9 B2B Content Marketing Tactics to Try in Q4

In a world of adblockers and content saturation, it’s getting harder than ever for marketers to reach their target consumers. Content marketing offers an authentic way to entice new prospects and nurture existing leads but how does your content cut through all the noise in the digital world?

Many marketers stick with the same old strategies and don’t go outside their comfort zones to engage consumers in different mediums and during different stages of the buyer’s journey. They figure their content strategy is “good enough” when in reality, it could be much better.

So, we’ve come up with some new content marketing tactics that you can implement in Q4 and wrap up your end-of-year marketing program with a bang!

Use Your Paid Ad Budget Spend on Downloadable Content

Now more than ever, consumers scroll past google ads and look for websites and content that answers their questions. Instead of using your paid ad budget on Google Ads that direct to your company’s website, consider allocating it for a few months on a piece of downloadable content.

Titling the content with a question or common pain point that your target consumer experiences, will appeal to your consumers and increase your chances of generating more leads if you gate your content with a lead capture form.

Write 2 Case Studies

When analyzing the decision phase of the buyer’s journey, case studies are the highest converting forms of content that can convert a lead into a sale. These documents that showcase an actual experience that one of your consumers had with your brand makes your brand appear more reputable.

Sometimes it is hard to get clients to commit to participating in a case study, because after all, it takes time out of their busy day to do a case study interview. However, we’ve had luck incentivizing clients with $50 Amazon gift cards for their time.

Be sure to distribute your case studies with a great marketing promotion plan and equip your sales team with them so that they can send case studies to leads they are working on. Make your case studies easy to find on your website as well because consumers love the ability to be self-sufficient when doing their brand research.

Conduct an Industry Research Report

Consult your buyer personas and uncover a topic that they would be interested in learning more about based on the input of their peers. Survey your clients and leads using Survey Monkey and compile your results in a downloadable report.

This type of content not only generates leads, but it also promotes thought leadership and shines a favorable spotlight on your brand.

As an example, you can refer to this report on the state of B2B content consumption complete with their lead capture form that you can replicate.

Earn 5 Pieces of User Generated Content

It’s no secret that consumers rely on their peers for brand recommendations—not your brand. So, the goal is to is to seed the web with as much content as you can written about your brand from a third party. You can do this by working with influencers or incentivizing your clients to write blog posts about their experience with your brand. User generated content is great fodder to use on your website, paid social, marketing materials, etc.

Email Out All Your Blog Posts to All of Your Contacts

Emailing out all of your blog posts promotes thought leadership, nurtures existing leads, inspires consumers and gets your awesome blog content out in the world.

75% of marketers who email out blog posts email every post they create with the other 25% emailing a weekly or monthly digest of all of their blog posts in a single summary email. Maybe experiment with both options to decide what works best for your brand.

Be sure the experiment with subject lines and A/B test your messaging to see what gets the best results and continually refine your blog post emailing strategy.

Be a Guest on a Podcast or Webinar

There are several ways for consumers to digest content and one of those ways is to listen to thought leaders share their advice from the field on a podcast or webinar.

There are plenty of podcasts and brands that produce webinars in the niche your brand falls into. Locate these sources and reach out to them outlining your expertise and ask if you can be a guest on their podcast or webinar.

This is a great way to get in front of new consumers and position yourself as a resource in your industry.

Some brands will give you the contact information of the people who attended your webinar so it couldn’t hurt to ask and gather these new leads!

Create an Infographic

Infographics are a great way to visually display a lot of data in one piece of content. Pick a topic that would be of interest to your buyer personas and track down every single point of data pertaining to that topic.

There are sites like Canva where you can create your infographic yourself of you can turn it over to a designer to make sure that it looks great and represents your brand well.

You can embed your infographic in blog posts so a great way to promote it is to include in your brand’s blog posts as well as guest posting on other sites.

Join 3 LinkedIn Groups

There are multiple LinkedIn groups that align with every industry. In these groups you can network with likeminded marketers and share the content that you produce for your brand. Sharing your content in these groups means that the group members may share the content on their own social media channels. Be sure to return the favor and work out a deal where you’ll share their content if they share yours!

Crowdsource a Piece

Sometimes it can be hard to think of great content to constantly write about. Try reaching out to industry peers and influencers and have them weigh in on a topic. Compile their advice and best practices into a piece of content albeit a blog post or an ebook. As an added bonus, this content is very sharable because the people who weigh in for your content will be sure to share it on their social channels since you’re featuring them!

Here at FeedOtter, we recently crowdsourced a piece about emailing blog posts and compiled best practices and advice from over 20 marketers who weighed in on emailing blog posts and if you’re interested, you can check that content out here as a great example of crowd sourcing content.

