Help your email marketing strategy take flight with these 14 tangible and actionable examples of compelling content that you should include on your content marketing editorial calendar.
1. Numbered Lists
Develop a series of informative, interesting, relevant and entertaining facts (“10 Things You Need to Know…”) Prospects are often drawn in by the easily-perused format that a numbered list offers. Offer a witty slant on the series by highlighting a partner or executive (“10 Things You Don’t Know About John Doe, CPA”) or send prospects a quick “10 Things Our Receptionist Forgot To Tell You”.
2. Video Clips
Video is the most consumed form of media on the planet today. Thirty hours of video are uploaded to the internet every minute; it is engaging and allows for the expression of nonverbal cues that the written word simply cannot convey. Utilize video as a means of offering valuable insight, helping your viewers to get to know you and your business better, and also to provide substance. Link to videos that are housed on your website or social media sites. Don’t embed videos in your email messages, and keep videos to two minutes or less in duration.
Hold client surveys annually and publish the results online and in your messaging. Transparency in today’s cloak and dagger political environment is especially appealing to consumers and heightens your credibility. Also conduct prospect surveys to get to know them better. Establish trust by showcasing your understanding of their situation through informed and thought-provoking questions.
4. Success Stories
Everyone loves a good success story and case study – the more specific and relevant, the better; compile various success stories and case studies for each of your industry or practice area targets and include photos… or, create “awards” or “certificates” and film the presentation ceremony to add a little personality to the stories.
Prospects for your niche practice areas, or areas of specialization, are often as elusive as Harry Potter’s snitch in a game of quidditch and also as valuable – highlight your niches by providing illustrative examples of how you have helped others with estate planning, or business valuation, or forensic accounting, or point of sale systems. Send out brief, educational articles on a niche topic. Set up niche newsletters and make sure that your list is segmented properly so you effectively target your members with your niche stories.
Clients testimonials are possibly the most effective and persuasive type of content. They lend immediate credibility, especially when the testimonial comes from a reputable or well-known source, OR from an organization that is very similar to your prospect’s company.
7. Drip Emails
Drip emails, particularly on a specialized topic that you know your prospect is interested in, can be very effective. Complicated topics often require more explanation than simple ones – break them up into a series of drip emails (and/or blog posts, newsletter articles, press releases, etc) to get more bang for your buck – you’ll be providing value and establishing credibility in one fell swoop.
Q&As and FAQs make great content, too. Use your blog or e-newsletter to answer technical questions you are frequently asked, to review topics that are often misunderstood, or to share responses to polls that you send out. Incorporate questions and answers into your e-newsletters, blog AND social media outlets for maximum reach and visibility. If you set up polls and/or interactive Q&As, you can use that as fodder for your one-on-one messaging, too.
Some marketers believe that in today’s social age has put whitepapers out to pasture. However, whitepapers that focus on value propositions remain an invaluable component of any content strategy. Whitepapers have evolved from the tedious term paper of 10 years ago to concise, value-added nuggets of gold that entice and trigger readership today. Keep whitepapers organized into easily digested sections and offer them as free enhancements when building your relationships.
10. Biographies and Stories
Team member biographies, activities and announcements are crowd pleasers; Personal news and achievements about you and your staff, including birth announcements, weddings, promotions, awards, trips and so on, are ENGAGING and interesting. Add that human touch for enhanced relatability and relationship bonding. When your prospects are in the evaluation phase of the buying cycle, you will have a clear advantage if you have bonded with them on a human level (even if you’ve never spoken to them face-to-face).
Events nearly always elicit a response, whether via reply to an invitation to attend, or via an emotional response to the event itself. Promote and share educational webinars, seminars and round table meetings; Include events that your firm is hosting or merely attending, including charitable and community activities.
12. Deadline Reminders
In the accounting industry, deadlines pop up all the time. Use the deadlines as a mechanism for your prospecting messages, not just for client communications. You’ll provide value with no obligation, stay top of mind, showcase expertise, create a sense of urgency and take one step further to growing the relationship. Who knows? One of the deadlines might be the trigger for someone in the evaluation phase of the buying lifecycle, and your reminder was just the kick they needed to make a decision.
13. Authoritative Sources
Independent reviews, audits or feedback from recognizable authorities are some additional content types that help enhance your credibility and provide value. Don’t be afraid to share resources and content just because you didn’t write it. Ensure that the content you share is legitimate, relevant and helpful in establishing your role as a trusted source, and go ahead and schedule it into your content strategy.
14. How-to Tips
Publish “how to” tips and strategies that will help business owners manage and grow their businesses. General financial tips for individuals or families are always popular. Tips for planning for the future (retirement, college, children, marriage) makes excellent fodder as well.
Great content helps you navigate through the buyer’s cycle, establish a cohesive relationship and elicit a response when the time is right. Each of the content examples above are compelling, proven and, when utilized with the 12 elements of successful messaging, will help you maximize business opportunities.
Email newsletters give you the opportunity to share multiple announcements with your target markets on a branded, consistent basis. They give you more options for employing multiple “elements” as previously discussed and gives the opportunity to utilize several pieces of great content (as described above) in one communication. Note that you will maximize the response if your database is segmented and your newsletters are tailored to each recipient’s specific needs (whether by industry, geographic location, age, income, identified interests or some other demographic). Some content may overlap between industry channels – especially if you incorporate “personal” news about your firm and your key team members.