Today at New York Entrepreneur Week, there was a lot of mention, throughout the various panels and keynote (Peter Shankman of HARO) about the benefits of social media.
While social media is important, email marketing is still a very, very effective way to drive traffic to social media, to web sites or overall, drive action. (See 7 Lessons of Email Marketing Here).
One of the concepts that I believe many of us KNOW but don’t strategically act on is the concept of collaborative marketing, which Constant Contact is one of the best ways to maximize all of your marketing capabilities.
Not just ONE particular thing – ie events, email marketing, social media, surveys, etc – but integrating all of these assets into a cohesive plan of action.
SURVEYS – For example, says a Constant Contact spokesperson, rather than sending out quarterly satisfaction surveys (a good idea) in a silo, you could add two fun questions that can provide content for the next newsletter (an even better idea).
In this case you are still reaching out to customers and asking them for their insight, but also using the occasion to obtain content (customer generated content) for the next newsletter.
SOCIAL MEDIA – Using Facebook to build a community around your business is great for owners and customers, but why not use that community to contribute images and content to the newsletter. Similarly, adding a “Join My Mailing List” button on the registration page for events can extend a possible one-time interaction over the course of months or years.
The key thread with this collaborative approach is that you are taking an action that might normally illicit ONE customer response and turning the action (or platform) into a multi-purpose uses.
EMAIL MARKETING – Constant Contact advises that email marketing provides a small glimpse into behavior, depending on what you are writing. If you see that certain bits of content are generating click throughs you know that your audience is responding favorably. You will want to create more like-minded content to keep them engaged. Then, in places where you are not getting the click throughs you re-think your strategy and content.
But what does this take? It sakes surgical analysis of your email reports.
Web Site – Web sites are often the most underutilized components of small business communication. Sure we have links to our social media feeds, ask people to sign up for our newsletters and faithfully post blog content. But what about also using them as a way for customers to post videos about themselves? What about as a showcase for our employee training sessions.
Sit down with a pencil and paper and brainstorm. See all the ways YOU can come up with multiple uses for your customer communications.
Instead of using ONE media to do ONE thing, consider how you can leverage each communication to your customers – web site, survey, email newsletter, social media and “one to one email” (like technical support) to do multiple actions.