With BookBub Ads, authors and publishers can promote any book to BookBub’s millions of power readers at any time. While this is a valuable audience of book buyers to begin with, BookBub Ads’ targeting options let advertisers refine their audience even further.
There are five targeting options available: reading format, author interest, category interest, retailer preference, and region. You can use any combination of these on a single campaign. But how can you best use these targeting options to reach the right audience for your marketing goals — and make the most of your ad spend?
Here are nine ideas for targeting readers using BookBub Ads!
1. Target readers interested in the promoted book’s author
Target readers interested in the author of the ebook or audiobook you’re promoting to reach an engaged audience who is highly likely to click and purchase. When you target by author, the potential audience is larger than just an author’s followers — it also includes any member who has clicked on that authors’ previous Featured Deals (or Chirp Deals, if you’re targeting Chirp members!), bookmarked their books, or otherwise expressed interest in the author. Promoting to an established fan base is a particularly effective strategy for preorders, new releases, and full-priced books.
To target an author’s fanbase on BookBub or Chirp, select Add Authors in the “Audience Targeting” section of the Ads creator.
Search for the author’s name, then select the correct author from the dropdown.
Note that in the screenshot above, “X Readers” or “X Listeners” notes the number of BookBub or Chirp users who have expressed interest in this author; this is the maximum number of readers who can be reached by targeting this author.
2. Retarget readers who clicked on a Featured Deal
Because each author’s targetable audience includes readers who clicked on their previous Featured Deals, one of the best times to run an ad campaign can be right after a feature.
Here are three strategies you can use to retarget readers who clicked on a Featured Deal:
- Reach readers who clicked on your deal but didn’t purchase. After you run a Featured Deal, run a BookBub Ads campaign targeting the promoted author’s fans to let them know the discount is still available. This gives you a second chance to convert readers who clicked on the feature but weren’t ready to commit and make a purchase!
- Promote the next book in a series. If you ran a Featured Deal for a first-in-series book, you can promote its sequel via BookBub Ads.
- Reach readers who clicked on another author’s deal. Keep an eye out for Featured Deals by other authors whose fans would be a good fit for a book you want to promote. Run an ad campaign targeting their fans to reach these new readers.
Note: This targeting will include readers who previously expressed interest in the author on BookBub in addition to those who clicked on the recent Featured Deal.
3. Target readers of an author who blurbed the book
BookBub readers put a lot of trust in their favorite authors’ books suggestions — 76% of them have purchased a book after it was recommended by an author they liked! Run an ad highlighting a blurb from another author and target that authors’ fans for a personalized message highly likely to catch their interest.
4. Target readers interested in similar authors
Targeting readers of similar authors will let you reach a large audience while still focusing on readers who are most likely to click and purchase.
To find authors to target, USA Today bestselling author Ernest Dempsey says, “I look through Amazon’s ‘also boughts.’ I check the left column on my Amazon author page to see other authors my readers buy. I will also click on those authors and go a couple layers deeper to see who some of their readers read, since those are often ones that will enjoy my work too. I also look through BookBub’s authors in my genre.” Read other successful advertisers’ tips on choosing author targets here.
You can add as many authors as you’d like in the “Audience Targeting” section.
5. Target readers interested in popular genre authors
Targeting readers of popular authors in the same sub-genre as the book you’re promoting will increase your chances of being featured in their trending books’ “Also Bought” sections on retailers. Since these pages get more traffic, that’s great visibility for your book! However, this strategy will only work if the readers you target are actually clicking your ad and purchasing your book, so be thoughtful (and honest!) about which popular authors’ audiences are likely to be the best fit for the book you’re promoting. Targeting authors with extremely large fan-bases can deliver higher costs and lower click-through rates, so run tests to find the authors that will work best for you.
To identify popular authors, simply look at retailers’ sub-genre bestseller lists to see which books are popular now and target the authors whose books seem most similar to yours:
6. Target by category interest
Targeting readers who expressed interest in a specific book category when they signed up for BookBub or Chirp will allow you to reach huge audiences of genre readers. Keep in mind that reaching a broader audience often leads to lower engagement rates, but it can help you increase visibility for a book by reaching a higher volume of readers.
One particularly effective way to use category targeting is in combination with author targeting. Alex Nicolajsen, Director of Social Media & Digital Sales at Kensington Publishing Corp., frequently uses this strategy: “Generally, we’ll target several authors along with a specific genre or group of genres. We know that readers love to keep coming back to the authors they love — but we also know that they’re always on the lookout for a new author to read when they’ve finished the books from their favorites. By targeting comparative authors, readers can find a new author or book based on what they already enjoy.”
To add category targeting to a campaign, click Add Categories…
…and choose from among BookBub’s category options.
When you combine author and category targeting, you will reach only readers who have expressed interest in at least one of the categories and one of the authors you’ve selected.
7. Target by retailer preference
BookBub Ads is one of the only advertising platforms that lets you target readers based on the retailer where they purchase books. This makes it an excellent tool for running retailer-specific promotions!
To target readers on a particular retailer, simple enter a link to that retailer in the Click-Through Links section. Our system will automatically target your ad to readers who purchased books from that retailer.
We make it easy to add multiple retailer links to a single ad campaign, but if you want to customize the ad images for each retailer or have greater control over how much of your ad budget is invested in each platform, we recommend creating separate campaigns. Once you create an ad campaign for one retailer, you can “copy” it from the “Manage Ads” home page and swap out the retailer links and ad creative to quickly create distinct campaigns for each retailer.
8. Target by region
BookBub has readers in the US, the UK, Canada, and Australia, and you can target your ad campaigns to readers in each of those countries. This is particularly useful if the book or deal you’re promoting is only available in certain regions.
Enter the retailer links for each region you want to include in your ad campaign, and we’ll target those readers automatically. (Learn how to find region-specific links on each retailer here!). For links to non-retailer sites, you can select which regions and retailers to include:
You can also create separate ad campaigns for each region to specify how much you want to spend in each one. For example, you may want to allocate more of your budget to readers in the US than readers outside the US.
9. Target audiobook listeners
If you’re promoting an audiobook, you can target BookBub members who listen to audiobooks or members of Chirp, our audiobook retailer.
Start by selecting Audiobook Listeners in the “Select Reading Format” section of the ad form.
To target Chirp members, you must also link your campaigns to a book on chirpbooks.com. If you search for your Chirp audiobook in the Choose a Book section, we’ll automatically pull in the URL as a click-through link for you. Ads using a Chirp URL as a click-through link are the only campaigns eligible to appear in Chirp emails. Learn more about running ads for Chirp audiobooks here.
We’ve also started collecting audiobook retailer preferences from BookBub members. To target listeners on other audiobook platforms, enter any other click-through link, including links to audiobook retailers or your author website. These campaigns will reach BookBub members who listen to audiobooks, and are eligible to appear in BookBub emails and on the BookBub website.
Do you have more ideas for how to use BookBub Ads’ targeting options to reach relevant readers? Let us know in the comments below!
This post was originally published on November 2nd, 2016, and has been updated with the latest best practices.
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