7 Content Marketing Strategies to Take Your Company to the Next Level

7 Content Marketing Strategies to Take Your Company to the Next Level

Email Marketing

Content marketing tends to get a bad rap. First of all, it’s hard. It takes a lot of effort, and no matter what type of content marketing strategies you’re invested in, you need a writer to make it happen. 

As a content strategist and writer myself, I could be a little biased in my love for content marketing, but study after study has shown that content marketing is one of the most effective inbound marketing methods to take your company to the next level when it comes to digital presence, lead generation, and most importantly to you — ROI. 

Once you have a good content marketing strategy in place, it can provide some of the highest returns, with very little investment on your part. With all of those awesome benefits in mind, then how do you get started with content marketing? 

Are there some strategies that are better, more proven, or easier than others?

We say yes. 

While nearly all forms of content marketing are effective, there are a select few that are proven to drive serious results, especially when implemented and executed properly. We’re here to talk about those seven. Use the menu below to jump to the strategy you’re most interested in, or read all the way through for everything you’ve ever needed to know to set your company apart from the competition with intuitive content marketing strategies. 

7 Content Marketing Strategies to Take Your Company to the Next Level

#1 Blogging Strategy

Blogging feels like a given, but we’re going to talk about it anyway because it’s that important. If you want to up your company’s digital presence — that is, rank ahead of key competition, be the first in search results, and more — you need to blog, and you need to blog with intention. 

Start by developing a true blogging strategy. Do keyword research and figure out which search terms are:

  • Relevant to your business
  • Highly searched
  • Easy to rank for (that is, they have low competition for organic search results)
  • Interesting and useful to your ideal buyer personas

Then, develop a blogging schedule and strategy around those keywords. When you’re developing a blogging strategy to stick to, keep these best practices in mind:

  • Blog regularly (on a monthly or weekly schedule)
  • Write blogs that satisfy a buyer persona’s pain point or question
  • Ensure that your content creation structure makes sense. This is important for SEO and ranking purposes. See this blog on topic clusters for more information there. 
  • Write blogs that are long enough to satisfy readers and search engines alike. We recommend at least 1,000 words.

If you blog regularly, on topics that are relevant and useful to your ideal buyer personas, you’ll start to see results. And if you’re honest, and your information is actually helpful to those ideal buyer personas, you’ll keep rising up through the SERPs for those keywords that matter most to you, and your ideal buyers. 

#2 Email Marketing Strategy

If blogging is how you leverage content marketing to reach strangers, then email marketing is how you leverage content marketing to reach leads you already know. 

Email marketing gives you a decided advantage when it comes to nurturing leads through to close: 

  • You already have the lead’s contact information
  • You have a general sense of what they’re looking for — which product or service they’re interested in
  • You likely know what company they work for
  • You know that they already have at least some interest in your company — they did give you their email address, after all. 

Use this information to your benefit. Email marketing is about strategy. Given what you know about your contacts, what information will they need to keep moving towards closing a sale?

And, considering that many email marketing tools allow you to automate workflows, you can use these features to set up email workflows and let the tools do the work for you. While you can’t quite forget about your workflows, you can check back on the analytics and optimize as you go. 

Email marketing is one of the only tools that allows you to market directly to people who are already interested in the products or services you’re offering. If you’re looking to boost your digital presence and close more deals while you’re at it, a solid email marketing strategy is a must. 

#3 Social Media Marketing Strategy

If we’re talking about taking your company to the next level, we have to talk about social media. 

There’s no better way to get the word out about your company, and build a brand and personality, than on social media. And remember that building your social media presence is about more than just getting likes and comments. The more followers you have, the wider reach the rest of your content will have. 

Your social media marketing strategy should be just as calculated as your blogging strategy — it’s a common misconception that keywords don’t apply to the wild west of Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and Twitter. 

That’s not true, especially for a platform like Linkedin, where people are searching for companies and employees by the keywords you’re already trying to rank for. For a killer social media marketing strategy check out this post, and keep the following tips in mind: 

  • Follow a regular posting schedule
  • Curate content that’s specific to each platform. What resonates on Instagram isn’t what resonates or is appropriate for Linkedin.
  • Vary your topics. Don’t just talk about what’s happening in your office or promote your blog posts. Share great posts from other industry leaders, share fun content when appropriate, and make sure you’re curating an interesting feed for followers.
  • Incorporate your keywords where it’s relevant. Don’t spam your followers with unnecessary hashtags, but do be conscious about what terms you’re using in social media copy. 

If your company is new to social media, we always suggest starting small. Pick one platform, like Linkedin or Facebook, and put all of your efforts into building a following there. When you feel comfortable managing one platform, and you feel like you have a handle on how to get and maintain followers, you can expand into additional platforms. 

#4 Video Strategy

Video is hands-down one of the best ways to engage visitors. 

People love video content, search engines love video content, and you should love video content, too. 

That said, we know that developing a video strategy can be a little scary. It’s a much more involved process than writing a blog post, and it takes more time and money than any other content marketing strategy out there.

Remember that you don’t always have to produce professional-quality videos. While you might invest in professional help for videos that are going up on your website, a simple how-to video can be done on a smartphone, as long as your audio quality is good, and you have plenty of natural light. 

