Does your university have a scholarly press for book publishing? If so, make sure they know about the importance of video marketing to create a buzz on their titles. Many university presses post videos on YouTube to promote academic books they publish in academic journals, including some of the biggest players such as Harvard, Yale, and Oxford University Presses. The popularity of YouTube ensures that at least some of these videos will go viral, generating massive amounts of free publicity and author exposure. Promoting academic research using social medium is a trend among Researchers.
Video Marketing: Content
The most common video marketing tool is the author interview, in which the author talks about why he wrote the book, why the topic is important, and generally puts a human face on what may seem to be a dry subject. Author interviews of this sort are a staple of TV shows like Oprah and can help push a book out of the pack into best seller territory. Academic research titles don’t have to be “sexy” to attract viewers; Harvard mathematician Paul Lockhart garnered more than 20,000 views on a video about his book Measurement.
Video Marketing: Production
A good video needs to be produced by an experienced production team. Oxford University Press has by far the largest videos available for viewing, almost a thousand total produced by forty staff members working at least part time on video production. However, producing videos doesn’t necessarily require a large team. Five years ago Harvard sent their web content manager to a short course on video marketing and then began producing their own videos, using a handful of in house staff for filming and editing. They believe using their own personnel gives better results than outside professionals who don’t understand the differences between academic and popular publishing. Smaller presses such the University of Minnesota’s are starting the produce videos to promote books and the trend is sure to continue.
Most videos are intended to promote books, there is no reason why a groundbreaking journal article should not be publicized by a video, perhaps with visuals, animated or real, demonstrating the findings. This might be a good way to reach non-specialists and science students in college or high school who aren’t quite at a level to tackle the original article. I myself was interviewed a year ago for an article I wrote for Sky and Telescope magazine. I don’t know how many hits the interview received but the magazine must think this feature is beneficial since they routinely post these interviews on their web site. Publishing is an industry that is constantly changing and it is important not to miss out on any possible advantage when it comes to getting the word out about an author’s work.
For more information on video marketing of academic books see the following links: