Marketing in real life

Between the trees by subadei, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License  by  subadei 

In my last post I mentioned that I wanted to read more about the work of librarianship – the on-the-ground, day-to-day, how-do-you-do-that kinds of stuff. If that’s what I want to read, then that’s probably what I should write. So, as a follow up to gaining confidence in marketing, here’s what the campaign to get the word out about OverDrive looks like in my library.

Firstly, I skimmed through portions of Brian Mathew’s book Marketing Today’s Academic Library: A Bold New Approach to Communicating with Students. I’d read it cover-to-cover before, but Chapter 8 Promotional Building Blocks was particularly helpful in identifying the different avenues I might choose for this project. Then, I familiarized myself with OverDrive’s self-produced marketing materials.

I made a list of the different places I wanted my message to appear and then assigned those places to particular weeks in the semester. So, for example:

Week 1

  • The Thinker (our monthly bathroom newsletter.)
  • Bookmarks and Getting Started guides next to circulation
  • Image to library webpage carousel

Week 2

  • Directed emails to campus community
  • Table tents. I used the other side of the table tent to promote another program. Waste not, want not.
  • Library news feed blog. Appears on the library webpage and also on Facebook.

Week 3

  • Facebook

For all of these things, I either directly used the materials provided by OverDrive or slightly modified them while still using the same imagery and language in order to preserve recognition. Having access to OverDrive’s materials made things much less time consuming than it could have been. I did have to design the table tents on my own, which, as with any formatting challenge, took longer than anticipated. I made a simple two-sided, tall triangle out of regular printer paper. Next time, I’ll look into doing a three-sided, round-ish table tent and possibly use cardstock. The ones I made for this are pretty flimsy.

I could have kept going, printing flyers and large posters, etc. but I don’t want to overwhelm the community with the message. Plus, I’ll be promoting other services and programs over the course of the semester and I don’t want to exhaust my allies. I’ve planted the seeds, and I’ll check in regularly with our statistics to see what’s happening. Throughout the semester, I might post book suggestions to our Facebook page, and I’ll make sure to refresh the message for the summer travel season.

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