With an increasing number of businesses pivoting toward the digital space for more of their operations, digital marketing has become more crucial than ever to a business’s success. And while social media may be the low-hanging fruit of this endeavor, email, content, and SEO remain the main pillars for which a solid foundation should be built.
This article gives a brief on what content marketing and SEO are and discusses how email marketing
can bolster both in the effort to fuel your brand.
Why Content is King
If you’ve paid any attention to digital marketing speak
, you’ve probably come across this claim. To wit, content refers to information a brand conveys to its target audience through its different communication channels. These come in different forms - video, articles, social posts, email, an Instagram story - virtually any type of content released falls under this umbrella.
It’s considered a cornerstone of a solid marketing strategy because it’s a means to provide useful, relevant, and compelling content to a business’s target audience. Among its many benefits include establishing thought leadership and brand identity, building relationships with potential customers, and improving SEO results
Speaking of SEO…
Your content is only as good as its ability to reach people. Even if you have the best content on the planet, if it doesn’t show up when people search for things online (or is buried on the fourth page of search results), then it doesn’t do anything to help your brand.
So how does content and SEO work hand in hand?
In the most basic sense, search engines index all types of content - blogs, testimonials, product pages, etc. If your content is deemed useful by search engine crawlers (meaning it answers users’ queries), it will rank better in search.
So if you create content that’s designed to provide what people are searching for (like a blog post on a particular topic related to your business, or a how-to video), coupled with sound SEO practices, then your content will be seen by its intended audience. You get more eyeballs, more potential leads, and more opportunities to convert.
Content-SEO partnership examples
Content is essentially the meat of your website. So you have to ensure that not only is it relevant, you also need to put the effort into making it unique. So if you have multiple pages on your site with the same content, you risk getting penalized by Google, making your rankings take a hit.
Some additional tips:
- Create content based on relevant keyword phrases (phrases people use when searching for things). As a general rule, use your keyword phrase four times within your content.
- Include links from other pages within your website that points back to that particular page.
- Create unique content for every medium - be it press releases, blogs, or guest blog posts. This means that if you go the route of guest blogging or sending out press releases, you need to make sure it’s not seen by search engines as a duplicate content.
So where does email marketing fit in all of these?
It’s been established that email continues to produce the highest ROI of any marketing channel, providing the opportunity to earn $40 for every $1 spent - and having a higher conversion rate per session than both search and social combined.
By subscribing to your emails, your recipients have implied that they want to hear what you want to say. This enables you to continually cultivate relationships and remind customers of the things you have to offer without being in their faces too much. And when coupled with content marketing, it provides you a platform to push relevant content regularly.
How to make email work for your content marketing
Below are some basics of how you can push content through email effectively.
Understand what type of content will provide value
Getting people to subscribe is one thing, keeping them subscribed and getting noticed in their inbox is another. And a big part of this is picking content that immediately grabs a specific recipient’s attention while also being relevant to their interests.
Check out how Apartment Therapy does this:
See how they present articles that are all designed to make their subscribers’ lives easier. Whether it’s to learn about better apartment living, giving DIY ideas, or spring fashion info - each piece of content is designed to provide value to the readers.
An important element to this is understanding each individual subscriber. Yes, you know they’re interested in your products and services.
But where are they in the buyer’s journey? Categorize your content for each step of the journey, so you can provide them with content that’s not only relevant to them, but could also usher them closer to conversion.
Include links and make them visually stimulating
Email is a great way to frame content as helpful resources. And to complement this aesthetic, you should make your links eye-catching
, with CTA buttons that are easily identifiable. Your subscribers should immediately be able to understand what happens when they click on the link.
So whether it’s urging them to "Read more," See new products," or "Buy now," straightforward and visually interesting links are a great way to maximize traffic. In fact, Campaign Monitor found a 28% increase in click-through rates when they simply changed text links into buttons.
Test and analyze results
Another good thing about email marketing is how easy it is to monitor metrics like open, click-through, and conversion rates. This enables you to see which types of content truly resonate with your subscribers, and allows you to tweak and tailor content even further based on what the metrics suggest.
If you’re not quite sure which direction to go, you can even A/B test
- sending out two variations of an email, with different CTAs, images, or content framing to see which generates more clicks.
A lot of the email platforms you can use to automate your email campaigns have a comprehensive analytics feature
that can give you great insight into how to analyze, adjust and proceed with your content marketing strategy.
How email can help SEO
SEO may not be the first thing that comes to mind when conceptualizing an email campaign, but there are some very notable advantages when you make a correlation between your emails and SEO. Below are some of them.
Improves bounce rates
When people click-through to your site but immediately leave, it hurts your rankings greatly. This is why having useful and relevant content is extremely important. And when you’re able to tailor content for specific subscribers, you’re also able to control the quality of your visitors.
When people click-through email links
, they tend to be more engaged and interested in your content. This means when they’re redirected to your website, they spend more time on it, thus improving both bounce rates and your rankings.
Boosts social engagement
Similarly, social engagement
may not be at the top of the list of things you tend to focus on when it comes to your email campaigns. But it’s been found that social media sharing has a clear relationship with SEO. A Cognitive SEO study showed that the top five ranked pages were likewise that top five shared on Facebook, LinkedIn, and (at the time) Google+.
To achieve this, make sure your emails include CTAs for sharing content on social. When done correctly, this can drive organic engagement from loyal subscribers.
Aids personalization and targeting
Using things like email polls and surveys, you can find out what kind of content your subscribers are interested in, what their needs and pain points are, and create content based on what they say.
And when you have this type of information, it trickles down to things like list segmentation, improving your ability to deliver content directly to those who are most likely to find it useful.
Ability to rebirth content
Email is a great platform to repurpose existing content. For example, if you have an old blog post, you can create a short video based on that, and link to your repository of other similar posts.
This enables you to continually build relationships with your subscribers, while also making them more attuned to the types of content you have on your communications channels. When you’re able to cross-promote content from different platforms, you get a more engaged audience and inject juice into your omnichannel marketing.
As you can see, email is an excellent way to complement both your content marketing and SEO efforts. It’s a way to tie both areas of your digital marketing efforts, delivering content in a streamlined manner, while also boosting your search rankings.
What area could email help your strategy the most? Sound off in the comments below.
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