Key #5 – Mobile-Friendly Content is a Must

In 2016, mobile searches will outnumber desktop and laptop searches following the tipping point in 2015, says eMarketer. Research shows most marketers need to catch up by creating more mobile-friendly content. Mobile-friendly content creation

How mobile-friendly is your website?

There’s a simple check you can do to see if your website is mobile friendly on this website. Google wants your website to be as mobile-friendly as possible, so they published a guide for giving your website visitors a better mobile experience that you can see here.

The use of space to highlight important elements on your web page is really important for mobile marketing. Creating mobile-only deals and promotions is also a new way of selling on your website via mobiles.

How Google-friendly is your business?

The increasing number of online searches from mobile devices is having a major impact on local businesses, especially retail stores and hospitality venues such as restaurants, cafes, and hotels. 50% of consumers visit a retail store within a day of searching on a smartphone, according to Google. If you’re in retail, customising your search appearance on Google and completing the full description of products, services, images, videos and social reviews should be your highest priority.

Did you know – you can change how Google displays your brand in the box that shows up on the right-hand side of a Google search? This is your brand’s ‘Knowledge Graph’ panel and it’s also your brand’s first impression. The branding elements you can customise for Google’s ‘Knowledge Graph’ panel include your logo, contact details and social profiles. A web developer can do this by adding structured data mark-up to your website.

How mobile-friendly are your SEO keywords?

When we use voice search from our mobiles, we say more words than we would type into a search engine. This makes long-tail keywords now even more important for SEO.

Think about how you’d type keywords, for example “Health Food Store”, into a search bar – whereas with voice search you’d say “Where is the nearest Health Food Store?”

Next blog I’ll look at how you can integrate your content with your SEO strategy.

Leave your details at the bottom of this page if you’d like me to send you my free eBook “7 Keys to Cracking Content Creation” when it’s ready – at the end of my blog series on solving the content marketing problem for business marketers.

Key #4 – Video + Visuals are Kings of Content

Visual content helps you connect on an emotional level with your market. If building relationships is the foundation of modern marketing, then visuals are the key. visual content, video marketing, content marketing

People only remember 10% of what they hear and 20% of what they read – compared with 80% of what they see and do. Articles with images get 94% more views than articles without pictures, says current research.

The world’s top brands are using image-based social media networks like Instagram and Pinterest to successfully engage their markets and you can too.

90% of all information transmitted to our brains is visual and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text. It may be easier to write content but it’s definitely not more effective.

How to Get a Visual Advantage on Social Media:

Create Your Own Branded Images – Find the posts getting the most engagement on other Facebook pages related to your business so you don’t have to guess what content will be most likely to get the best response for you. You can use Facebook Insights or various apps like Post Planner and Buffer to find top-performing posts. Choose messages and quotes that resonate with you. Then you can use an app like Canva to create your own posts with your branding imagery and logo. You can use the same quotes with attribution to the source or rewrite them in your own words.

Use Videos In Your Social Mix – Adding video to your social media posts increases the chances of your audience engaging with or sharing your post by 10 times. Every single prediction is pointing at online video as the next king of content marketing. By 2018 all forms of video will cover almost 80% of online traffic, according to recent predictions.

Use Videos For Lead Generation – Adding video to your website can help you capture leads from within your videos. When you upload video to your website, be sure to capture your viewer’s email address before they start watching. Then you can add an annotation on your video and a call-to-action to the end to direct them to the next logical step in your sales process.

Embrace The Future Of Video

You can do live-streaming video broadcasts on Facebook and Twitter using mobile apps Facebook Mentions and Periscope. This brings me to the importance of mobile-friendly content marketing which is the topic we’ll look at next.

Leave your details at the bottom of this page if you’d like me to send you my free eBook “7 Keys to Clever Content Creation” when it’s ready – at the end of my blog series on solving the content marketing problem for business marketers.

Key #3 – Email is Central to Content Marketing

Your email list is your pot of gold and essential to the new sales funnel. I believe it’s crucial to the success of your business and have blogged about it many times before. Email marketing is a powerful way to develop a relationship with your target market and help you attract new clients authentically. email marketing, remarketing, content marketing

BE AWARE of the risk of relying on Facebook. If Facebook owns and controls how you reach your audience then you need another channel that you own and control.

