Don’t throw the pa-ast away
You might need it some rainy day
Dreams can come true again
When everything old is new again
Lyrics to Everything Old is New Again
Face it, the newsletter has a perplexing role these days. A bit of relic from the past, you most likely associate it with other supposed sales & marketing dinosaurs like trade show booths, cold calling and business cards. And yet the newsletter is so important today. How can this be? It’s like this, any time you make the effort to tell stories about your business, it becomes a natural extension of your content marketing and a major hub of usefulness.
If you’re like many marketing professionals who are concerned about your social media and content marketing tactics, you need to re-think the newsletter.
First: Reconsider the value of your newsletter — or for Pete’s sake start one!
A smart, well-written and consistently released newsletter (ironically these three factors are also the biggest hurdles) is a solid way to reconnect with customers or nurture new 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 to 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 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 into 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 reveal real 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. It may be the voice of 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 marketer. 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.
Here are some examples for you to consider:
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 hashtag. 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 used in a fantastically successful lead generation campaign. See Adventures of an Infographic
Now can you see how easy it is to double down on your e-newsletter to create useful materials for your social media and content marketing efforts?
Two more quick suggestions
1 Optimize your content for the web with SEO keywords.
2 Archive your newsletters. When you add this content to your website, you can bolster your site’s SEO potency.
The takeaway: Leverage your newsletter to help fuel your content and social media marketing.