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This is a guest post from Klara Malnar at Mediatoolkit.

Whether you’re a social media marketer or an email marketer, chances are, you’re producing content constantly. But coming up with new ideas can get challenging, especially when you consider the content overload your customers experience day-to-day. Luckily, that’s where media monitoring can help.

Read on to discover how media monitoring can help you deal with a lack of inspiration and improve your content strategy.

Content creation

When you’re creating marketing content, it’s important to keep it short and precise. This is especially true for emails, since subscribers often scan emails, trying to immediately understand the purpose of the email (and whether or not they should respond to the CTA).

It’s also vital to keep the following question in mind when you’re creating content (of any kind): “Why would my customers want to know this?”

Since people use social media to express their opinions on numerous topics, it’s only logical to use media monitoring to find out what people think, want, and expect from brands and their marketing communications.

What’s media monitoring?

Media monitoring is the process of tracking mentions of your keywords across the internet. Instead of endlessly googling relevant keywords, simply use media monitoring tools and get all the results in one place to gain valuable insights into customers’ thought processes.

To make things easier to understand, we’re going to explain how to use media monitoring tools for newsletter content strategy in the food industry. There are various media monitoring tools available, such as Mediatoolkit, Brandwatch, Nuvi, and SentiOne.

How does media monitoring work?

This process is fairly simple. The first thing you need to do? Brainstorm all the keywords relevant to your brand, then add them as queries. Additionally, when creating content, you can add keywords of a topic you’re interested in writing about: This can provide tools for further research.

In this example, we’ve put a simple query setup that tracks keywords such as ice cream, pizza, and burger.

This is a screenshot of what media monitoring looks like in practice.

Source: Mediatoolkit

List of mentions

In the screenshot above, the list of queries is on the left and the list of mentions is in the middle. Here, you can use media monitoring to scroll through mentions and see what people are writing, whether it’s about your brand or other keywords you’ve chosen.

Mentions alone can spark inspiration because you may come across keywords being used in contexts you haven’t thought of before.

For example, while scrolling through the mentions of pizza, we noticed many referenced pizza with pineapple. Since this is clearly relevant to a broad group of pizza-eaters, a restaurant could make a newsletter dedicated to this subject alone.

Time of day

Media monitoring can also show you the right time to send announcements, depending on the content topic. Did you know that the query “ice cream” has the largest number of mentions at 11 p.m.? Apparently, several people are in the mood for a late-night scoop (or two).

If you’re a marketer for an on-demand delivery service, this information could be of use to you. Simply set up queries for each service you offer and discover the right time to send relevant emails and announcements (e.g. a late-night ice cream email).

This graph shows when people are searching for the term "ice cream"

User-generated content

Promoting user-generated content is another way to make your email marketing interesting. Since media monitoring tracks mentions of everyday social media users, you can easily contact them and ask to use their photos for marketing purposes.

Find out how you can employ user-generated content to appeal to Gen Z customers.

For example, why use generic pictures of food when you can use the ones your customers have taken? A lot of brands are now turning to user-generated content because it’s much more appealing and personal than an artificial stock photo.

You can even make a contest for the best photo taken by customers. You can also engage your customers to share their own tips and feature those along with the photos.

Airbnb does something similar in their email marketing strategy. Each month, they send out a newsletter that includes background, advice, and a peek into the selected photographer for that month. Check it out here.

Questions

Like user-generated content, you can look for customers’ questions and dilemmas. You can use this information to update your FAQ page and create a newsletter that’ll answer those burning questions.

This also works for social. Consider adding the “ask” option to your Instagram stories to collect questions from readers and customers.

This is an example of the "ask me anything" feature on Instagram stories. Combine this with media monitoring for relevant content.

Source

Since people like to have the right information right away, delivering those answers straight to their email and social feeds is beneficial, because it shows your customers that you care about them and you’re willing to help.

Reviews

People often check online reviews about a service or a product before they decide to engage.

Why not use media monitoring to find great reviews about your business and compile them together in one newsletter? It doesn’t hurt to brag a little. With media monitoring, you can catch every online review there is.

This is great, especially since people often mention brands without tagging them. Without a tag, chances are the brands won’t see the review.

For example, a restaurant can claim they have the best pizza in town, but with customer reviews to corroborate the claim, the restaurant becomes much more trustworthy.

Trending topics

Use media monitoring to find topics that are trending in your industry and about your business. This way, you can write about topics that are current and relevant to your audience, increasing the likelihood that they’ll read and engage.

For example, something great might happen: Maybe a well-known influencer tweets about your business and recommends it to their followers. When followers start retweeting and commenting, the number of your mentions will spike.

Because of that, you’ll receive a Spike alert informing you that the number of your mentions has grown unexpectedly high, which suggests an audience you can engage with right away.

Learn how to own your engagement by reading this guide.

However, Spike alerts can sometimes be bad news. Mistakes happen in every industry, and corporations can often overcome bad press. But for local businesses, mistakes can drastically affect sales.

For example, even one bad review for a restaurant can do a lot of damage. If something like this happens to your business, at least you’ll know right away with media monitoring.

With the right information, you can immediately react and send your customers a newsletter addressing the issue. It’s important to tell your customers that you’re aware of the issue, apologize, and reassure them that you’re doing everything you can to resolve it. By doing this, you’re showing your customers you care.

Wrap up

Next time you think of postponing content due to lack of ideas, turn to media monitoring.

Establishing and maintaining a relationship with your customers is one of the most important parts of any business, and incorporating media monitoring into your strategy will make relationship-building easier. Whether it’s content creation, researching new markets, or crisis communication, monitoring what’s going in your industry is a smart long-term decision.

While media monitoring provides you with valuable information, a good email marketing strategy translates that information into messaging tailored specifically to fit your customers’ needs. Since email marketing remains the most effective way to nurture leads and has the highest ROI, creating the right personalized content strategy will get you a step closer to achieving your goals.

Learn how to use email marketing for lead nurturing here.

Klara Malnar is Content Creation Intern at Mediatoolkit, a SaaS company that developed one of the most advanced media monitoring and social listening tools. She recently obtained a BA in Communication Studies and has a particular interest in topics like media literacy and fashion.

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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