Final Thoughts

In the content saturated digital world that we live in, it’s more important than ever to experiment with different content marketing strategies and content types. Be sure to track and measure the effectiveness of each strategy so that each quarter you can refine your strategy based on the data you gather from your content marketing programs.

Is there a type of content that you’ve found to be more effective than others? We’d love to hear all about it on Twitter @Feed_Otter

Should You Email Blog Posts in 2019? Marketers Weigh In

It's 2019, should businesses send regular blog emails to their subscribers?  I wanted to know how marketers truly viewed the topic of emailing blog posts in the modern marketing era so I spent the past month interviewing more than 20 marketing experts to find out how they perceive emailing blog posts in the year 2019.

 

So let's dig in.

  1. Why Email and Blog Posts
  2. What is the ideal frequency to email blog posts
  3. What value does emailing blog post provide
  4. How to craft great blog emails
  5. Best practices for blog email subject lines
  6. How Much Engagement Do Blog Emails Receive?
  7. Increasing Website Traffic With Blog Emails
  8. Who Should Your Send Blog Post Emails To?
  9. How to use blog posts to nurture leads

 

Why Email and Blog Posts?

We are passionate about emailing blog posts because potential leads and subscribers are opting in to receive your content. Having subscribers is far more powerful than SEO and social media. They are opting into having your blog post delivered to them, so it’s a great way to generate new leads and nurture existing ones. Using email to distribute this relevant content is also great for retaining clients, as you’ll be producing thought leadership material in their field.

Spending money on creating awesome content but not distributing is a waste of your hard work because email is the best way to reach, touch and nurture leads and clients. Emailing your posts gets the most bang for the buck and ensures that your blog posts reach a wide audience. Be sure to include calls to action to bring traffic back to your primary website to convert leads into sales.

What is the Ideal Frequency to Email Blog Posts?

As marketers, we are always trying to walk a fine line of sending out blog posts while not bombarding our contacts with too many emails. One thing to remember is that your subscriber list will want your content as long as you’re producing quality content, so they’re certainly going to want your emails.

As a rule of thumb, we believe that brands should send no more than 2 blog posts out per week. If your brand produces more than that, it’s a good idea to roll them up in a newsletter. It should contain the list and teasers to all of your blog posts published that week, so your subscribers can pick and choose exactly what they want to read.

Based on the brands we talked to, we find about 75% of them email their blog posts every time they publish one regardless of post frequency, and about 25% send a monthly round up newsletter of all of their blog posts for the month.

75% email every blog post when it's published

25% send monthly round-up newsletters

Katrina Niemisto from Marketo allows subscribers to choose how often they receive blog posts in their inbox since they publish 15-20 blog posts per month. She said

"By curating different cadences, we have the opportunity to provide readers with the experience they’re looking for. We have some loyal readers who digest every single blog post and some folks who are reading our blog for the first time when they sign up for our blog digest emails."

Matt Diggity, who runs his own marketing agency says,

"I email every single post.  As long as you’re publishing quality content, your email list won’t be annoyed by the intrusion.  They’ll be grateful." On the days he emails out his blog posts, he sees about 3 times more traffic to his site than on other days.

The key takeaway here is to give readers the option to either get every post in their inbox or a weekly/monthly roundup of posts. This will help you provide the most value to your readers and cut down on those unsubscribe rates. And be sure to have a regular cadence so that your readers can look forward do your posts. Your marketing automation tool will help ensure that every post or digest is sent consistently and reliably.

What Value Does Emailing Blog Posts provide?

One of the most crucial things to keep in mind is that you need to give these subscribers and leads something of value with every email.

Producing valuable content that targets pain points and addresses relevant topics for your ideal consumer will position your brand as a thought leader. When you’re viewed as a thought leader or a valuable resource, the people on your email list will look forward to your blog post emails.

Gregory Bullock from TheraSpecs relies on emailing blog posts for a number of reasons, saying,

“I would highly recommend it to others who have or seek to develop a catalog of great content. We have increased quality traffic to the TheraSpecs website, developed meaningful interactions with our subscribers, turned our top customers into our biggest fans and content promoters, and even driven additional bottom-line revenue.”

Marketing strategist Alexa Kurtz from Webtek capitalizes on her blog emails by featuring other offers.

“While the blog is the shining star of the email blasts, we also call in some ‘supporting roles’. For example, when we send an email promoting the blog, the article is front and center of the e-blast. However, we will often include a special offer, featured project, or highlighted product to give readers even more of a reason to click-through to the website.”

