How to grow your business with content marketing in 2019

The year is in full swing and marketing strategies are being rolled out… but maybe you kind of haven’t started yours yet? Don’t worry, it’s not too late to begin – especially since content marketing isn’t solely about driving leads, but the stories you want to tell.

Based on our content marketing experience with brands across Singapore and Southeast Asia, we have put together a few tips and techniques you can use to beef up your efforts this year, regardless of whether you have done your marketing homework or not.

#1 Quality over quantity

Although a regular content output remains important, the quality of each piece is more important than ever before. With thousands of posts, articles and newsletters being published and pushed out every single day, the sheer volume of available content is overwhelming. Simply rehashing your competitors’ communications won’t be convincing or engaging, to say the least.

If you are going to create content in 2019, make sure it matters to your audience and feels fresh. Whether it’s your own opinion posted to LinkedIn, your next company blog or a product-related post on Facebook, give it substance, a point of view, and ask yourself if it adds any value. Also, don’t simply produce content for the sake of it – instead publish content when you have something to say.

Want to know more about how to take a stance as a brand? Read this.

#2 Email marketing doesn’t rely on algorithms

If you are worried about social media advertising algorithms messing about with your budget, then it’s time to revitalise your email marketing strategy. Email is one of the only channels that doesn’t rely on ever-changing algorithms.

Whether you already have a solid database or are just starting out, an email marketing strategy is a worthy investment. With great visuals, quality content, and an opinionated subject line, you can grab the attention of the people that matter.

Tip: Don’t overload your newsletters with too much content. Have a topic that ties back to your business for each newsletter.

#3 Influencers? Yes, but…

It’s the age if the influencer… including the ‘fake’, wannabe inauthentic ‘influencers’ that pop of everywhere claiming to have a phenomenal reach. There are just as many ‘fake’ influencers promoting their services and reach to any brand that is keen enough listen as there are real ones, and so it comes as no surprise that Instagrammers look to buy followers or use other shady tactics. Just last year, Singapore-based Daryl Aiden Yow was exposed for passing off stock images as his own, offering his photography services at the same time.

To identify influencers who actually add value to your business, take a deep look into their feeds. Look critically at their engagement and comments. If it seems legit, it’s time to meet them – if not in person, then at least over a quick call. Their personality and attitude will often provide better insight into whether they are in it for a quick buck or if they are passionate content creators worthy of investment.

#4 Merge quality with measurement

We can’t say it often enough – create, measure, analyse and optimise. While this may sound straightforward, these simple steps divide content teams everywhere.

There are two camps in content marketing: On one side are the editorial purists, who polish each sentence until it could win a literary prize. On the other side are the SEO-minded Google Analytics marketers, who tend to produce conglomerations of keyword that will make great use of checklists and algorithms.

Who’s the better content marketer? Well, they both are, if they work together.

The truth is that the most common concern regarding content marketing, especially among SMEs and startups, is related to their return on investment (ROI). Be it brand awareness, website clicks, conversions or leads, setting KPIs and measuring your content rigorously is important. But it’s equally important to craft well-written and informative pieces that people actually want to read.

#5 Don’t forget about employer branding

Content marketing is not only a way for brands to create awareness for their products and services, but also to attract and recruit highly-skilled talent.

While a lot of brands successfully market their offerings and attract customers, they are often not so great at telling their story as an employer and engaging the right people to work for them. Though client work always comes first, remember that without the right people working for your company, you won’t be able to offer the highest quality work or grow your business.

Ensure you communicate across different channels, highlighting aspects of your business that matters to the audiences on each channel. While your company blog is a great way to showcase your expertise and express thoughts more freely on a variety of topics, Facebook and Instagram should highlight the fun side of your company in a way that’s as visual as possible. Both LinkedIn and Glassdoor are not only platforms to post jobs but are great for communicating company news to a professional audience. However, don’t forget to leverage marketing and HR titles (or other trade titles) to express your thoughts and opinions on the wider industry.

Need help with some or all of the above? Just say ‘hi’ at hello@mutant.com.my and we’ll talk.

 

The secret to getting people to open your emails

Getting your point across in an email isn’t as easy as you think.

No matter who your customer base is, chances are they receive dozens of emails and newsletters every day, informing them of special deals, new information or other updates to their business that might be of interest. It’s incredibly easy to get lost in the noise.

People are busy, and you have about one second to grab their attention when your newsletter pings in their inbox (check out my previous blog to help you create a newsletter people actually want to read.) That one second comes down to what you choose to put in your subject line. It’s what determines whether they click to open, or click to delete.

After all, what’s the point in sending out the greatest email there ever was, if no one opens it?

I subscribe to pretty much everything, so as you can imagine I’ve got a decent sample of both good and bad newsletters to draw inspiration from. There are a bunch I delete without taking a second look, but what about the ones that I actually do bother to open and actually read?

Here are some examples of effective emails that have landed in my inbox, which compelled me to click.

