5 Simple Yet Effective Ways to Promote Your Brand’s Blog

 

Having a blog is awesome. Promoting it’s content is even more awesome, if done well. The below list addresses simple but effective ways for your content distribution strategy.

1. Share, share, share – It seems self-explanatory to say share your blog across your social channels. However, it’s not just about sharing, but it’s about the way you share. Ensure your blog is baked into your social content strategy for weekly and monthly cadence opportunities. Leverage pop culture opportunities to boost the presence of your blog’s content into relevant conversations. And of course, ensure that the blog link is easily available within your bios or social posts.
Example: Equinox blog and their Instagram Account.
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2. Sign ups on your website – The best way to increase referral traffic to your website and blog are by having the two within the same domain. Even if you have a blog hosted on tumblr, you can still have it within your domain too. So when you ask your consumers to sign up for your blog, not only are you getting your blog out to more people, but you’re collecting leads for your brand as a whole.
3. Email and newsletters – Just like you want to ensure you are promoting the awareness of your social channels within emails or newsletters, you want to do the same for you blog. Perhaps the content from your blog is the primary content within your weekly/daily emails. This allows for people to see your brand as not just another brand, but a content source for information, tips, news, and more.
4. Cross promote – Your brand most likely has some partnerships – whether it’s for the brand as a whole or content partnerships. Use those to help cross promote content for them, and in turn for you. It allows your content to get in front of extra eyeballs and hopefully traffic back to you on a regular basis.
5. Guest bloggers – You never have to create all the content on your own. And when you decide to allow guest “expert” bloggers to take a stab at your content – it not only allows extra voices, but a another way to engage new audiences. Not only will these bloggers be writing for you, but they’ll [hopefully] be promoting their pieces on social media and on their own blog. This allows for extra “free” promotion, and in turn traffic to your blog content.
What other ways does your brand like to share?

This post was origially written for social media club – see more here:  http://socialmediaclub.org/blogs/from-the-clubhouse/5-simple-yet-effective-ways-promote-brands-blog#sthash.55kCuOpZ.dpuf

 

Best Practices: Email Marketing for your Brand

 

Email Marketing Best Practices

Email marketing, a marketing method most brands use to reach out to their prospective and current customers, can easily become an annoyance customers runaway from. So how do we as brands enable our email marketing to work for us, and not against us?

Let’s look at some email marketing best practices that will help optimize your efforts…

Look and Feel; Think Mobile First

As with websites and social content, it’s important to consider mobile when deciding on your email content, the design, and your messaging. Responsive email design is helpful because it allows your email to be read on both desktop, mobile, and tablet.

However, to ensure that your design works for each device it’s important to test your content. For example, test to ensure your images show up correctly, your headline is able to be read clearly, and the primary messaging is easily scannable, consumable, and shareable.

Use an Editorial Calendar

Your team probably already has an editorial calendar, which allows your brand to schedule out your blog posts, tweets, FB posts, and pins. Adding your email content within this calendar will help see a large-scale view of the content you are putting out, the types of customers who receive it, and what channels are distributing it.

Overall it will keep you organized to know which topics are being published, and in turn which ones do the best. It’s even more helpful the following year when you look back to see what worked the previous year. For example if product sneak peeks were a hit, than the next time around you’ll want to make sure you do it again.

Personalize your Content; Start Simple

Personalizing content for email can go in many directions, especially if your audience is segmented in multiple ways. However, it’s often easier to start simple. Perhaps to do some a/b testing to see which content performs better for different regions of the country, gender, and/or age group for starters. That way you can ensure that Texas is not receiving the same winter content that Maine would get in January.

No customer wants to open up a generic email sent to the masses – it’s always nice to see one that is at least slightly catered to their interests, location, and who they are as a customer to your brand.

Pay Attention to the Details

The details, sometimes overlooked, are key when it comes to email marketing messaging. Your team needs to ensure that the email subject line, headline, first couple sentences (which are seen in a preview), and images are all put together in a way that not only entices the reader to read the email, but spend time with it, and potentially click your call to action – whether it leads them to your website, an offer, or your social media channels.

To read more on measuring results and cross-promotion on Social Media – Check out my Full Post on Startup Fashion!

