Marketing is now mostly digital, which creates an interesting challenge for businesses. On one hand, there are countless new tools and channels you can use to reach prospects and customers. On the other hand, you need to put in the work to develop a sound strategy to make the most of your marketing dollars.
Content marketing is a great way to boost your website’s organic search traffic. With the right SEO strategy and keyword focus, your team can build out a library of content that’s relevant to your audience. If your team has the time to grow a blog, you can use content marketing as a low-cost marketing tool to lay the foundation for your other efforts.
Content marketing examples
Content marketing comes in many different forms. Some of the most common content formats include:
- Listicle blog post – This is an easily digestible article written in a list or step format, or sometimes displayed as a slideshow. People tend to click on search results with numbers in the title, i.e. 5 Ways Great Content Can Fuel Your Email Marketing, or articles that are how-to guides.
- Thought leadership article – This is a more in-depth article meant to provide a deeper analysis of a specific topic, typically involving research or a current trend within an industry.
- Infographic – This is a visual that creatively displays data in a digestible format. You can embed infographics as images within your blog posts, and for proprietary research even syndicate your branded infographic out to trade publications and other websites.
- Video – This is where content marketing and social media overlap. You can publish video content on YouTube, then embed relevant videos into blog posts that transcribe or build upon what’s in the video.
- Podcast – More and more businesses are creating audio content to reach audiences through a different format. Similar to video, you can embed your podcast episodes in blog posts to double-up on your content efforts.
How content marketing and email marketing work together
High-quality content creates value for your target audience. This means you must consider who you’re talking to, what they’re interested in, and what their intent is at this point in the customer journey.
For example, if your business model focuses on bringing in new customers, you might decide to position your content for prospects—in the form of product education, industry insights, and other topics that establish you as a thought leader in your space. However, if your model prioritizes repeat business, you might focus more on content for current customers with topics that encourage retention.
Your strategy might involve a combination of the two, with some content centered around conversion and other content focused on retaining your existing customer base.
While content marketing focuses on helping your business build and communicate your brand, email marketing can act as the vehicle that delivers the content to your customers’ inboxes. When used together, you can create marketing synergy that executes a unified, cross-channel approach to attracting, converting, and retaining customers.
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5 ways great content fuels your email marketing
Let’s take a look at how you can use content and email marketing in unison to get more out of your overall strategy.
1. Curated content helps build trust
A cohesive digital content marketing plan starts with strong content. Because customers are bombarded with so much information, your email marketing communications must be high-quality, relevant, and engaging. Creating content that your customers are actually interested in can position your company as an authority in the sector, enhance brand perception, and build trust. Strong, curated content helps add value to any email marketing plan.
2. Segmented content enhances personalization
Your customers don’t fit just one profile. They have different preferences, shopping behaviors, time zones, and locations. Before creating a digital marketing strategy, you must identify your customer segments (and sub-segments) so that the content you create and share truly resonates. Using analytics tools can help you design content and adapt email campaigns to your customers’ needs and behaviors. With this data-driven approach, your marketing team can test, learn, and evolve their strategy over time.
Dynamic content modules and product recommendations can also help refine your email marketing strategy. Because they change based on customer segmentation, emails will seem like they’re tailored to the recipient. That level of personalization can work wonders for brand perception.
3. Educational content establishes authority
Because content is king, quality educational content can help your email campaigns stand out. Giving customers information they want to know can help establish your organization as a thought leader, further strengthening brand trust. Becoming an industry authority positions your content as more trustworthy, makes your brand seem more credible, and allows you to tastefully pair content with product and service offers throughout email journeys.
4. Storytelling connects your audience to your brand
Telling stories is a great content strategy because it can help create an emotional connection with your audience. Storytelling can touch on emotions like empathy, happiness, and excitement, resonating with customers on a personal level and making your brand more memorable and relatable. Interestingly, because people tend to remember stories much more than facts or statistics, using stories can help your brand content imprint in the minds of your target audience.
You can feature customer stories and case studies in emails, segmented so recipients can relate to the customer they’re reading about. You can also use monthly email newsletters to share updates and behind-the-scenes stories about what’s going on in your business. Honesty and transparency breed brand loyalty.
5. Exclusive content rewards loyal customers
Once you’ve started to build a foundation of loyal brand advocates, you can take your email marketing a step further by rewarding your top customers with “premium” content. This can be paid content or content that’s only available to a certain segment or your audience.
What types of content would people consider premium? Think expert advice, in-depth industry insights from an SME (subject matter expert), or exclusive sneak peek at upcoming products or events. Rewarding your loyal customers not only gives them exclusive content that’s not available to the masses but also demonstrates that your company has authority on the subject.
While content marketing and email marketing are each effective on their own, creating a cohesive strategy gives your customers a more meaningful and enjoyable experience—plus, it can drive more sales and increase customer lifetime value in the process.
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