Your content marketing strategy plays a huge role in your overall marketing ROI. And a great way to get the most out of each piece of content is to promote it via email marketing.
Contrary to popular belief, content marketing is not synonymous with just blogging but also includes other forms of content such as video (say, YouTube marketing, webinars, etc.), audio (say, Spotify podcasts), interactive content (say, quizzes, calculators, etc.), and more.
Each of those content types serves a different purpose, and they can all bring customers to your business with some strategic email marketing.
Strategies for successful content marketing via email
There are plenty of ways you can tie the knot between your email marketing and content marketing efforts. Here are seven effective ways to leverage the power of email marketing for your content.
1. Integrate lead magnets into your emails
A lead magnet is a piece of exclusive digital content — an ebook, checklist, case study, whitepaper, report, guide, etc. — that helps your potential customer solve a specific problem.
Your email subscribers (not yet customers) are likely in the early stages of their buyer’s journey and have signed up for stellar content. They may not be ready to become your customer just yet, but you can nurture a strong relationship with them by offering a free, relevant, and valuable resource — a lead magnet.
As the name suggests, lead magnets are usually used to generate email opt-ins by incentivizing people to share their email address in exchange for the free resource. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use lead magnets in the next stage of the marketing funnel to keep adding free (and impressive) value to your audience’s life.
Based on specific triggers, such as when a new subscriber signs up for your email list, you can use autoresponders to build automated time-based sequences that deliver relevant lead magnets to nurture your leads (in this case, a welcome email with a special offer/discount as a “thank you” for subscribing).
Lead magnets are a great way to improve your content marketing engagement rates, especially when you embed them into emails. As lead magnets show subscribers your content marketing, they persuade subscribers to view eBooks, webinars, videos, and podcasts they would have otherwise never seen. This will drive views to your content marketing, increasing your sales in turn.
2. Create a targeted email list for your YouTube subscribers
Video marketing statistics suggest 83% of marketers feel YouTube has boosted their marketing efforts and that 68% of consumers prefer to engage with brands that make videos.
The icing on the cake? Email marketing campaigns that contain video content generate 96% higher click-through rates than campaigns that don’t use video content.
YouTube videos create a personal bond with viewers, often referred to as a parasocial relationship. When viewers have a parasocial relationship with you, they are more likely to trust you as an authority, as you have built a personal brand-to-customer connection. This means that when you include your content marketing as a lead magnet in a YouTube video (or vice versa), subscribers are likely to engage with both.
Building a dedicated YouTube subscribers email list will drive your content marketing strategy in two key ways. First, it will increase traffic to your content marketing. This will boost your content’s Google ranking, which will draw more eyes to your work.
Second, it will give you a loyal group of customers to learn from. As a great content marketing strategy offers readers exactly what they want, the feedback you get from your email list subscribers will help you produce better content.
Here are some best practices to get the most out of the emails you send to your subscribers:
- Incorporate the word “video” into your email subject line (consider using an emoji)
- Optimize your emails for mobile
- Insert a YouTube icon in your emails linking back to your channel and also on the thumbnail, so recipients know it’s a YouTube video.
- Test and optimize the thumbnails in your email body (size and location of the video thumbnail, the image used, caption, etc.)
3. Improve your podcasts with creative newsletters
If you host a podcast, you’re talking to your listeners directly. But the connection only goes one way. Email marketing is the perfect channel to bridge the gap between episodes and keep your listeners engaged.
Using email marketing, you can send newsletters containing fun ‘behind-the-scenes’ content to your podcast listeners. This content could include show notes, recaps, funny responses from listeners, further reading, or even competitions. These newsletters serve three functions:
- They keep your audience engaged
- They add more depth to your podcasts
- They introduce new people to your content marketing
Let’s talk about that last point.
If you want to use newsletters to grow your audience base, you can simply incentivize existing subscribers to forward your emails with a giveaway or competition. This will increase your podcast and email audience, driving the reach of your content marketing and increasing your sales.
4. Raise webinar attendance with effective email sequences
Webinars (web seminars) are video presentations, workshops, or lectures hosted online, typically with the help of webinar tools. These online events are interactive in nature and a great way to share your knowledge with your audience, strengthen customer relationships, and exude brand authority.
Creating an email sequence can be effective in increasing your webinar attendance. Here’s a quick step-by-step approach to do just that:
- Identify your target audience and segment your email list accordingly
- Make your webinar invitation email. Include a preview of the key topics your webinar will be covering, so the audience knows whether the webinar is relevant to them
- Make the sign-up process straightforward with a clear CTA
- Send reminder emails with key information a day or two before the webinar
- After the webinar, send a follow-up email thanking the participants, recapping the key content, and requesting feedback
Create an email campaign specifically for the purpose of promoting your webinar. Ideally, these emails would arrive before you invite people to the webinar.
Each campaign email should give your subscribers small nuggets of information, which will grab their interest and slowly build momentum for your webinar. For best results, always include links to your other content marketing in these campaigns. This will give your subscribers more information on topics they are interested in and drive traffic to your marketing.
5. Transform your emails with your most popular infographics
If you’re making infographics as part of your content marketing, email marketing is the perfect way to distribute them. Rather than sending long-form emails that nobody has the time to read, compiling all the key information in an appealing infographic gets the message across faster and more effectively. Plus, you can better persuade your subscribers by clear, relevant visuals and calls to action instead of slabs of text.
Here are a few ideas on how to use infographics to enhance your emails:
- Highlight the most important points or data (crop the full graphic if needed)
- Neatly explain a process, such as a sign-up process
- Show a comparison, such as a before vs. after
6. Make your emails interactive with your quizzes
Content marketing and email marketing have one key thing in common: they keep people’s interest. That’s where fun activities like quizzes come in. Quizzes are an engaging piece of content marketing that grabs people's interest, entertains them, and links them to your website or other content.
Luckily, quizzes are also one of the easiest pieces of content you can distribute through email. Here’s how to make a quiz:
- Find a quiz maker
- Get a link to the quiz you created
- Add the link to your email in an inviting way, as shown below (you can’t put the full quiz in an email as emails don’t support iframes)
- Send it out and track the results (link click-throughs, quiz completions, etc.)
This will give you an email that looks like the example below.
Of course, quizzes can also drive your email list subscribers. Ensure you embed your quizzes on your website and include a link for people to join your email list at the bottom of the page for best results.
7. Increasing the reach of your blog articles via email
Last but not least, and one of the most straightforward strategies, is to promote your latest blog posts via email.
In doing so, you increase the reach of your articles and get that much-needed initial traction for your content that’s hot off the digital press.
Time to tie the knot
Email marketing is a great tool to improve your content marketing. Good email marketing adds value to your existing content, directs traffic to key pieces of marketing like webinars and events, and builds a greater relationship with your customers. If you want to create a connection with your customers through content marketing, leveraging email is the way.