When author Lauren Blakely was getting ready to launch her new book, Mister O, she decided to experiment with BookBub Ads. Three months later, Mister O is a USA Today, Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestseller.
Here’s how Lauren used BookBub Ads as part of this very successful launch campaign:
Lauren’s primary goal for her BookBub Ads campaign was to maximize exposure to romance readers. Since generating revenue was also important, her secondary goal was to make back 75-80% of her overall ad spend. Before launching the campaign, she decided that the long-term benefits of increased brand exposure outweighed an immediate positive return on investment (ROI).
My overarching goal for the Mister O campaign was to ensure that any romance reader who likes contemporary sexy romantic comedy knew about the title. As such, my advertising campaign encompassed Facebook, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, and BookBub Ads. The BookBub Ads played a key role in making sure fans of the genre were aware that Mister O was live and generating great reviews.
Lauren worked with a graphic designer to create simple, sexy, and eye-catching ads that highlighted key attributes of the book: humor, sexiness, or the number of five-star reviews. All of the ads included the cover for maximum brand recognition.
Even if someone doesn’t click on the ad, at least they have seen the cover.
In her BookBub Ads campaign, Lauren used author targeting to reach the most relevant audience possible. While she included herself as one of the authors (ensuring she reached BookBub readers who had previously expressed interest in her), she also targeted authors that appeared in the “also bought” section of her Amazon author page.
I also experimented with other authors who I thought might have some overlaps, such as Sophie Kinsella or Emily Giffin. Those were less effective, but I still think I was able to find some entirely new readers.
Budget and CPM Bid:
Since Lauren’s primary goal was to maximize exposure, she set a high CPM bid in order to win as many impressions as possible. Because of how the BookBub Ads auction model works, when she won impressions she only paid the amount of the second-highest bid. She also increased her budget on ads that delivered a high click-through rate (CTR) and ran those for a longer period of time. Meanwhile, she paused campaigns that generated a lower CTR.
The budget varied by the day, but generally speaking I spent as much as I was able to while the ads were at the peak of effectiveness.
Lauren experimented with many different ads to promote Mister O. Here are two different campaigns she ran:
This campaign was designed to let Lauren’s existing readers on BookBub know about her new launch. Because this ad only targeted her own fan base, she set a smaller budget since she knew she would be reaching a smaller audience than some of her other ads, which targeted both her fan base and that of other authors.
This campaign was designed to increase awareness for Mister O amongst a broader audience of romance readers. Lauren targeted readers interested in authors who write similar books, based on the authors listed in the “also bought” section of her Amazon author page. In order to maximize exposure with this broader audience, she set a larger budget over a longer period of time and bid a high CPM, hoping this would lead to her winning as many impressions as possible.
BookBub Ads allowed Lauren to put her book in front of millions of power readers while generating thousands of dollars in revenue. Lauren considered her campaigns successful in accomplishing both her primary and secondary goals:
- Maximizing exposure: She was able to reach a wide, relevant audience by bidding a high CPM and targeting multiple comparable authors.
- Achieve at minimum a -25% ROI: Since her ads were finely targeted, the ads returned at least 75-80% of the ad spend in direct sales during the first 2-3 weeks of release.
I was thrilled with the campaign. The BookBub ads enabled me to reach a highly targeted, in-market audience of book buyers! In tandem with the other marketing, Mister O spent three weeks on the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists and five weeks on the USA Today list, and is in the top 60 bestselling Kindle titles so far of 2016. It’s sold more than 100,000 units, and the multi-pronged ad strategy played a key role.
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