Marketers are often conflicted on whether to focus on creating online content or email content. Confusion and a misunderstanding of what these processes do will usually give rise to the conflict. These are both excellent tools you can use to deliver results for your overall digital marketing strategy.
Instead of pitting one against the other, a better approach would be to create synergy. In so doing, you will be able to maximise the power of digital technology and fully harness the scope and influence of the Internet.
Email Content And Online Content – The Differences
We should point out that both processes as their respective terms connote, are types of content. Thus, email content and online content fall under the blanket term of content marketing. The obvious difference is the mode of delivery for the content.
In order to get a deeper understanding of the differences between email and online content, we should explain its common denominator.
What is content?
Content is material or information that is put together for the purpose of providing value to the person who consumes it.
Once you add the word “marketing” to the definition, its context changes:
Content marketing is putting together information in an organised format for the purpose of providing value to a targeted audience.
When you market content, you are promoting its value specifically to people who need it. The creation of your content is laser-focused on a targeted audience; people who have been qualified as potential end users of your products or services.
Content can be presented in many forms. Blogs are perhaps the most popularly associated with the meaning of content. However, you can present content as videos, images, infographics, product reviews, and yes, email to name a few.
This is where we can establish a synergistic relationship between online content and email content. A relationship that when working in harmony can help your business realise its goals and objectives.
Online Content refers to content that is published or posted on various Internet-based platforms. Examples of online content are articles or blogs that are posted on social media, websites, and community forums.
The primary purpose of publishing online content is to acquire followers or leads by generating interest.
You want to build up your brand. When you create online content, you want its readers or viewers to find value in the information you just shared with them. The intent is to have your audience acknowledge you as a valuable resource.
You want people to have the confidence to go to you whenever they have issues or concerns that require your expertise. In so doing, you are building awareness and credibility for your brand.
Over time and with consistency, more people will be following your social media pages and consequently, become visitors to your website.
Email Content is content that is delivered through the medium of email. You are no longer targeting an audience but specific people who have voluntarily signed up for your mailing list.
What is the difference between the types of content that you create for online distribution and for email?
If your intent in producing online content is to acquire followers, for email the purpose is to directly address the recipient’s needs, concerns or interests. When someone signs up for your mailing list, content is usually sent in the form of a newsletter.
A newsletter contains targeted content. You produce content that has direct value to its recipient. Thus, it is important to categorize or divide your mailing list into segments.
For example, if you are in the real estate business, you can segment your mailing list into income categories, age groups, with/without dependents, or end-users/ speculators.
Then you can produce the following types of content for your newsletters:
- “How to Buy Your First Home” – Subscribers with dependents, potential buyers aged 35 to 45
- “3 Best Cities to Buy Property” – High- income subscribers, speculators
- “5 Reasons Why You Should Get a Home Loan Now” – End-users, young couples with or without dependents
- “4 Things to Consider Before Renting Property” – Middle-income earners
- “3 Factors That Could Impact Your Property Investment” – Speculators and high-income earners
Newsletters and email content, in general, are short in length; around 300 words, but should be high in value.
In contrast, long- form types of online content generally deliver better results. Studies have shown that blogs that average more than 2,000 words are ranked higher by Google. The same studies also show that long- form blogs tend to receive more links.
The reason is obvious. Long- form blogs give you more opportunity to prove yourself as an expert in the field. Also, people will stay longer on your page which will improve the bounce rate< of your website. However, it does not mean that you should focus on blog length. Even though long- form blogs have been proven to be effective, quality of content will always be more important than quantity. Again, it is all about delivering high-value content that is useful, relevant, informative, and engaging. The content that you publish, regardless if delivered in video or text format must be well-researched, organized, and professionally presented.
Online Content and Email Content: Putting It All Together and Making It Work
The best way to understand how online content and email content can work together is to imagine a funnel. The larger the opening, the higher the volume of substances it can accommodate. In this case, the more interest it can accommodate.
Online content works like the marketing arm of your business. The goal of marketing is to find new markets for your business by promoting the company, its products, and services. Those who enjoy your content will visit your website and potentially sign up for your mailing list.
Email content attempts to push these interested parties further down the funnel for the purpose of converting them into paying customers.
Thus, both types of content have a place in your digital marketing strategy. By harnessing their strengths and finding synergy in view of their differences, you will be able to accomplish your marketing goals.
- Identify Your Online Marketing Channels
Assuming that you have defined your marketing goal, you should shift your attention to selecting your online marketing channels. As mentioned earlier, there are several good channels that have been proven effective. The overall objective is to create inbound traffic and drive as many visitors to your website.
Social media is one of the most popularly used channels for content distribution because of the size of the community. According to research, more than 3 billion people are on some type of social media platform every single day.
Choose 2-3 social media networks for sharing your online content. Not all social media networks function in the same way.
For example, if your content is primarily image or video-based, platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest would be the more ideal distribution channels.
- Focus On Creating Great Content
Search is one of the most popular online activities. People are regularly searching for useful and informative content, so give it to them!
- Find out the topics that are of high interest to your audience.
- Conduct comprehensive research on these topics; make sure you cite the references.
- Present your information in a highly organized manner. It is a good idea to have an outline before writing.
- Make sure your content is easily understood. Avoid using technical jargon. Your content is meant to educate, not complicate.
- Check for errors in spelling and grammar.
- Always publish fresh and original content. Do not plagiarize!
- Optimize Your Content
For your content to be found, you must optimize it with the right keywords. These are the words and phrases that are commonly used to launch a search query. For this, you will need to do keyword research. You can use keyword research tools such as Google Keyword Planner or SEMRush.
It is important to keep your keyword density to just 2% of the total word count. For example, if you are writing a 2,000-word blog post, keep your keyword count to no more than 40. Otherwise, Google will penalize you for keyword stuffing.
- Establish a Content Creation Schedule
Posting content frequently will help make your business top of mind. Research has shown that blogging 16 times a month will produce the best results for lead generation.
In order to attain your publishing quota, you should establish and adhere to a content creation schedule. It will take time to produce great content. If time is a factor, do not hesitate to outsource content creation to qualified third parties.
- Come Up With A Great Call –To – Action
You need to build a good-sized mailing list in order to increase the scope and reach of your email content distribution efforts. To do this, you should come up with a great Call-To-Action (CTA) on your website.
Basically, a CTA tells the site visitor what you want him/ her to do. Do you want him/ her to sign up for your newsletter?
The best way to get the site visitor to give up the email address is to offer something of great value. For example, offer an e-book or 30 minutes consultation for free.
- Focus On Providing High-Value Content
We already mentioned this, but we cannot oversimplify the importance of providing high-value content to your email subscribers. If you don’t, they might just unsubscribe to your listing and this can potentially damage your reputation.
Lastly, measure results by using built-in tools such as Google Analytics. The biggest advantage of digital marketing is that you can track performance in real time with the use of analytics. You will know which types of content are generating the highest ROI.
A strategy that combines online content with email content will help you achieve your business marketing goals.