Using social media to drive email marketing

Millennials using social media and email Email HIppo

How to use social media to find ideas for email marketing

Social media offers a plethora of benefits for brands in 2020: organic reach, unique ways to engage audiences, a wide choice of paid strategies — the list is virtually endless.

In this blog, Kayleigh Alexandra from Microstartups.org shares her valuable ideas on how to make social media a resource for email marketing ideas.

Social media is ripe for fresh idea generation to fuel your email marketing. It’s a great source of content inspiration that helps boost your email marketing value tenfold — and it’s simple to do too. With this in mind, read on to learn how to use social media to find ideas for email marketing.

Good content alone doesn’t make for a great email marketing campaign — it requires careful planning and execution. Get a head start with this useful email marketing guide for 2020.

Work with influencers to learn what your audience wants

Influencers have become ubiquitous in marketing today — but they are divisive too. Some view them as a great way to reach a new audience in an organic way. Others, however, see influencers as an ethically-troublesome marketing tool that is fraught with inflated prices, dubious follower counts, and legal gray areas. But in terms of idea generation for email marketing, influencers are a veritable treasure trove. Their intimate, personal connection with their audience is ripe for mining, revealing what kind of content people want to see and how.

Perhaps you already work with influencers. If so, trawl their accounts to see what kind of content they’re sharing or simply have a conversation with them to get some insight into what your target audience (who overlap with theirs) wants to see. If you don’t already work with influencers, look to influencer marketplaces such as Neoreach to find those social stars who align with your target audience. This is important — your email marketing is likely divided into your different customer segments, so you need to find the influencer whose audience overlaps with yours too.

For extra-targeted content, look to micro-influencers for inspiration. These are social stars with follower counts of between 1-10K. As a consequence of this relatively small following, micro-influencers enjoy a closer relationship with their audience, and as such are hyper-aware of the kind of content they want to see.

Source insight from your followers

If you’re struggling to source ideas for your email marketing, it’s tempting to look for complex, overwrought methods of idea generation. You try to read your target audience’s minds and, as a result, tie yourself up in knots trying to find the best way to achieve this. 

But as with so many things in life, sometimes the simplest solution is the most elegant. In this case, why not simply ask your social followers what they want to see? Email marketing content needs to be compelling if you want your recipients to engage with it. Instead of second-guessing your audience, simply ask them what content they want to see.

In terms of social media, Instagram Stories are perfect for this. This ephemeral content lets you choose from a range of Stickers, including Q&A and poll Stickers. These are perfect for asking your followers questions and gaining their insight. As well as sourcing new ideas, you can use Stories to validate existing ones too.

Use these Stickers to offer a variety of different ideas and angles that your audience might want to see. Alternatively, you could ask them what matters to them — their interests, pain points, passions, and so on. This approach gives you a direct line into your followers’ minds and helps you guide your email marketing content creation with a high degree of accuracy and value.

Copy your competitors (but do it better)

A more technical approach to idea generation from social is the skyscraper method. This is straightforward to do but offers real insight and fresh ideas. Put simply, the skyscraper method requires you to research industry-specific trends and topics. Use social research tools such as Buzzsumo to do this — simply enter keywords related to your industry and the tool will return a list of relevant and trending content, complete with stats.

Once you’ve got this research, identify those pieces of content which are most popular and then create a similar piece of content (but is better and improved upon). You don’t need to break the bank when it comes to replicating successful content either — even the smallest of tweaks can increase a piece of content’s value. For instance, if you find a listicle of “10 best restaurants in San Diego”, update it to 15 or 20.

The skyscraper method is simple, easy, and all but guaranteed to provide results. But best of all, it’s backed by hard data that guarantees your audience will engage with it.

Be proactive with your trendspotting

Trends are a good source of idea generation for your email marketing, but it’s a tricky one to do right. Most social platforms (notably Twitter) include a Trending section that lets you trawl the topics and hashtags that are most popular that day. However, these trends change frequently. What might be trending one day might not necessarily be trending the next. Consequently, if you plan your email marketing campaigns ahead of time, you might need to pivot your strategy based on what is trending at that time.

While it is possible to spot annual trends and plan for them in advance, this is better sourced from Google Trends instead of relying on trending topics on social.

But If you’ve got a sharp eye and a quick content team, this strategy is achievable for email marketing idea generation. Identify a trending topic that your target audience would relate to (a fashion slip-up might interest customers of an apparel brand, for example) and offer your own insight into it. This can be informative and useful, or simply humorous. Alternatively, you could pick out a trending topic and explain it to your audience in an easy-to-understand way. In this manner, you add value to your emails in a way that is at once engaging and relevant.

If you’re struggling to find inspiration for your next email marketing campaign, you’d do well to look to social media. It’s a lively source of constantly-changing thoughts and ideas, and it’s the perfect place to quickly (and cheaply) source great ideas for your next campaign.

Follow the tips above and save yourself time, money, and stress in your email marketing in 2020.

Kayleigh Alexandra : Microstartups.org

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