Growing your email list is a marketer’s number one priority because it’s the foundation of every marketing activity and allows you to build relationships with your target market that will eventually convert into sales.

You can build your email list by enticing your market to give you their name and email address (as well as other relevant details) in exchange for your valuable content. This valuable resource could be a list, eBook or free report, for instance. Give real value to build the love.

Use a landing page on your website to tell people all about the content gift you’re offering them and collect their contact details via an opt-in form that automatically adds people to your email database in a great email marketing platform like Mail Chimp, for instance.

When you add a new person to your email list in exchange for your content gift, the next step is to send a series of planned emails to draw their attention to the information you’ve given them. You can automate the sending of your emails with user-friendly programs like Mail Chimp so all you have to do is write your emails and schedule when you want to send them.

Ask people to do something simple in your emails – like clicking on a link to watch a video. This encourages your market to be active and engage with you. If your prospects get used to taking action with you, it makes the next step – spending money with you – feel more natural for them.

Give a second chance to join your list by adding a remarketing pixel to your website so if someone doesn’t give you their details the first time they visit then they’ll see you again next time they’re online. This repeat exposure gives you another chance to get them back to your website and onto your email list…. which is always your goal!

Remarketing is an important strategy to increase your opt-in rate. On average, 10 to 30% of people who visit your website will give you their name and email address. The other 70 to 90% could be lost, never to return again…. Unless they see an ad in their Newsfeed while they’re on Facebook with a link back to your opt-in page – in which case, research shows you can increase your opt-in rate to over 60% instead of the usual 10 to 30%. To learn more about how Facebook remarketing works to grow your email list, I highly recommend you contact Kerry Fitzgibbon at Social Media Plus One.

Email is the number one way most people want businesses to communicate with them. This is according to recent research of 2,057 adults in the USA by Marketing Sherpa. 18 to 34 year olds also want businesses to reach them via text messages, social media, mobile apps and online content videos.

Digital marketers predict online video will be the next king of content marketing and one survey claims video will cover almost 90% of all online traffic by 2018… This is a big reason to get your marketing videos ready now and that’s what I’ll be talking about next blog post.

Leave your details at the bottom of this page if you’d like me to send you my free eBook “7 Keys to Clever Content Creation” when it’s ready – at the end of my blog series on solving the content marketing problem for business marketers.

Key #2 – Content Marketing Matters More Than Media Publicity

Over the past 20 years, I’ve generated multi-millions of dollars-worth of editorial publicity for many brands I love. Media publicity was the best way I knew to build trust and credibility with your market and I believed it to be the one of the most valuable parts of your marketing mix. Bloggers can connect in a powerful way media publicity can’t

But times have changed and today I have a new favourite marketing method… content marketing.

The truth is, today anyone can be a publisher. Just as successful magazines and newspapers publish content on a regular and scheduled basis, brands today must also be regular, structured and consistent with their content to succeed.

Content writers have been called ‘brand journalists’ because we find and tell the stories happening in your organisation. Brand journalists meet with your team and observe at meetings so we can communicate your subject well – even if we don’t have direct experience in your industry.

Bloggers can connect in a powerful way the media can’t, says journalist and chief-of-staff for a leading Australian media organisation, Rachael Jansen. Rachael believes forming an ongoing relationship with your audience is much more effective than a one-off media interview or story, unless you have a regular column or spot.

Because today’s sales funnel is different from the traditional model, publishing your own content to build a long-term relationship with your audience is the key. When you have your own email list of highly qualified leads, you can build a relationship with them over time based on trust that will eventually convert to sales.

Credibility is the main ingredient that media publicity can bring to your content marketing. If you get one good story, you can use it in your marketing again and again to establish credibility as a third party endorsement for your brand.

Find Real Stories from Your Best Customers

Find your existing customers who have most enthusiastically embraced your brand and who represent your ideal customer. Interview them to find out their real experiences with your product/service and document their stories to share with your audience as part of a long-term strategy.

