If you’re feeling like you can never be away from your business, you’re not alone. Yet putting more hours into the business doesn’t always mean you’ll get greater returns. Take marketing for example. You know it’s not optional but if you find yourself spending lots of time and money to reap so-so results, you may want to rethink what you’re doing. This doesn’t mean more hours and a bigger investment in people and tools.
In fact, three of the biggest marketing misconceptions are that you need a slew of off-the-charts creative ideas, a variety of marketing tools and a small army to execute the work if you hope to get any kind of traction. The truth is, the best results come from integrated marketing campaigns that combine email and social media. Not only does this save you lots of time, it allows you to engage more customers and amplify your messages across social networks without having to go from site-to-site. How is this different from what you’re already doing?
Instead of having to come up with new ideas for Facebook, fresh content for your newsletter, and clever hashtags, you execute a single campaign through email and social media.
Not to be confused with reposting the same message across all of your online profiles, an integrated campaign is built on a theme and a few pieces of solid content that are smartly repurposed without sounding repetitive. Let’s say you run a successful dog-walking business but you’d like to step things up. You could build a campaign around the upcoming summer season by brainstorming content ideas that support the larger campaign theme. This could include tips for transporting Fido across town or across the country, favourite local walks, and suggestions for how to beat the summer heat. Armed with these three ideas, you then slice and dice your content.
For example, you can feature the content in your newsletter and Tweet portions of it along with a link to your website, newsletter or Facebook page. On your Facebook page, use one of the topics to initiate a conversation with your customers or post a survey. You can add another dimension to the content by including images. Also, consider featuring customers or an expert Q&A to lend additional credibility to a topic. Your content will reach a wider audience because your readers will be inspired to share your valuable tips as well as the articles that feature them. As the campaign starts to wane, take a look at the feedback and survey results to see if there are additional insights you can use to spark another wave of engagement.
Here’s how any small business can create an integrated email and social media marketing campaign.
1. Pick a theme. Not to be confused with an idea, the theme is your big picture focus for the campaign. For example, seasons, milestones in your business or
town, and holidays are always a good place to start.
2. Brainstorm lots of content ideas related to the theme and pick the top two or three that will be most relevant to your audience. Remember, the content
should be valuable to the reader as opposed to promoting your business.
3. Narrow your focus to a few social networks where your audience is most active. This allows you to fully engage the customers that are your fans and followers as opposed to trying to appeal to the anonymous masses. You can see how easy it is to mix-and-match the ideas without the content getting stale. Just remember to change up the words in each post. This way, customers that overlap on different channels won’t tune you out or think you’re being disingenuous by cutting and pasting the same messages.
Combining email and social media is the most efficient way to reach the widest possible audience of people interested in what you have to say. After all, they’ve signed up to receive your email and have chosen to follow you on social media. Once you see the impressive results from integrating these two marketing channels, you’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner.
By Guy Steeves, Regional Development Director, Constant Contact
Email Guy: firstname.lastname@example.org