5 Content Marketing Best Practices

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One of the fastest-growing types of marketing is content marketing. Why? Because it works. Content marketing positions you as a thought leader, establishes credibility, and is often the gateway to your customers discovering your business. One study found, for example, that year-over-year growth in unique website traffic is 7.8x higher for content marketing leaders than for followers (19.7% vs. 2.5%, Aberdeen). If your content is being provided in print, content marketing often drives them to check you out online in the first place.

Want to make the most of content marketing? Here are five best practices to keep in mind.

Content Marketing Best Practices

1. Get the proper content support.

Developing content likely isn’t your specialty unless you have writers on staff. Stick to what you do best⸺your products and services⸺and work with specialists to create content that will put you in the best light.

2. Create content of real value.

When creating thought leadership, “any old” content won’t do. It should be high-quality content that your audience sees as valuable to their businesses and their lives.

3. Offer unique insights.

Don’t rehash information your audience can get elsewhere. Create fresh content that reflects your expertise.

4. Use social proof.

People trust others more than brands, so when promoting your products, use customer reviews, testimonials, and UGC (user-generated content) whenever possible.

5. Pick the right audience.

You can provide the best content, but it will fall flat if you provide it to the wrong audience. The key to conversion is targeting the audience most likely to buy. For example, not everyone will need a new living room or dining set if you are selling home furnishings. Find the correct targets (say, unique movers or recently marrieds), and your conversion rate will go way up.

Are you using content marketing to attract potential buyers and convert them into happy customers? If not, you might miss a significant opportunity.

Direct Mail vs. Email Marketing

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As a marketer, you know the value of email. You may also see the value of print marketing. But do you know the areas where one is better than another? Let’s look at four places where direct mail beats out email and does things email cannot do.

Direct Mail vs. Email Marketing: 4 Tips

1. Bypassing opt-ins: Unlike email, direct mail doesn’t require the recipient’s permission to receive it. There’s no risk of your message being blocked or the recipient opting out. Marketers often use direct mail to re-engage subscribers who have unsubscribed or stopped engaging with their email lists.

2. Bypassing spam filters: Direct mail doesn’t face the same spam restrictions as email. If you have the correct physical address, it will land in your target’s mailbox. If you are trying to get past gatekeepers, you can use dimensional mail, unusual shapes and designs, and other marketing tricks to reach your target’s desk.

3. No soft bounces: Beyond spam filters, an email might not reach its intended inbox for many other reasons. The server might be down, it might be busy, or there could be new filtering systems that prevent your message’s delivery. All of that goes away with direct mail.

4. Providing continuity in B2B: In a business-to-business environment, direct mail still finds a target even if the recipient has moved on to a new job. Emails will bounce if the contact’s address is no longer valid, but direct mail will still reach the desk of the person taking their place.

Direct Mail vs. Email Marketing: Settle it with ImageMark

Both email and direct mail have their strengths, and they shouldn’t be viewed as substitutes for one another. Instead, consider integrating them into a more extensive marketing campaign for maximum impact. If you want to learn more about the differences between email and direct mail, call us, and let’s discuss it!

Authenticity in Marketing: How to Be Genuine

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Whether you are writing copy for direct mail, email, or mobile video, it is essential to be authentic. Indeed, Stackla has found that 90% of shoppers say that authenticity is important when deciding which brands they like and support. But maintaining an authentic voice doesn’t just “happen.” Like everything else, it takes planning. Here are five tips for maintaining an authentic voice and winning customer trust.      

Authenticity in Marketing: 5 Tips

1. Use natural language. It might be tempting to use big words, thinking they make you sound knowledgeable. They can make you sound stiff, like a corporate brochure, rather than a real person. Speak in a way that your audience can relate to. For example, instead of saying, “We’re going to leverage our core competency to shift the paradigm,” say, “As experts in this area, we’re going to do something new and exciting.”

2. Keep it real. Shoppers can sense when you are exaggerating. Even if they don’t figure it out upfront, they will once when they start using the product and it doesn’t perform as you claimed. Don’t exaggerate the truth or make promises you can’t keep.

3. Get your enthusiasm on. When someone argues passionately about something, whether an environmental cause, a weekend hobby, or an outstanding vacation destination, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement. Even if your product is as dry as Melba toast, find something to get excited about, then write from that source of genuine enthusiasm. If you’re excited about your product, others will be, too.

4. When necessary, show vulnerability. Studies consistently show that consumers are more likely to trust a company that admits and works to correct its flaws than one that claims that all paths lead to success. Vulnerability is real, and we relate to it. Vulnerability builds trust.

5. Have fun. Have some fun in your marketing. Use humor, lighthearted pictures, and an element of surprise now and then. We have enough things in our lives that are dull. Please don’t make your product one of them.

Ready to be authentic? Whether it’s through direct mail, email, or mobile, customers want to hear it. So, sound like a human. Be relatable, and your customers will reward you.