This is what I do best – finding authentic stories and delivering them in an audience-focused way as regular content via the best channel to reach your audience.

“Start looking for authentic stories stemming from the real-life experiences, needs and desires of your existing customers. Get to know the individuals who are already writing about, talking about, and participating in the online communities you serve. Package those stories and the personalities behind them and start delivering them to your audience on a regular basis,” says Brandscaping author Andrew M. Davis.

Leverage Your Media Exposure

“It is completely unrealistic in this day-and-age to think that a few media surges are going to create long-term demand for your products and services,” Davis says.

“Brands can no longer rely on the one-hit wonder mentality of a traditional public relations campaign… You definitely need a new approach – one that enables you to build a content-based relationship, so that if and when the opportunity presents itself to leverage mass-media exposure, you’ll be ready…” You must be ready to leverage your media exposure by using it to help build your brand’s long-term audience of your own subscribers to your own channel.

“Traditional marketing consisted of a public relations strategy, an advertising and media buying budget, and the occasional hiring of a spokesperson to raise awareness of your products or services. Today, both an independent consultant and a multi-billion-dollar consulting firm can harness the same distribution channels to grow and maintain an audience for the content they create. This is a complete paradigm shift.”

Build Audiences for Your Content

News websites, blogs and e-zines have completely changed the way traditional media outlets operate, so your target media list will be much broader than it would have been 5 or 10 years ago.

Key influencers for your audience could be a media/news outlet, a popular blogger, or other brands already targeting your market.

Buzzsumo is an online marketing tool that can help you find the key influencers in your industry so you can target them to help you distribute your content.

The Importance of Content Marketing

“Content is by far the most valuable asset businesses can use, to not only engage and inform customers, but to increase traffic to their website and dramatically improve search rankings,” says my favourite authority on the subject, Jeff Bullas.

“According to the Content Marketing Institute, 86% of B2B businesses and 77% of B2C businesses incorporate content marketing into their marketing mix.  In fact, more than 70% now create more content than what they did in the previous year, and the volume of quality content produced continues to grow.”

This blog series began with 7 Keys to Content Creation and has expanded into an eBook called: 11 Keys to Cracking Content Creation – solving the content marketing problem for savvy business marketers.

Leave your name and email address at the bottom of this page if you’d like me to send you my FREE eBOOK at the end of my blog series.

Key #1 – Content is Key to the New Sales Funnel

The new sales funnel is different from the traditional funnel. New Sales Funnel Content MarketingConsumers are now largely relying on social media and the Internet to make buying choices. 80% of customers expect businesses to be active on social media. Only 14% of people now trust ads and 77% of online shoppers consult ratings and reviews before making purchase decisions.

Educate First, Sell Later

Content marketing is designed to educate your market and build a relationship with them that will eventually convert to sales. It’s not a silver bullet or a short term marketing fix, but it is the key to the new sales funnel.

The new sales funnel starts with building awareness and creating interest in your brand among your clearly defined target market. Conversion is then achieved through landing pages on your website where you offer an incentive in exchange for contact information to build your database of email leads. Target your new leads using multiple avenues until your lead becomes a customer. Then, in the new sales funnel, the process continues with nurturing your customer relationships to build loyalty and word of mouth.

Always Start with Where You Want To Go

Defining your sales and marketing goals is the most important step before you begin any marketing activities, including your content creation.

Specifically, what do you want to achieve? How many sales do you want to make? Who are you targeting?

Think of your goals like a GPS navigation system. Define where you are now and where you want to go. Once you know where you’re going, you can create a plan to get there. If you don’t know where you’re trying to go, no one can help you.

Clearly Envisage Your Target Audience

Creating your content strategy involves getting really clear about who your target market is. Write down a list of your ideal customer’s specific characteristics to represent your target audience. Include demographic information like gender, age, geographic location and income or professional status.

You can also develop a persona for your ideal customer with details such as: What does their typical day look like? What challenges them? What needs do they have? What do they care about? How do they prefer to access information? There are many ways you can find out this information. Even though it may take some effort, this will bring big rewards.

