too.

  4. Barbara Morgenroth

    You can set up Instagram ads through FB but the minimum is $5 a day. I’m not familiar enough with Instagram to spend that much.

  5. Laura Montgomery

    I only recently figured out on Twitter that if you use a hashtag little, teeny bars show up at the bottom of your tweet. If you click on those bars, you will be shown how many impressions (views?) your tweet received, how many clicked on the link or your profile, and how many retweets it got. For me, this data has confirmed the futility of Twitter. Doesn’t mean I’ve stopped using it, but I expect it will slowly dawn on me that I should.

  6. “… the top brands on Instagram have a 47x higher average post engagement rate than the top brands on Twitter.”

    That’s nice, top brands appear to be noticed — any data on whether or not new or unheard of brands are even noticed?

    I guess it stands to reason that if trad-pub isn’t buying their mid/low listers any advertising that they’d need to hawk their wares and try to get the writers to pay for ads …

    • That quote reminds me of the one about white men from 20-30 years ago that has stuck with me. Here’s a paraphrase:
      “Top brands do better on Instagram than Twitter, but you aren’t one of those brands.”

      Like you said, it would be nice if there was more information on new or emerging brands. The only two I know on it are coworkers who want to be fitness models.

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