How the Romance Niche Can Help You Fall in Love with Content Marketing Again

When you first get started with content marketing, the novelty and excitement of a new marketing technique mean you’ll probably be full of enthusiasm and have loads of great ideas for content.

However, as time goes on, and the novelty starts to wear off, you may find yourself low on ideas and inspiration. This feeling of burnout is a common problem, particularly if you’re creating all your own content.

To get excited about content marketing again and inject new life into your strategy, you need to be innovative in where you look for inspiration.

You probably get most of your ideas from reading other blogs in your industry. But sometimes, content marketing ideas can come from unexpected places.

Quick Takeaways:

  • Romance writers are not only expert storytellers but also skilled content marketers – follow their example to get some new ideas for your own content marketing efforts.
  • Keeping your audience engaged and loyal is key to your marketing success.
  • Serialized content underscores the importance of consistency in creating and publishing content.

Romance fiction is a booming industry in the US and beyond, accounting for around 15% of fiction sales overall. It’s also the second bestselling category. Fans of the romance genre tend to be voracious consumers – almost half buy a new book at least once a week.

But what is fuelling this consumption? And what does it have to do with your content marketing? (Assuming you’re working in a very different industry than romance fiction.)

The infographic below gives some interesting insight into who is reading all these books and where they’re finding them.

Image source: https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/article/2016/romance-readers-by-the-numbers/

As you might expect, the largest proportion of books are discovered via in-store displays. However, content marketing is the second-biggest promotional method for print books, and the most important for ebooks, by far.

14% of ebooks were discovered via online browsing, 8% from online recommendations (such as reviews and ratings on sites like Goodreads), 7% from emails sent by book recommendation sites, and 5% from the author’s website. In fact, these figures are a few years old, and the statistics are likely to be even higher in today’s increasingly connected and digital world.

Successful romance writers are not only skilled at writing romantic fiction. They’re also content marketing experts. The romance fiction genre has pioneered some of the most engaging and innovative content marketing methods you’re likely to see online. Whatever niche you are marketing for, there’s a lot you can learn from the romance industry. So let’s take a more in-depth look into how romance writers use content marketing to make more sales and build consumer loyalty.

Build a Dedicated Following

Popular romance writers build a fiercely loyal community and tend to make the majority of their sales to existing customers rather than new ones.

Building an email list to keep in touch with readers and announce new book releases is a given, but they also use emails to build relationships with their following and to share a behind-the-scenes peek into their life.

This type of “chatty” email feels more like a message from a friend than a brand newsletter, which helps to keep engagement high and build loyalty.

Image source: https://www.mailerlite.com/newsletter-examples/nicole-blanchard

You should use this strategy in your own emails, whatever industry you work in. Don’t just think about how you can use emails to sell to your audience. Instead, concentrate on adding value and building relationships.

Romance authors also give readers on their list special perks such as the opportunity to download books for free, enter competitions, buy signed copies, and attend author events. You can do the same for your audience. Whatever you can do that will make them feel like a VIP will help to increase brand loyalty and boost engagement.

Social media is also an essential channel for romance writers to build relationships with their audience. Authors use social media to communicate with their readers, encourage sign-ups to their mailing list and visits to their blog, and build buzz prior to a new book launch.

You can use this same strategy no matter what industry you work in. Again, it’s not all about extra opportunities to plug your products and services, but rather, it’s about adding value for your followers and helping them feel more connected to you.

Create Bonus Content

Romance fiction is an interesting niche to consider because the product itself is content. This may not be the case for you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create free content products as an incentive to sign up for your list or as a reward for your existing following.

Many authors include a page in their books with details of their website, social media channels, and mailing list. Getting readers to stay in touch after they’ve finished reading a book is vital, and so offering something valuable to encourage these sign-ups is common practice.

Author Debbie Macomber builds bonus content creation into her pre-launch marketing timetable, which both helps her audience get excited about the new book and rewards them for following.

This content does not have to be extensive – Macomber posts recipes that are mentioned in her books – but anything that adds value to your audience will work as an effective bonus. Reports, whitepapers, webinars, and checklists are some content formats to consider.

Look for Collaboration Opportunities

Authors are often thought of as introverts and loners, working away at a desk on their own for hours on end. This may be the case for the writing of their novels, but when it comes to marketing, successful authors excel at collaboration.

Writers often work with each other to cross-promote books in ways that might include giveaways, recommending books by other authors, sharing social media pages, and encouraging newsletter sign-ups to other writers.

This strategy works because, although they’re producing similar products in the same genre, writers are generally not in competition with each other. A reader who enjoys reading a romantic fiction novel by one author is likely to enjoy one written in a similar style by a different author. Sharing their audiences and cross-promoting books is a win-win situation for everyone – readers are introduced to new authors and books they’ll love, and writers get more exposure beyond their existing audience.

It’s well worth looking for collaboration opportunities in your industry. While you may not want to promote your direct competitors, working together with others to come up with mutually-beneficial marketing techniques is a smart strategy.

Create Serialized Content

If you’ve ever dipped into the romance genre yourself, you’ve probably noticed that books are very rarely standalone titles. Instead, they’re released as individual books in a box set or are linked together in some way as a single series.

This strategy makes a lot of sense. Readers who have enjoyed a book are likely to seek more of the same. Releasing further novels on the same theme means that romance authors are giving their audience exactly what they want.

Serializing a single story into multiple books also boosts marketing efforts by increasing buzz and anticipation. Readers are invested in the story and characters and can’t wait to find out what happens next.

Ok, maybe your content isn’t quite as exciting as a steamy romance series, but you can use this same strategy to build interest and engagement. When you’re producing content on in-depth content, rather than writing one mega-post or ebook, split it into smaller pieces of content and drip-feed them over time.

You should also look for other opportunities to cross-promote and link your content together. Planning out your content themes and exploring topics thoroughly before moving onto the next will make this easier.

If you are ready to get more traffic to your site with quality content that’s consistently published, check out our Content Builder Service. Set up a quick consultation, and I’ll send you a free PDF version of my books. Get started today and generate more traffic and leads for your business.

Michael Brenner is a globally-recognized keynote speaker, author of The Content Formula and the CEO of Marketing Insider Group. He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael shares his passion on leadership and marketing strategies that deliver customer value and business impact. He is recognized by the Huffington Post as a Top Business Keynote Speaker and a top CMO influencer by Forbes. Please follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook and Subscribe here for regular updates.

2 thoughts on “How the Romance Niche Can Help You Fall in Love with Content Marketing Again

  1. Michael–

    Great use of a hook for a blog post but I never took you for a romance reader!

    Having sold millions of dollars worth of books, I can attest to the fact that most niche book segments are highly engaged readers. The key to success is finding out what makes them tick and what they are willing to buy. HINT: It’s not always more books!

    Happy marketing,
    Heidi
    Heidi Cohen – Actionable Marketing Guide

    1. Thanks Heidi, I’m full of surprises! I would love to hear how you sold millions of books. Maybe you would be willing to help me out with MeanPeopleSuck.com coming out for pre-sale on 9/4 and sales date 10/25. I sent you a PDF copy via email. let me know if you didn’t get it.

      PS – I’ve even got merch haha!

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