Content Marketing Institute has more tips on how to create easy, yet actionable, content marketing personas.

Build A Relationship With Your Market

When you know your sales and marketing goals and exactly who you are targeting, you can start building a database of prospects to build an ongoing relationship with using your content. Over time, you can convert those prospects to customers with your content marketing.

If you want people to connect with your brand, you need content that engages them. Now that the traditional broadcast communications model of ‘interrupt and repeat’ is no longer effective, engaging your audience and leveraging their contributions is an important way to gain a competitive advantage.

“Content is anything that adds value to the reader’s life.” – Avinash Kaushik

These are just some of the forms of content you can use to market your business:

  • social media posts
  • videos
  • blogs
  • emails
  • e-newsletters
  • eBooks
  • infographics
  • media releases
  • interviews
  • surveys and quizzes
  • user generated content
  • podcasts
  • webinars

Next post, I’ll reveal why email is central to content marketing… and that’s a topic very close to my heart. It will be my 3rd tip… After I’ve posted my top 7 tips, I’ll be offering you my free eBook “7 Keys to Clever Content Creation”.

Tell me if you’d like to be one of the first to receive it?

Solving the Content Marketing Problem

More marketers are now seeing content marketing as a legitimate strategy rather than just a trend.

CONTENT acts like a magnet to attract your ideal clients.

Content marketing is not an exercise in quick marketing success or a silver bullet – it’s a strategy that takes time and persistence, as my favourite authority Jeff Bullas attests. It’s an ongoing exercise and it needs consistency to build meaningful connections with your ideal clients, before the time is right to start selling to them.

“Great content is the best sales tool in the world.” ~ Marcus Sheridan

How many times have you heard the phrase “content is king”? The truth is, content is king of marketing because it’s so important to build a relationship with your prospects – to connect with them and establish trust. A content marketing campaign helps you build your sales funnel so you can establish instant rapport with your target market and develop a highly lucrative, ongoing relationship with them.

The Biggest Challenge for Marketers

Creating engaging content is the most persistent challenge for marketers who struggle with producing content consistently and measuring its effectiveness.

More marketers say they are challenged with finding trained content marketing professionals this year than last year. Only 60% of businesses with a documented content marketing strategy consider themselves effective at it, compared with 32% of those with a non-documented strategy, according to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends report.

Top 7 Things You Need To Know about Content Marketing

My favourite subject is content marketing and I’ve spent a lot of time recently researching many global authorities on the topic. These are the top 7 things I think you need to know:

  1. Content is key to the NEW sales funnel
  2. Content marketing matters MORE than media publicity
  3. Email is central to content marketing
  4. Video + visuals are the kings of content
  5. Mobile-friendly content is a MUST
  6. Integrate your content with your SEO strategy
  7. Repurpose your content to maximise your ROI – this is my favourite topic!

In my next blog post, I’ll explain why content is key to the new sales funnel and why it’s so different from the traditional sales funnel.

I’ll share why you should always educate first and sell later and give you the most important steps to cover before you start creating your content.

Then, something exciting for you…

After I’ve posted on each of my 7 tips, I’ll be offering you my free eBook “7 Keys to Clever Content Creation”. Tell me if you’d like to be one of the first to receive it?

Why Content Marketing is The Hot New Trend

content marketing“Content marketing is more than a buzzword. It is the hottest new trend in marketing because it is the biggest gap between what buyers want and brands produce.” – Michael Brenner

This is one of my favourite inspirational marketing quotes.

My idol, Jeff Bullas, says 86% of marketers plan to spend more on their content for 2015. “The good news is that we know how important content is which is why we’re concentrating more of our efforts – and money – on using it… The future takeaway here is to create content for the sales funnel, make it relevant to your audience, and keep measuring your ROI so you can continue to improve your strategy!”

Mad keen and passionate about content marketing. Why?

‘Content marketing’ is an important recent addition to the marketing department. In our ever-changing digital world, small business owners and entrepreneurs who want to reach their target market online to grow brand recognition and sales revenue must be able to do more content marketing.

What is content marketing?

It’s a strategic approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience and ultimately, to drive profitable customer action, so says The Content Marketing Institute.

