Create an account on an email marketing platform
There are many options and you should play around with them to find the best one that suits your needs. The usual competitors are MailChimp, Aweber, and Sendgrid. If you are not willing to spend any money yet, you can set up an Amazon SES or this handy dandy tool called Sendy. If we crunch the numbers, Sendy provides the option to send 10,000 email for $1 using Amazon SES while MailChimp charges $200, but MailChimp might be easier to use if you are non-technical when it comes to the internet.
Create a template design for your newsletter
Most of the time, plain text email convert better than colorful images which prove to be quite distracting. However, you can add a blend of design to your email so you draw the line between the two making it visually appealing to your users, and more fun to read. You can get your hands on some free templates at Campaign monitor.
Grab their attention with your email subject
Stay away from those generic subject lines that you receive from all your online e-commerce newsletters. If you didn’t add a good subject, you might find that the readers didn’t get your email at all and they ended up in their spam. Make sure it is genuine and tempting so you force them to begin reading the email.
Test everything out properly
If you are using email that has been manually designed in HTML, make sure you test them in detail before sending them off. Sometimes the code looks perfect, but the email sender might make a few changes or have a few restrictions causing everything to fall apart. Use Mailclient which runs some basic tests to see if your email reads like spam or not.
Track milestones and results
Sending out email is pointless if you are not measuring your success rate. You should be able to improve based on your user feedback the next time around. Sending a few email worth reading is better than a few hundred email that no one even opened. Try checking out, open rate, spam rate, conversion rate and so on.
Get the right time
After sending a few batches of email, you would begin understanding the right timings that work for your readers, you should use this to your advantage and send at the same times moving forward. Kissmetrics has some content on the logic between email timings.
Provide the option to leave
It is mandatory that you allow your readers to unsubscribe from your email list, even if they gave you their email address some time back. It is required by the CAN Anti-spam act so has to be added.
Types of campaigns to work with
Trigger campaigns are based on the responses of the customers and their behavior, working with the equation, they did something to trigger your particular response. Some examples of this are a welcome email after a sign-up, or a follow-up email after adding content to your cart and not following through with a checkout.
Newsletters are the random regular emails that you might send your subscribers every week or month. It would generally have information about the week that went by, maybe a few sales, offers, updates about your product or something that might have happened and genuinely been missed. The best way to handle sending these out is to keep a majority of them casual and friendly forcing people to read them. That way when you have something important and formal to announce, you already have users waiting to read your content.
Public Relations And Press
Public relations as a branch is widely spreading now since compared to the different software’s and platforms being used to handle the same tasks, this comes back a lot cheaper. Further, it can sometimes turn to the same monotonous tasks going over and over which make it a lot simpler to handle. Overall, PR can work the same way if it is being handled for a bunch of companies within the same industry, again reducing the effort drastically. If you manage to get your hands on the right PR Firms, they can be leveraged to give your product or service the element of social proof they are looking for. We would recommend startups staying away from PR firms’ altogether, at least initially since there are more pressing matters that could use the attention. Most startups should handle this themselves to save a few bucks as well.
Drip campaigns are a series of email to in troduce a user to an aspect of your product or service, this may even include introducing them to your brand. Some of the largely subscribed campaigns are learning something through an email series, ‘Learn the art of marketing in five weeks’ or something similar. They work toward taking in their users email IDs and engaging them with content to build up their own reputation.
Basics of Handling PR
According to tech journalists from well-reputed companies like TechCrunch or Mashable follow the guidelines mentioned below to ace the PR game
Keep connecting with everyone
Always be eager to connect with everyone you have the opportunity. You never know who is connected how and where. Just keep smiling, hand shaking and business card snatching.
Get someone to introduce you
Journalists get more email every day than most people in a month. Secondly, they probably do not go through all of them and sometimes valuable content is lost in the process. If you know someone large or almost there in the tech industry, you should get an introduction. Try approaching a friend who might be a Founder or a VP
Have the right pitch
This is something that most do not think twice about but before you walk all guns blazing into a meeting, casual or formal, make sure you know your audience. Different journalists work on different aspects of the tech scene, make sure you treat them that way and don’t consider everyone from the same boat. Further, have a pitch for every instance so you do not end up being boring. Now that you have taken care of the type of pitch, work toward the content of the pitch. If you can make it short and informative without giving out too much information but interesting all the same, you have your perfect pitch. It should be short, but should not overwhelm and be boring.
Add some interesting statistics
You can provide some information about different companies in your industry but remember to mention some about what you are doing as well. What are you focusing on? What are the amounts you are looking to gather? Anything that is not completely confidential.