It’s true that video is a lot of work. It’s usually one of the last content marketing strategies that companies tend to invest in, for that reason. But if you’re really looking to stand out online, video is a surefire way to do it. Don’t take my word for it, though. Here are a few stats that should convince you, if I haven’t already:

Okay, so not only are most marketers already using video content, but one-third of all the internet activity online is spent watching video. Put that with the fact that video is highly shareable, and that most marketing professionals report it as having a very high ROI, and you really can’t go wrong. 

We live in a visual culture. 

People are watching videos constantly. 

Most millennials would prefer to watch a two-minute explainer video that tells them about your services, rather than read about it. 

Investing in a quality video strategy will boost your digital presence far beyond your competitors. Just make sure you’re transcribing all of your videos, so search engines can rank that valuable content for you, too. 

#5 Content Offer Development

One of the most tried-and-true content marketing strategies to exist in the digital world is content offer development. Plain and simple, content offers work. 

When you take the time to put together a valuable resource that someone interested in your product or service genuinely wants or needs, it’s going to pay off. 

Since we’re content marketing strategy fiends, we’ve tested, written, rewritten, and retested about a million content offers. I can tell you with confidence, nothing converts leads better than a quality content offer. 

So what does this do to grow your company? 

Well, if you have an awesome content offer, you can share it around social media and promote it on your email marketing strategy. It’s great for your company’s digital presence in that way. But, if we’re talking big picture, which we should be, content offers are what get you leads. 

If someone is interested enough in what you have to say that they give up their email address, they’re a qualified lead. 

And when your content offers are drawing in qualified leads, your company is going to see some growth. 

But how do you develop content offers that work?

Think about the questions you get the most often.

What holds people up from making a purchasing decision? Do they have trouble deciding between your products? If so, create a product comparison guide. Are they on the fence about how much of a difference your service will make for their company? Create a content offer that talks about the specific benefits your service provides. 

Develop content offers for specific stages of your buyer’s journey.

You know who your buyer personas are. You know what they’re looking for. You should know the places that they tend to fall out of the buyer’s journey. Whether they get stuck comparing your product to a competitor, or they just can’t decide if your service is worth the money, develop content offers that speak to those specific stages of the buyer’s journey. 

When you have at least one content offer for the awareness, consideration, and decision-making phase of the buyer’s journey, plus content that nurtures potential leads through some of your most common sticking points, you’ll start seeing more leads convert, in less time. 

Only gate the content offers that matter most. 

No matter how many content offers you’ve developed, make sure you’re only gating the ones that matter most. 

The new, most effective trend in digital marketing is to leave most of your content offers open to the public. Instead, you can offer those content offers as downloadable PDFs. This works to help you weed out unqualified contacts. Readers who are really interested in what you have to say, and want to take your offer home with them to read again, are likely to download the PDF and give you their contact information.

While you can still gate a few content offers — like checklists or product pricing guides — try to make your content as accessible to leads as possible, while still giving them the opportunity to give you their contact information. 

#6 Targeted Landing Pages

If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times — your home page is NOT a landing page. You’ve dedicated time and effort to a specific, relevant content development strategy that’s designed for multiple buyer personas — why would you send them all to the same bland, basic landing page?

They don’t have the same goals for your company, they don’t have the same needs, and they’re not all at the same place in the buyer’s journey. Targeted landing pages are one of the most effective content marketing strategies you can implement to directly improve your company’s digital ROI. 

Don’t take my word for it though. This company increased online ROI by 60%, just by optimizing their landing pages. 

That’s so easy! Landing pages are some of the shortest, most simple pages of content. Just write a lot of them, and develop them with specific keywords in mind, and you’ll start to see some serious results. 

Before we get off the landing page rant train, let’s just close with one more example. 

Say you’re scrolling through Instagram, and an ad comes up for a really awesome hoodie. It’s exactly what you’ve been looking for, and you’re ready to make the purchase. But when you click the ad, instead of being sent directly to that hoodie’s product page, you’re sent to the Amazon home page. 

What a disappointment. 

Are you going to search through Amazon’s massive website to find that specific hoodie and checkout while you’re on your 10-minute coffee break? Yeah. Didn’t think so.

That’s all targeted landing pages are. Pages that offer your ideal buyers exactly the content they were looking for in the first place. Invest just a bit of time in landing pages that are targeted to specific buyer personas and specific content offers, and you’ll start to see results. 

#7 Content Promotion Strategy

Our final content marketing tip is to have a content promotion strategy. All of your other content marketing strategies — your blog, your social media, and even your email marketing — won’t mean much if you’re not working to get the word out. You should spend at least as much time promoting content as you do creating it. 