Jay Baer from Convince and Convert gets a few thousand visitors to his blog per week, and he values emailing out blog posts because

“it’s a big part of our ongoing relationship building.”

Doug Morneau shared his advice on why his strategy to email out blog posts is so successful.

“Figure out where your audience is, what their pain points are, and then develop a content strategy that will allow you to be a welcome visitor into their inbox every week.  Don’t just send buy my stuff emails, that adds no value to your subscribers.”

So the takeaway?  Marketers email their blog posts for the following reasons:

  1. Increase subscribers
  2. Increase blog traffic and overall website traffic
  3. Maintain relationships
  4. Create meaningful interactions
  5. Additional revenue

How to Craft Great Blog Emails

The email that accompanies each blog post is just as important as the blog post itself! The email should tease your readers and make them want to read your post. It should tell your readers what the post is about without giving too much away—it’s all about striking that right balance that leaves readers excited on clicking through to read your post.

Drew DuBoff, Growth Strategist, emails out all of his blog posts and is full of insight. He says,

“My emails establish trust with the readers as I try and prime them for my coaching program. I think this tactic is highly effective when done properly and disastrous when done improperly. If you approach your emails with respect and a genuine desire to get to know your readers more, then you will succeed. If you take the used car salesman approach, you’ll get a lot of unsubscribes.”

Jenni Lachner, the Content Marketing Manager for Portent, has some things to keep in mind when it comes to crafting successful emails that introduce blog posts:

  1. Think like your audience. Make sure the message in your email resonates with who you are speaking to.
  2. Get to the point. Think about how many emails you get in a day. A clear subject line and straightforward message will increase the likelihood that your email gets opened, and not immediately deleted because it looks like spam.
  3. Be consistent. With your format, with your message, and with your timing. Stick to a regular communication schedule and use the same layout/branding for your emails. Feature a steady tone of voice and message so you can establish trust and reliability with your audience.
  4. Don’t forget contact list maintenance. Check those bounces and unsubscribes regularly. Frequently cleaning up your distribution list ensures that your communications are reaching the right people at the right time, and you’re maximizing your ROI. And, taking the time to reach out to those folks who unsubscribed from your list can serve as a great lead nurturing touchpoint!

Nathan Piccini from Data Science Dojo has great advice about sticking to the point and creating engaging emails when sending out blog posts.

“Have an obvious title and a catchy image. People don’t want to try and decipher something in their email inbox. Make sure the title is going to make them understand what the post is about at a glance and the image reinforces it and grabs the reader’s attention. An image can speak 1000 words.”

Brandon Amoroso from electrIQ Marketing speaks to the value of experimenting with different types of emails such as plain text emails versus templates.

“Make them super personal. An email with no pictures and a simple ‘Hey, new post from electrIQ today about XYZ…let me know if you have any questions!’ has been way more effective.”

Best Practices for Blog Email Subject Lines

The subject line is crucial, and must stand out amidst the hundreds of emails that your contacts get every day. You want to be playful with your subject line without being cheesy. It’s your only chance for your blog post to make a first impression and make your readers want to open your email. Many marketers place significant emphasis on crafting the right subject line, and here is some of their advice:

Jonathan Branney, Senior Content Marketing Manager at Banc, speaks to how important the subject line is when emailing out blog posts.

“The hard work starts here when it comes to capturing the reader’s attention. We find that posing questions, being personal or making the subject actionable all boost the likelihood of click-through.”

Johnny Bolden with Off Road has experimented with subject lines and has some great insights.

“We have used A/B testing with subject lines using Emojis! We found that adding Emojis to
subject lines that are sent to a mostly mobile open segment can drive 37% higher open rates!
That’s huge! This is driven by the fact that someone opening a mobile email has less characters
that they see in the subject line and an emoji will stand out heavily.”

Jacqueline Tihanyi from Fisher Unitech also has applicable advice when it comes to subject lines for blog post emails.

“We use a subject line grader to make sure our subject line is spam-free to allow for high deliverability rate.”

The takeaway?  Great subject lines for blog emails:

How Much Engagement Do Blog Emails Receive?

Emailing blog posts is a compelling way to keep all of your contacts engaged with the brand. It’s a smart tactic to keep your brand top-of-mind without sending out “salesy” emails. Your blog posts should position your brand as a thought leader in your industry every time a new post hits their inbox.

Nate Fuller from Launch gets higher than average engagement when he uses this strategy, saying

“…emailing blog posts typically revives relationships with contacts in our database and helps bring new deals to the table. It reminds past prospects and customers that we are still knowledgeable in our field and that we are still around to meet their needs.”

