Engage people, market your event and have a great Libraries Week!
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Libraries Week takes place between the 8–13 October to celebrate the nation’s much-loved libraries. This October, we want libraries to showcase how they bring communities together, combat loneliness, provide a space for reading and creativity and support people with their mental health and wellbeing. We want people to come together with their community to feel good in the library and go away with an experience that they will want to share with others. Make the most of the opportunity to market your library to help more people discover the wellbeing services you have to offer.
This short guide provides tips on how your library can make the most of Libraries Week 2018.
1. Target your marketing
- Be clear about who you want to reach with your marketing.
- Identify what you know about your target audience including what they’re interested in, what values they hold, what media they use and places they visit.
- Ideally understand their attitudes to libraries and their needs that you can meet.
- Identify how you can reach the audience you have including what contact data you have.
- Develop your offer, messages and presentation to appeal to your audience.
- Deliver your messages, monitor results, repeat messages and adjust as needed.
2. Build digital into your marketing
Talking to your audiences relies very much on being part of the community – both on and offline. There are so many good reasons to promote your activities online.
Online channels let your library have a visible and continuous presence in your community.
You can readily keep in touch with your users and get in front of new audiences; or engage directly with the people you really want to interest, such as local politicians, journalists etc.
Creating your own simple designs and marketing events online can be quick and free.
But above all, so many people rely on their devices to make plans and keep up with what’s happening.
3. But, don’t forget about traditional media!
With Libraries Week branding, templates and freely available tools it should be quick and easy to create high quality printed materials. Digital print companies deliver materials quickly and at relatively low cost.
- A Libraries Week promotional display outside your library or in the windows.
- Posters and flyers in local bookshops, community centres, coffee shops, doctors’ surgeries or anywhere else your target audience visits.
- Handing out flyers on the street (as long as you have permission).
- Your organisation and the printed materials it produces, perhaps it prints a magazine and you could run an advert promoting your Libraries Week activities.
4. Have your own library channels
It’s worth taking care to develop your online presence. As well as your organisation’s own website it’s great if the library can be present on its own online channels, be it Facebook or Instagram pages, Twitter stream, a YouTube channel etc.
Event posting and blogging platforms are another great way to post your news and make your event discoverable online, and show up in other people’s news feeds. If you are regularly posting content and sharing links to your activity, you will more readily be found online – simple as that.
We’d encourage you to publish your Libraries Week events and share your information and activities as early as possible, so that you have time to promote and share the content.
Use the hashtag #librariesweek so that you are part of the bigger conversation in the lead-up to and during Libraries Week.
Share news and updates in the lead up to and after any events you’re organising e.g. post photos, tweet about speakers and more details of activities, publish a graphic or event flyer etc.
5. Use the right tone, good images and use video
Good visuals and an informal, conversational tone are key to standing out and getting people to engage on social media.
Showing your personality – and using good quality images and simple online tools to produce nice looking posts – is how you master social media and market to people in the process.
People expect to see good quality visually appealing adverts, images and content on the web and on social media.
If you don’t have a library of relevant, good quality images to use in your marketing, there are plenty places where you can find great photos and visuals that you can use under a creative commons license. You can try these:
- Flickr – use the advanced search & under ‘license type’ select the appropriate Creative Commons license for your needs
- Free to use library photos (Flickr group)
Use Libraries Week to generate images and videos for promotion during the week and for future marketing campaigns. We generally respond to people more than places in images and video – so make sure they include people and they showcase what you do in a positive and aspirational way.
6. Make good use of the library’s resources
No matter how big, small or resourced your library is, you have a gold mine of sources for pictures and content within the library and your community of users that you can use to create a real presence, show off what you do and engage people in your upcoming events.
It’s worth looking at how these library accounts combine images of the library collections, services, users, building and other assets with an easy tone to create interest in their news and special events:
- Orkney library on Twitter
- WCC_KC_HF healthinfo
- IOE Library on Twitter
- Leeds Libraries on Twitter
- Newcastle University Library on Facebook
- Bodelian Library on Instagram
7: Master a few simple web tools
You have so many ways to make an impact and produce high quality promotional material with free online publishing and design tools. Simple platforms to try include:
Canva: A great tool for bringing your campaign to life with the creation of banners posters and flyers made through a user friendly tool. The service provides you with a range of template sizes (eg banners for Twitter posts, A4 posters) as well as the option to create assets to your own custom sizes, bringing together text, photos and graphics. You can catch a tutorial aimed at beginners here.
WordPress, Blogger, Wix: A blog provides a place where you can tell your community what’s coming up, how they can get involved and hopefully develop a more longer term relationship with them. There’s a range of blogging services available that you will be able to get quickly online without worrying about making changes to your library’s website.
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram: Libraries need to be where your users are and its no secret that people are spending more time on these three platforms. Twitter is great for making announcements about what’s going on, Instagram is great for more visually led content and Facebook will reward you pushing out more interesting stories and images.
Twitter Moments: Now that Storify has shut down, Twitter Moments is probably the best tool to create a story by curating tweets. Make sure you promote your story to your followers and use #librariesweek.
Eventbrite: Eventbrite provides a user friendly solution if you want to run an event where you want to sell tickets or restrict numbers. The service is free to use for free events and there’s a relatively small charge for paid events.
Animoto: Video is becoming increasingly important on the web and Animoto provides you with a great tool for stitching your own photos and video clips together. This beginner’s guide will help get you started.
YouTube and Facebook Video: provide great solutions for sharing video content. YouTube provides embeddable links so that you can share your videos across a range of media whilst video content typically gets you higher engagement on Facebook than text and pictures.
8: Use the Libraries Week designs, branding & materials
We’d love if you marked Libraries Week by changing your Facebook or Twitter header to the Libraries Week design. (Canva is great for making your own if you prefer). You can also add a Libraries Week autosignature to your emails.
Encourage your users and followers to take part by downloading supporter materials and sharing their experience on the #librariesweek hashtag.
All of our graphics can be used and shared online and on social media.
Everything you need can be downloaded from the website.
9: Develop your audience
Do all you can to develop relationships with your audience by:
• Encouraging visitors to join the library, sign up to your email newsletter, attend an event and recommend the library to a friend.
• Encouraging social media followers to sign up to your email newsletter, to attend special events or visit the library.
• Identifying ways in which people can support i.e. by becoming a ‘friend of’ the library, by proving a quote or testimonial for your marketing, or contacting your local politicians or decision makers about the importance of the library.
8: You might be interested in these
- Libraries and social media: the activity is important, not the tool – Phil Bradley, 19 January 2015
- Marketing your library – Emerald Publishing
- CILIP PPRG Marketing Excellence Award winners
- Expert tips for marketing your library – Liber, 3 June 2013
- The library marketing toolkit, Facet Publishing
- Check out this free chapter online: Seven key concepts for marketing libraries
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