The following is a guest post written by Mike Bird. His bio is at the end of the article.
A good marketing campaign uses social media and email marketing to promote a brand or idea. A great marketing campaign uses both of these elements in tandem, creating an overarching campaign that reaches views in a multitude of ways. The latter should be your goal.
Though many view email marketing as a lost cause or ‘so 2005,’ marketers are starting to see the value of combining social media and email marketing in new ways to reach more of their audience. Social media allows you to cross-promote many of your different sites, from your videos on YouTube to your photos on Instagram.
So how do you bring your great social media content into your email marketing to create a successful campaign? In order to better explain the process, let’s use the following example:
You run a small coffee shop near a train station, and your audience is mainly made up of commuters and their families and friends.
Now read on to find out how to utilize your social media content in email marketing.
Create a solid message
Like all campaigns, you must first establish what the overall goal of the campaign should be and what success will look like for you. Without a goal, you will have no idea what kind of marketing is working well for you and what is wasting your time.
The first thing to create is a call-to-action (CTA), basically an action that you want email subscribers to complete.
Using our example, let’s say you want your followers to post pictures of the first thing they drink in the mornings (usually coffee like yours). Every person that does will get a free muffin the next time they come in for a coffee.
The more people who complete your CTA, the more successful your campaign has been.
It is extremely important to keep this CTA in mind while moving forward as it tends to get lost when creative forces start really moving. You might feel compelled to add all sorts of cool designs, layouts and content to your email. However, remember, if your viewers have no idea what you want them to do, they will not complete your CTA. Simple is better.
Not all social media sites are the same, and not all of them have the same features and functions. Before you begin designing an email campaign, you will need to choose the right platform to display your content.
Here is a quick break down of which sites work for the type of content:
- Blog: More than likely, you are using some type of blogging platform on your website, maybe WordPress, Blog.com or Tumblr. All of them have easy design features and have wide audiences.
- Photo: Photos and Instagram go together like peas and carrots. If you want to promote visuals from around your office or a recent event your company participated, Instagram is your best bet. With plenty of different filters, you will find cool, creative ways to display your content.
- Video: There is only one king of videos, and that’s YouTube. If your business does not already have its own channel for videos, consider creating one. Your followers will be able to easily see when you post content.
- Webinar events: Google+ has a great feature for webinars called Hangouts that lets all Google+ users see your live event as you are recording it. This feature is great for any demonstrations you want to do or if you want to interview someone in your industry.
Our example involves photos, so it would be best to promote your Instagram account for this email.
What to include in the email
Now it is time to combine your CTA, your social media content and the email.
Your CTA should be at the centre of your email and clearly state what you want viewers to do (“post pictures of their morning drink of choice”). Keep the content to a minimum, probably less than 40 words, depending on what your CTA is. Your email subject headline and your content headline do not have to be the same, but the former should be enticing enough for readers to open the email itself.
It might look something like this:
Subject Line: Want a free muffin with your coffee?
Email Text: Follow us on Instagram and post a picture of your favourite morning beverage. Tag us, and the next time you’re in for that favourite drink, get a free muffin on us.
Of course, you need to include links to your content. Be sure you are sending viewers to the content, not just your profile page.
You may also want to integrate Facebook and Twitter into your email, but use them as side features. Dedicate a small corner of your email to these sites and ask readers to follow you there.
Some of them might not be interested in your webinar. However, there is a good chance they might want to follow you on another social media site.
Monitor your success
As stated, running an email campaign is moot without tracking your success in any way. You need to be able to compare before-and-after information if you ever want to show progress.
More and more marketers are looking to automated marketing tools to create schedules for content. Your audience could be all over the world on many different types of time zones. So, unless you plan on setting an alarm to post content in the middle of the night, you will probably miss some of your audience.
Marketing automation helps you schedule social media posts as well as emails so you can send out content at your audience’s peak times, no matter where in the world you are. Many of these tools have analytics tools built in that allow you to see how many people opened your emails and what your click-through-rate (CTR) was for the campaign.
Part of your Instagram campaign is focused on getting people to post pictures. As such, you should be able to see how many of them are responding. Also, look at how many recipients opened your email and didn’t click through, or didn’t open at all.
Review and refocus
Once you have completed your email marketing campaign and reviewed your analytics, apply your findings to your next campaign.
If the campaign went well, great job! Try to find out exactly what made the campaign so successful and keep building from there.
If the campaign did not go as planned, do not feel bad or give up. You will not know what will work until you try it out.
Social media and email marketing were made for each another. One gives you the ability to create awesome content while the other provides a sure-fire way of getting your content to your subscribers. Rather than targeting people who may or may not be interested in your business, you are going after people who are already interested in your business.
Do not let these two stay apart for too long!
Mike Bird is a co-founder of digital marketing agency, Social Garden, which specializes in data-driven lead generation & marketing automation to grow companies revenue in the finance, property and education verticals in Australia. He also contributes content to Social Media Examiner, Social Media Today, Yahoo! Business Advisor and most importantly, the Social Garden blog.