Eric Dahl from Revmarka shares that

“…it normally takes 3-5 pieces of solid content before a customer is willing to engage in a sales conversation. If I’m sending out regular blog posts, I’m speeding up the law of averages while creating opportunity and top-of-mind awareness.”

Marine Klein of Commusoft has great advice when it comes to keeping the whole company involved with their blog.

“We work very close with sales and produce content according to what they know will be of interest to leads. It’s an effective tactic if you can find the right balance between keeping them engaged without veering into the type of pushy hard-sell that people dislike.”

Does Emailing Blog Posts Increase Website Traffic?

Distributing your blog posts via email is a guaranteed way to increase traffic to your blog. Ideally, those leads you attract also click around your site for more information about your brand, so emailing blog posts should increase traffic to your entire site, not just your blog.

Dorde Milivevic of Stable WP gets around 1,500 views of his brand’s blog every time he emails out a new post. He uses his blog to nurture leads, keep subscribers informed, and engage with current clients. Dorde says that emailing these posts consistently helps him hit goals in every stage of the sales funnel.

Using Google Analytics and UTM codes to track the website traffic your content emails generate is a great way to measure the traffic your content emails are creating.

Google Analytics Blog Subscribers

Who Should You Send Blog Post Emails To?

Many brands email their blog posts out to all of their leads, not just subscribers. However, when a lead subscribes to your blog, it can help gauge their interest in your brand.

If you do a weekly or month digest of your blog posts, readers may choose to receive each and every blog post as it is published. This is great news for your brand, as it signifies they like your content enough to opt in to receiving all your posts.

You should be cautious when emailing both subscribers and leads. Make sure they don’t receive your blog post emails twice for being a lead and being a subscriber. Your marketing automation platform should have a way to make sure this doesn’t occur if they exist in multiple lists.

Robert Katai of Banner Snack uses a landing page that contains 3 simple reasons why people should subscribe to his blog posts. He also emails his blog posts before he shares on social, creating some exclusivity to being part of his email list, and gets a 45% open rate.

Logan Allec from Money Done Right has valuable insight that every marketer who emails blog posts should keep in mind.

“I think the most important thing to remember is that you can’t ask for the sale in every email.  You have to start with building trust with each new subscriber and then gradually build up to asking for the sale.  Also, remember that each and every one of those subscribers is a real person sitting behind a computer or on a phone!  And they subscribed to your email list for a reason.  Don’t take that for granted.”

Nurturing Leads

Arguably, lead nurturing is the biggest benefit of emailing blog posts. Distributing this content establishes thought leadership, and gives your brand an excuse to email these leads and stay familiar with them.

Alexander Onaindia of Distinction Agency says,

“Our blog posts are intended to nurture leads by showcasing our team’s knowledge of various areas of marketing.”

Tamas Torok from Coding Sans uses blog posts as an effective way to nurture leads and says,

“After someone signs up for our newsletter we send our new subscriber a series of emails containing our best blog posts and gated guides. We segment subscribers based on their biggest challenges (they answer this question when subscribing) so our emails are well-targeted and relevant.”

Tabitha Oneill from BNC Systems explains how valuable emailing posts can be when it comes to getting their brand in front of the right leads at the right time.

“Blog and email are two very low-cost tools we use to bring in new deals. Sometimes they help with staying in contact with leads that have gone cold. Sometimes they reach people who previously refused to answer our phone calls. By demonstrating our knowledge, expertise, and value, we turn really cold leads into warm leads.”

Improving Open and Click-through Rates

It’s important to track your open and click-through rates, so that you can monitor which subject lines, topics and copy have the most impact on your readers. Be sure to record all of these details so that you can keep doing what works and discard what doesn’t. After you’ve implemented tracking and refine what works, you should start to see constant improvement with open and click-through rates when emailing out your blog posts.

Dolores Hirschmann from Masters in Clarity recommends “…having short emails that link to the blog, short teaser videos, and teaser copy” to engage and intrigue readers, and ultimately entice them to click-through to the blog posts.

Lauren Morley, the CMO of Techvera, uses data to power her strategy when it comes to these email campaigns.

“Looking at our analytics to figure out what the most popular content from each email is and designing more content around that has been the most helpful. It drives my strategies for future posts so that I’m writing on what our readers care about.”

Key Takeaways

We are throwing a lot of strategies and advice at you, so let’s pare it down to a checklist of things to consider when it comes to emailing your blog posts.

How to Bridge the Gap Between Sales and Marketing with Content

Sales and marketing departments need to work closely together and be in sync with each other like yin and yang. However, in so many companies, sales and marketing operate in separate silos. This separation yields less than desirable results and hinders much needed communication between the two departments to convert leads into sales.

