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How to keep IDW from losing their shirt on the Forgotten Realms, Part 2: Connecting with your audience

If you’re here on the site for the first time and haven’t read the introduction or Part 1 of this series, you should stop here. Go back and read the first two posts, and even the “Sad tale of a failed comic launch” article that spawned all of this.

Go ahead.

Take your time.

This latest post will be here when you get back.

Everyone all caught up? Good. Now that we have the basic foundation of the Internet Marketing plan out of the way, what we need to do now is move on to actively driving people back to the website. I say “actively” because building the site itself, if done properly, will pull traffic in a passive way. Meaning, it’ll pop up in Internet searches without a company actively doing anything to it, aside from making periodic updates to keep Google happy. We may have to tweak the keywords and keyword density on a given page as we go along to make sure we are obtaining the results we want, but the heavy lifting on the site itself is done.

In part 1, we built the foundation for our Internet marketing, in Part 2 we begin to build our internet traffic

One quick aside before I move on. As you may have noticed, I didn’t really go in to the proper methods of building the website in Part I — didn’t talk about SEO, writing content, proper coding, etc. I’ve dealt with that stuff pretty extensively elsewhere on this website — and specifically with one of IDW’s own webpages — and feel no need to go in to it further here. This series is about how to put everything together and make it work for your new comic book product launch. If you want to learn more of the specifics then jump over to my other marketing articles and absorb the wisdom found therein!

That leads us in to the next steps of our marketing plan for the Forgotten Realms comic book miniseries product launch. In part 1 we built up our hub and foundation, now we are going to head out into the wilds of the Internet itself and start to drive traffic back to that hub.

6 Ways to Build an Internet Audience (and Web Traffic) for your Comic Book Launch

1. Adventures in Social Networking: I’ve mentioned before how Social Networking is one of the most misunderstood Internet tools out there today — especially by comic book publishers and their marketing teams. Social Networks, like Facebook and Twitter, are not there for you to efficiently build new traffic or readership with at all. If you think you’re going to use them for that purpose then you’re going to be sorely disappointed with your results. The sad thing is that is exactly what most “marketing people” at the various comic publishers think Internet marketing is.

Keeping that in mind, there are still three very important uses for Social Networking.

  • The biggest one is to help keep your current fan base informed about your product. Twitter and Facebook are both incredibly effective as a means of dispersing information out to large groups of people. Think of them as free email marketing services. Your Friends/Followers on those sites make up your email list and your Tweets/Status Updates are your quick and dirty email blasts.
  • A second benefit of Social Networking is that it allows your fan base to feel like they can connect with you on a personal, one-on-one basis. You give them a “face” and “voice” of your company for them to interact with. They can give you feedback in a real time manner. This is a benefit often mismanaged by comic book publishers.
  • Lastly, and this is a use generally completely ignored by most businesses, is the fact that Social Networking profiles often rank extraordinarily well in the search engines on keywords you want to target. Those profiles can, and should, be used to help mold your search engine results and direct traffic to sites which your company has “control” over. Making use of your Social Network profiles in this manner can help you with developing your brand message and also in the ability to get ranking on keywords you may otherwise be having difficulty in targeting.

For those three reasons, having well-developed profiles for as many of the Social Networking sites as you can manage is essential. Social Networks to consider are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Linked In. Obviously, there are numerous others and the more you can get set up with, the better. For IDW Publishing, I’d say set up those profiles for the general Dungeons & Dragons line of products AND for the Forgotten Realms series in specific. For the sake of this particular product launch conversation, focusing on the Forgotten Realms is required.

Social Network can help aid your Internet Marketing efforts if done correctly

The key to making the Social Networks work for your company (instead of as just an outlet for bitter webcomic guys to rant about their failures and the cruelty of the comic industry that has spurned them) is in properly filling out your profiles and in loading them with the targeted keywords we discussed in Part 1 of this article series. Go as verbose as you can within the limits of each profile. Load in your keywords, put in a lot of text content and make sure to include links back to specific pages if possible (some profiles allow hyperlinking, while others do not). In other words, don’t just link back to the main IDW Publishing homepage. Link to the Forgotten Realms pages we’ve already built up — if you’re as anal as I am, you’ll link to the next issue coming out and then change your profile links to promote each issue as it is time for ordering. Always start off your Social Networking profiles with the most important backlink you have and then move on with your text content. Make it as easy as possible for someone interested in your product to click over to that hub and get more information (or make a purchase).

Beyond putting together solid profiles for each of the Social Networks, make use of galleries and photo albums to show off concept art, previews, covers and so on. Make sure to fill out the descriptions for each piece, including your keywords and a link back to the Forgotten Realms pages in each one. Very important. I even like to include “buy links” where I can. Make it as easy for your customers to buy as possible.

Read the rest in my new book, “Comic Book Marketing 101,” now available as an eBook for only $4.99!

Comic Book Marketing 101 by Mat Nastos

Topics include:

  • 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
http://www.MatNastos.net

Article Series Directory
1. How to Launch a Comic Book Series: An Introduction
2. How to keep IDW Publishing from losing their shirt on the Forgotten Realms, Part 1: Building a Foundation for a Successful Comic Book Product Launch
3. How to keep IDW from losing their shirt on the Forgotten Realms, Part 2: Connecting with your audience

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Mat Nastos
TV, Film, comic book, fantasy & steampunk writer/director, known best for bad horror movies about giant scorpions, killer pigs & dinosaurs in the sewers. You can find his work on Smashwords or at his Amazon Author Page.

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