The goal of content marketing is to keep in front of your audience, not in a pushy “here, here, come buy my stuff” kind of way; more of a “hey there, I just want to make your life a bit easier because I’m awesome” kind of way.
But finding the time to write blogs, send email newsletters, create videos, share presentations on SlideShare . . . It can be a struggle.
So you have to prioritise in order to get maximum returns on the time you spend at it.
Blogs versus newsletters
It used to be that newsletters were emailed to people, while blogs needed people to come to your website to read them. That gave newsletters more reach, but this has not been the case for a long time now. With the stroke of a WordPress widget, you can set up an email subscription for your blog, with each new post being sent to readers.
So, do email newsletters still have a place in your marketing calendar? If you had to choose, what would you spend your time on: blogging or emailing newsletters?
Let’s run through some of the considerations with blogging.
- The content sits on your website and is indexed by Google (so can be good for your SEO).
- Posts cover one topic in a reasonable amount of depth, allowing you to share your knowledge and to position yourself as a subject matter expert.
- Blog posts let you target long-tail keywords.
- Blog posts generally aren’t promotional, so people aren’t turned off by your pitch.
- Readers can subscribe to have the latest post delivered via email or to their RSS readers.
- Blog posts can be more shareable, with sharing plugins hovering next to your every word.
- Blogs encourage comments and discussion, which are flags of an engaged audience.
- Good blog posts give you great content to share across your social media pages, providing you with a strong foundation for your social media strategy.
Now, let’s shine a spotlight on email newsletters.
- Newsletters are usually more company centric. You can include more promotional content and company news, giving you a chance to big up yourself a little more obviously.
- Newsletters are a hardworking lead generation tool for your business.
- Newsletters have a number of articles and can cover a range of topics on one theme.
- Newsletters generally don’t allow for in-depth coverage of a topic.
- Unless you save a newsletter on your website, it isn’t indexed by Google (so you miss out on some SEO love).
- You can target different segments of your database with different newsletter content.
Which do you choose?
As you can tell, blogging and newsletters both add value when we talk about your content marketing strategy—they let you build an email list (and emails are powerful stock).
I think blogs add more value and strength to your ‘home base’ (your website); therefore, if I had to choose, I would choose to write blogs rather than send out email newsletters.
But, you can do both.
Tips on rocking a blog and a newsletter
I think a smart way to approach email newsletters is to use them as a collation of recent blog posts. As long as you have an email subscription option, you still build your list, but your newsletter serves as a preview reel for the awesome content on your blog (encouraging readers to visit your website).
To spice up your newsletter content, include more content from around the web. Share interesting blogs from thought leaders, great tweets and other social media updates, events your readers might be interested in—even jokes, quizzes and stories (if that fits with your brand).
This kind of collation lets you become more than a subject matter expert; you become a hub of knowledge.
Here are a few more hints:
- Make it easy for people to subscribe.
- Give them a great reason to subscribe.
- Encourage readers to share your content.
- Promote your newsletters and your blogs.
- Keep readers interested with awesome content.
Have you chosen?
Have you chosen between blogging and sending out an email newsletter? Or do you do both? How do you keep it fresh? Do tell!
The Copy Detective