But, what if we told you that you can fix this? And what if we told you that you can fix this with a more powerful content marketing strategy? Well, you can!

This post will explore 5 questions that your sales and marketing teams need to ask themselves to start down the path of bridging sales and marketing to turn more leads into sales.

So, get sales and marketing together in a meeting and go through each of these 5 questions together and make a plan so that your company can increase the effectiveness of each department and increase revenue!

Question 1: Where is the Gap?

The gap between sales and marketing usually exist when it comes to what happens after a lead is generated. Marketing may automatically put them in an email drip campaign and sales may reach out to the new lead directly. This comes across as unprofessional and could turn a potential client away.

So, marketing and sales needs to be on the same page when it comes to lead nurturing. There are two typical processes when it comes to nurturing leads and neither one is right or wrong—you just need to make sure sales and marketing are on the same page so they don’t inundate a new lead with too  many emails.

Question 2: How Do I Identify the Problems in My Workflow?

Now that sales and marketing is meeting and trying to bridge the gap, it should be pretty easy to identify where the hang ups are. If marketing is adding a new lead to an email drip and sales is contacting the lead right away, then you’re bombarding your new leads and are risking turning them off from your brand.

Or maybe the lead isn’t getting touched enough. Sometimes sales assumes that marketing is warming up the lead and trying to get them to convert while marketing assumes that sales is reaching out to every new lead.

Whether it’s an inundation of emails or not enough emails, most brands experience problems with their workflow as a result of sales and marketing not being on the same page. So, it needs to be determined who and how sales and marketing are going to provide relevant content to your new leads.

Question 3: What Does an Ideal Content Flow Look Like?

Ideally marketing warms up leads for sales to establish brand familiarity and thought leadership before sales reaches out. This type of nurturing increases conversion rates because trust is built with the new lead and your brand. The ideal marketing email contains great content as opposed to salesy self-promotional emails. Some things to consider dripping new leads are:

Once marketing has done the hard work generating a lead, they should send 4-5 emails of great content before marking the lead as sales ready. One option is  that the final email in the drip can even ask if the lead is interested in learning more about the brand and then marketing can turn that lead over to sales if they self-identify as being interested in your brand.

There are going to be many instances when a lead goes through the email drip but still won’t be ready to convert. This doesn’t mean that they should not be touched again. Once a lead goes through the drip, they should be moved over to an email process where they get emails once a week with your new blog posts. Emailing your blog posts to all of your leads is a great way to stay top-of-mind with your leads so that when they’re ready to convert they will think of your brand over a competitor.

Question 4: How Can Sales and Marketing Work More Effectively Together?

Documenting a process that both sales and marketing agree on is a great place to start!

Using your CRM and/or your marketing automation platform, both sales and marketing should keep up-to-date notes on the lead status. This way you can see where each lead is in the lead nurturing process.

If sales is going to reach out to new leads before marketing warms them up with content, then marketing needs to provide sales with content that they can use while they are “working a lead.” Thought leadership blog posts that solve specific pain-points a great and case studies are the highest converting forms of content to have when a lead is close to becoming a sale.

Question 5: How Can I Get Started on Bridging the Gap?

Even if marketing puts all new leads generated in an email drip campaign, there are the instances that a lead reaches out to sales directly or sales makes a cold call and starts working a new lead. For this scenario, like we just stated above, it’s important that sales is equipped with the right content to help move that lead through the conversion process.

It will be helpful for marketing to build sales a content library. You can do this on your website and set the page so it's not viewable to anyone who doesn’t have the link making it only be an internal resource. In this content library you can provide links to blog posts organized by pain point or industry. You can also provide links to your best case studies. Marketing should keep this content library updated so sales can always share the latest and greatest content.

The key takeaway here concerning bridging the gap between sales and marketing is communication and the right type of content. Documenting a process, sticking to it, creating content for leads and keeping up with communication between sales and marketing will increase the success of your lead nurturing and converting strategy. Your brand will be sure to see an increase of leads turning into sales!

Do you have any advice when it comes to bridging the gap between sales and marketing? We’d love to hear from you on Twitter @Feed_Otter

 

10 Ways to Make Contacts Look Forward to Your B2B Marketing Emails

With so many emails flooding people’s inboxes, it’s more important than ever to refine and create a strong email marketing strategy for your leads and clients.

Understanding what your contacts need out of your emails as opposed to what your business needs, you can create emails that offer value to your contacts and thus produce powerful emails that actually get opened. Once you’ve identified the types of emails that appeal to your contacts, your brand will get better results from your email marketing campaigns.

