It’s 2023, so chances are your business is practising some form of content marketing.
However, that’s part of the problem.
Content marketing has become saturated, with 60% of marketers creating at least one piece of content each day.
In an attempt to maintain a competitive edge, many marketers are churning out as much content as possible, as quickly as possible. Often meaning that little thought or strategy goes into this process. Resulting in content that lacks engagement.
Content creation can be resource and budget intensive. Meaning that appropriate consideration needs to go into a content strategy, and each stage in its process.
However, as we’ll go on to discuss, marketers can reap significant benefits from content marketing.
Fortunately, email and content marketing are a match made in heaven. Read on to find out why.
- Why do email marketers need a content strategy?
- How to get the most out of email and content marketing
- Types of content to share
- Next steps
Why do email marketers need a content strategy?
We’ve all heard the phrase ‘content is king’, but why? For marketers, there are numerous benefits in combining email marketing and content strategies.
Building brand awareness
Content provides businesses with a way to increase brand awareness through engaging, useful content about their products and services.
Through content, businesses can position themselves as industry experts, educating their audiences and building positive relationships over time.
Being a useful brand
This brings us neatly to our second point.
Email isn’t simply about selling a product, it’s also a way of being useful and helpful to recipients.
Content provides marketers with a medium to talk more extensively to their audience, and expand upon product images and descriptions.
And as we’ll go on to discuss, there are endless ways to provide useful content to email recipients, no matter what their stage in the buying cycle.
Supporting customer lifecycle marketing
Consumers require different information at each stage of their journey. This cannot be achieved through simple product promotion.
Instead, businesses need to consider how they can spread brand awareness and increase trust, share essential information such as contact details and delivery timescales, and offer updates post-purchase.
With the use of tailored content, businesses can achieve all of the above, using email as the medium for sharing.
Nurturing long-term relationships
Acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing one.
Existing customers are already aware of your brand, cost less to serve, spend more, and if treated well will remain in the purchasing relationship for longer.
There are numerous ways to use content to build and nurture these relationships. Businesses can share news and insight, product information and tips, and reviews and ratings.
Maintaining a competitive advantage
Many businesses are battling a competitive landscape. Fortunately, content offers them the opportunity to show their personality, and differentiate themselves from the crowd.
Whether that be by positioning themselves as thought leaders, showcasing their USPs (unique selling points), or offering a highly personalised experience, content allows marketers to go beyond product promotions. Providing more opportunity for meaningful interactions and relationships, which in turn will make consumers more likely to recommend a brand to their wider network.
Data can be overwhelming, so it can be helpful to break it down into different types to understand what data a marketer needs to gather, and why.
How to get the most out of email and content marketing
We hope by now you’re convinced of the benefits content marketing can bring to email marketers.
But, where do you begin?
Follow our step-by-step process for combining email and content to get your strategy up and running.
The secret to sending email that really engages is personalisation.
So, whether you’re using basic segmentation through to dynamic content blocks, you will need access to different types of content for different types of audience personas.
This content will differ in its goals, tone of voice, and challenges it addresses.
So, begin by understanding who you want to talk to, and what drives their buying behaviour. Then produce content to directly target these individual personas.
Achieving this involves gathering information and insight from your audience, your in-house team, and any behavioural and purchase data you have available.
Type of content
Now you have identified your personas, you can determine the types of content to best serve them.
This stage may involve a little experimentation, or even ongoing testing and tweaking.
Fortunately, there are lots of resources online to support you in addressing all of the above, such as from HubSpot and Content Marketing Institute. Alternatively, you can ask for advice from email marketing experts, such as Jarrang.
Now you have identified who your audience are and the type of content needed to engage with them, it’s time to get creative.
Brainstorm ideas for content titles and formats by getting your wider team, and different departments, involved to make this stage collaborative. And ensure different views and knowledge is incorporated into your strategy.
Identify titles, formats, authors, and frequency of content to add to your strategy or content and email calendar.
And if you need a little inspiration, we’ll cover some of the best types of content to share later in this guide.
Now for the really exciting part, creating your new content.