When it comes to content marketing, you can do all the work of building and developing an awesome content marketing strategy, but if you’re not drawing people into your website to read your content, you’re not going to see the benefits you were looking for. Here are a few ways to take your content promotion strategy to the next level:

  • Cross-Channel Promotion. Promote your blogs on social media channels. Add social media buttons to the bottom of your email newsletters. Share your email subscribe link on social media, at the bottom of blogs, etc. You’re creating content in a variety of channels, as this blog has shown. Make sure your followers know about all of the opportunities you’re offering them to read more amazing content. 
  • Search Engine Optimization. The better optimized your site and content are, the more likely you are to boost organic traffic coming to your site. And when you have more traffic, you have a greater potential for leads. Check out this blog for tips on ensuring your content is following SEO best practices. 
  • Paid Search Advertising. If you’re just getting your content marketing strategy up and running, paid search is a great way to draw in the traffic you need now, without waiting for your site to organically come up in SERPs. Make sure you’re only bidding on relevant keywords, and stick to a budget, but with a little help from paid search, you’ll start seeing the traffic you’ve been looking for. 
  • Boosted or Paid Social Media. Boosted social media posts and paid social media promotion is a great way to get your social media marketing strategy off the ground, too. Boosted posts help ensure your content is reaching all of your followers. Social media ad campaigns can help you expand your reach, by getting more likes, more followers, or just getting the word out about your company.

Start with one or two of these content promotion tactics, and see how they work. Then, make sure you’re adding them to your content marketing strategy and schedule. When you’ve scheduled in time to focus on content promotion, you’re more likely to make it happen.

Content marketing is tough. It takes a lot of work and it takes a good writer — or three. If you don’t have a writer on staff, or if you’re just not sure how to jump into more content marketing strategies, we can help. Get in touch with the Evenbound team for more information, or check out the case study below to see exactly how we’ve helped our clients stand out from the competition with killer content marketing strategies.

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5 Best Outbound Marketing Tools for Manufacturers

5 Best Outbound Marketing Tools for Manufacturers

With the rise of the digital world and inbound marketing, outbound marketing can get a bad rap. While it’s no longer the only way to reach potential customers, it’s still an important part of any marketing and growth strategy, alongside inbound marketing practices. This outbound marketing shouldn’t be limited to traditional media like radio and newspaper ads, though, but should instead incorporate modern outbound tools. Here are 5 of the best outbound marketing tools for manufacturers and B2Bs.

#1 Social Media

You might think that social media is irrelevant to manufacturers, that it’s just kids sending pictures to each other, rich people hawking fad diets and scam music festivals, and your out-of-touch aunt leaving odd comments on status updates.

But that’s not entirely the case. Social media has huge potential for manufacturers’ outbound marketing efforts.

How? Social media ads and their amazing targeting options.

All social media platforms have some form of advertising, and most have multiple: boosted posts, banner ads, native ads, even direct messaging ads. Not only do they offer all of these kinds of ads, they provide some of the best targeting options for running your ad campaigns.

This is because of the nature of social media profiles—users indicate their demographics, location, and interests in their profiles, likes, and other platform activity. All of that activity can be used to target the audiences who are your desired market.

You might still be thinking that as a manufacturer, you’re marketing to businesses, not people.

But, if you’ve been doing any inbound marketing, you know that even to market to businesses, you have to market to people. There are certain people at your ideal client company that are key decision-makers with regard to your product, whether that is a product designer, a sourcing specialist, or a purchasing associate. You can absolutely market to those people with social media.

For manufacturers or other B2Bs, we find that LinkedIn is one of the best outbound marketing tools available. LinkedIn has very specific targeting options for ad campaigns, down to the specific companies and job titles at those companies that you want to target.

If you want to know more about LinkedIn’s outbound marketing potential, we’ve written about it, a lot. Check out The Definitive LinkedIn Guide for B2Bs and LinkedIn Ads and B2B Marketing to get started.

#2 Google

If you know anything about the internet, you know that getting people to your site means showing up on Google. While appearing in the organic search results for the keywords you want to rank for requires a certain amount of inbound marketing savvy—lots of good content, SEO optimization, keyword research, and so on—Google is also an outbound marketing tool.

Like social media platforms, Google has advertisements. And like social media, Google is ubiquitous. If you run Google ads, they’re going to be seen. Plus, Google Ads also have great targeting options by keywords, location, and even audience behavior.

Google Ads include two distinct types of ads: search ads and display network ads. Search ads are native ads (i.e., ads that look like regular search results but are actually ads) that appear at the top of the results page on searches for specific keywords you select.

If you look at the first two or three results the next time you search on Google, you’ll see that they are actually ads, and are designated as such.

Display network ads are banner and sidebar ads that appear on Google sites and sites they partner with, like local news sites, weather.com, and a host of other national and local organizations’ websites. These too can be highly targeted.

#3 Inbound Marketing Software

Does this seem like a contradiction? Probably. But the thing is, inbound and outbound strategies should always be working together, and not only can your inbound and outbound strategies support each other, but your inbound marketing software can also help you with outbound marketing efforts.

This is one of the many reasons we use HubSpot, because there are so many great features of HubSpot’s inbound marketing software that work for outbound marketing.

How? There are a few key ways. All of the tools incorporated in your inbound marketing software such as lead management systems, prospect reports, and analytics can be used by your sales department to make sales calls and direct mail campaigns more effective. These tools can also help you see which of your marketing content is most effective and with whom it’s effective, so your outbound marketing efforts can be more targeted.

