How Do You Find Ideal Readers for Your Comic?

gamalhennessy Community • Jul 28, 2020

We’re working on the digital marketing plan for the fictional comic Blood Bond.

We know what our story is about (See What is an Example of a Story Synopsis?).

We have a theoretical model of our ideal reader (See What is an Example of an Ideal Reader?).

We’ve even figured out how to find our competition for this comic (See What is an Example of Competition Analysis?).

Now we’ve reached the point where we can start to find and connect with ideal readers to create a market for our comic. This post will focus on finding your people using social media. The next one will discuss what you want to say and how you might think about saying it.

What Social Media Platform Should You Use?

There are currently seven major social media platforms available to the public. While you could use all of them, you only have so much time to devote to digital marketing (remember, only 5-20% of the time you spend on your comic should be devoted to marketing) and some platforms make more sense than others. The question is, how do you pick the right one for your comic?

Meredith Nudo, comic book editor and social media manager advises independent publishers to stick to the social media platforms they’re already comfortable with because the benefits you might gain from using a platform you dislike isn’t worth the added time and stress.

In addition to personal preference, the visual nature of the platform should be taken into account because comics rely heavily on art to tell stories. Finally, consider what types of posts you’re likely to be using and how easy they will be to post and share on each platform. Most platforms are agnostic in terms of the ability to display promo pieces, videos, contests, surveys, and other content, but you might find some platforms work better than others.

How Can Social Media Help You Find Ideal Readers?

One of the main benefits of social media is their ability to offer narrow and specific filter bubbles of curated reality. While these self-selected silos of information might not be beneficial to the public discourse in terms of politics or government, it can help your potential readers make decisions about how they want to spend their entertainment time and money. To show how these filter bubbles might work, let’s use Blood Bond and Facebook to try and build an ideal market.

One of the most useful filter bubbles for digital marketing on Facebook are the Facebook Groups, which are places for people to share their common interests and express their opinion. Some groups are closed or even secret, but there are plenty of public groups that you can join with just one click. If I took the major genre elements of Blood Bond, which are vampires and crime, and searched in public groups on Facebook, I would find dozens of relevant groups focusing on everything from vampire cosplay to vampire movies to vampire video games. Each group could have several hundred to a few thousand people. All these people are defined as my potential market, because they might have interest in my message if not the medium of comics (See How Do You Grow Your Target Market?) If I joined two or three dozen groups for the digital marketing of Blood Bond, I might be able to identify twenty or thirty thousand vampire fans who might want to read my comic.

Now keep in mind, this does not mean you are going to convert these all thirty thousand group members into avid readers. Because joining a group is so easy, the same person might be a member of multiple groups, which will reduce the overall number of people you reach. Some of the members of the group might be inactive, or bots, or no longer interested in vampire crime. There are also the historical barriers to market growth that comics have faced since the 1950s (See What Factors Limit Growth in Comic Book Readers?). Several analysts in the startup space advise new businesses to assume they can grab no more than 1-5% of a market to start out.

But building a marketing relationship with 1,000 engaged ideal readers makes more sense than trying to sell your comic to your family and random Facebook friends who might not have any interest in the story you’re telling. The process can be repeated with as many social media sites as you like, creating a target market that goes beyond a single platform.

Now that we’ve found the people to talk to about Blood Bond, we’ll talk about what we want to say to them in the next post.

Have fun with your comic.