By now you will understand who your target audience are, and what you need to create to engage with them.
Remember throughout the creation process to keep your brand values, personas, and tone of voice as consistent as possible to ensure ongoing brand awareness within your email campaigns.
Send your email campaigns
It’s lift-off time!
Now your carefully curated content is ready, it’s time to send it to your audience.
You may choose to utilise your regular email marketing strategy at this point, or make some changes based on your new content.
And if you’re experiencing email overwhelm, experiment with dynamic content blocks to automatically populate your emails with content personalised to each individual. Without having to create endless new campaigns and templates.
Measure and report
You’ve created your content and sent your campaigns. Congratulations!
But your email and content marketing doesn’t end there. To keep momentum and generate the best possible results, marketers need to regularly measure and report on their campaigns.
As with your regular email marketing reporting, it’s important to determine the content which is engaging with your audience, and that which isn’t. Making adjustments and tweaking your strategy on an ongoing basis for the best possible results.
Types of content to share
As we mentioned, determining the best type of content to share based on your goals can be overwhelming. So here’s some inspiration to get you started.
User generated content
User generated content, or UGC, refers to content created organically by your customers, fans, and audience which directly relates to your brand, product, or service offering.
There are multiple benefits to using UGC. To start with, as it’s created by your audience it saves your business time and money. But UGC is also received incredibly well by others, with 92% of global consumers trusting word of mouth recommendations over branded content. Meaning that it helps to build trust, credibility, and authenticity, with little additional effort from your business.
Reviews and ratings
Talking about trust and credibility, reviews and ratings from other happy customers are great for encouraging other consumers to make a purchase with you.
Reviews and ratings are particularly powerful as they directly relate to the journey other consumers will go through with your business, and supports other customer lifecycle marketing efforts.
And this type of content can be gathered in a variety of ways. Via your own reviews on your website, through review platforms such as Trustpilot or TripAdvisor, and even reviews and testimonials that consumers post on their own social profiles.
Useful product information is essential, both pre and post-purchase.
Instead of simply promoting your latest product release, provide more information about its features, benefits, and use cases so that recipients can really dive into the detail. This is particularly useful for high-ticket items that may require a little more consideration.
And for post-purchase emails, user guides and how-to videos are ideal for helping your customer to get the most out of their new purchase.
Post Purchase Content
Once your customer has made a purchase, you’ll want to ensure they are regularly using and enjoying their product, giving them a positive experience of the purchase and your business in general.
Post-purchase content is ideal for achieving this. You can offer product tips, recipes, styling ideas, or destination guides to provide truly useful content to your customers.
And of course, you can always subtly cross-sell products to encourage additional purchases in the future.
Building a solid community is a fantastic way to make your brand stand out and encourage customer loyalty.
Community building can be achieved in several ways. Sharing testimonials, stories, and case studies. Showing off happy customer images or featuring their social pages. Or even by creating a customer community hub where you can host a wide variety of content, videos, and forums to help connect your customers with one another.
Behavioural roundups or usage roundups
For software, apps, and SaaS businesses, using content to gamify a product and experience is a great way to encourage ongoing usage, and keep in touch with your customers.
Behavioural and usage roundups offer interesting insight to the customer as to how they’re using your product. Encouraging them to become competitive with themselves and others, whilst also encouraging them to engage with your brand.
Surveys and quizzes
Whilst we’re on the subject of gamification, surveys and quizzes are a fun way to encourage interaction with your brand. As well as an opportunity for data collection and subtle product promotions.
Surveys and quizzes can be combined with prizes, discount codes, or simple competitions with other customers. And are a perfect addition to a wider campaign or product launch.
We firmly believe that email and content are a match made in heaven.
But getting started on combining the two can be daunting. Particularly if you don’t have the right content creating resource in-house.
However, by working with the right content and email marketing expertise, your business can soon be running a smooth operation. Automating seamless, personalised email campaigns with highly engaging and useful content.
If you need a little help getting started, or advancing your current email and content strategy, then get in touch. We’d love to hear what you’re up to.