#4 Email

Again, this might seem like double-dipping, since email marketing is generally considered an inbound marketing practice. But, again, it can be both. You send emails out rather than waiting for them to come in, and in our book, that’s outbound marketing. Click To Tweet

This isn’t just an email newsletter—that’s staunchly an inbound marketing practice. We’re talking about targeted email campaigns that nurture leads and bring them into the sales cycle. Using a targeted email campaign, you can push your brand, product, or service to a specific audience that has a genuine need and use for what you’re offering.

Creating valuable and targeted messages for intuitively segmented leads can yield huge results, especially when your campaigns provide the right information at the right time, without spamming or overwhelming your leads. Using email marketing effectively can transform it from just an inbound technique to a cornerstone of your outbound strategy.

#5 An Outbound Marketing Agency

A tool is anything you use to achieve a desired end state or goal. When it comes to outbound marketing, a full-service marketing agency with years of experience is going to be the best outbound marketing tool at your disposal. Especially as a manufacturing company that may not have a dedicated marketing department or any existing marketing efforts that fall outside the umbrella of sales, a marketing agency can help you reach the growth goals you care about most.

You can do all your outbound marketing all yourself—and you can use a screwdriver to get a screw into a piece of wood… but wouldn’t you rather use a drill? Click To Tweet Hi, we’re the drill.

Manufacturers can seriously benefit from outbound marketing tools, especially as more and more of your target buyers trend online. For help developing an outbound marketing strategy that actually works, talk to Evenbound.

 

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Email Workflow Best Practices that Convert Leads and Close Sales

Email Workflow Best Practices that Convert Leads and Close Sales

Email workflows are an excellent tool for pulling qualified leads through your sales cycle. When you set up an email workflow, you already know who you’re talking to, you have an idea of what they’re looking for, and you have a solution to their greatest pain points. One of the best lead nurturing tools in an inbound marketer’s toolbox, email workflows allow you to speak directly to qualified leads and offer them helpful, relevant content that draws them closer to making a purchasing decision.

Since email workflows are so integral to the digital marketing process, it’s important that your email marketing strategy is rock solid. Too many emails, and you risk alienating customers. Too few emails, and you won’t see any progress on the length of your sales cycle.

We’re going to look at a few key email workflow best practices you should be implementing convert leads and close sales as best possible. But before we do, let’s start with the two most important rules of the email workflow:

The Golden Rule of Email Workflows

The golden rule of email marketing, whether you’re creating a workflow or just sending out an email to your subscribers is this: Don’t be annoying.

Seriously. I know this sounds simple, but it’s more tempting than you’d think. The, “oh, I’ll just send out one more email” feels are real. Try not to give in to them, and for the love of everything, please don’t spam people.

Try to limit your emailing to just two or three emails per contact a week, tops.

 

And if someone unsubscribes, let them. Embrace your inner Shania Twain and remember you’re better of without them. Do not. Repeat. Do Not. Continue to email them.

The only thing that will do is earn you angry people who are definitely no longer customers, and who now have a bad taste in their mouth about your company.

Not sure if you’re emailing too much? Imagine you were receiving all of the emails you are sending. If you’d be frustrated at getting yet another email from a peppy sales rep who doesn’t actually know that much about your company, it’s probably time to lay off.

The Silver Rule of Email Workflows

We’re not sure if “silver rule” is a thing, but if it is, always be offering something, would be it for email workflows.

If you take just one thing away from this blog, it should be to always offer something in every workflow email you send.

Whether it’s a relevant content offer, a chance to meet with a sales rep, or a free trial of your software, every email you send, especially in a workflow, should offer up something that keeps your prospective clients moving through your sales cycle.

For more email marketing no-no’s, check out 8 Bad Email Marketing Habits Killing Your List.

Email Workflow Best Practices

With those two very important rules of email workflows in mind, let’s move on to some of the ultimate email workflow best practices that can help you convert leads and close sales:

Set a Goal for your Workflow

Before can get started developing a workflow, you have to know what your goal for the workflow is. Do you want to:

  • Set up a phone call?
  • Encourage another content offer download?
  • Get a lead started on a free trial?

Every workflow has an end goal. Before you can write your content, and even decide who you’re talking to, you have to have that goal in mind.

Define Your Qualified Lead

Most email workflows are triggered by an action that indicates a site visitor is a qualified lead. You need to define what that action is, and what a qualified lead looks like before you can launch that workflow effectively.

Let’s say the goal of your workflow is to set up a call or meeting with a prospect. Actions that might qualify a lead for this workflow could be:

  • They’ve downloaded multiple content offers that speak to consideration stage questions
  • They’re halfway through their free trial of your product
  • They’ve already talked to your marketing department
  • They’ve visited specific pages of your website multiple times, and for consistent periods of time.

Each of these actions tells you that the lead is already slightly invested in your company. They might like your content, they’re possibly enjoying aspects of your product, and they could even already be familiar with your marketing team. When they’re invested in what you’re offering, and know a little bit about you and your company, they’re a qualified lead. You just have to decide what that looks like. For more help defining your qualified leads, check out this blog on email marketing segmentation.