With email marketing offering a potential return of investment of 4400%, it remains a powerful way to attract and retain customers so let’s explore ways to create emails that your leads and clients look forward to.

Personalization

The more personalized your emails come across the better. Contacts want to feel like your brand understands their needs and can be turned off with mass emails. However, you can’t send different emails to thousands of people so there are a few ways you can make your mass emails a little more personalized.

Use HubSpot’s My Persona Tool to learn the different persona’s that you should be targeting your emails to and you can create different email buckets to send leads based on their persona.

Using a contact’s first name in the email can go a long way and this is pretty easy to insert with the right email  marketing automation tool.

Segment Your Lists

Segmenting your email lists goes along with personalizing your emails. If you segment your contacts into different lists, you can dictate the way you write your emails and determine what would be the most relevant emails to each email lists. Here are just a few ways you can segment your lists and adapt your email strategy accordingly:

Add Value

Instead of just boasting about your brand and constantly trying to convert leads into clients, you want to send out emails that add value for your contacts. The goal of email drip campaigns is to keep your brand top of mind and establish thought leadership. So, the more resources and relevant strategies that you can provide for your contacts, the better!

If you’re dripping educational material and thought leadership strategies, your contacts are actually going to look forward to your emails. A few ideas on how to do this are ebooks, blog posts, tip of the week and more!

Special Offers

One way to definitely get contacts too look forward to your emails is to occasionally offer special offers. This can be anything from a free trial to a limited time discount or a free ebook.

When you offer your special offer be sure to put it in the subject line to convey to readers that your email is worth opening because it contains something for them.

Enticing subject lines

44% of consumers don’t open an email when the subject line doesn’t excite them. So, there is a lot of pressure to get creative with subject lines. Here are a few things to try with subject lines for your marketing emails and entice your contacts enough to get them to open your emails:

Know When to Send the Sales Pitch

Here at FeedOtter, we have a rule of thumb that each new lead gets entered into an email drip and receives a series of 5 emails. The first 4 emails establish thought leadership and offer intriguing recourses. Then, the 5th email is the one where we send the sales pitch after we’ve established trust and brand familiarity.

Once a lead makes it all the way through the initial drip campaign they are entered into a drip campaign that emails out weekly blog posts. Occasionally we will ask leads at the end of the blog post email if they want to try out FeedOtter. For clients, we ask how things are going with FeedOtter in an effort to retain them.

So knowing that the sales pitch should only come occasionally, you can plan your email drip campaigns accordingly.

Don’t Send Too Many Emails

69% of email recipients unsubscribe because they get too many emails from brands. Taking this fact into consideration, you should be really mindful of how often you send out your emails. While it might be tempting to send out emails every day, you should probably send out emails once a week.

One strategy you can implement is to ask your contacts which emails they want to receive. This way they can choose if they want to receive an email every time you publish a blog post or if they want a monthly round up of your blog posts.

Make Your Emails More Human

When writing your marketing emails, it’s important to keep in mind that you’re writing to actual people. Many brands make the mistake of making their emails too formal and robotic. You want your emails to be friendly and conversational in order to appeal to your contacts.

You can do things like use their first names in your emails and add a CTA to the end of the emails inviting them to reply to the emails if they have any questions for you. Inviting your contacts to reply with questions makes them feel like they can have an actual conversation with you and keeps them more engaged.

Automate Your Blog Digest Emails

In order to not email every blog post that you send out and turn off your contacts by emailing them too much, you can create a weekly or monthly digest of your blog posts. This way your contacts can choose which blog posts they want to read and you don’t overwhelm their inbox.

Luckily here at FeedOtter, we have a tool that allows you to automate your blog post emails whether you want to email every blog post or if you want to automate a digest of your posts. With beautiful templates, your contacts will enjoy receiving your blog post emails.

Do A/B Testing

A/B testing your emails can be done in any email marketing tool. So whichever tool you use, take advantage of the A/B testing feature. This allows you to try different messaging and subject lines to see what resonates best with your readers. Then, you can build off of what works and continue to refine your strategy so that it becomes exponentially stronger.

Final Thoughts

Your brand puts out great resources and has a lot to say in your email marketing campaigns. There are many strategies we’ve outlined here to make your strategy stronger when it comes to your email marketing campaigns. Having drips for leads and clients is great for customer acquisition and retention as long as you craft your strategy the right way.