Nordstrom: A social media case example for any consumer brand

Nordstrom's social media approach

The well known retailer Nordstrom is proving itself to be an expert at engaging with its audience across multiple social channels, as well as connecting both online and offline for continued engagement.

On thing that Nordstrom ensures is that its visual content is available on whichever channel its audience prefers — providing insight into the latest styles available in the store, upcoming sales, and much more.

Let’s take a look at Nordstrom’s Social Media Approach

Twitter and Facebook

Nordstrom uses Facebook and Twitter to provide updates on daily specials and tips through their committed community managers. The community managers are helpful, quick to respond, and always give nice, sweet comments when consumers share their latest Nordstrom finds.

Going the extra mile: When customers have a question for the store, they often use Twitter to ask it.  Nordstrom, unlike a lot of major retailers out there, do actually respond within minutes including direct messages for direct answers needed.

Email Marketing

Frequent (but not too frequent) emails allow consumers to be alerted to the new trends available in store and online, as well as sales occurring at that moment so their customers don’t miss out on a great deal.

Pinterest and Instagram

Nordstrom’s Pinterest and Instagram accounts are always up to date with their latest trends.  They include highlights of bloggers and their best customers wearing styles from the store. When customers tag their latest purchases with Nordstrom handles or hashtags, they are automatically considered for a highlight.

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Nordstrom’s blog is especially unique because it isn’t just about the products but also gives consumers an inside look at Nordstrom’s take on fashion. This includes street style pictures from the week, which is great for a quick daily inspiration and feels almost like a service that the retailer is offering its customers.

Takeaways and Lessons to Apply to Your Brand

  • Use visual content that highlights your products in a way that the consumer can see the value, be excited to share it, and potentially purchase it.
  • Provide a path to purchase on appropriate channels.
  • The same content doesn’t live on every channel; allow diversity.
  • Allow the audience to be a part of the content; User Generated Content can allow your fans to feel special.
This post was originally written for Startup fashion – for the full list of takeaways and lessons for your brand check out my full post here
 

5 Items to Test in your Brand’s Email Marketing Campaign

Most brands realize that when it comes to marketing, it’s vital to “test and learn, test and learn, and a  test and learn some more.” Split testing, or A/B testing, your marketing efforts is helpful for determining what practices are the most effective in reaching your goals.

Let’s take one marketing example to  apply how this would work: email marketing.

Five items to consider testing when investing in email marketing efforts:

  1. Subject Lines: If your email has an offer, or a newsletter, or a blog post – consider testing different subject lines to see which ones get more open rates. For example consider tweaking the subject lines for personalization, region, or just persuasive verbage. TIP: keep it under 50 characters.
  2. Images: Consider two different images in the email body to which ones may help persuade the reader to click through to the content. For example is it an individual in the image or the product that helps persuade the reader to click through or perform your call to action.
  3. Opening Paragraphs: Most individuals preview emails in their inbox before opening which includes the first couple sentences of the opening paragraph of the email. Focus on making these two sentences the most appealing and reiterating the subject line in some shape or form to reinforce why they looked in the first place.

To read my other 3 items to test which include opening paragraphs, CTAs, and the day and times to send out the emails, read my full post on Startup Fashion.

Image Source: http://tweakyourbiz.com/marketing/2012/03/23/10-reasons-your-business-should-use-email-marketing/

Optimize your Email Marketing Campaign with 5 Tips

 

Email marketing is an essential part of marketing programs for brands. It allows brands to communicate personally and directly with their audience.

There are the basics that all brands should be implementing into their marketing plans, but then there are those few extras that brands can do to further optimize their email campaigns for increased open rates, engagement with the content, and in turn conversion to a customer (or loyal customer).

Here are 5 tips for optimizing email marketing:

Add Clear CTAs

Adding a call to action (CTA) is common, but not all brands do it properly. Unfortunately some brands forget to make it stand out.  Or they add too many, making the call to action (the intent from the brand) less likely to occur.

Our tip – make the one, specific CTA, stand out. Use a button or a different color…either way ensure it calls out to the reader. In addition ensure the wording on the CTA is relevant and a next step that makes sense.

For example, if you have an excerpt on one of your products, add a CTA that allows the reader to continue reading on the topic elsewhere (online, social media, or via download).

