The Missed Opportunity: Email and Content Marketing
What is Content Marketing?
Digital technology has revolutionized the way companies reach both consumers and other businesses in B2C and B2B marketing. Content marketing is the latest strategy companies are using it to increase the reach of a marketing campaign. Content marketing incorporates all of the information a company provides to the public: website, blog, videos, widgets, contests, diagrams, free offers, how-tos, reviews, slide shows, etc. These digital assets are available to potential consumers whenever and however they personally look for content, which helps to increase positive business results. (1) What was once thought of as “marketing fluff” is now such a big part of a company’s strategy that on average, marketers spend more than one-quarter of their marketing budget on content marketing, according to B2B Marketing Insider. (2)
The Missed Opportunity
In the early days of content marketing, digital marketers were part of the group that dismissed content marketing as merely fluffy information. This misconception of content marketing lead to a missed opportunity of combining content marketing with one of the most important digital marketing strategies: Email.
Combine content with a lightning fast delivery system, and companies have the most advantageous way of sending the latest information to consumers. With almost 4 billion worldwide email accounts, it has become a primary means of communication for people in both their personal and professional lives. According to ExactTarget’s Channel Preference Survey, more than 91% of consumers check their email at least daily, and 66% of consumers have made a purchase as a result of an email they have received. That is almost 40 times better than Facebook and Twitter at gaining new customers. (3)
The email marketing strategy has seen such success because of its timely delivery to past, current, and potential customers. An eye-catching little flyer full of pictures and product information arrives automatically, even notifying the customer of the new message. The customer can then decide to look at the email right away, or save it for later without having to do much digging for the information.
The Email – Content Connection
The goal of content marketing is to keep repeat customers as well as attract new ones. Many companies use email to flood customers with newsletters full of information on awards won, completed and upcoming projects, new hires, and irrelevant facts otherwise useless to the customer. Emails should instead provide a prevue of information that will intrigue the customer enough to visit the company’s website. That content can come from anywhere custom to the company: blogs, social media, website pages, newsletters, etc. According to a study from Custom Content Council, 61% of consumers are more trusting of a company that delivers custom content, and they are also more likely to buy from that company. (1) A company can further the idea of sending relevant content to customers by sending out different emails to groups of customers depending on what the customer has opened, clicked on, purchased, and signed up for. (5)
While most of the “content” in content marketing is designed for areas like social media, blogs, and web pages, that content is not limited to a specific place. Reusing content in emails gives it more exposure and contributes to an overall stronger content marketing strategy.