Targeting Specific Audiences Part 3 (results for one specific audience)

Targeting specific audiences, Part Three:  Results for the one specific audience… 

Guest Post by Steve Moore

The following is the third part of the report on my ad campaign associated with the Montclair Film Festival.  That campaign was described in Part Two.  How will I measure the success of my campaign?  To use the marketing word du jour, what are the metrics?  I can think of two in general: website traffic increase and book sales increase.

I used the built-in CysStats from my WordPress software to measure website visits and hits.  For the week previous to the release of the Film Festival catalog, I was averaging about 700 visits and 800 hits per day.  After the release to volunteer personnel, the number of hits went up to 1600 but the number of visits stayed about the same.  I returned to the “steady state” until a week later, the first weekend the general public had the catalog, when I obtained about 1800 visits and 1900 hits (April 12), but the next day it settled back to 800/900, almost the initial steady state—this 800/900 level became a new steady state with peaks on weekends, until the release of the Montclair Times Magazine.

The Montclair Times Magazine ad was released to the public on May 2.  This had a wider distribution than the Festival catalog.  There was only a slight bump on that day.  There have been other slight bumps, which I attribute to the sporadic reading of the Montclair Times Magazine (it goes to subscribers in the Montclair area, but these include doctors, dentists, and lawyers’ offices).  As of May 15, I’ve achieved a new steady state around 900 visits and 1000 hits.  For me, this increase is hardly significant, but I’m hoping the magazine ad has a long tail.

Did this increase in website traffic translate into book sales?  From the catalog ad, no.  Both Amazon and Smashwords showed pathetic performance up to the Montclair Times Magazine ad—just the same old dribs and drabs.  There was only a slight uptick after the magazine ad.  Perhaps the difference was that the magazine ad had the cover of The Golden Years of Virginia Morgan; the catalog ad did not.  Both referred readers to my website that lists all eleven of my books available at that time (I have since released Teeter-Totter between Lust and Murder).

I’m writing this report now (May 15) rather than waiting to measure any long-tail effect because these statistics are metrics for an open system.  The release of a new book and some new reviews will start making it difficult to separate cause and effect.  For now, I think it’s being wise to say that this campaign didn’t work.  I’m more convinced than ever that rising above that sea of ebooks, even those in the same genre, is quite difficult because of the competition.  The chances of success, say sales of 10,000 for one book, is perhaps more likely than winning the Power Ball Lottery, but not by much.

Am I discouraged?  Yes.  Will I throw in the towel and stop writing?  No!  It’s too much fun.  I hope my writing also provides entertainment value for those who read my blog or my ebooks.  That’s always been my goal—to entertain.  In libris libertas….

Steven M. Moore  
Author of The Secret Lab, Pop Two Antacids and Have Some Java, The Midas Bomb, Angels Need Not Apply, Teeter-Totter between Lust and Murder, The Golden Years of Virginia Morgan, Full Medical, Evil Agenda, Soldiers of God, Survivors of the Chaos, Sing a Samba Galactica, Come Dance a Cumbia...with Stars in Your Hand!

Read Parts One and Two of this three part series:

Part One - The Marketing Conundrum
Part Two - One Specific Audience

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