Process of Pitching
If you go by what ex-Venturebeat writer Conrad Egusa says the process of pitching an be broken down into the below mentioned steps:
Coming up with the right story.
You need a story that sells, we are not talking about making up a story that isn’t true, but reporting something that is newsworthy. After all news in most often about the headlines and that’s what gets the reader’s attention. Headlines with the words Company Launches, Product Launches, Fundraising Events, Acquisitions, Milestones, are easier to sell and promote.
Coming up with an interesting and newsworthy press release
According to a poll, a majority of startups and companies that have been written about have begun through their on press releases. Make sure your content is true and keeps the users craving for more.
Creating the perfect cover letter
After you are done with your press release, work on the email that you are sending out to agencies. Make sure that it is short and to the point but not very robotic and generic, add a personal and human touch to it.
Make your content exclusive
Egusa suggests using an exclusive press release to get someone attention. It means sending out your content to a close publishing house and telling them that they have the article before everyone else and only after they have published it, will you send it to the others. Everyone likes to be the first to hear about something.
Share and cross promote
When the article is online, grab the link and add it in every spot you find, across your social media, or in chat rooms or wherever it seems relevant. Send out your links to your friends as well so they would share them with their connections so you get a wider reach.
And do it all over again
Keep following the same process when you have another meaningful announcement that you would like to make. Don’t be put off by not receiving the results you were expecting the first time around, just keep at it and you will get there soon enough.
According to its definition, content marketing is all about creating and spreading information that is worth something but most importantly, it has to be free. This information should have a specific purpose, to inform and enlighten probable customers thereby turning them from customers to frequent buyers. Content creators need to verify that their content is related to the product or service they are selling, so their readers understand where they are coming from and are able to trust them and their decisions on the product or service, moving forward. The main goal being, getting customers who are happy to do business and work with you in future.
The main and most important objective of content marketing however, is not to work toward directly selling products but toward getting consent to keep delivering content about your products to customers. This can be done in many ways but handling this through a regular newsletter seems to work better than most. If you manage to achieve this, you can work toward a secondary objective of becoming a leader in the same industry. If you manage to get this done, you can later leverage your content to get you to the top. People would read your content and larger publications would automatically have links heading back to you.
Is there a reason for content marketing?
If you have good content, it would trend and get shared around the internet and referred to by others. This would help build web traffic and SEO.
A majority of customers, 7 out of every 10, prefer to learn about companies and other establishments through information on the internet, chiefly articles and not advertisements.
In an online poll, 23% of all time spent on the internet is spent on social media
Posting interesting content is one of the three reasons people follow companies and brands on social media .
What is the process of setting up a blog?
There is a lot of stuff on the internet that sometimes feels like rocket science, setting up a blog is not one of them. All you have to do is download the software you are planning on using for your blog and upload it to the server where you are planning on setting up your blog. Make sure you follow the instructions if you do not want any hiccups along the way. For instance: You can check out a platform like WordPress, which is free and has a bunch of integrations and plugins to make everything a lot smoother.
A few pointers when setting up your blog:
Pick WordPress over other alternatives since it has the basics you would need for a blog already in place and it is relatively simple to get around and understand even without having a technical background. It is also optimized for content creation and SEO and there are a bunch of third party API’s that make it quite simple. Try out a good design, since that is the one thing that usually keeps everyone’s attention. If you have a simple, yet well-designed blog, people are more likely to go through it. WordPress comes with its list of themes which you can get at ThemeForest.
Another process of getting more traction is through social media, so you should make sure the content you add up there is shareable. You do get a bunch of options for social widgets that can be added to the site, to allow your readers to share your content on their Facebook and other platforms.
The main idea of creating a blog is, as mentioned earlier, to gather your user information so you can send them more content later and lead them to your product since that is where the money is. Check out the ‘freemium Padiact’ tool to get hold of their email addresses and the free hello bar to keep them informed about any special offers that you might have. Allow your fans and readers to subscribe to your content so they would be informed whenever you post more content. Try your hand at creating an RSS feed using Feedburner. Make sure you have the subscription in a bunch of places so they see it often, it is recommended on the top and the bottom of the post.
What are the different types of content I can work on?
These are articles directed to increasing the awareness of products or services that you are creating. They should focus on your main message or secondary message and the issues and success stories that come with them. There is no fixed limit or style and they can range from formal to casual, 200 – 2000 words as well.
