Providing results oriented content and actively marketing your ezine are two of your social media marketing strategies.
Strategy #3: Find What Makes You Unique
Everyone wants to say they provide great customer service these days, but the reality is often quite different.
This strategy gets at the core of why someone should choose to do business with you over your competitor. We need to find out what makes you stand out, what gives you that competitive edge over everyone else in your industry.
When people’s email inboxes are full of advertisements from big box stores and just about every website they’ve ever visited, you cannot be just like everyone else.
How do you stand out?
Value is needed at every step of your social media marketing strategy. This value could be tangible like a free tip, a discount on a product, or simply great content. Your readers find value in these items and can definitely be a good reason they continue to subscribe to your ezine.
The value you provide could also be intangible, more of a feeling or a connection. Readers may be inspired, laugh, be encouraged to think in new ways, or to take specific actions in their lives. This kind of value builds relationships with your readers. Your audience wants to connect with you and this connection is what will turn them into loyal customers buying from you time and again.
You must be thinking about the reader when creating your social media marketing plan because you are developing a relationship with them and if your content doesn’t speak to them in some way, they won’t continue to interact with your ezine, or website, or social media.
Some people like knowing about products and promotions. Some people might think your ezine is funny, or inspiring, or motivating or they just might like you. Since there is such a range of benefits to offer be sure to create your content with all of this in mind for your social media marketing.
You can ask yourself some questions when determining how your ezine will benefit your reader. Do you want them
- To feel confident in your products or services?
- To be motivated or inspired to take action?
- To trust your expertise, like they would if you were a close friend?
- Eager to receive more of your useful information
- Impressed with your ezine enough to send it to their friends or colleagues?
Often when working with business owners who are not getting the results they want from their ezine it’s because they are not being consistent with their publishing. They publish once a week sometimes, biweekly others, and sometimes just once a month.
In the professional publishing world, deadlines drive business. Advertisers count on their ads going at prescribed intervals and for the full term of each contract. If you have advertisers in your ezine, they will have the same expectations as those using print advertising. Your ezine is your virtual advertising for your business and by making consistency a priority you will be doing better than thousands of business owners.
Consistency has two primary benefits. The first has to do with the 7-10 marketing rule. It is commonly accepted in the marketing world that it takes 7-10 times of hearing or seeing your message before people will take any action. They have to get to know you and trust you before they decide to do business with you.
If you are consistently publishing your ezine once a month then it will take almost a year for you to see any benefit. But, if you publish twice a month you have reduced that time significantly, once a week even more. You can easily reduce the time you have to wait for new prospects, new customers, and new sales to come into your business by taking your publishing schedule seriously.
I’ve already mentioned trust above but your consistent publishing builds trust in your business in a very tangible way. You become a reliable source of value. People can count on your messages to come at regular intervals and if you are showing up for them, then you are showing up for your business, and for yourself and that means you can be taken seriously.
Posting articles and ezines at random times when you have spare time doesn’t communicate the professionalism and reliability needed to instill that trust in the relationship that you are building with your readers. Consistency is key.
Even so, many people won’t read your ezine every week or even every other week, but some people will look forward to your content and be eager to read everything you publish. These are the readers who will become your loyal fans and your best customers; it’s these people who count on a regular publishing schedule.
There are a lot of fun ways to get interactive with your readers. You can share videos, audio messages, survey your readers, have contests, and more.
Video and audio recordings are a great way for your readers to get to know you a little more personally. Some of you are better at speaking than writing so shooting a short video to share your message is probably going to be a time saver for you.
Here are some more ideas on what you could use and audio message or a video for:
- Personal greetings (from your office or vacation!)
- Short interviews with experts
- Special promotions or announcements
- Product recommendations
- Testimonials from customers
- Frequently asked questions (and their answers)
For audio messages Audio Acrobat is a great tool. It will generate a link of your recording that can be inserted into your content. When your readers click on the link it will take them to a webpage where they can play your audio.
For videos, use a simple digital camera to make the recording. Have a friend help if needed. Videos can be posted for free on YouTube and you can link to those videos on your website. You could even make a quick video called, “What is social media marketing” for your readers to help educate them about why it’s important to Like or Follow the companies with whom they do business.
You could also host a contest through your ezine. It’s a great way to generate excitement and everyone loves a giveaway. It can be one of your books, e-books, reports, consultations, gift certificates, ads in your ezine, or branded merchandise.
You could ask a trivia question about content in one of your ezine issues. Then give prizes to the first 5-10 responders with the correct answer. Then in your next ezine issue, publish their names as the winners (with their permission of course). People love to see their name in print.
The winners may then forward that ezine issue to their friends and family to show off their name in print. So you may end up with a few extra readers and who knows, maybe a new customer in the end.
While keeping an eye on your competition, these are just a few social media marketing tips on how to take your ezine to the next level providing yet another way you stand out from your competition.
Just to be sure you are up on what’s happening in the ezine world, subscribe to a few industry specific ezines yourself, even one that may be considered your competition. You can always get some new ideas or just stay ahead of the game.
What you do in your first ezine will most likely not be what you do in your tenth or fiftieth or hundredth. Using these internet marketing strategies is a living process and your ezine will evolve and you and your business grow and change and respond to the needs of your audience.
You can always just go your own way but by following the recommendations outlined on my blog, you will increase your success and decrease your trial and error learning curve significantly.
To your success,