Socialize your Content

This step is crucial to any brand whether they are just starting out or not. Utilize social presence and allow the audience to continue the conversation online with brand specific hashtags ,which apply to the content.

Additionally, allow readers to share your content easily with their friends.  Let them tweet it (have a shortened link already available for them to use), let them share on Facebook, let them pin it on Pinterest, let them +1 it or whatever they may choose as their preference.

The key is, the more shareable the content, the further the content and conversation will go. Hence – more eyeballs on your brand!

email marketing

 

To read my 3 other tips on email marketing, please read my original blog post for Startup Fashion. Thanks!

Three Steps to Utilize Content Mapping to Improve Lead Nurturing

Marketing and sales teams must work hand-in-hand in order to provide a company with the leads and profits it needs to grow and succeed. But let’s back-track a bit. Exactly how does a marketing team help a sales team with those leads once they’re generated? It should all start with a content map for lead nurturing, which can help a marketing team nurture existing leads into more qualified leads for their sales team. As a result, these more qualified leads will be more likely convert into customers at the end of the sales cycle.

What Is Content Mapping?

Content mapping is the process for lead nurturing by which a marketing team prepares and organizes relevant and valuable content. Once organized, this content can be distributed to prospects depending on the type of lead and their point in the sales cycle.

Here are three ways to strategize a very helpful content map:

1. Identify Marketing Personas

First, you need to identify the different personas of the target audience you are selling to. Each of these personas will likely have a different variety of needs and wants when they’re considering your particular product/service. Once this identification had been made, you’ll be able to identify, create, and provide the valuable content different segments of your target audience wants and needs.

Depending on your company, you may have 3 personas or you may have 50. It all depends on your products/services and all the different types of people who become customers of what you offer. Are you a marketing agency selling a service to help people with their social media marketing needs? What types of people would want this assistance? You can determine these personas by examining roles, titles, demographics, goals, pain points, and more. Just make sure you define these personas in a way that allows you to easily group and segment them using similar motives and that you can clearly define their stage in the buying process.

To continue reading my other two steps on how to best utilize content mapping for lead nurturing efficiency and success, please continue reading my full post on the Hubspot blog at the link below. 

Read more: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/27100/3-Steps-to-Improve-Lead-Nurturing-With-Content-Mapping.aspx#ixzz1b5ZzU8C5

5 Types Of Lead Nurturing Emails You Should Be Sending

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lead nurturing, which helps move your leads down the funnel via email marketing, is essential but not always implemented properly or efficiently. Most companies would like their leads to move down the funnel and become customers. However, converting leads to customers is not just about sending random emails. The content of each email should be relevant, targeted, and communicate value that your company has to offer.

Before you even start, you should strategize a content map, which will allow you to plan out your email campaign for different types of leads, and how it should be changed as they click on items, and move down the funnel.

5 Types Of Lead Nurturing Emails You Should Be Sending

1. Educational Content Email - You could start with some general educational emails that have content demonstrating the value your company can offer (without being “salesy”). For example, you could have 5 different types of educational emails you can provide depending on upon the type of lead they are. You can provide educational content regarding marketing, technology related to your service/product, selling to their customers, managing their business better, etc.
This was an excerpt of my post for Hubspot. Click the link below to read about the other 4 emails you should be sending in my full post!
Read more: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/25494/5-Types-Of-Lead-Nurturing-Emails-You-Should-Be-Sending.aspx#ixzz1YpEITXkm

5 Obvious Ways to Grow an Email List That You’re Ignoring

email subscribe

The simplest and easiest tools and tips are sometimes also the ones that are most ignored or easily forgotten. Encouraging your target market to opt in to your email subscribe form is key to lead generation for marketing teams. However, some marketers ignore or forget about the simple ways to increase those opt-ins. Let’s take a look at 5 obvious ways marketers can do just that…

1. Simplify Your Email Opt-In

Creating yoblog subscribeur email subscribe box can be as simple as including a title for what the person is subscribing to (e.g. “ABC Monthly Email”) and adding a simple entry box for the subscriber to enter an email address and press ‘submit.’

