4 Ways Content Should Drive Your Email Marketing Strategy in 2017
If you were heading out on a long road trip, you wouldn’t leave without a map, would you?
Of course not. You need a plan.
A whopping 70% of marketers lack plans for achieving their digital goals.
We call this plan a content marketing strategy. It comes before you work on SEO, blogs, social media, or email marketing. Otherwise, you will spend a lot of time and money without reaping the reward.
Your content strategy should act as the feeder to all areas of your digital distribution with the end goal of increasing your email list. Building your email list to engage with your customers should still be your number one digital goal of 2017 since email marketing generates the biggest ROI of any other channel. Use content to add value, communicate your offering and grow your subscriber base. Having a larger email list gives you more “at bats” with potential customers who have already expressed interest in your company by subscribing. Investing in a content strategy with an apparent missing will result in a larger audience and increased revenue.
A Quick Introduction to Creating a Content Marketing Strategy
Fortunately, creating a content marketing strategy is simple:
Start with a specific goal: “A bigger email list” is not a goal. “1,000 more subscribers a month” is.
Do your research. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you know your market so well that you can just begin producing content. Spend time researching, and peruse your competitors’ sites to see what’s working.
Create an editorial calendar for your blog: create a schedule for when you’ll post and stick to it.
Decide how you will distribute content through each of your digital channels and how each channel will deliver on your overall goal.
The important thing is that your content marketing strategy acts as the guiding force for how your blog, social media platforms and SEO strategies will deliver a bigger email marketing list.
These are not separate. They must work in concert.
With that in mind, let’s now look at these individual channels.
SEO is always a hot topic in the digital landscape. You’ve probably heard a million times that if you have the right keywords, the customers will come.
This SEO statement is truthful…. kind of.
If those keywords aren’t part of a larger marketing strategy, those customers won’t be sticking around for long. For instance, if your focus is on “money keywords” you will miss out on clients who are searching mid and long tail phrases associated with a problem or research. By matching up the problems, your target market has with content that solves that problem you can turn visitors into subscribers.
Your blog will make or break your strategy.
As we just covered, keywords will pull people to your site, but it’s the actual content that will decide your fate.
Build customer personas for each type of customer and develop content assets you can publish to your blog that solves a problem, educates them or adds value in some way.
Ideally, your blog should become a resource for information that your market can put to good use. Use your best blog posts as a gateway to your downloadable content or offers you give to subscribers. By publishing content that adds value to your readers, they will want to subscribe to your list to receive it in their inbox. They key to your blog being an active content distribution point is the quality of your posts.
Every time you think of a post, ask yourself, “How soon could my reader use this and how long until they’d see results?”
You’re shooting for “right away” and “right away.”
Your blog content drives visitors, but it’s how you incentivize visitors that drives your email list growth.
Depending on whom you ask, social media is either the single greatest marketing asset or completely overrated
Our take is that it all comes down to your social media strategy and how it works with the other channels. Again, they’re all connected.
View social media posts as mini-blogs. An excellent way to increase your email list through social media is to reuse your most valuable content assets. Take highly actionable or in-depth analysis content from your gated content and share is through your social media channels with a link back to a blog post or email signup landing page so visitors can enter their information to download the full report.
Just like with your blog, the entire point is to have people love what you offer and crave more. If you do this, social media becomes a great funnel for driving traffic to your blog and getting people to sign up for your email list.
Simply put, content is responsible for creating your email list. Your email list is a direct revenue generator for your business.
If your content strategy is lackluster, you’re going to have trouble growing an engaged email list. If you have bad content, why would anyone sign up for more of it?
In fact, if all you have is just right content, you may still fall short of your email list goals.
Instead, your content marketing strategy relies on creating posts that are so insightful and actionable that readers cannot wait to receive your emails.
Of course, once you have someone’s email address you better deliver.
A fantastic example of using content to nurture an email list comes from a social media company. Buffer uses the email marketing platform, Campaign Monitor to gain more than 1,000 email subscribers every week. They’re able to do this because they are relentless in their dedication to quality content, which they provide consistently.
Once visitors are subscribers, your email marketing strategy begins. Since you’ve already created customer personas and valuable content to your readers, your next step is to use an email marketing platform to deliver that content in a way that turns subscribers into customers and ultimately brand advocates.
Create customer journeys in your email marketing platform to only deliver content and offers that each subscriber is interested. Once your subscribers have become customers, continuing to provide value through additional content will lead to more sales and advocacy for your brand.
In our experience, a lot of companies do one of the channels well. What they don’t do is unite them under a single content marketing strategy.
You’ve now seen how easy it is to begin creating a marketing strategy. Get started on yours today. Use it to guide your blog, SEO, and social media channels to drive your email marketing campaigns. This advice won’t get you to where you want to be overnight, but it’s a lot better than trying to get there without a map.