The Dos and Don’ts of Social Media Marketing

Using social media for marketing purposes is a trend that isn’t going away anytime soon. In fact, year after year, global social ad spending is increasing: From 2014 to 2016, spending for social media marketing nearly doubled: from $16 billion in 2014 to $31 billion in 2016.

70% of people in North America use social media daily, and they are using social media more time each day than they spend watching television. This all means that using social media to market your company really is a worthwhile investment.

When done correctly, using various social media accounts can help you develop deeper personal relationships with your customers. It also can quickly spread the word about promotions, values, and deals, create a stronger brand persona, and increase brand engagement. But what does it mean to do social media “correctly?”

Using social media to promote your business is different than using your personal Facebook account to share pictures of your kids on the first day of school. It requires finesse, and a thorough understanding of what your customers are looking for. There are countless ways to use social media to connect with your audience; some better than others. Let’s explore some of the best (and worst) social media practices.

Do Remember the Best Times to Post

Just the timing of your posting can be an art in itself. Think about the people who you follow, or the people on your friends list who post everything they do, all day long.

Not always great, right? You want to be selective about what, when, and how frequently you post, so you aren’t inundating your followers with too many posts. Also, be sure you are posting when the most people will actually see your content.

There are varying recommendations on when is the best time to post to your company’s social media pages. Hootsuite says that between 9:00 and 12:00 AM early in the week is a great time to post. Hubspot suggests posting around 9:00 AM for Facebook and Twitter, and around 5:00 PM for Instagram. There’s lots of data out there suggesting when is the most effective time to post.

Do your research and then see what times work best for you. When do you get the best results from a post?

You don’t have to stick hard and fast to this rule. If you have breaking news, you should share it right away. And you can certainly post during a time of day that isn’t considered a “peak” time. Eventually, you’ll start to learn the best time to interact with your audience and have a better sense of when you have better results.

Don’t Ignore One (or Any) of Your Accounts

Have you started multiple accounts on multiple social media platforms to “keep up with the times?” If all you’ve done is start an account, but you haven’t done much of anything else with it, not only is it not serving your brand, it could actually harm your reputation.

For example, if a potential client attempts to contact your company with a question via an ignored social media account, you could leave them feeling abandoned and without an answer. Or, a visitor to your abandoned Instagram account may feel like you’re not approachable or not current.

If cyber tumbleweeds are rolling through the main street of your account, it’s doing nothing to positively represent your brand and may give your brand the appearance of inaction, inattention, or neglect. Not good.

Instead:

Only sign up for as many accounts as you can reliably handle, and when you post on one account, post something on all your accounts. Automation apps and software can help you do this.

Too busy for Twitter, or not interested in regularly posting videos or updates to Snapchat? That’s absolutely okay. If you have a good grasp on just one or two social media platforms, that’s great! Take on whatever it is you can manage well, and your followers and clients will see your social media accounts as an additional way to consistently interact with and learn about your brand.

Do Use Various Kinds of Media

Just like the way you don’t publish text-only blog posts (because that would be boring), you also want to vary the kinds of ways you are delivering information to your audience. With just a smartphone, a video editing app, and a YouTube account, you can create videos to share on your various social media platforms.

There are tools available all over the internet to create your own shareable infographics and even more information out there on how to make a great one. You can also share photos and short videos on Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, or even “go live” to make an announcement, share information about a sale or promotion. In fact, 82% of people prefer a live stream from a brand to social posts, and 80% of people prefer a live video to a blog post.

Also, 62% of audiences are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video. You can’t ignore the fact that video, especially live streaming, is highly effective.

Think of it like creating a really delicious tossed salad: The more quality ingredients you include, the more interesting and delicious your salad can be. The more varied your posts, the more captivating they will be for your customers.

Don’t Ignore Comments or Questions

Social media is supposed to be just that: Social. Your followers and customers are going to want to use social media to engage with you. You will notice an influx of questions and comments in the hours, and even days, following a post, and you have to know how to handle them.

If you receive an overwhelming response from the community on one particular post, that can be stressful. Do you have to respond to every single comment? The answer is “no.” Replying to every comment is not only time consuming, but unnecessary. But there are times you should definitely respond.

