As we come to the end of summer, consumers are looking ahead to the holiday season, but the upcoming months are more than just pumpkins and holiday decorations. For brands, it’s a time to reflect on what has worked for their business’ content marketing strategy and determine what they need to change for the new year ahead.
As you begin creating your new content marketing plan, it’s the perfect time to expose some of the top industry secrets for successful email, blogging and social media strategies. Keep reading to find out what they are.
5 Email Content Marketing Secrets Exposed
It’s hard to believe that email marketing is frequently overlooked as a valuable content marketing tool for businesses with statistics like:
- You can earn an average return of $38 for every $1 you spend on an email marketing
- 72 percent of consumers prefer email as their main form of business communication
- Over 70% of mobile purchasing decisions are influenced by promotional emails
- Personalized emails receive transaction rates that are six times higher than others
Sending out an e-newsletter on a regular basis is very important for your company’s overall strategy. In fact, e-newsletters have a return on investment (ROI) of 122 percent. That’s huge! Ready to use email as part of your business’ content marketing strategy? Here are my top-secret insights to create a winning email marketing campaign.
- Make the Subject Line a Priority. This is probably one of the most important writing tips! A subject line can make or break your email’s success; in fact, almost a third of recipients open an e-newsletter based on just the subject line. Take the time to really think about the topic of your letter, what would make you want to open an email and incorporate words that boost open and click-through rates like:
Once you think you have a strong subject line, run it through a headline analyzer, like CoSchedule, to see how it scores. Make adjustments until you get the best possible subject line you can think of.
- Include Your Mobile Readers. Is your primary target ages 18-44? Email is the most common activity for smartphone users in this demographic, and the majority of decision-makers check their email from their mobile devices. It’s vital that your e-newsletters are easy to read and are pleasing to the eye on smartphones, tablets and computers.
- Keep it Easy to Digest. Speaking of keeping your e-newsletters easy to read, think about their length (this is one of those writing tips that applies to every area of marketing). Remember to keep each e-newsletter easy to digest. Instead of including 7 paragraphs about your latest product, put the details on your website so you can share the most exciting highlights and link to it from your newsletter.
- Stick to a Schedule. How often do you send your e-newsletter out? Although a daily distribution is probably too often, you don’t want subscribers to forget about you completely either. Create a schedule and stick to it. I recommend sending at least two distributions a month, making sure to send them approximately the same time every month.
- Analytics Are Your Friend. By actually taking the time to look at your open rates and click-throughs, you can determine the best day of the week to send your e-newsletter, in addition to what type of content readers are most interested in.
6 Blogging Content Marketing Secrets Exposed
A well-rounded content marketing strategy should also include blogging. As we’ve shared before, updating your business’ blog on a regular basis is incredibly valuable for making your organization visible online (see the statistics in this blog post). While blogging regularly is key, there are a few secrets that will take your blog to the next level; here are six of them.
- Quality and Consistency is More Important than Quantity. Even with a staff that can help you write blog posts, updating your website seven days a week requires a LOT of content creation. It’s better to only upload one post per week if you’re consistent – down to the same day of the week and time of day.
- Write for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) AND the Reader. SEO is important! But it’s also vital that you write your blog posts with people in mind, not Google’s algorithms.
- Share the Love. You’ve uploaded a post to your blog. Great! Now what? You can’t let your post sit there and hope that people will find it. You need to take an active approach to gain readers. Share the post on your social media pages, too. Depending on which networks you use, add a few relevant hashtags to make it more visible as well.
- Success Takes Time. Don’t be discouraged if your blog isn’t an instant success. It takes time to build a strong following. It can take 18 months to a year to build momentum and start seeing a noticeable return on investment, but if you are patient and diligent you will reap the rewards!
- Take Advantage of Your Email Lists. Yes, social media is a great way to share your blog posts, but so is your email newsletter! Your email lists are made up of readers that have opted-in to hear from you, so use it to your advantage. There are many ways you can use your blog posts on your newsletters including teasing an already published post on your site or giving recipients access to an article before it’s live on your main website. Test out different ways to share your blog posts over a few newsletters and see what resonates the best with your audience.
- Images and Formatting are Important, Too. As important as words are, the overall appearance of your website and the blog posts on it make a difference. Use high-res images, think about formatting and consider how your site appears to new visitors. This blogging secret should also include the length of your posts. Keep your blog interesting by including a mix of long (1,200-1,500 words) and short (500-800 word) posts which are easy to read and informative.
4 Social Media Content Marketing Secrets Exposed
Social media can be a powerful, cost-efficient tool. When developing a social media content marketing strategy it is natural that some mistakes will be made. However, using it the wrong way could have a big negative impact on your business. Here are four social media marketing secrets that will help you avoid making destructive mistakes.
- Learn about Your Customer Base. An important social media marketing strategy that some businesses miss is learning about who their customer base is. You can add people to your contact list and get Facebook fans and Twitter followers ‘till you’re blue in the face. However, if you don’t know who they are, those Facebook fans or Twitter followers are useless to your business. You need to make sure you’re engaging with your customer base. Find out who they are and what they’re interested in to convert those fans and followers into solid sales leads.
- Each Social Media Platform is Unique. One big mistake many businesses make in their social media content marketing strategy is treating all their social media networks the same. Each social media network is different, has its own language, customers and audience. It’s important to learn how people are communicating and sharing on each site.
Many businesses blast the same exact message at the same time across all their social media networks not realizing that this can come across as fake, impersonal or even spam-like. To avoid this, you need to be strategic when writing and posting. Make sure you are writing different status updates for each social media network. Also, make sure to learn a bit about how your fans and followers are responding to posts on your social media networks. What are people engaging with more? What times are you seeing the most activity? Once you learn these two things, you can better plan your social media updates so your business is getting the most out of every post.
- Make Sure Your Social Media Profiles Are Complete. One of the first things new users go to when they check out your social media network is your company’s bio. If you have nothing written in your “about” section or it’s missing your businesses’ location or website, you’re also missing out on a huge social media marketing opportunity. If visitors don’t know what your company does then why should they follow your social media network? Don’t assume people know who you are and what you do. Even big brand names make sure to have their about sections filled out in detail.
Bonus tip: Be creative! Try to make your “about” section intriguing, fun and engaging. If you’re writing your bio and it seems boring, then it is most likely boring to your Facebook fans too. Check out these two company bio sections for some inspiration: bareMinerals and Wendy’s.
- Focus on Quality, Not Quantity. Like newsletters and blogging, quality will always be more important than quantity. Many businesses are far too worried about the number of followers and fans they have, but that number doesn’t necessarily translate to sales. The truth is, your business needs to be more worried about the quality of your audience. It’s more valuable for your business to have a hundred highly engaged brand advocates than a thousand followers or fans that never engage with your brand. The goal is to build a strong community of loyal, lifelong consumers who will boast about your company to their friends and family.
With these email, blogging and social media secrets now at your fingertips, you’re ready to take to your content marketing strategy to the next level.