If you’re like many marketing professionals who are concerned about your social media and content marketing tactics, you most likely associate the newsletter with other supposed sales & marketing dinosaurs like trade show booths, cold calling and business cards. But I’d like you to reconsider and see the real potential of the e-newsletter, especially now with the emergence of social media & content marketing as viable forces.
First: Reconsider the value of your newsletter or for Pete’s sake start one!
A smart, well-written and consistently released newsletter (ironically these 3 factors are also the biggest hurdles) is a solid way to reconnect with customers and nurture prospects. Many organizations drive real revenue with variations of newsletters called e-newsletters, e-news Flashes, magalogs and other publications. See my example A Newsletter That Actually Sells from my portfolio.
The key for a successful newsletter is to balance your sales messages with useful content for your readers.
Second: Optimize That Gold
If you create a newsletter of most any kind, you could be sitting on social media and content marketing gold. Why? Because as you are researching and writing about relevant topics for your audience, you should be categorizing them in to useful features in your newsletter. For instance every issue could include specific areas/columns like:
* Industry Trends – show you are an industry leader by commenting on relevant happenings
* New Products – here’s how you can keep your product development people happy
* Heard around the water cooler – this can be a neat way to bring up internal ideas which reveals true thought leadership.
* Brush with greatness – interview a famous industry pro or celebrity
I’ve always felt that the more conversational the newsletter, the better. Yes, it’s a publication from your company or organization, but as a communications tool it needs to be engaging. That’s why it’s best to write your newsletter with a personalized voice that aligns with your brand. This may be your president or a person that has credibility with the audience. Even if they just have a short intro section to each newsletter, make it real and personal.
Finally: Reuse, Recycle & Reformat for Social Media & Content Marketing
Here’s where the rubber hits the road for you as a smart & thrifty marker. If you’ve invested time and effort into putting together a fairly decent newsletter, you’ve already got a solid foundation for your social media and content marketing. Simply reuse the articles by recycling them into new content marketing formats.
- Case Study / Success Story – readers like stories, so keep it interesting
- Special offers – yes you can sell but make it noteworthy – close-outs, special purchases, discontinued models, over-stocks etc…
- Meet the Team – here’s a great way to set up effective social and content channels. In each bio or article, simply include a Twitter account that includes “customer service” or “products specs” in the hash tag. Can you think of a better way for your customers to put a face with a name when they engage via the phone, text or email?
- Ask an expert – I’ve used results from customers questions to build an infographic that was used in a fantastically successful lead generation campaign. See Adventures of an Infographic
- Optimize your content for the web with keywords. I like a tool called Inbound Writer which helps you enhance your keyword usage in content.
- Archive your newsletters. When you archive all of your newsletters you can bolster your site’s SEO potency.
Take a good look at a list of items to help your efforts.