In recent years, the proliferation of pages, platforms and web applications has decreed the unstoppable success of content marketing. In other words, we can say that the expression “Content is king” (literally: “Content is sovereign”, as Bill Gates said back in 1996) is today more true than ever.
However, over time, the way we search for and obtain information has changed a lot and in particular in the last year following the lockdown resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, which has pushed companies to invest more and more in content marketing.
Thus, even brands that in the past had a low-impact or poorly structured digital presence, with the onset of the global pandemic situation, have managed to consolidate their position thanks to a strategy based mainly on the production of digital content. As Il Sole 24 Ore explains: “Many companies, even traditional ones, have now understood the importance of a digital approach to marketing and bring in skills of this type.”
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing consists in the creation and dissemination of online content such as images, videos, textual storytelling (but also verbal such as podcasts) that are created and shared with the intent to intercept the needs and desires of the interlocutors.
The purpose of content marketing is not necessarily to sell, but to spread valuable content that is able to get in tune with the target, that is to say, to represent for the interlocutors an advantage or an answer to a need for information.
Many of these contents are free, while others are paid. All of them, however, are used to enhance and give value to specific communication channels, including email marketing.
A good content marketing strategy can help you:
- improve brand awareness, therefore the authority and image of your brand
- increase user engagement
- Lead generation
- strengthen customer loyalty and incentivize them to maintain long-term relationships
Depending on the goal you want to achieve, a different communication channel must be identified (social media, SMS, email marketing), the style of the content (formal, informal, institutional) and the type of audience to which to address it (fans, potential customers, regulars).
Content strategy with email marketing: what are the advantages?
If it is true that the success of a brand is, today, largely determined by customer satisfaction, it is therefore essential to establish a clear and direct dialogue with them through the dissemination of interesting and engaging content.
Unlike social networks with which it is possible to convey mostly generic content, to a very wide and varied audience, email marketing allows you to send targeted and specific messages to certain target users, identifying itself as one of the best channels to enhance content marketing strategies.
There are many advantages of email marketing, for example:
- It is cheaper than traditional communication channels such as TV, print and radio
- offers the possibility to monitor in real time the progress of the results thanks to the analysis of bounce rates, clicks and unsubscriptions
- Reach users directly on their mobile devices, as well as on desktop
- The contents are widely customizable
Content strategy: 5 good reasons to invest in email marketing
If you were still wondering why invest in email marketing to get the best results from your content strategy, here are 5 good reasons to favor this channel over others.
Quality of recipients
Email marketing is very different from paid advertising campaigns addressed, without distinction, to a high number of readers who have not expressly requested to receive content. Moreover, when you address such a large number of recipients you risk going to intercept low-quality contacts, little interested in the content you are proposing to them.
Thanks also to the evolution of Privacy legislation and the new GDPR, email marketing allows companies to send communications only to those who have clearly expressed their desire to receive them. This allows you to create a valuable content marketing based on the creation of messages that respond to the information needs of users. That’s why keeping customer lists clean and tidy is essential to producing effective content marketing strategies.
Dividing your customers into diversified niches, based on characteristics such as location, gender, age or interests, is the first step to creating a good synergy between email marketing and content marketing.
Doing this is easy thanks to platforms that make it possible to personalize mobile marketing through customer database segmentation. The latter, in fact, is divided into lists composed of different types of contacts who will be receptive to a certain type of content.
That is why, when uploading a customer database within these platforms, it is very important that each contact contains all the information related to the different fields that will then be used by the system to create the lists. Knowing your target audience deeply allows you to create specific niches that respond to different shopping experiences.
In addition, since content marketing means sending the right message at the right time, it’s important to know which customers prefer to view our emails from mobile or desktop and at what times of the day they are most likely to read our communications. All this information can be obtained through special statistical sections.
Often to send effective content it is necessary to test in the field their authority and the degree of interest they arouse in the recipients.
For this reason it is good to take advantage of the A / B Test, an extremely useful feature of email marketing because it allows you to send the same email campaign, with some variations, to two different halves of the database. In this way it is possible to check which type of content is most congenial to our content marketing objective. The variable element of the A/B Test can be a title, a call-to-action button or a particular graphic.
By analyzing the results of the two campaigns it will be easy to find out which of the two contents has obtained more interactions managing to better meet the needs of the target.
A good idea could also be to diversify the email according to the subject, focusing the content on two different characteristics of the offer that you want to present within a specific email marketing campaign.
Possibility to integrate content of different nature
Email marketing is a very powerful tool also because it allows you to implement the various content marketing strategies, in fact, within the same channel it is possible to convey graphic, infographic, video and text content.
Combining different types of content allows you to meet the needs of different targets.
For example, in the event that you have low open rates or low CTR( click through rate) percentages, a good strategy could be to increase the graphic component of our emails, notoriously more effective in attracting the attention of users who are not inclined to devote time to reading (a practice that requires more concentration).
It is useful, however, to resort to more textual content if you want to intercept the needs of very meticulous customers in the “consideration” phase of the sales funnel.
In this case, enriching email marketing content with detailed product information and in-depth storytelling could be the trump card to achieve the set sales objectives.
Automation: the right email at the right time
We talked about how important it is for content marketing to convey content tailored to consumers’ interests. Of course, creating this type of content could require a considerable investment of time, which is why it can be very useful to take advantage of automations.
Automated messages deeply meet the needs of a content marketing strategy, because they can be sent at scheduled events or anniversaries.
Thanks to automations it is possible to send our customers the content they are most interested in at the precise moment they are looking for it. A good strategy in this case could be to schedule automated emails based on the actions that users take within our channels. For example, if a customer hasn’t purchased for a long time, you can take advantage of automations to send them a personalized email and a tailored discount. Definitely, an excellent incentive to convert a purchase.
Using a good platform to have all the necessary tools and features, such as automations, will allow you to take full advantage of your content strategy.