The first goal of content marketing is growing brand awareness, as well as lead generation, user engagement and of course, sales and lead nurturing (says this cool infographic). This is true whether you are marketing to other businesses (B2B) or directly to consumers (B2C).

What about content creation?

It’s the crafting of the material people contribute to the online world. For marketers, this means creating information for a target audience in specific contexts for digital media. I like to group content this way:

  1. Visual Content – Blog posts, infographics, newsletters, articles, reports, eBooks, e-zines (online magazines), photos and memes. 93 percent of the most engaging Facebook posts feature an image or a photo and just 2 percent are to links or videos, according to recent research.
  2. Audio-Visual Content – Videos and webinars. Videos are increasingly important for blogs and social media posts. They’re great because they allow people to experience your brand and connect with you in a way that’s not possible with just text and photos. Webinars (online seminars) are also quickly growing in popularity for their ability to reach a wider audience in real time without having to turn up at a physical location. They can be a really useful way to grow your audience and convert your prospects into loyal customers.
  3. Audio Content – Podcasts, downloadable audio files and teleseminars. Great for people who want to listen in the car, at their desk, in their bed or while they are multi-tasking.
  4. Interactive Content – Quizzes, contests, games, workbooks, assessment tools and calculators. These are so hot because they let you stand out and engage your audience in a way passive content does not. Interactive content can also help you educate your audience through experiential learning and let you learn more about your audience from the data you collect (source).

My best content creation tips?

Here’s how I suggest you can create consistently contagious and creative content that connects your audience to your brand:

Be Relatable – People can connect with you instantly if you give them something they can easily relate to. For instance, if you’re targeting busy mums and you talk about your struggle with laundry then you quickly have something in common. People warm to you when you share common ground.

Be True To You – Be authentic to create trust so people can feel exactly who YOU are. Be REAL and let people see what you struggle with – it makes you human and people like human. Always tell the truth.

Start With ‘Why’ – Communicating your WHY will attract customers who are inspired by what you stand for and who will loyally support your business. Sarah Schwab does a great job of summarising how you can do this in her blog.

Solve A Problem – You’ve shared what you struggle with and told your WHY about a topic you feel genuinely about. Now offer a solution to solve the struggle and be authentic about it.

Tell Stories – Marketing is storytelling so don’t miss out on using the power of stories in your marketing. When I first learnt this from Seth Godin, I got so excited that I wrote this post. Godin says promoting the features and benefits of your product or service is no longer enough to be a successful marketer. You need to tell remarkable and compelling stories to your audience who wants to believe how your product or service will make them feel.

Use The Word ‘You’… a lot – Why? If you’ve had a chat with someone who only wants to talk about themselves (and I know you have) then you’ll know why you’re more likeable when you focus on the person you’re talking to.

What about measuring results?

You can measure the results of your content marketing by tracking your website traffic, blog and social media engagement, email marketing results, quantity and quality of sales leads and SEO ranking.

What else would you like to know about content marketing?

I’m writing an eBook to help small businesses owners and entrepreneurs like you share your remarkable stories with a larger audience so you can find more raving, loyal fans.

So what would you like to know about content marketing?

Tell me in the comments or contact me to let me know.

6 No Cost, High Return Guerrilla Marketing Tactics

Guerrilla MarketingI’m a peace-loving person but I love the analogy of guerrilla warfare for marketers that coined the term ‘guerrilla marketing’.

Guerrilla warfare uses atypical tactics that are small and repetitive to battle a larger and less-mobile traditional military.

Small businesses can employ guerrilla-like tactics to yield big results for little to no monetary cost.

Here are my favourite 6 guerrilla marketing tactics any small business would be crazy not to add to their marketing battle plan:

  1. Email Marketing:

Word Press Beginner says they’ve tested repeatedly and found email outperforms social networks by giving them 10 times more clicks than all social media combined.