When you’ve defined what a qualified lead means to you for this specific workflow, you can get to actually writing and building out the email workflow directly for that qualified lead.

Identify Relevant Content

Now you know why you’re writing an email workflow, and you know who to write your workflow to. Let’s figure out what you’ll write about.

A traditional email workflow is about three emails long. You can always make them longer if you need, and if a lead converts right away, the workflow will bail on them.

I find that the easiest way to start writing an email workflow is to work backward. Look first at what you’re offering in each email before you start writing the content. (You are offering the lead something in every email, right? If not, see above for the Silver Rule of Email Workflows.)

For example, you know that your last email is going to offer up your schedule for your lead to set up a time to chat. The content of that email should lead up to that last call-to-action, and could look something like this:

Hi John,

I hope you’ve found our Complete Guide to Opening Coconuts helpful! If you have any questions about the guide please don’t hesitate to reach out.

I know you’ve had a great deal of interest in coconut cracking lately, and I think our Extreme Coconut Machete might make the perfect tool to help improve efficiency at your coconut water bar. Would you like to learn a little more about it?

To set up a time for a brief chat with me, please feel free to add a meeting to my schedule.

I look forward to connecting with you soon!

 

All the best,

Toucan Sam
VP of Sales
EZ-Open Coconuts, Inc

Every aspect of this email is leading up to that final call-to-action. Let’s take a closer look at how this workflow is working specifically to convert that lead.

Keep Emails Short & Include Questions

The above email from Toucan Sam is an excellent example of a workflow that is short and to the point, but that still entices a lead to continue moving through the sales cycle.

The email opened with a line that reminded the prospect why Sam was emailing.

Then, it offered a bit of helpful information that was specific to the prospect. John has a coconut water bar, and Sam’s product could help him improve his business’ efficiency.

In just two lines it’s immediately clear why Sam’s product would be helpful to John, and how he can learn more about it. Including a link to a calendar is especially useful, because the prospect can easily schedule a time to meet that is convenient for both parties. Click To Tweet

It’s important to keep workflow emails short — definitely no longer than a page, but preferably no more than a few very short, one to two sentence paragraphs.

Remember: Design Counts

It’s also good to think about the design of your workflow emails.

They should be relatively minimalistic — you don’t want too many pictures or too much information distracting your prospect from the message — but they should include basic things like your logo and possibly your social media buttons.

The email should be clean and clearly laid out so the prospect can scan through quickly, without missing too much of your message. Put the most important messaging at the very beginning and very end of the email, where people are sure to see it. Bolding and bullet-pointing key callouts can also help draw attention to the content you want prospects to see most.

Personalize Email Workflows — Both To and From

A great email workflow best practice to remember is not only to personalize emails for the receiver but also from you. Users are more likely to at least open an email if it looks like it's from a real person, rather than from a company. Click To Tweet And getting prospects to open your email is half the battle!

It is also good to personalize emails for the recipient, as well. Most email workflow services, like HubSpot or MailChimp, will auto-fill names and company names, along with a bit of other information for you. It’s a simple step that can make a big difference, so don’t forget!

Send Test Emails

Always, always, send test emails. And open them. And click all of the links.

You’d be amazed at how easy it is to forget to add in a link or to accidentally link to the wrong page.

You’ve spent a lot of time finessing your email, and you only get one shot to send it out. Make sure everything works the way it should before you hit that send button.

Send First Workflow Email Within 24 Hours of Qualifying Action

Set your workflows to go out as soon as possible after a lead completes a qualifying action. If they sign up for your newsletter, make sure your follow-up email goes out as immediately as possible.

If your sales team is working to follow-up after potential clients download a specific offer, try to have that first workflow email go out within an hour of their download. That way, your company is still fresh on the prospect’s mind and they’re more likely to respond.  

Give People Time Between Emails

You want your first email to go out quickly, but that’s it. The other emails should take a little bit of time, in respect for the Golden Rule (see the top of this blog if you’re skimming). Don’t send any more than one email in a 24 hour period. And if you can wait a day or two between emails, that’s even better.

Every industry and every company will see different results from different tactics, so you will have to do a bit of testing to see how often and how quickly to send your follow-up emails for best results.

That said, a good rule of thumb is the less spammy, the better. You want to remain top-of-mind, but not at the expense of your lead’s experience with your company.

Make It Easy to Unsubscribe

As we mentioned in the Golden Rule at the very top of this blog, your goal with an email workflow is not to trap an unwitting consumer. Rather, you’re working to offer up relevant, helpful content that solves their pain points, and shows them of your authority in your industry. If they don’t want your help, you have to allow them to unsubscribe.

Not only is this ethical, but it’s better for you. If you have a bunch of dud leads who qualified accidentally, or who aren’t quite ready for your services, it’s better to let them go than have them skew your email metrics to show that your messages aren’t performing.

All of that goes to say — make it easy to unsubscribe.

You don’t want to waste your time on unqualified prospects, and they don’t want to hear what you have to say. Let them go.

