Email marketing and content marketing may seem like they’re on the same side of your content strategy, but the truth is that they work in different ways to promote your company and its services. Sometimes a content strategy will include provisions for email marketing or content marketing – usually favoring one over the other.
But content strategies don’t need to choose between the two. While they may have different metrics like ROIs to consider, a well-crafted content strategy can successfully use both email marketing and content marketing at the same time.
All it takes is a better understanding of the content that you have, and how to curate it for email marketing or content marketing. With the right use, these two strategies not only end up working well on their own but can actually support one another.
The first thing to remember is that at its heart, content must stay true to your branding. You may change how you publish it, mix with different formats, or push it to different channels, but your content must always stay true to the essence of your brand no matter what.
So whether it comes down to email marketing, content marketing, or both – your content should always have the same spirit that showcases the personality of your brand. You can be consistent in plenty of ways with your content (from using a style guide to training your social media experts), but the important thing is that you understand it enough to be consistent.
There are two important distinctions to make between content and email marketing:
While it may seem like these two move in different directions, it’s possible to angle them both so that they promote and reinforce one another. Crafting your content so that your audience can smoothly enter this cycle between email and content marketing is a great way to ensure customer retention, improve engagement, and promote loyalty and value.
So what are the concrete ways this cycle can work?
Let’s start with email since it can be easier to craft and publish compared to content marketing. In an email, your goal is basically increasing engagement – whether that’s through more awareness, more communication, or simply just checking in with those you’ve already nurtured.
Emails can be sent on-demand or on a schedule, which makes them a great way to promote new content on your website. By inserting snippets, summaries, or previews of new content that you’ve written, you make sure that your audience stays up to date on what your company has been up to, and what they have to offer.
Emails also play into the idea of exclusivity: where the people on your mailing list get access to information that they know not everyone else can get. This is particularly powerful in the case of industry insights, which provide plenty of value for your clients at a minimal cost. You can share these insights in several ways:
Being informed is being ahead in any industry – and email’s ability to deliver this immediacy on demand is one of the reasons why it works well for pushing content. Whether it’s announcing an upgrade of your existing services, introducing new information about an existing product, or any change at all, email is the envelope that your content gets wrapped in.
Content’s role in supporting email marketing is to provide the meat underneath the exterior. Email marketing may work on its own to push its own type of content, but people don’t have the time or attention span to go through a long email. Content helps take this load off of email by encouraging your audience to engage with the greater bulk of what you’ve written.
Email is one of the most effective ways to generate leads – but your leads need a landing page to go to after reading your email. Content marketing reinforces the message your emails send with a landing page, allowing any interested leads access to more information and more reasons to venture further down your funnel.
Content promotes community engagement, especially when it’s written well. Whether it’s leading to an evergreen post, a social media campaign, or a new page specifically for your community, content can help open the doors from your emails to an entire community for your audience.
By bringing attention to valuable content, your emails increase in value as well – and that causes a loop of your content and your emails enforcing their value among your audience. Properly crafted content can help establish your authority even via email, as your clients can share it within their own networks.
While you don’t have to choose between content marketing or email marketing, there will be specific situations where one should be given more priority than the other. The situations that can lead to this happening can vary across industries, but it really comes down to the “push-pull” dynamic these two strategies have.
Focus on content if you want to give your audience valuable data, updated information, and other reasons to engage with your brand. This helps push organic traffic, promote your authority in your industry, and create a knowledge hub that you and your audience can benefit from.
Focus on emails if you want to increase awareness and promote engagement, especially if you’re introducing your product or a new service to existing customers. This encourages sharing between networks, real-time sharing of your content, and helps build customer engagement.
You can switch your focus from one to the other depending on the performance of your campaigns, but the important thing to keep in mind is your baseline for both shouldn’t be different. There must always be a flat amount of investment in both content marketing and email marketing: you just need to give yourself room to invest in more when it’s necessary.
While it can seem like a bad idea to split your resources between email and content marketing, there’s actually a lot of value to the push-pull relationship between the two that any company can use. By identifying which one works well with your current goals, you can align and allot your efforts accordingly – helping you make the most out using both methods at the same time.