When it comes to digital marketing, most successful brands achieve their status because they offer a holistic customer experience – one that brings all the branches of their marketing plan together. When different strategies on different platforms work seamlessly together, the result provides a much more cohesive user perspective. Consistency is the cornerstone of building a strong, trusted brand – without it, your marketing efforts may have the opposite effect to the one desired.
If your business employs multiple marketers, it becomes particularly difficult to run seamless campaigns, unless each knows what the other is working on. Email marketing and social media are two such culprits. They can complement each other beautifully, or they can go in totally different directions. If you’re currently struggling to provide the seamless digital experience that customers expect, here’s how to go about integrating your email and social media marketing efforts.
Your prime content marketing channels
Content marketing – the art of creating and distributing valuable, relevant content to your customers and readership – is currently one of the most effective forms of digital advertising. While the objective is to drum up business, content marketing provides genuine value that informs or entertains its audience, rather than being an overt advertisement. Good content comes in many forms, from blog posts and whitepapers to videos, infographics and presentations.
Creating content is one thing: then you have distribution. There are many ways to distribute content online (community groups, forums, podcasts), but two of the most effective are email newsletters and social networks. Both allow you to reach as broad (or as narrow) an audience as you wish. With email marketing, you have an effective way to communicate with your existing client base (or those who have signed up), to distribute content, and to subtly promote your business. But with around 75% of American adults using social media platforms, these networks are also invaluable. Social media users tend to be open to engagement and are much more interactive with the businesses they enjoy than they used to be. Use social media well, and you can expect plentiful shares and engagement (provided you’ve been creative with your content marketing). Even better – learn to integrate the two.
One can promote the other, and vice versa
Email and social media marketing are on the same team, so they should support one another. On the one hand, email marketing can help to boost your efforts on social media by reminding your email subscribers that your brand has a buzzing social community they can get involved in. Use your emails to promote your social pages with buttons and clickthroughs. At the start, you may find it easier to focus on promoting just one social network – whichever gets the best engagement – so subscribers don’t feel overwhelmed by choice.
Likewise, you can also encourage your social media followers to sign up for your mailing list. There are several good ways to do this – if you’re using Twitter, consider using Twitter Cards, which let users sign up without leaving the platform. Your Facebook page can also be used to promote email signups by adding a ‘subscribe’ form – find out how to do this here. Post regular reminders of the cool deals that you’re sending via email and watch your email list grow.
Re-engaging inactive customers
Did you know that you can easily upload your email database to Facebook and Twitter? What’s more, by following your email subscribers and getting to know them, you may even gain more followers in the process. You can use Twitter Advertising and Facebook ‘Custom Audience’ to upload your subscribers to your social database and advertise directly to your email list through social platforms – ideal for retargeting purposes. What’s more, you can retarget those who actually clicked and opened your emails, using a tool like Perfect Audience.
Facebook advertising is one way to boost your retargeting efforts – here’s a guide to Facebook advertising that you may find helpful. But it can also be expensive, so it’s important to know the best way of allocating your funds. If you retarget those who you know are already interested in your offering, you’re likely to get much better conversion rates. Try sending an email to subscribers that leads them through to your website – then you can specifically target social ads to appear only to the people who followed that link through.
Using social channels to grow your email list
If you’re getting interest in your brand on social media, then chances are this audience would be interested in receiving email newsletters as well. It’s all about getting your active social following to take action – and making it super easy for them to sign up. First of all, you need to let your fans know that you have a newsletter in the first place. It it’s not obvious, they won’t know. So the first step is to provide a clear link from your social profiles to your email sign-up page. At the same time, you should be clear about the benefits they will receive: try using incentives such as exclusive discounts and email-only deals.
As mentioned earlier, you can also use Twitter’s lead generation cards and Facebook’s customizable tabs – the benefit of which being that users never need to leave the social platform they’re currently on. The less effort required from them, the better.
Digital marketers are finding various ways to intuitively marry their email and social media efforts. Do you have some experience in this area? We’d love to hear from you about how your team uses email and social in tandem to achieve success.
Patrick Foster: Ecommerce Expert. I am a freelance writer and marketing consultant for small online businesses and entrepreneurs. I love sharing my experience with other businesses to improve sales and help them grow. Read more on my blog at Ecommercetips.org.