A well-strategized blog is one of the most efficient tools in your arsenal for driving organic search engine traffic to your website. If you’re like most marketers, you publish a new blog post and quickly schedule it to your brand’s social media accounts.
It might get a few likes, clicks, and shares but the traffic typically fizzles out pretty quickly, right?
From there, your well-researched blogs make their way into the archives until you pull them out to fill a time slot on social media again.
Break the cycle by incorporating your blog and email newsletter. This strategy will help your content reach audiences that actually value what you have to say.
In this post, we’ll go over what role blog posts should play in your email marketing efforts and overall content marketing strategy. We’ll also give you some innovative tips for including blog content into your email campaigns.
What role should blog posts play in your content marketing strategy?
TL;DR: Blog posts should play a central role in your content marketing strategy. They drive traffic to your website from multiple sources and teach people about your brand’s values.
Everyone should know by now that your website is the most valuable piece of the digital marketing puzzle for your brand. Why? Because you own your website—algorithms can’t pry it away from you.
Blog posts are the perfect answer. If you aren’t building a strategy for your brand’s blog, you’re missing out on these key benefits:
- Ranking in hundreds or thousands of Google searches
- Demonstrating brand authority by showing off your industry knowledge
- Answering customer questions before they’re asked
- Giving your customers something to share on social media
- Providing substantial content (more than sales pitches) for your email newsletter
Your About, Services, Contact, Homepage, and other sections are essential for driving sales, but they probably won’t get in front of many eyes unless you can create something else that draws leads into your website.
And what about your email newsletter strategy?
Everyone has that one friend from high school who randomly shows up in your DMs every few years. Do they want to catch up? No, they want to sell you something.
Without a proper blog to beef up your email campaigns, your brand can become that friend.
Think about it. Are you more likely to give your hard-earned money to someone who listens to you, answers your questions, and provides you with education, or someone who only sends you sales pitches? The answer is pretty clear.
You know a blog is important for driving traffic to your website and creating conversions, but why should you focus on email marketing over social media?
The truth is, the average click-through-rate for Facebook posts is just 0.9%, yet the average cost-per-click is $1.72. Meanwhile, every dollar spent on email marketing will generate an average $38 in revenue.
Social media is important and marketers should use it strategically. However, your customers will likely be more responsive in email because they’ve actually chosen to hear from you.
How to successfully include blog posts in an email newsletter
One of the best channels for promoting your blog is the email newsletter. This gives you a chance to establish authority and trust with your audience while providing them with high-quality content they actually want to read.
What have you got to lose?
Let’s go over some suggestions and tips for seamlessly merging the two channels into one digital marketing powerhouse.
1. Decide on the appropriate format.
Most industry-leading email service providers offer beautiful templates you can customize any way you please to suit your needs. Before you get started using email to promote your blog posts, decide on a format that suits your brand and subscribers.
Should you choose a variety of blogs broken up into different categories? Maybe you don’t have the resources to publish dozens of articles each week. In that case, perhaps promoting a single blog post would be best.
This email from ezTaxReturn uses a format that pulls together links to a bunch of interesting and relevant blog posts. Bonus points here for the ICYMI section.
2. Invest in high-quality graphics.
You don’t have to hire a professional photographer for every blog in an email newsletter. In many cases, stock photos and custom graphics with some strategic branding will work just fine.
The idea is to spark your subscribers’ interest with something flashy and crisp. You spend so much time writing and developing your blog and email newsletter—make sure you choose an image that reflects what’s inside.
Also, high-quality graphics with some branding such as colored frames or a logo will help develop brand authority when they read your content—even if they don’t click over to your blog.
3. Strategize with different themes.
This part is fun because it’s time to get creative. Brainstorm different content themes for various email newsletters.
If you’re running a store that sells kitchen equipment, for example, November and December would be a good time to run a series of blog posts featuring holiday recipes, tips for cleaning your products, and suggestions for managing stress.
Working in tandem with your email marketing, this can help you develop unique and relevant content for your blog’s content calendar. Plus, you’ll already have content ready to go when it comes time to schedule social media posts.
This email from Kid & Coe is designed to highlight blog posts about various destinations in a best-of format. Plus, it contains high-quality graphics that beg to be clicked.
Image Source: Really Good Emails
4. Send out surveys to keep the conversation going.
If you want real answers about what your audience wants and expects from your brand, email is the way to go.
Use your email newsletter to ask subscribers what type of content they like and what problems they have. This will help you come up with fresh ideas for your blog.
You can also send out a welcome email asking new subscribers which type of content they’d like to receive from you and how often.
Trust in paid ads on Facebook has declined rapidly. People prefer email marketing because they have a better level of control. So, why not give subscribers as much control as possible?
This will help build trust in your brand and you’ll be able to please your customers. Win-win.
5. Maintain a consistent voice throughout all your copy.
If you use a compassionate tone in your blog, use the same tone throughout your email copy. Not only is inconsistency unsettling when you’re trying to read a brand’s content, but it can also damage trust.
Imagine you have a friend who has two different personalities: one when they speak to you and one when they speak to a group of people. You probably wouldn’t trust them, right? Consistency is key to producing results.
6. Carefully select curated content.
As a marketer, you’re probably stretched thin enough already. Unless you’re working for a huge company, you don’t have the resources to publish multiple blog posts every day.
That’s totally fine. Use this as an opportunity to share curated content with your subscribers.
Instead of solely focusing on your blog, an email newsletter should contain content from multiple sources (as appropriate).
Develop a strategy. Find other industry experts you’d love to connect with and share their writing with a short bio. Find content that answers your audience’s questions.
Sharing content from sources besides your own website will demonstrate that you actually care about the industry and helping people, rather than promoting yourself.
Pinterest completely dominates the game with personalized and curated email content. They send out multiple emails a week with relevant content based on your activity on their app.
7. Don’t forget social share buttons.
While email is valuable for getting your blog in front of a large number of eyes, it’s still leads to a dead-end street if you don’t encourage readers to share.
The idea is to keep the content flowing. Add social share buttons to your blog posts and embed them directly into your email copy.
8. Optimize your CTAs.
Keep your reader’s click-through journey in mind when you write your CTAs.
Consider your reader’s state of mind when they reach the end of your blog: They’ve clicked through from their email while they were on the bus heading home from work, they read your blog about the best bars in the DC area. What do you want them to do next?
Blog posts are an excellent tool for boosting organic search engine traffic to your blog but they can do so much more. It’s important for marketers to develop a content strategy for their blog with an email newsletter in mind.
By taking a few important steps, you can create content for your newsletters that your subscribers can’t wait to read and share with their friends.
Before you get started with some email campaigns, check out our tips on using an email newsletter to encourage customer loyalty.