Do you have any tips when it comes to your email marketing campaigns? We’d love to hear your thoughts on Twitter @Feed_Otter

How to Measure Your B2B Blog Posts

One of the biggest hang-ups when it comes to blogging isn’t writing content for the blog itself, but, measuring the blog and judging whether it is performing well or not. We hear from marketers all the time that they want to do a better job of measuring their blog posts, so, we created this post all about this important topic.

Before diving into this post, ask yourself if any of the 3 questions resonates with you:

  1. Do you ever feel like you’re running a company blog because you think you should but don’t know if the blog is actually lifting your brand?
  2. Do you have a weak grasp on how well your blog actually performs for your brand?
  3. Ever wish you could measure your blog to report on it’s success to your co-workers and/or boss?

If any of these questions sound like something you ask yourself, then this post will help you define and target which metrics you should measure for your blog and help you start measuring your B2B blog posts today.

Why Should I Measure My Blog Posts?

Defining metrics allows marketers to determine what components equates to success and track whether or not their blog is producing positive business outcomes.

Measuring blog posts on a weekly/monthly/quarterly basis gives marketers tremendous insights on what is working and what is not working. This allows us to constantly refine on what is working to exponentially power our blogs.

Measuring your blog posts and having data to back them up also helps marketers make the case for more budget and time to spend on the blog.

Blog post analysis is just as important as coming up with great post ideas so let’s dive right in and look at the metrics that you should be tracking when it comes to your B2B blog and how to get started.

Traffic

Traffic is one of the most basic and important metrics to keep an eye on when analyzing the power of your blog. This simply shows how many people are viewing your blog in any given time frame and how they are getting to your blog post in the first place. Luckily, Google Analytics is free to set up and offers robust reporting when it comes to your blog.

There is a lot of information you can gather when referring to your blog’s traffic but there are two main metrics to pull about your blog:

These metrics will help you identify your most successful blog posts so that you know what topics resonate the most with your readers. You’ll also be able to identify how people find your blog so that you can put more effort into those traffic sources whether it be social, guest posts, etc.

Social Shares

A social share of a blog post means that each person who shared your post on their social channels thought your post was good enough that they want to share it with their own followers. In a way, when someone shares a post, they are attaching their reputation to your post. So, it’s a big deal!

It’s the goal of a blog post to always be refreshing, new or educational. Looking at which blog posts get the most social shares let you know which topics your readers care the most about so you can refine the posts you publish.

There are a variety of tools out there to help you measure social shares of your blog posts but we recommend Nelio if you use WordPress to host for your blog.

Leads Generated

When a potential customer finds one of your blog posts, your blog may be the first time they hear about your brand. A well thought out blog post can represent your brand well and make them want to learn more so a blog is a source of lead generation.

We mentioned Google Analytics and we’ll mention it again here—you can track leads generated to their original point of entry to your site. This allows marketers to track how many leads their blog posts bring in in any given time frame.

This metric is key when showing the success of your blog to your team or boss because it shows that your thought leadership blog posts are getting the attention of potential new consumers.

Subscriber List

When someone opts into email updates whenever you publish a new post, they are telling your brand that they enjoy your blog posts. So, with each new subscriber, you should feel great about the work you do.

Each subscriber means that someone new is reading and maybe sharing your blog posts. Additionally, many brands put new blog subscribers into an email drip campaign, making a list of subscribers very valuable when paired with good email marketing.

Keeping a pulse on your subscriber list and tracking the growth can clue you and your brand into how much interest your blog is gathering.

Open Rates and Click Throughs

After you email your blog posts out with FeedOtter, monitor the open rates of your blog digest emails and links clicked.

It’s important to monitor your open rates and click throughs so that you have analytics to clue you in on your blog post strategy. Helpful hints will come in the form of how to write the most engaging emails that accompany your blog posts and to know if the topics you’re writing about make people want to click on the posts.

After monitoring open rates and click throughs, you’ll start to get a feel for what your audience wants to hear from you so these metrics should keep getting better.

Unsubscribes

When someone unsubscribes from getting emails about your blog posts, this means one of two things:

  1. That you’re sending out too many emails
  2. Your blog posts aren’t interesting to them anymore

Look and see when the spike in unsubscribes happens. Analyze your post frequency for that week and which topics just hit the blog. You may want to consider sending a blog digest of all your posts per month or changing the content you put up on your blog.

You want to keep your list of subscribers up, so, be sure to pay close attention when people are unsubscribing so you can remedy the issue quickly.

Post Popularity

Whether it’s in Google Analytics, WordPress, or a different tool, it’s easy to monitor to see how many views your posts are getting and sort out your most popular posts.

Keep track of your popular posts and try to find commonalities. Do you see common topics or industries written about in your most popular posts? Did you boost that post on social? Did you link to these posts in guest posts?