In their blog on How to Build an Email List in Word Press – Email Marketing 101, they say the answer to why is simple: email is private and personal. Email marketing also gives you:

Guaranteed Reach – unlike your Facebook posts and social media updates,

Guaranteed Ownership – regardless of Facebook changes out of your control,

More Space For Your Message – you’re not limited to 140 characters like on Twitter,

Better Targeting – you can target your email list to precisely who you want to reach,

Low to No Cost – it doesn’t have to cost a cent to build and use your email list.

Read their blog for heaps of great tips you can use to build your email list.

  1. eNewsletters:

I’ve blogged about Why eNewsletters Are My Favourite Marketing Tool before. An eNewsletter gives you a regular tool you can use to stay in touch with your email subscribers for all the reasons listed above.

  1. Blogging and Video Blogging:

Creating regular content for your web site is crucial for online marketers. You can use your blog content to entice your audience to visit your web site via email and social media.

Repurpose your content to use in your emails, social media updates and your own eBook.

Kylie Welsh at SHEentrepreneur can show you how to dominate your niche using the rapid video blogging method and fill you in on how to set up your video blog and your YouTube channel.

  1. Free Media Publicity:

If you scroll down my blog, I’ve written pages of posts on media publicity summing up what I’ve learned over the past 20 years I’ve been at it for.

Getting free media publicity starts with having the right attitude. I’ve shared tons of tips you can use to write a media release, understand print media lead times, prepare for an interview, use your book as a platform and maximise TV opportunities.

  1. Go Where Your Market Is:

I don’t recommend ambush marketing but you can be an ethical guerrilla marketer by contacting places where your target market hangs out and organising opportunities to show up and get in front of them.

For instance, if you’re targeting school-aged kids and their parents, you can get involved in school events like fetes and fundraisers by offering to add value in exchange for the chance to meet your market face-to-face.

Speaking engagements are a terrific way to demonstrate your expertise and show your market how remarkable you are. Never underestimate the power of meeting your audience in person to make an impression and start building a relationship.

  1. Develop Strategic Alliances:

You can multiply the results of these guerrilla marketing tactics by forming strategic alliances with other people, groups and organisations that share your market.

Offer to introduce their product or service to your email list and social media network and ask if they would reciprocate. Guest blogging is another way to do this. Invite them to blog for you and you can both add value for each other’s audiences.

Leave a reply and let me know how you’re using guerrilla marketing tactics to promote your business?

Facebook likes decline with organic reach

A few years ago, the number of people who liked your Facebook page then saw your posts in their News Feed was, on average, 27%.

Now research shows Facebook organic reach has dipped to about 4% or less.

As if this news isn’t bad enough, Facebook says:

We should assume a day will come when the organic reach is zero!

Now Facebook has become more of an advertising medium than a free promotional tool.

Pay to Play Facebook

Last year, the total number of pages ‘liked’ by Facebook users grew by more than 50% on average. However, the same users aren’t spending more time looking at their Facebook News Feeds.

To accommodate this, Facebook changed its EdgeRank algorithm that determines which posts their users see and which ones they don’t.

That’s why your organic reach is declining. Consequently, brands need to ‘pay to play’ if they want to stay relevant on the platform.

Brands already optimising their Facebook post reach with paid promotions are ahead of the game. If you haven’t set a Facebook advertising budget or you can’t afford a regular spend on Facebook then it will be much tougher to get noticed on this important social media network.

However, there are some low-cost and no-cost opportunities you can still consider.

Top 5 low-cost Facebook marketing strategies

  1. Improve your content – use remarkable photos and eye-catching images in your posts.
  2. Aim to engage – ask questions to encourage more comments and create posts your fans will want to share.
  3. Run competitions – recently Facebook relaxed its rules about how you can run contests on your page but it’s still important to adhere to their promotional guidelines.
  4. Ask your database of customers, friends and employees to like your page and your posts to continue seeing you in their News Feeds.
  5. Make sure your website is social media friendly and visitors to your website can share or like the content on Facebook directly from your website.

Measuring your success

You can monitor how well you are engaging your audience on Facebook by calculating your page’s engagement rate.

First, find the number of people ‘talking about this’ which is located next to your number of page ‘likes’ under your cover photo, then multiply by 100 to get a percentage.

