Variety is the spice of life. And yet, as marketers, it’s so easy to get stuck in a rut and stick with what we know.
As a company with its roots firmly planted in the realm of email marketing and marketing automation, we’re not about to suggest you abandon your old but profitable email habits. We are, however, thoroughly recommending that you complement your existing strategies with something a little, dare I say it, modern.
We already know that blogging and social media are perfect bedfellows for your email marketing campaigns. But in 2022, there are equally complementary channels that, while following the same content marketing blueprint, take customer engagement to new levels.
So let’s take a look at three of the strategies the marketing experts at emfluence are increasingly called on to support. These are: Podcasting, Influencer Marketing and SMS.
While podcasting has been around for a while — the New Oxford American Dictionary declared the word “podcast” the word of the year in 2005, it’s undoubtedly gained momentum in recent years. Initially championed by DIY radio producers, podcasts have in recent years been fully embraced by celebrity broadcasters, journalists, and then marketers.
Podcasting is a lot easier than its close relation, online video. The audio podcast doesn’t require any carefully positioned backgrounds, considered lighting, and is ideally suited to anyone who has ever experienced a bad hair day.
Simple online meeting tools like Zoom can be used to record the conversation, and low-cost or even free audio editing software is employed to remove any “umms” and “errs”, coughs and sneezes, and false starts following momentary lapses of concentration.
It’s also incredibly easy to distribute your podcasts to popular audio platforms like Spotify, Apple Podcasts (iTunes), Amazon Music, and Google Podcasts using dedicated low-cost podcast hosting solutions like Podbean.
The typical podcast revolves around a conversation between two presenters or a host and a guest interviewee. The conversational podcast format means planning each episode can be as simple as lining up a few questions and hitting the record button. This naturally flowing conversation makes for a much more authentic listening experience than a 100% scripted show.
While your podcast should be very much conversationally based, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the occasional commercial message. Think short and sweet interruptions like traditional radio adverts rather than long rambling sales pitches.
As with other content-led strategies, podcast content can easily be re-appropriated across many other channels, including your blog, social media output, and email campaigns.
Podcasting has a considerable advantage over other content-led strategies. This is because podcasts are often consumed on the move while driving, exercising, or at work, and when engaging with any other channel would be impractical.
Like all content marketing strategies, podcasting takes a little practice and a bit of time to build an audience. Don’t be dissuaded if your initial efforts don’t draw a significant audience, and don’t let perfection be the enemy of good. Give it time, and you’ll find your pace and may potentially become something of a podcast celebrity or influencer.
Influencer marketing is a hot topic at the moment, with brands of all shapes and sizes looking to harness the marketing power of social media influencers.
Like the brands they represent, influencers also come in many different shapes and sizes. For every Kardashian or Zoella, many other micro-influencers command significant influence over various business niches. Popular niches include fashion, food, family, health, and travel, but you’ll find influencers in every industry vertical, including here in marketing.
As with other marketing strategies, authenticity is vital in influencer marketing. The influencers you hire to promote your brand should reflect your brand values and not just push out your message parrot style.
This authenticity should be as important to the influencer as it is to the brand. When an influencer accepts a commission from a brand they do not believe in, they potentially tarnish their own brand and risk losing social influence. And in the “dog eat dog” world of viral marketing, there are many other influencers all too willing to call their peers out for lack of authenticity. You’ve been warned!
Influence marketing is perfectly suited to social channels like Instagram and TikTok. These are channels that many marketers might feel uncomfortable positioning themselves on. It takes a special kind of confidence to throw yourself in front of the camera and post entertaining, informative, and memorable content that has the potential to go viral.
However, in the perfect world, any marketer with the ability and desire to position themselves as an influencer has the potential to enhance their personal and employer brands dramatically. As well as helping you sell more products or services, being seen as an expert in your industry will almost certainly make your career more upwardly mobile.
Both podcasting and influencer marketing, like email marketing, are very much at home on mobile devices. But if you want a 100% native mobile marketing strategy, SMS marketing is definitely something you should look at.
You don’t need a smartphone to receive SMS marketing messages because the ability to receive SMS messages is embedded in every mobile device. When you consider that millions of feature phones are still sold every year (they are particularly popular in emerging economies and with older demographics), SMS marketing might be the only sure-fire way of targeting a specific audience. However, when you consider SMS messages don’t require smartphone owners to access data plans or Wi-Fi to receive notifications — it suddenly looks like a much smarter marketing strategy.
The real benefit of SMS marketing is the fact that SMS messages are rarely ignored. This makes SMS the perfect channel to share important information that needs immediate action, such as medical appointments, school announcements, flash sales, or updates to travel schedules.
SMS marketing success can largely be attributed to the fact that it is not overutilized as a marketing channel. The SMS inbox is a much more personal space than the email inbox and, therefore, should be used sparingly for maximum impact compared to other channels. Like many other marketing channels, it’s all about sending the right message to the right person at the right time.
If you are one of those marketers who proudly proclaims, “We’ve always done it this way,” while enviously watching their competitors successfully navigate new and emerging channels, it may be time to embrace some new challenges.
To learn more about how our marketing experts can help you deliver more relevant, engaging, and timely marketing strategies via podcasting, influencer marketing and SMS, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.