Sometimes, followers will use your accounts to ask questions. And sometimes you may end up with a negative review. These questions and reviews are opportunities, and you can’t ignore them. Responding to a negative review or comment is a great way to engage with a dissatisfied customer and turn around their impression of your brand.

And answering questions engages with audience members who are looking for assistance, and lets them know that your company cares about helping their clients.

Instead:

Take a second to cool down before you respond to a negative comment – you can’t fight fire with fire. Search for the true intent or real frustration behind the words in their post, and thoughtfully, authentically respond to try and help right the situation.

You can even invite a dissatisfied client to contact you directly. This is a great opportunity to mend your working relationship, and model your outstanding customer service to any other followers who have noticed the negative comment.

Do Offer Solutions

One of the best ways to engage with your audience is to help them solve an existing problem. If you’ve done your research about your buyer persona, you probably already have a decent idea of the problems many of your customers are hoping to solve. So how can you solve them?

Your social media posts can be a great opportunity to present easy, clickable solutions to solve your audience’s problems.

Don’t Forget to Include Links

You must include links to a landing page, a blog page, a page to shop, a contact us page – or anything specific that will get your followers over to your website. Your goal on social media is to connect with your followers, but it’s also to convert followers to customers!

The best way to help them do that? Include links in your posts to your website so they know where to go, and so it’s easy to get there.

If a customer has to loop back to your bio or search for a link, you’ll lose them. One great way to make a link easy?

Try the “swipe up” feature on your Instagram story. Hubspot claims that Instagram stories have accounted for an increase of 10 additional minutes that people spend on the app. But this doesn’t mean anything if they can’t get to your website! If you have 10,000 or more followers already, adding a “swipe up” should be easy to do.

Don’t have quite that many followers yet? Here are a few ways to link via Instagram if they haven’t given you the magical “swipe up” feature just yet.

Do Make It (Somewhat) Personal

Your social media accounts are a great way for your followers and customers to get to know your company better. With this being said, you should consider your online tone of voice, and how it matches your brand’s mission.

Sparknotes is a great example of this. Because they cater to students, their social media posts involve a lot of fun and funny memes to increase engagement. Their posting style and sense of humor match that of their audience.

But why does this humor-based marketing work for them? Because it matches their “buyer persona,” and it’s authentic to Sparknotes and to their followers. If your company’s tone of voice doesn’t fit this style, it won’t ring true with your audience. Find what works for you: Empowering, motivational posts, humorous posts, news-based posts. Whatever it is that matches your brand, that what you should go with.

You can also use your social media accounts to introduce your audience to your team. Try an Instagram takeover from a dynamic employee during a promotion, or spotlight a team member’s exceptional work on your accounts. Let your customers in and let them get to know you.

Social media can be a fantastic tool that can further connect existing customers to your brand, and help you find new customers in the process -if you do it right. The main “Do?” Be authentic. We all spend so much time on social media that we can tell when a person or brand is trying too hard to create an online presence that isn’t authentic to who they are.

So if you use your social media accounts to show off your brand’s “true self,” and you’re smart about the kind of content you share, you can’t go wrong.

Written by Ashley Hill for Business2Community and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@getmatcha.com.

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3 Questions About Successful Content Marketing

Recently, a woman in a business forum I belong to asked three very important questions about content marketing. I answered them for her there, and then asked her permission to share the questions and my answers for you here because I think these are the kinds of universal questions many business owners have, but may struggle to articulate — or be afraid to ask.

1) How do you create a content strategy that is deep, meaningful and helpful that doesn’t add to the noise?

This requires some deep, meaningful soul searching. We’re looking for the intersection between

a) your brand values,
b) your customer’s values and
c) industry trends and data (eg: what’s popular and converting right now).

Finding THAT sweet spot is how you create content that transcends the noise and speaks to your exact person.

This is what I’m calling leadership marketing; leadership, because it requires stepping away from the template, the blueprint, the formula, the swipe file and creating something new. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but we do need to combine the different elements of marketing available to us in a unique way that finds the sweet spot for our business, our customers, and ourselves.