Zalora

Email Subject: How to look stunningly well dressed for any occasion
Content: Fashion/clothing options for any occasion

Zalora have crafted some amazing emails and really know how to use the power of email marketing to get directly in front of their readers. They have used what is called a “trendy topic” headline and made it catchy and relevant to their subscribers.

AirAsia

Email Subject: HURRY, grab your FREE SEATS now! Only 4 days left!
Content: A selection of destinations across Asia with free flights

Most people know AirAsia, and in this particular email they have really drawn on the “free” aspect to get people’s attention. Their audience are regular travellers looking out for cheaper deals (why else would they subscribe to a budget airline newsletter?) and so the use of the word “free” is an instant attention-grabber. The subject also has created a sense of urgency that encourages readers to click through – a very clever move.

The attraction to open email newsletters is heavily based on what is written in the subject and how much it appeals to a person at that particular time.

Here’s what you should be doing with your email subject line:

Summarise, and leave the reader wanting more: In a very short 40-50 characters (or less), you will need to summarise what your email/newsletter/offer is about. Keep your readers curious and encourage the clickthrough.

Make it urgent: Where possible, make the reader feel they must know the information you are presenting to them NOW. This is more likely to encourage people to take action with fear of feeling left out.

Keep the content relevant: Writing catchy subject lines doesn’t mean succumbing to clickbait. Your readers will get annoyed if your content is not relevant to what is written in the subject. You can be creative and quirky to capture attention, but ensure that your content is related.

Ask yourself why?: Why would (or should) people bother opening your email? Is what you’re saying important and worth opening to investigate further? Just because it matters to you, that doesn’t mean it appeals to others, so do your research.

 If you would like to look at ways to incorporate e-newsletters into your marketing and PR strategy, get in touch with us at hello@mutant.com.my

Web

How to create a newsletter people actually want to read

newsletter

From beginning to send, you need to know what works for your business when constructing an effective e-newsletter to engage with customers.

 

We all want the best returns on our marketing activities. Whether you are a small startup or a large corporation, we’re all after effective marketing with the highest ROI.

When coordinating your marketing plan, it’s important to spread your activities across multiple mediums to get your message across to your target audience. As part of this, one of the most important things you can do is maintain regular contact with current and former customers. But rather than forcing phone calls on them, this can be done effectively by employing a more subtle approach through branding and content. Visibility can be so effective – they get to know who you are and stay familiar with your brand.

One of the best ways to do this is by providing an e-newsletter. We receive these in our inboxes every day – but what makes you inclined to open one and not the other? How you curate your newsletters can be the difference between success and failure, so it’s important to get it right from the start.

Newsletters are not only extremely cost-effective but can be a very targeted marketing tool, providing real-time relevant content to a target consumer. Whether you use it as a direct sales tool – such as a retailer having a mid-year sale – or to sustain an ongoing relationship with clients, you need to think clearly about what matters to your audience.

With that being said, here are a few simple tips to get you going:

Design matters – a lot!

A well-designed newsletter speaks volumes. It represents your brand and what you stand for. This is one part most people tend to pay the least attention to, but it’s the most impactful and striking factor for readers, who want to view something that is well thought out, clean and clutter free.

A poorly designed header can make people feel like they are getting unwanted spam, while too much cluttered text can look messy and hard to read. If your design is not suited to your target audience, the chances of them unsubscribing or deleting future newsletters is higher. So put the time into the design and make it work.

Content counts

Plan your content well. Like the design, the content you include matters a lot. It needs to be relevant and valuable to the reader. Whether it’s industry tips, personal experiences or a simple discount code, know your customers and ensure the content resonates with them.

Your newsletters provide an opportunity to send out timely content directly to your consumers, and there are options to segregate your mailing list depending on subscriber interests for a more targeted approach. Don’t forget to include calls-to-action throughout your newsletter – it can be a hyperlink to your website, a landing page or checkout page.

The subject line of your newsletter is also a vital component. This is the first thing that the reader will see when deciding whether to click to open. It needs to be succinct and to the point – pick something that will entice the reader to open your email and avoid using subject lines such as “Newsletter 1” or “Company Newsletter”.

Be consistent

There is nothing more annoying for a consumer than getting a multitude of irrelevant emails. A good way of getting noticed is to be consistent when sending your newsletters – people are more likely to recognise you and are less likely to ignore the mail. Pick the frequency of your send (i.e. daily, weekly, fortnightly, monthly) and select a day and time of your send and stick to it!

When starting out, monitor your results and observe when people are more receptive to your newsletter, then alter your send time accordingly. It’s all about trial and error.

Don’t ignore the results

Each time you send out a newsletter, check out the campaign report – who is clicking on what? Did more people unsubscribe on a particular send? What type of content is getting the most clickthroughs to your website? Does it make a difference when you include an image or not? Monitor actions and use that data to your advantage to better your next campaign.

Finally – and I can’t stress this enough – always remember to test your newsletters on multiple devices (send it around the office first!) and never be afraid to ask for a second opinion.

Click below to download Mutant’s e-newsletter tips:

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If you would like to look at ways to incorporate e-newsletters into your marketing and PR strategy, get in touch with me at ola@mutant.com.my