Today we tackle the problem of how to promote your book trailer on Instagram. Contrary to what Madonna said, we live in an immaterial world. A visual world of intangible, ethereal images encased in glass, metal, and plastic boxes. This window to “reality” is also the place where books are bought and sold to the masses. However, there is a step that must come before such transactions can take place. Yes, that step is promoting the book trailer on the internet.
Facebook is dead and Instagram is dying slowly, but there is not yet a sufficient platform to take its place. Our 80-year-old grandmothers are posting stickers to their stories that read “Tuesday” over a photo of their calendar pillbox. Children are posting kindergarten selfies holding peanut butter sandwiches with captions that read “Felt cute, might delete later.” Always an update, a “like,” a notification to draw our awareness back to the glass screen.
Find Your Readers
You are an author who has endeavored to fight for the attention of a populace who has lost its consciousness to blinking machines. The last two years of your messy life were dedicated to transcribing a fever dream. Finally, you gave birth to your own simulation out of a fleshy mass throbbing with organic electricity behind your skull. Yes, you created a world out of words through a miraculous alchemical feat, but there’s a problem. There are many, many problems. However, there is one big problem from which everything else related to your world stems.
For the rest of us, this world you created is dead. It was alive inside of your mind but now that you have exposed it to oxygen it is dead–stillborn. There is hope! Your child can be resuscitated but only if other fleshy masses of organic electricity choose to experience it. How to get them to decide to read your world when there are so many worlds competing for their attention? More miracles are required.
Make A Book Trailer
You have made a book trailer–a wonderful, engaging book trailer that views like a Hollywood blockbuster, replete with explosions, violence, and sex. Nevermind that your book is a YA fantasy for children–this is your world, remember? Make the book trailer the way you want it! Ok, so the book trailer is there and it kicks ass. Now you must promote the book trailer on Instagram. Not on Facebook, where geriatrics tout conspiracy theories. Not on Twitter, where every other author under the sun vies for the attention of every other author under the sun.
You want to promote your book trailer on Instagram, where the people go to scroll. Your prey lies trapped in a mindless, life-depleting Instagram scroll waiting to be resurrected by your captivating book trailer. Before we get started on the basics of how to promote your book trailer on Instagram we need to address an important issue. Stay with me folks.
The Cons and Pros of Switching to a ‘’Business Account’
Let’s start with the cons. Instagram, along with all forms of social media, is inherently a con. A simulation of life rather than life itself. Since the app is based on a con, it comes as no surprise that there are built-in cons. The most glaring example is the necessity of switching your “personal account” to a “business account” in order to access the “paid promotions” feature.
As you already know, Instagram’s parent company, Meta (Facebook), is run by a demonic lizard who has no soul. This is why you must switch your account to a “business account” in order to access the paid promotions feature. The algorithm then auto-promotes your account to other business accounts, which in this writer’s opinion, is a lame feature. As artists, we want the algorithm to promote our work to individuals who will be into what we’re doing! Not other “businesses” (meaning people who are also trying to promote a product.)
Well, the algorithm will send your paid promotion to individuals with personal accounts, after it’s been promoted to other business accounts. This allows the lizard demon to squeeze the maximum dollar amount out of your scrawny pockets each time you start a paid promotion. If you’re not already an influencer with trillions of followers, switching to a business account and doing paid promotions is a necessary evil. It’s pay to play, folks.
Now that we know what we’re getting into, let’s consent to be financially raped by a corporation with more money than Saudi Arabia. Because there are pros, too. If you’re reading this article, you’re likely trying to promote your book online while growing your audience–switching to a business account is for you.
How To Switch To A Business Account
It’s easy–here’s a quick step-by-step guide:
- Go to your profile and tap in the upper right corner.
- Tap Settings.
- Tap Account.
- Tap Switch to Professional Account.
- Tap Continue.
- Select a Category for your business and tap Done.
- Tap OK to confirm.
Intro to Paid Promotions
The gates are opening! The lizard will allow you to access the paid promotions feature now that you’ve switched your personal account to business. This will engage and grow your audience–for a price. However, in order to run an ad on Instagram, you need to set up Facebook Ads Manager. Thankfully, this is easier to do than it sounds.
Facebook Ads Manager
If you already have a Facebook account but have never used the ads manager feature before, this is all you need to get started.
Set up a Business Manager Account
You can access your pages, ads, and give access to your team (if you have one) through your Business Manager account. Here’s how to set it up:
- Go to business.facebook.com
- Click “Create Account”
- Select the primary Facebook Page for your account and enter your name and email address.