I have a three step process I lead people through to try to find that sweet spot that starts with understanding your big WHY as it relates to your business; trying to understand your customer’s wants, needs, and values; and examining your data to help locate that sweet spot for you.

All of this has to happen before we brainstorm topics, or choose which channels to focus on, or decide if you should start a podcast or stop doing video blogs… Identifying your leadership marketing sweet spot is the first and most important step.

2) How do you create multiple forms of content (text, audio, video) without burning out?

Repurpose, reuse, recycle. I refer to this as the “hub and spoke” model of content creation. Every time you create a big juicy “hub” piece of content (a blog post, a video, a podcast episode, etc.) there should be many smaller “spoke” pieces of content that you use on your different channels to direct people back to the main hub content.

To make this work easily, efficiently, and effectively, you’ve GOT to have a plan. The hub content has to be specifically chosen to have the most impact for your business and your clients right now, and then you have to have a plan for how you’re going to create all that spoke content.

For example, I met a woman recently who produces one video for her business each month on a topic that she chooses based on what she wants to sell. Then, her team takes that video and creates at least 30 pieces of “spoke” content from it: quote graphics for instagram, excerpts from the transcript for Facebook, video clips, tips, audio clips, still images, etc. Those pieces of spoke content go out to all her social media channels over the course of the month, and they all point back to the video, which in turn has a strong call to action to either get on her email list or buy her product.

The only way to make this sort of plan work is to have a strong Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for creating that spoke content and then, when you’re ready, you can outsource a lot of the associated tasks. Which brings us to…

3) How do you maintain an online presence without getting distracted from the core of the business (which is to transform people’s lives)?

This is really the crux of the issue, isn’t it? How do we balance the time and effort that goes into marketing our business with the time and effort that goes into actually doing the work, serving clients, transforming lives?

In some seasons of business, it’s tempting to spend all our time just serving clients, because that’s where the transformation happens. It’s satisfying to do the work in a way that marketing isn’t. There’s often a clear beginning and end point to the actual work we do, whereas marketing seems to go on forever.

Plus, when we’re flush with clients, marketing seems less important. It falls to the “important, but not urgent” quadrant of our to do list, and other tasks start winning out when we have to make a choice about how to spend our time.

But here’s the thing: if you don’t invest in your marketing, you won’t reach as many people as you could, which means you won’t be able to impact as many people as you might otherwise be capable of. The other reality is that if you’re not marketing when you’re busy, you won’t have the leads to tap when you’re not. (I’m speaking from experience!)

That means we have to find a way to prioritize marketing, even when it doesn’t feel urgent, even when it feels like a distraction from the real work — or we will find ourselves struggling in the future when the “real” work dries up.

The answer for most business owners is: you do it until you don’t have to. Meaning, you have to be the one to create the content until you are ready to invest in someone to do part (like a VA) or all of it for you (like my agency).

Depending on where you are in your business, you may need to create a minimum viable marketing plan, asking yourself, what is the minimum useful amount of marketing I can commit to in this stage of my business.

Once you are a bit further along in business, you can outsource some of the tasks to free you up to the things only you can do, like creating new thought leadership or shooting videos. Eventually, you may want to outsource the bulk of your content so that you can focus on serving clients, creating new product ideas, or just being the CEO.

It’s all a balancing act: time versus money. Whichever you have more of is the one you use to invest. When you’re just starting out, maybe you don’t have money to invest, so you must find a way to invest your time in doing your own marketing. As you grow, your time becomes more and more of a premium, and you can afford to invest some money in getting help.

But no matter where you are in your entrepreneurial journey, you cannot afford to ignore your marketing; you must find a way to invest in it — even minimally — if you hope to continue to grow.

Written by Lacy Boggs for Business2Community and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@getmatcha.com.

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Digital Marketing vs. Content Marketing: What You Need to Know

Modern marketing has undergone an evolution, and you’ve most likely come across common terminologies such as “digital marketing” and “content marketing.” Businesses use both types to share news, products and stories, and to promote their brand and engage with their audience. These marketing strategies often intermingle, and it can be confusing to know what the differences are between the two.