Don’t Use Attachments

This last point is truly an email workflow best practice: don’t attach content to your workflow emails. Nearly every company tells employees not to open emails with attachments from strangers, for the very real reason that it could be a hacker or a virus. When you attach your content offers and additional relevant content to emails before someone has asked for it, you seem fishy. (Phishy? See what we did there? 😉)

Instead, offer links to a landing page where prospects can download your content offers or digital links to content offer PDFs. This will help increase your open rate, and likely your response rate, too. You always want to be offering something, in every workflow email, but it has to seem legit if you want people to open it.

Whew. That was a lot.

There’s a lot going on with email workflows. They seem like such simple pieces of content, but there’s a great deal of work that goes into them, from deciding what you’ll offer to crafting a series of emails that will work to pull your ideal prospects all the way through the sales cycle. Hopefully, these email workflow best practices will help you put together a workflow that converts leads and closes sales.

Still struggling with your email workflows? We get it. Let us know how we can help!

From cleaning up your contacts to developing workflow content that speaks directly to your target audience we’re email workflow pros and we’d love to help you beef up your email marketing strategy for overall business growth.

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Amp Up Your Email Marketing Strategy: Use Segmentation

Amp Up Your Email Marketing Strategy: Use Segmentation

You know by now that you need to be using email marketing. Maybe you even have a monthly email newsletter that you send out to clients and prospects.

That’s a great first step, but there’s more to email marketing than just setting up a MailChimp account. If you’re ready to step up your email game to become truly effective with your email marketing campaigns, it’s time you learned about segmentation.

What is Email Segmentation?

Email segmentation involves separating your email list into groups based on their characteristics. Click To Tweet There are two primary ways to segment your leads, by buyer persona and by stage of the buyer’s journey.

  • When segmenting by buyer persona, this means separating your various customer types. Say your company is a building supply company, you might have several different buyer types, such as contractors who buy from you wholesale and homeowners who are buying supplies for a DIY remodeling project.
  • When segmenting by stage of the buyer’s journey, you’ll need to separate current customers from leads, and separate your leads into marketing qualified leads (MQLs), which are leads who are interested in your product or service, but who aren’t ready to commit just yet, and sales qualified leads (SQLs), which are leads who are further along in the buyer’s journey and closer to making a purchase.

Why Segment Your Email Campaigns?

It’s crucial that you segment your email campaigns if you want them to be effective. Why?

Because without segmentation, your customers and leads aren’t getting content that is relevant to their needs. Instead, they’re getting information that is targeted to someone else at a different stage in the buyer’s journey, or they’re getting information that is just too general.

Your customers and leads are only going to be truly compelled by content that is specifically tailored to their pain points and where they’re at in the decision making process.

Delivering Relevant Email Content

And what happens when your email content isn’t relevant? You probably already know this one: it doesn’t get read.

Instead, it gets deleted, or worse, the recipient unsubscribes from your email list, and you’ve lost the ability to reach that customer or lead.

Think about it, if you’re planning to purchase something, but you’re still in the decision-making phase of the buyer’s journey and are still deciding on whether you need a product or not, getting messages like “Buy Now” and “Schedule a Consultation” aren’t going to appeal to you—you’re more likely to be interested in more information on the product and the manufacturers or retailers. An email that gives you that information, rather than pushing you to make a purchase is going to be much more welcome and effective.  

When it comes to email marketing segmentation, remember: different leads have different needs. Click To Tweet

And that means you should be segmenting them into different lists and providing them with specific, relevant content for their buyer persona and buying stage. For more on amping up your email marketing strategy, check out B2B Inbound Tips: Using Email Marketing Effectively and 8 Bad Email Marketing Habits that are Killing Your List.

And if you’re really ready to improve your email marketing strategy and bring in more leads, get in touch with Evenbound. We’re a growth agency with proven results in both email and inbound marketing.

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What is Lead Nurturing?

What is Lead Nurturing?

What is Lead Nurturing?

Lead nurturing is any action your company takes to develop strong, trustworthy relationships with potential buyers at every stage of the inbound marketing flywheel. Most often, lead nurturing refers to the communication your company has with specific prospects — people whose contact information you already own.

What is Automated Lead Nurturing?

Automated lead nurturing uses automated marketing tactics, like email workflows, sequences, or even chatbots to build trust with leads. The goal of automated lead nurturing is the same, its approach is just a little different, and often a little easier.

Why Should I Care About Lead Nurturing?

If you’re into inbound marketing (and you should be) lead nurturing is important because it’s what keeps your flywheel spinning.

​In the past, we used to talk about lead nurturing primarily in the engage stage of the buyer’s journey. Now, with inbound marketing’s flywheel in mind, it’s clear that any interaction you have with any potential or previous customer can be lead nurturing.

When your company leaves a good impression on a potential client, you’re nurturing that relationship and increasing the trust they have in your company. The more trust they have in you, the more likely they are to choose your product or service.

The fundamentals of inbound marketing are at the heart of lead nurturing: you're aiming to deliver the right content, to the right prospect, at the right time. Click To TweetThis is applicable to every stage of the inbound marketing flywheel. When done properly, delivering the perfect content with the right context keeps those customers and potential customers happy and keeps your flywheel spinning.