Then, set up advertising access:
- Open Business Manager Settings
- Under People and Assets, click on “Ad Accounts”
- Select “Add New Ad Accounts” and click “Create a New Ad Account”
- Set up your payment method and billing information
Using Facebook Ads Manager To Promote A Book Trailer On Instagram
Congrats! You set up your Business Manager account. Now you’re ready to access Ads Manager. This is the home base for promoting your book trailer on Instagram. It’s mildly confusing, but since Facebook acquired Instagram the lizard requires users to run Ads for either platform through Facebook Ads Manager. This is where you will:
- Set up ad campaigns
- Manage spending
- Target your audience
- Monitor performance data
How To Promote Your Book Trailer On Instagram
There are many ways to promote a book trailer on Instagram and we’ll cover all of them! You should make use of every option available if you have a book trailer to promote. This includes sprinkling in some behind-the-scenes content from the production of your book trailer if you have it. The more creative you get with your promo the better.
Before you get started, it is necessary to perform a little surgery on your book trailer. Don’t worry, this is easy to do.
Step 1: Edit
First off, ensure you have the highest quality video available. The best Instagram video dimensions are 1080px by 1920px. Now, find the most interesting, eye-catching fifteen-second section of your book trailer and cut it out. The clip needs to be fifteen seconds or less because that’s what “stories feature” allows for. This is the clip we will use for the paid promotion. If there are multiple eye-catching, attention-grabbing sections of your book trailer that you want to use for promo, cut them out too! You can run multiple ad campaigns at the same time or simply save those clips for future promotions.
Step 2: Upload
Now it’s time to actually create an ad for your book trailer! Finally, right? Select the “single video” feature and upload your favorite 15-second clip of your book trailer. When you choose to run the ad on Instagram, the clip of your book trailer will appear as a post in the timeline and as a story.
Now write a caption for your book trailer post. Make it as long as possible because the algorithm favors posts with a lot of copy. Tell us who the book is for, when it’s coming out, and where we can buy it. Also include some info about who made the book trailer and tag everyone associated with the release (i.e. your publisher, editor, cover artist, etc.) Doing so lets everyone involved in the project know you’re including them in the promo process. Then, they will be more likely to share your post or create their own post, promoting your work to their followers. Do whatever you can to widen your reach organically.
Step 3: Choose Your Target Audience
Paid promotions allow you to choose your target audience. For example, if your book is a YA vampire thriller romance, you can choose to target accounts that follow “twilight,” “Buffy”, or “Vampire Academy, ”who are between the ages of 18-25 years old, and so on. The algorithm will place the ad for your book trailer in the feed of accounts that fall within your target audience.
Step 4: Fund Your Ad
The amount of money you put behind a particular promotion, and how long you allow it to run, will determine the approximate number of accounts it will reach. As your promotion rolls along you can see how many people have engaged with your ad by checking out the analytics section. Come up with a budget for promoting your book trailer for one month. On the first run of your book trailer ad, start with a smaller portion of your monthly budget and run it for a shorter period of time to test it out. One week is a good amount of time to get some meaningful data to look at.
Step 5: Monitor Ad Performance
Using a smaller portion of your monthly budget on the first run allows you to view the analytics after a few days to ensure you’re reaching your target audience as projected. If so, you’ve found the right demographic to target! You can save this promotion and run it again with the same clip or a different one. If your metrics are bunk in the first week, your target audience might be too vague. Be as specific as possible when selecting your target audience and try again.
Organic Promotion Using Instagram Reels
In addition to utilizing paid promotion, it’s important to promote your book trailer organically. This is especially true if you have a new release coming up. Use the “reels” feature when posting clips from your book trailer on Instagram. The algorithm updated this year to favor reels over traditional posts when posting video content. Post your video as a reel and get more engagement and eventually…readers! Sprinkle in a clip from your book trailer (maybe once a week?) with the other content you post. This all depends on how often you post, your social media style, etc. Keep the ratio right and don’t be annoying about it or beat us over the head.
Patrick Salway is a writer, musician, and actor living in Los Angeles. Follow him on social media @blone_noble and @veneer_publications. Listen to VENEER.
If you enjoyed this piece, check out 5 Book Trailers From Our Most Affordable Package.
Need a book trailer? Film 14 offers book trailers for authors and services such as audiobook recording, book cover design, and more! Check us out here, or shoot us an email! Want to make your own book trailer? Check out our free guide!