In this article, I’ll breakdown the components of both content marketing and digital marketing.

Digital Marketing vs. Content Marketing

Websites, blogging, and social media advertising are all part of digital marketing.

What is Digital Marketing?

The introduction of the personal computer ushered us into the digital age. More than four decades later, we have a plethora of digital devices at our fingertips. With that in mind, it shouldn’t be surprising that digital marketing covers a wide range of tools and tactics designed to create brand awareness and name recognition for brands.

Digital marketing includes:

  1. Websites
  2. Blogging
  3. Guest Blogging
  4. Search Engine Optimization
  5. Search Engine Marketing
  6. Social Media Marketing
  7. Social Media Advertising
  8. Other Online Advertising
  9. Email Marketing
  10. Video Marketing
  11. Influencer Marketing
  12. Infographic Creation & Promotion
  13. Podcasting
  14. Webinars
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Blogs can increase inbound marketing and SEO.

Websites, Blogging and SEO

Websites are one of the most popular ways to showcase products or services and create brand awareness for your target audience. For the consumer, a website is a vital source of information and helps them make decisions about purchasing your products and services; it also provides pertinent information or reviews.

A blog is a collection of written articles about products, services and other helpful and interesting information that’s related to your business; it is part of many websites. Blog articles are usually conversational in style, informative, and can describe a service, experience, or share tips, tricks and other insights. Both B2C and B2B marketing use blogging, and in Hubspot’s Marketing Statistics for 2018, research showed that 55% of marketers defined blogging as their most important inbound marketing channel.

Blogging can help a brand establish a successful digital marketing campaign in several ways. One of the long-term benefits is that it creates more written materials to support a brand, product or service. In return, this creates more indexed pages on a company’s website. Together, they boost visibility for search engine optimization, also known as SEO.

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SEO driven websites provide more data for search engines.

Search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing, use an algorithm to sort through all the information on the web. SEO helps them find and show the most relevant information on the searched topic. Websites that are SEO driven contain blogs or pages with researched keywords, titles with

keywords, links to relevant websites with high domain authorities, optimized pages for quick loading, and social sharing buttons.

Another tremendous benefit to blogging regularly is that it will help establish the principal(s) in your company as a thought leader. By sharing your expertise, you and your business can become the go-to resources for people seeking information in the subject areas you specialize in.

Guest blogging is another digital marketing method and benefits the owner of the blog as well as the guest blogger. As an example, a business might have the goal to increase their website traffic through blogging. Featuring an article by a guest blogger with expertise in a relevant area related to your organization gives the company’s target audience another resource to read, adding value and assisting the customer’s decision-making process. On the flip side, the guest blogger whose article appears on your company blog has a platform to share their skills or knowledge, and attract new followers.

Many companies will approach other blogs that write about industry-related topics and see if they can author an original post on that website. It’s another excellent way to gain visibility and also provides a backlink to your company website, which is great for your business’ search engine optimization.

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Search Engine Marketing uses targeted keywords on search engines like Google and Bing.

Search Engine Marketing

In addition to providing organic search results, search engines offer paid advertising called search engine marketing, or SEM. This advertising uses targeted keywords, and when a user inputs a search term into Google, Yahoo or Bing they will be usually be shown a relevant ad at the top of the results. Most online ads work on a pay-per-click basis, which means the advertiser is charged every time someone clicks on their advertisement.

Social Media Marketing

Wordstream states that social media marketing “Involves creating and sharing content on social media networks in order to achieve your marketing and branding goals.”

This type of digital marketing encompasses all the ways you can create social media campaigns with organic posts, images and videos on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter.

The keys to success when it comes to organic (free) social media marketing include:

  • Posting a wide variety of content (graphics, videos, articles, memes, quotes, etc.) designed to appeal to your target audience
  • Following the 80/20 Rule (only posting 20% self-promotional content; the other 80%, designed to arouse interest, can be related to your company’s industry)
  • Posting consistently at optimal times of day
  • Posting frequently as appropriate per platform
  • Using hashtags strategically and as per best practices for each platform
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When advertising on social media, choose a platform based on your target audience.