So, how can you implement lead nurturing in your inbound marketing strategy?

Understand Your Buyer Personas

The first step to lead nurturing is understanding your buyer personas. The best way to deliver the right content, at the right time, to the right person, is to know who you’re talking to.

Take time to sit down with other departments in your company and really flesh out your company’s individual buyer personas.

 

  • What are their pain points?
  • What are their business goals?
  • What are their personal goals?
  • What kind of content do they like best, and what channels do they prefer that content on?

Email, social media, blog posts, and even phone calls are all great examples of media channels you can use to deliver quality, lead nurturing content.

When you have a clear picture of who you’re marketing to, it’s easier to develop content that will solve their pain points and leave a good lasting impression, nurturing those leads closer to a sale.

Lead Nurturing Through Email Automation

With your buyer personas in place, you can get started on the actual work of lead nurturing.

Email automation — also known as email workflows, or email sequences if you’re a HubSpot fan like us, — is one of the most well-known ways to nurture leads. The basic concept is to deliver targeted content to a qualified lead in a way that pulls them through the buyer’s journey.

Here’s an example:

Step 1: A Lead Converts

Let’s say you’re a custom home builder, and someone on your website just downloaded a content offer about “6 Design Tips for Building Your Dream Home”.

Now, you have their email address, and given the content they’ve downloaded, it’s not too much of a stretch to assume that they might just be looking into building a new, possibly custom home, in the near future.

Step 2: Your Automated Email Sequence Begins

With email automation tools, you can set up an email sequence or workflow that’s triggered by this content download, and set up to deliver more relevant content to this buyer persona.

For this example, you might have your workflow send along a “Custom Home Budget Planner” a few days after they read the first content offer. Then you could send another email that asks if they’d like to see a few of your most popular floorplans, or even set up a free consultation with your sales or design team.

Step 3: Your Email Sequence Helps Nurture that Lead to Close

By delivering more content that’s relevant to what the lead has already shown an interest in, you’re offering great customer experience. They don’t have to go looking for the next step of information, it’s being delivered right to their inbox!

If the lead has already been delighted by your content and quality service, they’re likely to appreciate your effort. When they trust you as the best resource for home building information, you’ll be at the top of the list when they finally do decide to take the plunge.

Lead Nurturing Beyond Email

Lead nurturing has always been talked about primarily in the context of email. For the most part, that makes sense.

When you’re emailing a lead, you already know a little bit about them. You can ensure the message you’re delivering is personalized to that lead, which guarantees high-quality results.

The problem is that most marketers report less than 20% open rates on lead nurturing email. You can’t limit your lead nurturing to just email, because it’s not speaking to all of your potential clients.

That’s where some of these additional lead nurturing tactics come in:

Multi-Channel Lead Nurturing

Like we mentioned before, any action you take or resource you offer that improves someone’s perception of your company is considered lead nurturing. There are so many ways you can nurture leads outside of the small sphere of email. In fact, a multi-channel approach to lead nurturing is most likely to deliver the best results.

On the whole, it takes a consumer or prospect an average of 7 to 13 touches to convert to a lead or sale. Whether your marketing team reaches out to them, they see your product advertised on LinkedIn, or they see a paid search ad a few times while they’re researching, each of these touches helps you convert that lead.

And if the only place they’re hearing from you is through your email, you might not have huge success nurturing that lead. That’s where multichannel lead nurturing comes in.

A multichannel lead nurturing approach is one that makes use of all sorts of marketing channels, from social media and remarketing advertising to paid search ads to blogging and content promotion to direct calls from sales and marketing representatives.

Obviously, you don’t want to hit people over the head with your brand, or cold-call prospects before they’re ready to talk. However, delivering quality information, and remarketing products and resources people have already looked at is an intuitive method of lead nurturing on channels other than email.

If your email and automated lead nurturing strategies are already up and running, you might consider branching out into a few more channels. The more lead nurturing you do, the more warm, qualified prospects you pull into your flywheel. The end result?

Overall company growth, as a result of closing quickly on warm leads.

It’s all well and good to say multi-channel lead nurturing can help grow your company — but how? Let’s take a look at social media specifically because many people forget to consider it’s potential as a lead nurturing platform.

Can You Nurture Leads Through Social Media?

Sure! Any interaction your company has with a lead, from the time they come to your website and even after they close is a chance for you to continue nurturing that lead through to a sale.

Like we mentioned above, the best way to nurture leads today is to take a multichannel approach. Social media can play a big role in that.

Social media is the perfect platform to boost quality content, to implement remarketing ads, and to run ads that speak directly to your ideal consumer.

It’s true that social media lead nurturing will look a little different than email lead nurturing. For the most part, you’re going to be nurturing leads who you don’t know, and who might not know you. This is outbound marketing, but we promise that’s not a bad thing.

What makes social media viable, non-disruptive lead nurturing tactic is your ability to target your ads and conversations to your ideal buyer.

For example, remarketing ads are an excellent social media lead nurturing tool. They only target people who have already been to your site.

Other forms of social media advertising can also be lead nurturing. You can target people who already like your company, or who have an interest in your product or service.

