The most cost efficient marketing tool your brand has at its disposal is content marketing. It’s cheaper than almost all other marketing and advertising tools, it converts at a much higher rate, and it can be a primary driver of sales to your site.
It can also easily be improperly used and abused.
Here’s how to do it the right way:
Make your content marketing useful
(Don’t just talk about the awesome trip the company took to the bar last Friday)
The best content marketing is done by providing readers with something useful. A tip, a new way of doing something, or by providing inspiration. By providing something useful within your email (or a call to action that prompts a click through to your site), you can dramatically increase relevant traffic to your site.
As a part of its content marketing, Snow Peak uses its Dictionary blog to inspire campers. The brand’s ethos is all about inspiring people to get outside and its blog champions that message.
Not every brand or agency can afford to go as far as Snow Peak does. Being helpful can go just as far. Shopify’s e-commerce blog and related content marketing exemplifies being helpful without the content effort of Snow Peak. It’s tips and tricks for e-commerce websites are essential reading for anyone who runs an e-commerce site.
What puts Snow Peak and Shopify’s content marketing in the best-in-class category is that while their content marketing is designed to draw readers into their brand, the blog posts and related content are not about the brand, they are about the reader. By being useful, they build trust, authority, and good will towards their brands.
Keep emails simple
We all get bombarded with email offers everyday. You might be reading this Insight right now because we sent it to you (Thank You!). But what sets apart an email that is opened and clicked versus one that is ignored, trashed, or filtered into spam? The answer is surprising: keep the email simple.
We have tested most methods of content marketing and have found that by using plain text, 2-3 sentences in length, and a consistent link we get more opens and more clickthroughs than if we use splashy graphics, big buttons, or gimmicky subject lines.
By creating simple, direct emails you’ll find that your email list will respond with more opens, click-throughs, and conversions.
On those Buzzfeed headlines: Just because Buzzfeed says you should use headlines/subject lines like “Top 5” or asking provocative questions doesn’t mean you have to or should. Our most successful content marketing efforts come from subject lines that are directly related to the topic, not click-bait that sends you down a rabbit hole.
If someone expects you to meet them at a specific time on a specific day, you show up. Same goes with content marketing. If you send your weekly emails on Tuesday at noon, always send your emails then. Varying can have dramatic results on your open and clickthrough rates.
The same is true about who the email is from and the content of the email. At The Good, our emails come from the same person every week and his emails are short and to the point. He also receives all the responses, opt-out requests, and positive and negative feedback.
This consistency pays off. Our content marketing’s efforts have resulted in huge gains in the number of leads and clients. We don’t try to sell readers on our services (even though they’re awesome) or bombard you with offers (Stuck Score™), we aim to consistently provide you with useful insights to help you and your brand better serve your customers online.
Not everyone will like your content marketing and not everyone will opt-out in a cordial way. Regardless, be polite and respect their request.
If someone asks to opt out, opt them out.
If someone responds to the email with all caps using foul language, don’t take the bait. Politely opt them out and reply to their email request, this lets them know there is a human on the other side of the content marketing efforts and that you respect their wishes.
This polite treatment has actually led to a number of deep client relationships for The Good. You might be surprised what a personal email will do to someone who is upset.
After years of honing our approach, our contact marketing efforts are essentially on auto-pilot. The heaviest lifting is researching and writing Insights every week. We break that effort up between three writers.
The effort has paid off.
In the three years we have been writing Insights, we’ve seen our opt-in list grow from a few dozen to 10’s of thousands. Our open rates are 151% above industry average and our click through rates are 405% above the average.
Generate more leads
If you’re interested in using our hard won lessons, strategies, and workflows to increase your company’s lead generation results, fill out the form below.