Social Media Advertising

Besides organic posting options which are free, all the social media platforms have pay-per-click advertising options to fit a wide range of budgets, along with opportunities to boost content to further your company’s reach. They’re an incredibly valuable tactic to include in your digital marketing strategy.

Social media advertising specifically refers to paid ads posted on social media platforms including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube. The platform chosen is based on the advertiser’s target audience.

Regardless of the chosen platform, the elements of a successful campaign include a strategy with a specific goal or mission, a researched target audience and appealing content. Once a campaign kicks off, reviewing the data and making adjustments to the ad creative and/or targeting will help keep a campaign on track.

The cost of search engine marketing and social media advertising varies by platform, and price models are based on the action the user takes. Common terms related to these digital marketing tactics are:

  • PPC – Pay Per Click
  • PPV – Pay Per View
  • CPV – Cost Per View
  • CPA – Cost Per Action
  • PPA – Pay Per Action
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While creating your digital marketing campaign review your audience demographics to refine your strategy.

Most social media platforms have specific requirements for the ad creative in regards to size of graphics, length of videos and text that can be included. When preparing to create an ad campaign, it’s important to not only keep these things in mind, but also consider where people who click on your ads will be directed. It’s strongly recommended that you create a unique, compelling landing page that includes information specifically related to your ad, as well as strong calls to action (CTAs).

Before you run your ads, it’s important to make sure your targeting is spot on. Targeting options vary from platform to platform, but they can include a wide range of demographics to choose from including age, gender, household income, geographic location, lifestyle factors, job titles and much more.

Depending on the platform you’re using, there may also be options like using a customer list to reach them with your ads, retargeting those that visited your website or focusing on users similar to those that already follow and engage with your brand.

Email, Video and Influencer Marketing

Research shows that email marketing is consistently one of the top choices for digital marketing and has a higher ROI when compared to other platforms. Why? An email list consists of subscribers who have signed up to receive news about your brand, service or product. MailChimp and Constant Contact are popular customer relationship management systems, and email marketing on those platforms is free or low-cost until a certain number of subscribers are reached, at which point the fees increase.

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Video and influencer marketing can significantly drive traffic to your website.

Video marketing is another useful tool and, “One study shows that potential customers are 85% more likely to buy a product after viewing a product video.” Users are very responsive to videos on multiple social media platforms. The most popular video platform is YouTube, which has more than a billion users and is actually the second most popular search engine right behind Google. Plus, “More than 500 million hours of videos are watched” each day. One of the keys to creating a successful video marketing campaign is to stay authentic to your brand and use SEO keywords.

Influencer marketing is a collaborative digital marketing style between the business or a brand and a person who has a strong connection to their target audience, hence an influencer. Instead of paying for advertising the influencer is paid to share an honest review of a product, service or destination. Followers trust their influencer, and the information they share can drive traffic to a business’ website.

Infographics, Podcasting and Webinars

Visuals can boost post engagement ‒ producing a 650% higher engagement rate, according to Inc. An infographic takes data and statistics and conveys them in a visually digestible format. Infographics can be shared on social media as well as in blog articles or elsewhere on a company’s website.

Podcasting allows businesses or brands to share content through digital audio files. An advantage of creating a podcast is that your audience can listen at a time of their choosing, and with devices like iPods and MP3 players they can tune in on the go. There are several ways to produce podcasts including various apps like Chirp, available in the Apple app store, or on internet hosting networks.

Webinars share educational content or expertise in a live streaming video that may include slideshow presentations and guest speakers. Viewers can sign in from anywhere in the world, and during the lecture, there are opportunities to interact with the host and ask questions.

Content Marketing text with symbols.
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Content marketing focuses on creating content for a particular audience.

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing fits under the umbrella of digital marketing, but it is different in that it refers to creating specific types of content to reach a particular target audience. The types of content you create can include blog articles, social media posts, graphics, podcasts and videos.

Before you go through the process of developing content, be sure to create a strategy using best practices. This includes defining and staying authentic to your brand’s voice, developing an editorial calendar, researching keywords and hashtags, learning to write for SEO, creating backlinks to your website and more.

