Chapter Eleven

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Education

Published on October 3, 2014

Author: madison1953

Source: slideshare.net

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Chapter Eleven of Social Content Marketing for Entrepreneurs

1. 0 11 Email Engaging and Perpetuating Proprietary Audiences “If you aren’t building, engaging and activating proprietary audiences of your own, you’re falling behind.” ―Jeffrey Rohrs, Author of Audience Constant changes from Facebook and other social networks have made brands wean off these networks as a source for audience correspondence and content marketing. But only to a point. The organic reach restrictions obviously infuriating many brands now forced to pay for reach. But wise brands see the advantage in blending the viral capabilities of social networks with the messaging control of email and phone text. Having access to email and SMS contact information is vital to the process of escorting audiences through the sales funnel. Just having content go viral, for example, does little for brands seeking intelligence on who is interested in their offerings and where they are in their buying journey. But the social networks play a key role in expanding the funnel. Why Email Engaged Audiences Require Social Media Facebook, in particular, provides one of the greatest sources of audience development at the top of the funnel. Their custom audience and look-alike audience features administered through their Power Editor shows great promise in building data bases for lead generation. For example, the web custom audience feature allows you to capture the ID of your web site visitors where Facebook finds this person when they arrive on the social network. At that time, they could be served a retargeted ad. Better yet, a strong welcome incentive invites them as a fan, where they may submit an email. And the cycle continues as shown in Figure 11.1. Using social networks to attract followers - and emails to correspond with them directly - is a great way to jump start email campaigns that could track downloading behaviors; store this intelligence in CRM or marketing automation systems; and tailor a response appropriate to the prospects buying stage. Now imagine Facebook fetching more contacts for you from their look-alike audience features as you acquire more opt-ins from blog subscriptions, apps, webinar registries or downloaded eBooks? Your funnel gets wider and your leads get more qualified. Why Social Media Requires Email As discussed in previous chapters, there are many effective approaches for leveraging social media and SEO to extend the visibility of your content. But sales nurturing goes beyond top-of-

2. 1 the-funnel lead generation. Nurturing requires the following intelligence on your target’s needs and buying stage: 1. Who downloaded the content? 2. What topic areas about the content piqued the interest of your target? 3. What follow-up response would be appropriate? 4. How urgent is their need? Without some sort of email marketing guidance, social media would merely serve as a viral marketing tool leaving your hard earned content wandering in space. Yes, a high populated social community or well-SEO blog can spread the word about your brand. Your friends and followers can even endorse your brand or content through likes, shares or comments. But with only SEO and social media to promote your content, you are essentially limited to the spreading of brand awareness (the ToFu stage). Even the best of social media newsfeed posts, re-tweets and other communications cannot tell you much about your target audience’s intended use of your content. The target simply gets educated through your content. They may even grasp the manner in which it addresses your problem. But you are left with no evidence of their interests in your content talking points let alone your ultimate offer. When coupled to email campaigns, however, you can now guide and track your content delivery. Why is this important? Without knowing the problem solving urgency or stage of buying for your target, your content is aimlessly bouncing off wasted eyeballs. Left without any tracking intelligence, you will likely end up pummeling your targets with even more top-of-the-

3. 2 funnel content. Moreover, you may end up pre-empting your content sequencing with premature bottom-of-the-funnel offers. Either way, you lack a vehicle for tracking download behaviors. And without tracking what piqued their interest, your follow-up is not aligned with their buying stage. You are left instead with an intrusive broadcasting style of content since you have no way to reel in your leads. Email 2.0 Serves to Educate as Opposed to Promote This is where Email 2.0 plays a vital role. Email 2.0 is essentially email in the world of social media and mobile. But unlike prior generations of email used primarily for broadcasted offers, Email 2.0 is aimed at sales nurturing. This nurturing starts with a “permission only” process - preferably double opt-in - for legitimately obtaining an address. It then educates your audience as opposed to selling them on untimely marketing messages. In essence, you are escorting your sales leads down the social sales funnel. For example, most well-crafted middle-of-the- funnel (MoFu) warrants an email address in exchange for what your target perceives as a gift. This gift may include a free white paper, eBook or webinar registration. Not only do you get the address in exchange for rich content, but your target should not feel intruded or bombarded with irrelevant information. Email 2.0 Provides Intelligence to Steer Your Content Some of the objections with prior generation email blasts and social media is that they were promotional in nature. With only 5% - 25% of your site traffic ready to do business and 50% of qualified leads not ready to buy immediately, pushing your targets often leads to losing them. Imagine instead that streams of MoFu content are tracked across every email call to action. In her book, eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale, Ardath Albee points out several examples of how email, CRM and social behaviors collectively provide powerful tracking insights.1 Consider the case of the real estate accounting firm targeting property managers. Over the course of newsletter deliveries, webinar hosting and podcast releases, the following information would be captured by the email’s associated CRM system. We know from the CRM system that the target: 1. Is a property manager 2. Is highly interested in the topic with some sense of urgency based on the fast response to email and webcast activity 3. Has a high level of interest in the accounting services 4. Is late in the buying cycle Setting Campaign Objectives The key to effectively utilizing emails in lead nurturing is to adopt a plan for campaigns, digests or follow-up correspondence that keeps your audiences engaged. The following campaign objectives are most often considered by heavy users of email marketing: 1. Introducing your firm’s offerings through product or service announcements

4. 2. Enhancing your brand reputation, building trust and renewing relationships through e-newsletters 3 3. Informing and educating your audiences through speaking engagements, workshop events and webinars 4. Generating more sales through special offers. Once the campaign objects are considered, content topics or event forums should be defined in line with these objectives. Notice how this is done in Figure 11.2 for the case of the real estate accounting firm. 1 Ardath Albee, eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale

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