Thursday, April 28, 2011

Everything I know About Marketing, I learned From Tina Turner

“What’s love got to do with it?” asked Tina Turner in the sixties. 

Today, they’re still asking the same old question and I’m sure it’s a question we’ll be asking for generations to come. “What’s love, but a second hand emotion,” is the answer.

Ahh, emotion. What would the world be without it? How can you distill that emotion, bottle it up and cork it tightly? And when you’re ready to play, pop the cork, and unleash the genie inside. But what really are the bottle’s magical contents? What exactly evokes all those emotions? What inspires people to stop, watch and listen to your book trailer? More importantly, what motivates them to click and buy? Meaningful stories, filled with conflict. 

Problems, problems, problems. In real life, we try to avoid problems at all costs, but in literature, problems, better known as conflicts, are front and center stage at all times. Without conflict, there are no meaningful stories to tell. But how much should you tell? How much of the story do you give away in your book trailer?

The case for making long book trailers revolves around this idea, “The more you tell, the more you sell" mentalityBased on a tried and true advertising model, particularly ideal in the seventies and eighties, but not as relevant or as effective today, at least not on the internet.  Remember, the internet is quite unlike print publications. The internet is limitless and forever growing and expanding like some kind of universe―super fast and far-reaching. It demands speed even as it instills a speedy, almost anxious mindset on its users. Click, scan, click, from here to infinity.

This is not your Daddy's Internet:
The days of slow modems are long gone. Today, most people have high-speed fiber optic connections that are always on and lightning fast. Page loading times are virtually no longer an issue. When you click on a link, there it is, in a flash. For the most part, as long as your computer isn’t bogged down by registry errors, bloated browser caches or software-developer’s anti-virus, viruses, (hint, clue, wink) your pages load almost instantly.

Readers see the internet as a prime source of an immediate, speedy way of getting relevant information. Today’s readers and web surfers (largely, a younger generation) search for and consume huge amounts of digital information, seemingly as fast as it loads, and just as fast, they move on to something else.

This sense of immediacy and instant gratification has bred a whole new generation of web surfers that not only rely on high-speed internet access , but they thrive on its ability to deliver information faster than they can process it. In turn, that prompts them to stop only when something is meaningful enough to get their attention. And that means attention spans are cut drastically, to mere seconds per page sometimes. 

With billions of pages at their fingertips, it’s no wonder users are so finicky about what they read. So the obvious question is: What stops readers dead in their tracks? What keeps them riveted and glued to a particular page?

What's the Answer?
The answer is simple: An emotional connection. A speed bump on the lightning fast information super highway. Period. End of story. There’s no other reason because emotion is the only reason. What kind of emotion? How about curiosity? What about fear, anger, or longing? Do you think the search for love can stop a person dead in their tracks? Love of what? Love of a particular thing, a certain subject matter, a kind of personality or a particular image that speaks volumes to them. Anything that tells a meaningful story, in a flash.

Ever since the beginning of time, human beings have been searching for happiness through love and relationships, through friendships, through an understanding of something else. Anything that promises or suggests meaning. People are forever curious and searching for happiness or anything that even looks like the semblance of a good time. Something that really matters to them.

"Good ole emotion, folks. Take it or leave it,  it’s here to stay—forever and ever."

So what does emotion have to do with book teasers? Everything, of course. Problem is, most people don’t realize that emotion makes the world go round and round, and even more people don’t know how to define or present an emotional story on video. Wow. Houston, we definitely have a problem.

Luckily, I know a little about emotion. After all, I died once for 45 minutes, and then I died again when I got divorced after 13 years of an impossible marriage. (Yes, that’s precisely when I regretted not dying for an eternity the first time.) But that’s just the tip of the emotional iceberg, folks. Can you feel my pain? “Right, we’ve got it,” they said.

Forget you!
But what about book teasers? What’s up with that? Why is 30 seconds so much better than a long, 2 minute trailer? You’re right about one thing. Thirty seconds is not long enough. Whaat?

That’s the whole point, my friend. If a short 30 second book teaser doesn’t show enough, that means the viewer is left wanting more, and that’s exactly what you want. Long trailers tell way too much of the story and leave very little to the imagination, draining the story of its very essence―its mystery. If you seemingly tell everything, then there’s no reason for the viewer to search for more. You’ve given away too much, and possibly the best parts of your story.

That’s where the 30 second teaser works its magic. A very short story that engages the viewer in a meaningful way, but piques their curiosity to the point where they must click to find out more about the book and how your story ends.

Piece of cake, folks. All you have to do is find the emotional thread that drives your story. But that’s only half the job. You’ll then have to write the emotional words, find the right images and the heartfelt soundtrack, and then put that all together into an intense 30 second video presentation. Nothing to it.

The Hard Truth:
It’s a lot like watching someone play Mozart on piano. Looks like nothing more than someone hitting a bunch of keys, big deal. Seemingly, anyone can do it. You have two hands and two feet, what more do you need? Right.

Listen, if you want a powerful book teaser that represents you and your books in a meaningful way, I can play the piano. Heck, I can especially play some Tina Turner. So, if you have something in mind for your first or your next book trailer, run the concept by me and I’ll be happy to take a look at it and offer you suggestions on how to make it even better. No strings; just solid advice on how to make your book trailer more than just catchy music―but an effective marketing and sales tool instead.

Email me today with any questions and if you missed any part of my 3-part Book Trailer Tutorial, check it out here from the beginning. It’s filled with eye-opening stuff you can use to design your next book trailer that will save you time, money, and plenty of headaches.

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