It’s time for the second to last entry in our Email Marketing series! Check out previous Email Marketing blogs in the Tips section.
What is Content Marketing?
Email Marketing, social marketing, video marketing…and now content marketing? Actually, all of the former can be the latter when used properly. Content marketing can be a real boon for small businesses–and yield great long term results for those who execute it wisely. If you’re a little fuzzy on what content marketing is, the Content Marketing Institute defines it as, “… a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
For businesses, the key reason to use content marketing is because it drives customer action. And the reason content marketing creates such great results from customers? Because they want to consume the relevant and valuable information you are marketing to them. Content marketing is one of the easiest ways to get customers engaged with your business–although it does require a more thoughtful and considered effort on the business’ part–but in the long term, consciously creating content that your customers want to consume can yield incredible results.
Top 3 Ways to Use Email for Content Marketing
As we mentioned above, any marketing medium can be used to distribute your content marketing to customers. It’s entirely up to you what channels you use to promote your business with–you know your customer’s taste in media and medium best. For this email focused blog, we’ll zero in on three tried and true ways to deliver content marketing through email.
Newsletters: One of the most cut and dried ways to send content to your customers, a weekly or monthly newsletter carries business news, promotions and other content that is relevant to your customers. The “other content” is entirely up to you–there’s no wrong way to do a newsletter–you can craft a monthly letter that is totally unique to your business that your customers look forward to opening.
Virtually Here’s main avenue for content marketing is our newsletter–we put in promotional and helpful educational content for our clients. The key word to remember in newsletter is letter–it really can be as simple as writing a personal update to your customers.
Onboarding: We discussed Welcome emails and Autoresponder series previously; both are essential components of an onboarding series. Onboarding emails are sent to a customer when they first sign up for your email list. For example, a health coach might have a short welcoming series focused on incorporating basic nutrition principals into your weekly grocery shopping.
The idea of an onboarding series is to allow the customer to get to know you, establish your expertise in your field and give them an on-ramp to your regular content marketing. Instead of just dropping in new customers with no reference points, you’re giving them the basic vocabulary of who you are and what you do before segmenting them in with the rest of your customers who already know you and your brand.
Educational: educational content is a long term investment–one that will establish you as the definitive go-to person in your field in the eyes of your customer. Business coaches or educational organizations use educational emails to market their services–by providing short, actionable lessons in what they teach for a living, they offer incredible value to their prospective customers–and ironclad proof that they can follow through on their marketing claims.
It’s a win-win form of marketing for both the reader and the business–with the additional benefit of qualifying prospects before they sign up to be a student. A disinterested student won’t follow through on their email ‘lessons’ and discover the true impact of your business. On the other hand, a highly motivated prospect will dig into the material you send–and discover that your teaching and strategy do work–thus qualifying themselves as an ideal client for your business.
Next month we’ll be drawing our email marketing series to a close with a breakdown of Constant Contact’s email marketing platform. We hope this series has broken new promotional ground for your business.
Do you need help figuring out your content marketing strategy for 2017? Our owner, Jacqui Davis, offers a free one hour consultation to all new clients–get on the phone!