After identifying commonalities, you can create a recipe for all of your blog posts. This recipe should include producing engaging posts, a solid social share plan, a budget and a link-back plan.

Keep a running list of your brand’s top 10 posts and stick it on the wall so that you can refer to it when you’re planning your upcoming posts.

Final Thoughts

It’s hard to justify the time, let alone a budget, for your blog if you don’t have data to back up it’s existence. Whether these metrics are for yourself to refine your blog or for your boss to get more budget for your blog—measuring your B2B blog posts is crucial.

Stop creating content for contents sake and develop a data driven strategy for your blog today. Start by identifying which metrics are the most important and how you’re going to track them. After implementing this approach, it should become easier to create posts that resonate with your readers and you should start to see metrics improving after building off of the data gathered.

What metrics do you care about when measuring your B2B blog posts? Let us know on Twitter @Feed_Otter as we would love to hear from you!

 

The Dangers of Not Emailing Your Blog Posts

Consistent blogging just makes good business sense. It increases SEO, establishes thought leadership, moves leads through the sales funnel and helps consumers establish a connection with your brand. To make the most out of your brand’s blogging strategy, it’s crucial to email your blog posts to keep your audience engaged. If you don’t email your blog posts, you could lose your connections with eager consumers, and you may miss the perfect opportunity to establish thought leadership.

Many brands make the mistake of posting their blog posts on their website, sharing them on a onetime  social media blast, and calling the job done. However, emailing these posts is the most effective way to get eyeballs on your content and nurture those leads and clients.

At the end of the day, you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities to position your brand as a thought leader if you’re not using the latest in email marketing technology. So, let’s explore why and how to ramp up your game when it comes to emailing your blog posts.

The Impact of a Blog

53% of marketers surveyed say that blogging is their top content marketing priority. This statistic tells us that blogging is key and there is plenty of room to reap the benefits of a blog. Here are just a few ways that a blog can power a brand:

Email Statistics to Take Note of

Email marketing generates $38 for every $1 spent, making it an extremely powerful strategy when executed correctly. In case you’re not convinced that email is right for your brand, let’s look at a few statistics:

Combining Two Powerful Forces: Blog and Email

Now that we’ve established the impact of blogs and email marketing, let’s combine these forces to power each strategy. Emailing blog posts capitalizes on the benefits of a blog and caters to how consumers want to communicate with your brand.

By emailing posts, brands can have a reason to email clients and leads and offer thought leadership material to nurture them with. Consumers really do want to hear from your brand, especially when the correspondence offers educational material and resources (as opposed to self-promotional material). Emailing these types of blog posts bridges the gap between content and email marketing.

How to Build a Powerful Email List

The first step when setting up your strategy for any email marketing campaign is to build out a list. This will be an ongoing process, and, if executed well, will snowball and collect email addresses on an exponential basis. There are plenty of ways to build this list:

How Often Should Brands Email Their Blog Posts?

61% of consumers report that they enjoy weekly emails from brands, and 38% of those say they wish for more frequent emails. So, judging by this data and our own experience, we recommend that you send out an email every time you publish a new blog post. Whether your content calendar includes weekly or daily posts, it’s a smart idea to send them all out as you post them to keep your readers engaged.

If you find that your leads are unsubscribing, you can consider a weekly digest of your posts.

How to Make the Most Out of Your Blog Digests

Whether it’s a daily or weekly wrap up of your posts, you should create emails that present your readers with a teaser of what your posts are about, and how they’ll benefit from them.

You should always accompany your teaser content with an obvious link or button to read the post.

Try experimenting with different templates in your emails. A lot of brands report that sending a text only email increases open rates. You can A/B test the formats to see what works best for your readers.

In addition to A/B testing formats, you can experiment with subject lines as well. The main takeaway here is that you need to find what appeals most to your readers so you can build off of the best results.

Tools You’ll Need

To maximize the power of your blog and integrate emailing blog posts into your strategy, you’re going to have to navigate with a few tools and sync them up properly. Here are a few tools to consider:

The combination of these types of tools can help you put your email/blog strategy on autopilot. This will make your job easier while ensuring that your readers get consistent emails for all of your posts.

Final Thoughts

Emailing blog posts is a powerful way to generate and nurture leads. Consumers want to hear from your brand in a way that educates and entertains them, as opposed to sending out blatant self-promotional material.

Now that you have a handle on such a powerful strategy, you can sync up the right tools and start emailing your blog posts today. Sit back and watch your work in action!

Do you want to put your strategy for emailing blog posts on autopilot? Check out how FeedOtter can help!