Saturday, April 30, 2011

Social Saturday: Outside the Box Marketing

My husband rides for a professional cycling team here in town, and mentioned the other day that expired sponsors are about to come off the jersey for next year. For a spot on the back of a cyclist, he told me, it would cost about $300 for three years.

Seems like a reasonable fee for a sponsor, when you consider how often his friends bike (daily) and wear those jerseys (often). It got me thinking about some of the outside the box marketing efforts other authors I know have taken to promote their books. Over the years, I have done all sorts of things to get the word out: keychains, bookmarks, tea bags, and a variety of goofy knick-knacks. I've even bought into expensive magazine ads with little return. One author I know spends her entire budget on sponsoring bullriders to promote her cowboy romances, and claims to do quite well.

A bullring would be the last place I'd expect to find a romance author's ad, but if you think about it, her URL probably stands out among other "manly" advertisements and gets click-throughs out of curiosity. Of course, one can't say that women don't watch bull riding events - we're into NASCAR and wrestling, so why not?

Her approach has inspired me to think outside the box as well. My first thought, unfortunately, came too late. That was to buy Dead Barchetta shirts to give to people going to Rush shows. With the tour going to Europe, I don't know if I'd get any done in time, much less get volunteers to wear them. There are other concerts happening this summer, so I can still consider it. I don't know of any tribute bands that need a sponsor, but if you're in one you're more than welcome to contact me.

In the meantime, I might take Hubby's team up on the offer to sponsor them. At the very least it could mean sales there.

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