Content marketing continues to gain steam, as more businesses learn how to use this strategy to boost their online presence and consumer interactions. There are many avenues down which companies can develop and post content, including social media, blogs, infographics and - one that has become more popular at the beginning of 2014 - e-newsletters.
The Content Marketing Institute recently released its B2B Content Marketing report, which tracked the most popular trends in this industry through 2014. According to the findings, e-newsletters are the third most popular among executives in this realm, with 80 percent of these workers sending them on a regular basis.
E-newsletters are one of the best ways for small business owners to keep their consumers informed about offerings and interested in trends in their individual industries. When developing your e-newsletter, keep the following in mind.
Set and keep a consistent schedule
Whether you're sending it once per week or twice per month, you should have a set timeline for releasing your newsletter to your Internet audience. When making the schedule, there are several questions to keep in mind, including how often your audience will read these communications and how frequently your staff can generate meaningful content. Once you've set a schedule, it's imperative to stick with it, as consumers will grow to expect newsletters on a consistent basis.
Determining the audience
The recipients vary based on your specific industry, but your newsletter should be geared toward the base of your choosing. Tone, voice, additions and content will all depend on the specific audience you target, as your newsletter should speak directly to these individuals. Some small businesses may wish to gear their newsletter toward a wider audience in order to gain a greater following, but for those serving niche pockets of consumers, their newsletters should be geared toward these people.
Developing the content
After you've gotten the logistics figured out, it's time to start cranking out content for your newsletter. Based on how frequently you send them, content can be tailored to holidays, events or deals going on in your business. Each newsletter can differ when it comes to the specific details, but you should keep these core pillars in mind when writing:
- Generate meaningful headlines: As with most written communications, brevity is key. If your consumers are in a rush and don't have time to read the entire newsletter, be sure your headlines are short enough to read in a dash, but meaningful enough to get your point succinctly across.
- Keep content relevant to the industry: Much like your social media and blog strategies, your newsletter is aimed to further develop your brand as an industry leader, so be sure to include links to articles or blurbs about recent activity pertaining to the field in which your business works.
- Promote interactivity: Ask questions, develop a contest, encourage feedback - show consumers their input is valuable and necessary for your operations to continue.
- Link, link, link: Newsletters are the perfect platform to send links to your social networks and website, both of which can give potential customers a greater glimpse of your offerings. Be sure to include links as frequently as possible.
- Don't forget the legal: For businesses sending mass communications to large groups of people, there are several legal restrictions to keep in mind - be sure to review these policies prior to sending out any online newsletter.