A question I have been asked quite a bit recently by Comic Book Publishers and Creators alike is:
- Why do I need to rank well in Google?
- Or, Why should I care if people find me online?
These questions are generally followed by statements similar to:
- The people who are going to buy our books know where to look to find us.
- Or, We’re in Previews.
- Or, People searching online aren’t looking for our comics.
- Or, my favorite, If they want our stuff, they’ll find us.
My patent response there is: How is that working out for you so far?
The reason my response is a little snippy is because I get frustrated at Comic Publishers. You hear comic book creators and publishers alike complaining daily about the current state of the comic book industry. You hear them complaining about poor distribution and lack of a way to reach the mainstream.
Guess what? It’s been here since the mid-90s and it’s called the World Wide Web.
There is absolutely no better way to reach and develop a new audience than the Internet right now — if you know what you’re doing it can be more effective than television commercials.
Here’s an interesting fact for you: In 2009, there were in excess of 3 billion Google searches each day — 34,000 per second! What that means is, in any given second, you’ve got potential customers searching for product related to the comic books you’ve created.
This is going to be where the publishers with the personality of “Comic Book Guy” from the Simpsons jump up and say, “AHA! If someone is looking for a Radioactive Man Comic, and type in ‘Radioactive Man Comic,’ we’re right there! I am already a Jedi master of your Ess-Eee-Oh techniques and I didn’t have to do anything! Bwahahaha!”
If a similar comment popped in to you head, please stop reading now and go back to slabbing your comics and arguing over which was the ultimate Sci-Fi TV show, Babylon 5 or the new Battlestar Galactica (the answer is, of course, Babylon 5).
Ok, for those of you who are still with me, let’s continue. The way to use the web to your greatest benefit isn’t just to provide information to those customers who ALREADY know about your product (although, that is one valid reason), it is to attract and connect with POTENTIAL customers who AREN’T aware of your product.
That’s right, you can use the Internet to attract potential customers who are interested in things related to your product, even in the most tenuous of ways. Using the web in this manner becomes all about expanding your market and increasing your sales outside of your current customer-base…and that should be one of the primary purposes of any business. One of the major ways to get on that path to an increased market size is by using Keyword research.
The simplest way to explain the phrase “keyword research” is this: researching the words and/or phrases potential customers are already actively searching for that are related to your product(s). Even more simple, figuring out what people are looking for and making sure you’re there.
I know what you’re all thinking right now – “How in the hell do I do that?” My friends, that is exactly what I’m going to go over right now: developing your keyword research for proper SEO and targeting new markets for your comic books.
Before we get started, there are a couple of things that need to be taken into consideration.
First off, you need to know your product and have an understanding of what it is and who it might appeal to. Meaning, if you’re doing ElfQuest, know that you’ll potentially be targeting fantasy fans, folklore/fairytale fans, elf fans and a bunch of others. Take some time to think through other products that deal with a similar fanbase to what you are going to be aiming at — that “other product” could be games, toys, magazines, other books/properties, movies, clothing and so on. Make sure to keep your mind wide open to possibilities because that will help you down the road during actual keyword research.
Read the rest in my new book, “Comic Book Marketing 101,” now available as an eBook for only $4.99!
- Doing marketing analysis and research to maximize your comic’s potential for success
- Developing a marketing plan
- How to do a proper Product Launch
- Hands-On case studies using the work of publishers IDW Publishing, Boom Studios and Moonstone Books! Learn from their mistakes!
- And more!
For the Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Comic-Book-Marketing-101-ebook/dp/B005PPPRIU/
In multiple formats: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/91945
-Mat Nastos, Super Genius