Checking your engagement rate is a good way to gauge and review the level of activity on your page because it summarises the past 7 day count of your total likes, posts, comments, tags and shares. If you’re looking for an industry benchmark, an engagement rate of around 1% is about average.

Other online marketing tools

To get the best coverage and results, spread your social media marketing across a few platforms. Other popular social networks to consider include LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, TripAdvisor, Pinterest and Google+. Find out which ones are popular among your target market.

Don’t overlook the value of the e-newsletter as a core part of your marketing strategies. You can add an email optin on your Facebook page tabs and use a Facebook app like ShortStack to ask for people to join your email list on Facebook.

You could also build your email list on Facebook by running a competition, offering a free coupon or a giveaway as an incentive.

Sending a regular newsletter to your email list is one of the simplest, low-cost forms of marketing available to every business, regardless of budget. And it’s also the easiest to control!

For more on how you can roll with the changes at Facebook, check out Jeff Bullas’ blog here and scroll down to see specific tactics to create online traffic and brand awareness without paying the new gatekeepers such as Facebook to reach your own fans.

Why eNewsletters are my favourite marketing tool

With only around 4% of people who like your Facebook page seeing your posts in their News Feeds (unless you pay) and this number shrinking – here is why the eNewsletter will be your favourite marketing tool.

The #1 reason I love eNewsletters is because they remind you to build your marketing GOLD.

What is your marketing GOLD?

Your email list.

You can’t control Facebook and it’s costly to play. Plus you don’t own anything on Facebook. You own your email list – so treat it like the pot of gold that it is. Here’s 3 reasons why:

  1. Low cost – when you collect an email address, add it to your list and use it keep in touch with your customers and prospects – no $$ necessary (just time) until you build up your database.
  2. High effect – the average open rate for emails is 22% by your customers and qualified leads – compared with 6% reach to Facebook fans who may not even be your target market.
  3. Low risk – you own your email list and no-one else controls it – it’s yours. You control your message, the timing of when it’s received and who sees it.

So, now you know why eNewsletters rule – here’s 7 reasons to have one:

  1. Generate sales leads
  2. Increase traffic to your website
  3. Communicate your promotional messages
  4. Tell people about your product or service
  5. Connect with your customers and prospects – get them to like you
  6. Build loyalty with your target market – gain their trust
  7. Boost your credibility – earn their respect

Now 7 tips for how to do one…

  1. Be helpful – your content must be useful or it won’t get read. Yes, it’s easier to write the promotional stuff you want people to know about, but think about it from your audience’s point of view if you want them to read it.
  2. Tell stories – start with your story and your clients’ stories. As a wise friend told me: “Your story needs to connect with others so they can feel you.” People don’t buy what you do – they buy why you do it! Start writing the words “I believe…” – then fill in the blanks to explain why you do what you do.
  3. Be regular – commit to how often you will send your Newsletter and tell your audience. This creates expectation and trust. Stick to your schedule if you want your email marketing to work.
  4. Use your own voice – write like you speak. Record yourself talking your content, then transcribe it. Your voice needs to show up in your writing so people recognise you as being authentic.
  5. Use strong calls to action – ask your readers to do something specific. Tell them to click here and why. Use hyperlinks to your website. Ask them to reply to your email and why.
  6. Write good subject lines – when MailChimp analysed more than 40 million emails sent by their users, they found the secret formula for subject lines: Don’t write ‘sales-y’! Anything that even hints of spam gets thrown away immediately. Just describe the subject of your email. For instance – “(Your business name) Newsletter – April 2014”.
  7. Use MailChimp – there are countless email marketing programs around, but MailChimp is one of the most popular and easy to use, plus you can use it for free until you reach 2,000 subscribers.

Yes, Newsletters can be time consuming, but I believe done right, they could be your #1 marketing tool. Remember to measure your results – MailChimp offers detailed reports and check your website analytics to see which stories and links are working best. In the end, it’s about getting more leads and sales for your business.

Here are some links for more information:

  1. For how to grow your email list with social media click here
  2. For email campaign results by industry – average open rates, etc. click here
  3. Subject line comparison results – how to write a good subject line click here

Leave me a reply below with your questions and comments!