Analyze Your Content & Digital Marketing Data

Whether you are using digital marketing or a more strategic content marketing tactic, it is crucial to analyze your metrics and make adjustments as needed. Without this step, you will never know what strategies are working.

Content or Digital Marketing: Which is Best For Your Business?

Determining what digital marketing and/or content marketing strategy and tactics are best for your business and your budget can be a challenge. If you need assistance, we love helping clients to build on their goals to create brand awareness through blogging, social media, emailing marketing and more!

Written by Lara Dunning for Business2Community and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@getmatcha.com.

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How Content Marketing Can Fuel Your Email Marketing

You run into a lot of marketing purists these days. Each one swears their preferred channel is the ultimate solution for driving traffic, engaging audiences, and boosting ROI. With so many digital marketing channels to choose from, it sometimes feels easier to focus your efforts on one single strategy and brush aside other platforms.

The truth is, your audience is probably spread out across multiple channels and platforms. Maybe they scroll through Facebook to catch up with friends before hopping over to Reddit. They might browse Instagram for a while when they need a palate cleanser between checking emails.

The people you want to reach have integrated their online browsing. If you haven’t integrated your marketing efforts, you’ll have a hard time relating and communicating with them.

In this post, we’ll explain why you should integrate your content marketing blog and email marketing efforts. We’ll also provide some content marketing examples and tips so you can develop a customized strategy for your brand.

What makes an amazing content marketing blog?

Every brand requires a unique content strategy to reach their specific goals. Some companies want more exposure and brand recognition, some want to make their company appealing to investors, and still, others want to get right down to selling products.

Regardless of your industry and business, your content efforts should accomplish a few specific tasks:

Content marketing shows up in the right place, at the right time.

The “right place” and “right time” will vary depending on where your audience spends their time. It could also depend on trending topics.

If you’re a lawyer, for instance, and there’s a big news story circulating that relates to civil rights, you’d want to quickly publish a thought-leadership blog and get it out to your audience as soon as possible.

To hit that sweet spot of getting your content where you want it when you want it there, you’ll need a thorough understanding of your audience. Or, if you’re just getting started, your ideal future audience.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does your audience look for advice on Reddit?
  • Does your spend most of their time reading about industry news on LinkedIn?
  • How often does your audience check their email?
  • Which questions are they typing into their Google search bar?

This will help ensure that the right people see your content and will fall in love with your brand.

Content marketing should answer questions your readers are searching for.

You already know that you want to create a content marketing blog offering relevant and valuable information that resonates with your target audience. But how?

Here’s the answer: You need to answer questions your readers are searching for.

As you conduct your keyword research, think about the thought process of your ideal audience. Are they asking a specific question? Trying to learn more about a general topic? Searching for a product to purchase?

Once you’ve got this figured out, you can better anticipate what kind of content your audience wants to read.

For some inspiration, try the following.

  • Type your focus keyword into Google. Look at the suggested searches and questions Google provides based on user activity.
  • Staying on the first page, check out some of the top-ranking pieces. Do they contain outdated statistics? Are they missing anything important?
  • Browse the comment sections and Reddit communities on different blog posts relating to the topic you want to write about. Collect questions users have and answer them in your blog posts.

These tips will put you in your readers’ shoes so you can think three steps ahead.

Content marketing helps propel your brand’s story and demonstrates authority.

What are some qualities customers in your industry look for in a brand? Imagine you’re creating an online dating profile for your company. What would it say?

Maybe trustworthiness or transparency form an integral part of your brand’s values. Perhaps customers in your industry want to deal with real humans when they communicate or look for help. Maybe they need an absolute expert who can anticipate their needs.

Content marketing can express your core values and solidify your brand as an authority in your field.

7 ways to integrate your content marketing with email marketing for maximum effect

Email is the perfect platform to start expanding your content marketing efforts. Working hand-in-hand, your content marketing and email campaigns can fuel each other, increase sharing, and expand your reach.

These tips are the perfect place to start in order to give your content marketing a boost.

1. Segment your email subscriber list.

Breaking up your subscriber list into multiple segments based on location, age, gender, behavior, and interests is an excellent first step in integrating your email and content marketing. You can also form more advanced segments, such as separating your customers by the type of content they like, either by providing them with a preference center or through advanced analytics.

