The Marketing Plan for “Happily Never After”

Perhaps more than just writing the book, one of my favorite parts of Happily Never After, in fact, has been the marketing. I love research, I love experimentation, and I love analyzing trends. It’s putting together my favorite topics: individual human behavior, social movements, probability and statistics, and analyzing those outcomes. For those of you who watched my book pitch video, one of the purposes of the video was to study how ideas spread: what are the best marketing platforms, which channels should I dump money into, what do I need to say to gain attention, is there even a market for the idea…

The marketing of Happily Never After began a long, long time ago with the simple concept of be nice to other people. When you are nice to other people, they will work for you. Of course, social media is the most prominent and efficient way to spread ideas. I read an article last year that talked about the organized chaos that is #Twitter. Originally, #Twitter was thought to be a random outpouring of ideas; I #hashtag something random, and it randomly pools into another random conversation. However, after some research suggests that, while #Twitter is random, there is also some organization in the chaos that is based on our social network chain. I may #HappilyNeverAfter, but the network that is brought up is not random, but rather, an organized set of people who actually intersect with my network; I am not coming across JoeBob from some completely random place, but rather, because JoeBob is friends with one of my friends, and happened to #hashtag into the same conversation I did.

In order to spread the idea, I had to utilize all the places I gain social networking from: my job, my yoga studio, my alumni groups, my dance studio, my softball team, etc., because each of these groups inevitably reaches a separate set of people I cannot. So, I just thought of all the people I knew whose social membership existed outside of my own, and personally asked them to share my video. Magically, my video suddenly reached 11,000 views just by asking people to help me share the link, so I knew this method worked. For some reason, people won’t readily tell you that they saw your stuff posted all over social media. Perhaps its because the topic I am writing about is a social faux pas, and people don’t feel like they can ask me about it, OR they just don’t want to admit how much social media stalking they actually do. Whatever the case, I always make sure to ask people if they have seen my video, and if so, how they stumbled across it, because that gives me information for how the idea is spreading (as my older sister said, it is kind of like watching herpes spread, except there is no lasting, physical infection).

I also studied traffic trends on my blog. For example, I learned that views spike on Sunday and Monday nights (which makes sense because Sundays, people are generally home, preparing for the work week, and Mondays, people are generally at home, exhausted from the first day of their work week), thus, why I decided to make the official publishing date on a Sunday (but, also so that I could prayer partner at church). When I have a provocative post that I want to reach a large audience, I post it on Sunday or Monday nights, and if I have a post that has intrinsic meaning to me, but I don’t necessarily care if other people read it, I will post it on a Tuesday or Wednesday.

In addition, I studied which topics people most wanted to read about. I experimented with different kinds of posts: funny, witty, and sarcastic ones, deep, introspective ones. As it turns out, everyone wants to know your dirty secrets, and everyone wants to know about your relationships, so posts like I Hate Dating and I Hate Dating II were quite popular. If I had my way, I would write about political and cultural topics, such at Eurogeddon, Ebola, and the issues with Cecil the Lion, but, as the public demands, no one actually cares about those things, people would much rather read about my inner turmoils and relationship problems, and therefore, those must be the topics I write about in order to gain traffic. People LOVE gossip.

I also looked at the modes in which people were driven to my blog, and the kinds of search terms used. For example, approximately 500 people have stumbled to my blog with the search term “6 year relationship break up”, which means that there are a lot of people seeking help on this issue. Or, if you Google “Jana Kramer iTunes”, my blog actually comes up on the first page. Most popularly, people also stumble across my blog when they are looking for Lord of the Flies activities, Leave It to Beaver versus Modern Family, or prince charming (some other strange search terms include quote message for people who stick their nose in other people’s business, social experimants i can do to my mom, is it worth liking someone at 17…). This information helps me to title my posts. For example, because Jana Kramer sings to the same audience I am trying to reach, I made sure to include her lyrics in “My Connection to Jana Kramer’s New Song I Got the Boy“, so that, when this audience is Googling her song, hopefully they will also stumble across my blog, be impressed with my post, and click to read more, and eventually, purchase Happily Never After. One can only hope this is how it happens…

I also knew I had to brandize myself and determine what kind of ‘media personality’ I wanted to be. Writing for websites like OnMogul, TheHauteMess, Thought Catalog, and the upcoming URFab helped me to establish this persona of someone writing about issues plaguing the 20-Something female today, including these issues in relationships, as well as dieting and body image, and being a professional. This is why someone like #TaylorSwift is so popular; she has a brand, and everyone knows her brand. Luckily, I have some connections in marketing who could help me with this. I had to come up with a slogan for my brand. I had to come up with specific terms for my brand. And, I had to come up with a visual for my brand, which is why everything that is related to Britany Ederveen now has the same exact picture (and, lucky for me, my hair is not naturally straight, so hopefully I can still maintain some kind of privacy in the world). My hope is to over-stimulate people with this image. Even if they don’t necessarily run out and buy a copy right away, somewhere down the line, they might run into someone struggling with a breakup, or they might find themselves in that position, they will think of the image, think of the book, and buy it.

(Watch for my marketing plan on #Tinder this week)

…I always say my life will be complete when I get on an aeroplane, and the person sitting next to me is reading a copy of Happily Never After

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