May 13, 2016
Often when I work with new entrepreneurs or even seasoned business owners, a lot of confusion happens around the whole content marketing thing. Should they blog? Should they send out newsletters? Do they have to do both?
The first thing that pops into their mind is: “it sounds like a lot of work!” Both marketing options are often dismissed under that assumption.
The second thing that creates resistance to writing blogs and/or newsletters is not knowing what to write or how to do it.
This article first explains the benefits of blogging and sending out newsletters and then I offer a simple solution that should easily be able to fit into anyone’s marketing budget.
Why Send Newsletters?
One of the most important assets to your business is the people that are listed in your database. This is important because these people have shown an interest in your product or service and, therefore, are considered to be a part of your “target market.”
One of the best and easiest ways to get people listed into your database is through an online newsletter offering, often referred to as an eZine or eNewsletter.
I realize this can be a scary proposition — not only with what to write but making the commitment to write something on a regular basis.
However, the benefits of sending a regular newsletter should far outweigh these fears.
Consistently sending out a newsletter will:
- Continually remind your followers of your existence and thus, remind them of the product or service you offer.
- Enhance your business brand recognition when sent through an e-mail template that matches your brand and website’s look and feel.
- Position you as an expert in your field, giving you credibility and trust amongst your followers.
- Enable the ability to be forwarded to friends and associates of your followers, spreading the word about you and providing an opportunity for those to subscribe as well.
Make it much easier to “sell” to a person who already knows, likes and trusts you rather than to strangers first visiting your site.
Why Bother With Blogging?
Blogging, considered an extension of social media marketing, also has its benefits. It gives you an opportunity to write about news and information related to you, your business and your industry on a regular basis.
By doing this, you can be discovered by a much bigger audience. This audience is found from a variety of different avenues but primarily via social media and search engines.
Some advantages to blogging are:
- Search engines pick up blog postings quickly and easily, giving you great SEO optimization and exposure in search results. Not only that, but search engines will also see that you are updating your website on a regular basis, rewarding your efforts by getting your site higher up in the search results.
- Blogs can be built within your existing website, thus driving traffic to your whole site when someone wants to read one of your articles.
- Subscribers have the ability to subscribe to your blog, reminding them of you and your business each time you post a new article.
- People have an opportunity to share your article to their various social media channels, giving an opportunity for your article to “go viral.” Other bloggers could also pick up your post and re-post it to their blog (with your permission of course) or reference to it from a post, creating a “trackback” that gives positive SEO juice to your site.
- They are positioning you as an expert in your field, giving you credibility and trustworthiness amongst your readers.
- Being much easier to “sell” to a person who already knows and trusts you — visitors will get this from being a faithful reader of your blog postings
So which strategy is more important than the other or should you do both?
If I had to choose one or the other, I’d opt for the blog; however, I personally feel it is best if you do both methods of marketing to get optimal results.
- Newsletters give you the opportunity to have an active database of your target market whereas blogs do not.
- A blog gives you a more economical way of frequently reaching out to your target market — whether it’s a short note or a lengthy article, you don’t have to pay out money since the blog can be fully managed by you.
- Newsletters give you the opportunity to personalize and direct your message to each person on your list where blogs need to speak to a generic audience.
- Blogs are picked up by search engines more easily and can attract a more global audience whereas newsletters are targeted to a specific audience within your database.
- Newsletters give you the opportunity to attract subscribers by offering a free digital give-away (such as a report, audio message, short eBook etc) which can then be followed up with an auto-responder series that can lead to sales where blogs need to entice with each posting created to generate a loyal following.
As you can see, each method has its own unique marketing qualities and both should be used to attract more clients.
One trick that I use to avoid redundant work is to include the blog post in my newsletter. Each week when I send out my newsletter, I reference the blog post and ask my followers to read the whole post on my blog.
This way, a newsletter does not require a lot of extra writing, it’s simply being strategic about the content that you write and ensuring it reaches the largest number of people through different marketing methods.
Always Provide Value
There is a cautionary note to both forms of content marketing — to create a faithful following, you must always think in terms of what your readers (and more importantly your ideal target market) are wanting and needing from you.
You need to give them valuable information (or entertainment) that will make them feel it is worth their while to either receive your newsletters or read your blog postings.
As the founder, Susan Friesen brings a unique advantage to eVision Media clients by having earned a Bachelor in Business Administration degree with a concentration in Computer Information Systems through the Thompson River's University. Her experience in the Web development industry since 1999 has gained her much insight and knowledge in how to effectively brand a business and then translate that to a user-friendly, search-engine friendly, custom designed website. She is a graduate of the Vancouver Film School multi-media program and also earned several certificates in technology through the University of Victoria and Athabasca University. She won the 2003-2004 Governor General's Bronze Academic Award for achieving the highest academic standing in a diploma-level post secondary program. http://evisionmedia.ca