In this hyper-competitive digital world, widespread integration is key to saving time, cutting down on costs, and making distinct tactics more effective by bringing them together. This is particularly true for marketing teams that have commonly been split into independent disciplines: each team catering to a specific channel, platform, or content type.
For engendering brand loyalty, and predictably reaching legacy customers with rich creative content, email remains a compelling marketing tool. Indeed, it has maintained an exceptional average ROI over the entire history of the internet thus far, retaining its value even as new marketing tools and methods have come into prominence.
Social media marketing, meanwhile, has become the key to wide-reaching marketing: going beyond the scope of set email lists and presenting ways to find and communicate with prospective customers throughout the internet, often with impressive results due to those involved having their guards down.
Used separately (but well), these methods are exceptionally powerful. But what if you bring them together? What if you integrate them into a wider strategy? The results compound, with each tool making the other stronger. Here’s how you can achieve this:
Adapt and rework content to save time
Content production is a slow and arduous process, yet the demand becomes greater with every passing day. How are you supposed to keep up? While any production team will inevitably get faster over time, people can only write and edit content so quickly, so it’s essential to find ways to improve efficiency — and reworking existing content is one of the best ways you’ll find.
When trying to integrate your emails with your social media posts, take a high-level view of the topics you’re addressing and the questions you’re answering, looking for overlaps. Ideally, you should create your social media content with an eye to adding selected posts to your emails, and compose your emails so they can be broken down into chunks viable for social media.
That way, you can write some source copy, adapt it for social media posts and marketing emails, distribute your content, then squeeze extra life from that content through cross-channel promotion. As long as you keep them different enough, no one will begrudge you — in fact, they’ll likely appreciate that they’re ultimately coming away with more relevant information.
Use each one to promote the other
There’s no either/or discussion to be had when thinking about email marketing and social media marketing — no mutual exclusivity. For any given prospect, you can persistently target them with both, so there’s no reason to keep them isolated. To that end, you should start by creating direct links between your social media campaigns and your email campaigns.
Think about the CTAs that you already have in place (and you must have them, because the primary purpose of digital marketing is to drive the recipient to action). You’re likely pushing people on social media to visit your website, but why not add to that by promoting your email newsletter directly? You can not only include a link to the sign-up form with some marketing copy, but also work a pitch into the profile header (using a shortened URL, for instance).
The message you should be sending on social media is along the lines of the following: “if you like what you’re getting on this social media profile, you’ll love this email newsletter”. It’s a logical step to take for anyone who adores your content.
But you shouldn’t only be sending people from your social media posts to your email newsletter, because you can also benefit from sending them in the other direction. Every email you send, be it a generic newsletter or a promotional piece, should work in elements of your social media activity: highlighting your most notable posts, or interesting social media collaborations, all to get people more interested in following you.
Alongside the content should be links for social sharing and following: if you use an email automation platform, it will be as simple as adding the relevant predefined elements to your template. Social sharing is extremely useful because it means that even those of your email recipients who don’t want to follow you on social media can promote your activity to others (likely winning you some more follows in the process).
That way, if you have a traditional customer who found you through organic search and signed up to your newsletter, you can get them curious about your social media activity. And if you have someone who spotted you on social media and started following you there, you can push them towards your in-depth email marketing funnel. Ideally, you’ll end up with people you can market to on two separate fronts, giving you a lot more opportunities to drive conversions.
Overall, the more channels you can use to reach people, the more engagement you can achieve — and engagement is the key to social media success. Popping up wherever relevant will help you earn a great deal of familiarity for your business.
Specify an email segment for social media sign-ups
Segmentation is a huge strength of email marketing. It’s also useful for social media marketing, admittedly, but email marketing is generally closer to the end of the overall sales funnel, so it makes more sense to focus on your emails as your closers (so to speak) — and it’s the closing steps of your sales process that need to be most clearly targeted.
You should have a strong analytics system in place, likely Google Analytics (if you don’t, then your marketing strategy has much deeper problems — ensure that you implement one first, then return to this piece). When you create your social media links to your email newsletter, confirm that the source of the referral will be tracked, allowing you to create an email list segment solely for those who signed up as a result of your social media activity.
Why is this so important? It’s simple: message matching. Social media posts just appear in feeds, and they may be glimpsed only briefly, but they’re mostly exposed by default. This isn’t the case for emails, because they’re locked behind subject lines. If someone isn’t compelled by a subject line, they won’t click on it, and all the creative content inside will go to waste.
Now, when someone following your social media activity chooses to click on your link and sign up to your email newsletter, there’ll be a clear reason behind it. Perhaps they want a specific resource you’ve promised them, or content on a certain topic, or a special offer or discount. If the first email they receive from you is on something totally unrelated (a general company newsletter, for instance), they likely won’t open it — they may even unsubscribe, assuming that you misled them and will never deliver what they’re expecting.
It’s essentially the same as needing to match a PPC landing page with the PPC ad that links to it. You can come up with a great Facebook ad headline, but if the destination doesn’t match it, it won’t deliver conversions. With a defined social media segment to target, you can ensure that someone who clicked on a particular sign-up link will receive an email that builds directly on what they were led to expect.
Email marketing and social media marketing are superb options when used separately, but things only get better when you bring them together. Follow this process to start using them in combination, and you’ll see your efforts reach a new level of efficiency.