Finally, boosted or promoted posts are excellent examples of lead nurturing through social media. For the most part, boosted posts only go to people who have chosen to follow you. By throwing a little money at the post, you succeed in making your post visible to a greater number of your followers.

If that post offers great content, solves a buyer’s pain point, or lets your followers learn a little bit more about your company, then it’s helping you nurture leads.

Too often, social media marketing and advertising get a bad rap as disruptive, outbound marketing tactics. When used properly, social media can offer serious lead nurturing capabilities. Click To Tweet

In the end, it’s just important to remember that you should be communicating with your clients and potential clients regularly. Any form of positive communication, whether it’s on email, social media, a sales call, or even a newsletter update, is a type of lead nurturing.

The better your relationship with your clients and potential clients, the more warm leads you’ll see flowing into your inbound flywheel. And when your flywheel is spinning, your company is growing.

Got more questions? Whether you’re not sold on outbound marketing, or you need a bit more info on lead nurturing or inbound marketing, we’re here to help. Feel free to reach out, or schedule a conversation with our team! We’d love to chat.

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Email Marketing for Real Estate Developers

Email Marketing for Real Estate Developers

An effective email marketing strategy is very important for home developers looking to sell lots and fill developments quickly. Email marketing functions for developers in two ways: 1) you can let consumers know about your development before you even break ground, making the selling process much smoother for you, and 2) it allows you to hold on to consumers who may not have been ready to purchase a home in one development, but who may be perfect buyers for the next.

When done properly, email marketing has wonderful potential to get your company in front of the right consumers, at the right time. It’s a wonderful addition to any inbound or outbound marketing strategy because it speaks directly to your target buyer. Here are a few key things to know about starting an email marketing campaign for your real estate development company:

Know Who Your Ideal Buyer Is

The first and best way to email your subscriber list effectively is to know who they are. It sounds basic, but you’d be surprised at the number of weird spammy emails the average consumer gets in a day. Know a little something about who you plan on sending that newsletter to, and you’ll see better results all around.

  1. Create buyer personas. For most real estate developments, buyer personas are actually pretty easy to pin down. You already know most of the information: the average income of your typical buyer, the average age, marital status, etc. Pool all of that information into two or three buyer personas, and then segment your email lists accordingly. That way you’re always sending out relevant content to the right buyer persona. That will help keep your number of “unsubscribes” low.
  2. Remember that you can’t make everyone happy. When you start sending newsletters out to a list of email addresses, you’re bound to get a few “unsubscribes”, and that’s okay. Not everyone is a perfect fit for your real estate development, and your goal should be to keep the ones who are a perfect fit on your email list. If you’re selling a real estate development for empty nesters, you shouldn’t be upset about a 20-30 year old unsubscribing. They weren’t a good fit anyway. Instead, focus on creating emails that speak directly to those empty nesters your community is built for.

Speak Solutions, Not Services

Email marketing campaigns that get ignored often have almost nothing to do with the buyer. If you’re just talking about how wonderful your development is, most consumers are going to hit the delete button before they even make it through the headline.

Successful email marketing campaigns are ones that consumers actually want to read, and choose to stay subscribed to.

Yes, you build wonderful homes, and your developments are gorgeous and highly exclusive, but think of that from your buyer’s perspective. Why would they want to move into your development? What problems do they have that your developments solve? Do you offer maintenance-free living? A community center? Close proximity to a golf course, lake, etc?

Instead of talking about your development directly, think about the problems your development solves for the people who live in it. Put those solutions in your email campaigns, and you’ll start to see better subscription and bounce rates.

Though your email marketing campaigns are meant to convert people to make a purchase, you have to talk about something more than the homes you have for sale if you want to convince people. Your homes might be beautiful, but so are a lot of others — what makes your development or community stand out for the residents? How do your homes improve their quality of life?

Keep it Low-Key

Don’t email too much, and don’t email too often. Keep emails short, sweet, and helpful. Play your email campaign casual. It’s no surprise that the decision time for purchasing a new home is long, and for most consumers, no manner of persuasion will get them to buy a new house before they actually have the money to do it. Instead, keep yourself on their radar by continuously providing helpful content that they actually care about, in a way that’s not pushy.

Definitely keep your CTA at the end of every email and newsletter you send out, but try not to send out more than one email a week to regular subscribers. If you’re following up on a lead, that might warrant a few extra emails a week, but if they decide they’re not ready to buy, don’t continue to harass them.

Instead, add them to your regular newsletter, where they will occasionally receive delightful content about choosing the right home, decorating a new home, or knowing when it’s time to purchase a new home. When they do decide to buy a home, you’ll be the first person they call, because your name will be fresh in their minds from your consistent, but casual, emails — emails they genuinely liked!

In the end, an effective email campaign is all about being pleasantly persistent, but not pushy. Keep offering up content that your buyers genuinely want to hear, and they’ll know that you’re truly there to help them — rather than just sell them something.

If you like the idea of email marketing for your development or development company, let’s talk! We’re experienced real estate marketers who understand how marketing a development is different from marketing a home building company. Check out the case study below to see how we generated $9.5M in sales revenue for one developer in just 24 months.

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