Smart segments will help you provide personalized content for your audience. That way, you know your audience only receives the content they actually want.

According to research, segmented emails deliver 760% more revenue than traditional campaigns. By segmenting your list, you can provide readers with extremely relevant blog posts, products, and other content most likely to resonate with them.

2. Send email surveys about subscribers’ content preferences.

If you’re unsure about what your subscribers want, just reach out and ask them. Sending out a welcome email is a great way to break the ice and start off on a good foot with new subscribers.

Ask new subscribers what type of content they’d like to receive. Have them choose how often to receive your emails and you’ll see a definite drop in your unsubscribes. This will help your readers feel in control of the relationship and help you provide them with relevant content.

This welcome email from Refined immediately asks the subscriber for her preferences to provide her with relevant content:

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3. Encourage subscribers to share your content on social media.

Sending out your content to your engaged email subscribers is crucial for getting your blog in front of as many eyes as possible.

The more people who see your post, the more likely it will get shared on various social channels. And when your subscribers—people who are already dedicated fans of your brand—share with their friends, these friends are more likely to join your list and become dedicated fans as well.

Integrate your efforts further by including social share buttons inside your email campaigns. Consider even sending an email that directly asks people to share your content with their friends.

4. Maintain a consistent brand voice throughout all your content.

Wouldn’t it be confusing if you received an email from a health food company filled with witty and comedic copy but when you clicked over to their blog, the tone switched to professional and dry? Something wouldn’t feel right.

If you truly want your message to resonate with readers, you need to ensure your brand’s voice remains consistent across platforms and throughout everything you create. Even though you might need to switch up your exact words to fit the platform you’re on, overall, your tone should feel similar from email to email, post to post, regardless of where your audience is coming from.

This means that your blog, website landing pages, and email copy need to sound like the same person wrote them.

5. Build brand loyalty and trust.

According to 2012 research, 77% of people preferred email marketing over other permission-based advertising methods like Facebook. Although the study is old, user trust in Facebook and social media has drastically declined and continues to plummet today.

Email marketing produces such great results because your subscribers have voluntarily provided you with their email addresses. They want to hear from you and they can choose to stop hearing from you at any time.

By communicating with transparency and keeping your subscriber list in the loop, you’ll build brand loyalty and trust. Plus, by setting expectations and sticking to them, you show that you respect your customers’ privacy.

6. Bulk-up your subscriber list.

Your blog is prime real estate for promoting your email marketing. If readers like what they see on your blog because you’ve provided valuable content, they will feel compelled to hand over their email address. If you constantly provide them with high-value content, they’ll assume you’ll only send high-value content to their inbox as well.

In order to capitalize on your reader’s interest, be sure to use special widgets and plugins to seamlessly merge subscribing to your email list into your blog pages and posts.

With the right data analysis, you can also track exactly where your subscribers join your list. Was it your article about healthy dog food that sparked their interest or posts suggesting hikes through upstate New York? This information will help you realize what content performs the best and promotes engagement. You’ll then be able to offer even more of your most powerful content.

In this example, Thrive Market casually includes a widget to sign up for their newsletter directly in their main blog page.

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7. A/B test different content topics.

Do you have a few super long-form pieces of cornerstone content? Maybe you just got a new product line you want to promote across various digital channels. If something performs well in an email with your most engaged followers, you can feel confident boosting the same content on Facebook and social media.

The average click-through rate for a Facebook ad is just 0.9% with an average cost-per-click of $1.72. While these figures are bleak, A/B testing content with your subscriber list first can help you get the most bang for your buck on social media.

Wrap up

Marketers today would be foolish to devote 100% of their time and effort to a single channel. Your audience has an integrated browsing strategy so you should also integrate your digital marketing strategy if you want to reach them.

Your content marketing blog posts and email campaigns make an excellent starting point. Merging your efforts here gives you the opportunity to develop a brand voice and create niche content before branching out to other channels.

Written by Lane Harbin for Business2Community and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@getmatcha.com.

Featured image provided by Mahkeo