However, if you want a better and more efficient email opt-in box, set up a form that allows you to also retrieve their full name (perhaps location and company name as well) and demonstrate what they’re signing up for. What’s the value (see below for tips on providing value)? This not only allows you to collect more information for lead generation purposes but also ensures subscribers are truly interested in what you have to offer.

Interested in reading more, check out my full post on the Hubspot blog!

Read more: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/24896/5-Obvious-Ways-to-Grow-an-Email-List-That-You-re-Ignoring.aspx#ixzz1YJbh1kQG

How to: Connect Email Marketing and Social Media


Nowadays communication is about being at the fingertips of your consumers. Consumers want to find how they can reach you at the click of a mouse button. Whether it’s via email communication, social media, and/or both. Your place of business should make it as easy as possible for your consumers, so why not connect both together? Combine your mechanism for direct response with your organic communities. Therefore consumers can find, communicate, and engage with you how and when they want to. Thus, you’re not “pushing” yourself on them, you’re “pulling” them in. Awesome.

In addition, some people think that email is old school, while social networking is the “new black.” Truth is, you can leverage both in order to effectively manage your brand and increase engagement and ROI in the long run. Here are some great ways to get started…

1. Make your email more social: When you email your blog and/or newsletter subscribers, make sure your email message includes social sharing options. Leverage your email subscriber’s social networks. For example, if your email subscriber list is 10,000, each of those people may have 100 or so followers and 600 or so Facebook friends and another couple hundred LinkedIn connections, and so on. Therefore, your message’s potential social reach could be millions because of the connections your subscribers have. In short, social sharing buttons in your emails is a huge opportunity! Two tools to help you get started:

A. Constant Contact: A great email marketing service that allows you to include a share bar in your newsletter. Therefore, your subscribers (current and potential) can share what they’ve read in your email on their portals such as Facebook,Twitter, and/or LinkedIn. Word of mouth marketing about your service/product? Yes, please. You can try this service for Free up to 60 days and then subscribe for as low as $15/month with other options included.
B. Mail Chimp: Another great email marketing service which allows you to insert your social site icons in your newsletter/email/etc. Therefore subscribers can instantly click and go to your social platforms and engage in real-time and share with others too. Valuable and key to building relationships with your target market. Mail Chimp is free for up to 2000 subscribers and a send limit of 12,000 but you can have unlimited depending on the pricing plan you prefer.

2. Add sign-up options to your social sites: In order to reach out to more of your target market via email,  make sure your social sites such as Facebook, have a link to subscribe to your blog and/or receive a newsletter via email. Make sure this option is easy to find, and easily seen when new potential consumers visit your social site. In addition, if you have a blog and a newsletter, add a “sign up for our email newsletter” on your blog’s sidebar. Great use of ” social real estate”. TIP: Keep your sign up fields short and sweet. That way the target consumer will be more likely to take the 2 seconds to enter their email. Afterwards follow up with your sensational email marketing campaign which promotes your product/service. In addition, this allows your consumer to choose between receiving information via your Facebook page, their  inbox, or however your target market decides they would prefer to learn and keep up to date on what’s going on with your company. This prevents your company from pushing one mode of communication, and instead allowing the consumer to choose what they prefer. Pull them in!

3. Two tools that will rock your socks off:

A. AWeber: Allows you to instantly send a link to your Facebook page and Twitter account and share your newsletter with your followers and fans. That way new and potential target market consumers have a chance to subscribe and/or keep up with your “happenings” via the channel they prefer. First month sign up is for $1.00(normally $19.00/month for up to 500 subscribers).

B. Rapleaf: Takes a unique approach where they assist marketers in understanding “the social connectivity and influence of existing members in their online databases.” Each member has value and can spread the word positively or negatively. Staying on top of the influencers is key and Rapleaf can assist by customizing emails to each member of your audience. Personalized emails? Great way to engage on a higher level. Try out for free here.

Want more social contact management tools? Rapportive, Hoverme, and Gist help to connect the contacts you have from your email and find them on their social networks. Great tools and ways to engage and build relationships and utilize both email and social marketing together. Utilize this “social inbox” because every social media user has an email address for each of their social mdia platforms. In short, “email is the glue that ties social media together” and your company would be wise to make the two work together. To get started, feel free to check out my Toolkit for your convenience…

Note: this post was originally written for oneforty, which was acquired by Hubspot.