Taking it a short step away from reading and moving to videos, webinars are short videos where you present your views and ideas to an audience. It doesn’t always have to be you speaking, you are allowed to use a presentation, different slides or a new novel way of presenting.
Usually a well-designed and creative way of presenting information and reports which might be quite dull and boring if shown as is. Sticking to the right colors to set the right mood, it might even have stats graphs and other visually appealing information so it sticks in your head. Bloggers love to share and re-share visually appealing content along with their content, so Infographics are basically going to get picked up and be all over the internet if they are done well.
WHITE PAPERS AND REPORTS
Regular reports and information on specific topics that you can sign up for, so you are sure to be in the loop in the following month or when the next issue is out. Usually includes surveys, charts and other research information that most readers might be looking for.
SPEECHES, INTERVIEWS, AND WORKSHOPS
Nothing much to say here, but adding a video of someone else’s interview, if it goes with your content, is a smart way of getting reshared. Most users tend to watch the video before they begin with the article, and that is what would make it go around.
This usually adds substance to your content, like a reference point that you work with. It does help remind your readers time and time again that you know what you are talking about, and shows them your sources and that there is someone else out there thinking on the same lines as you.
There are bloggers who also make Youtube videos in their free time and cross-link the two. If your videos and your content are on the same lines, why not add some of your own videos to your posts?
If you used something that managed to shine in the past, you can add it to your site so others can use it too. If you feel that it needs a little more work, you can even turn it into an Infographic or an eBook.
If you have your readers email addresses, send them regular content in the form of a newsletter. You can even add a highlight of all the content on your website so they would know what’s out there and can come back if there is something that they might have missed.
An online book that you can read on the go on multiple devices. Again, there is no specific number of pages as long as you can get what you want to say in as few of them as possible. EBooks are a little more concrete than posts since they cannot be edited and they show how confident you are about your work, something that readers do notice. If you have a short book, you can even convert it into an eBook and give it to some deserving users to build them up.
How To Build Traffic And Gather More Followers?
Add headlines that stand out
Spend as much time as you need on your headlines, which is what’s going to get everyone’s attention. Make sure your headlines are specific and they provide the user enough context to get what they are looking for. Read up on creating the right headlines, there is a lot of content out there to assist you.
Consistency and quality are key
Most blogs are not consistent since writers write when writers write. Whether you are taking up blogging as a hobby or a full-time profession, you have to stick with a plan. Readers going through your content should be able to predict when you are going to have another post coming out. If you do this for the long haul, even up to six months, you will notice a dramatic rise in readers going through your blog. Another aspect is making sure that your content quality doesn’t decrease over time, you have to provide the same quality of content or work toward making it better.
Get a tool to automate posting content
Our hectic schedules might sometimes make it genuinely difficult to publish content following a schedule or at the same time as the previous week or previous month. You can automate the entire process with tools like Buffertool and many other similar plugins. You can write at any time and make sure it is posted according to your schedule for the best results. Gathering information about your users and finding the best times that they are available would make a posting, that much more interesting since you are sure they will notice your content. Go through sharing communities as well, Reddit, Hacker news, Pinterest among others to talk about the work you have been doing.
Invite the neighbors over as well
This is one of the best ways to hit new audiences, and get someone else interested in your content, ask them to add some to your blog. Ideally, their content should match or should be on the same lines as the content you produce. You would end up creating more awareness about your blog among their readers and they would be able to get some of your readers interested in the content they produce, it’s a win-win. You have to make sure your bloggers are giving you genuine content and not something that they have already posted somewhere else, and it should match the general standard of your blog.
Have a specific topic
The thing with marketing as with many other aspects is that everyone wants a person who knows what they are talking about. Pick one topic and start giving some good advice so whenever anyone needs information on the same topic, you would be their go-to person. It would definitely benefit you further if the topic you select is connected to your market.
Be better than the others out there and stick in your readers head
Getting inside someone’s head has two advantages, the first is the drive to produce better content. You will know what your readers want, what they are looking for and what they expect from you. This is very strong motivation to push you toward gathering better content. You can use the same language that you used when you caught their attention the first time and stick in their heads. Add a widget that gathers their wants and takes those into account as well, something like Qualaroo should do the trick.
Add some more identification
If you connect your web profiles and social profiles to your blog, you are going to start feeling more human to your readers. If your readers can relate to you, you are more than half way through. Add your Youtube, Facebook, Yahoo or any other profiles allowing readers to connect with you personally as well. If you can connect all the different work you are doing and cross promote, you would be able to mix and match your audience and they would see the complete you. You can consider adding some of these to your email signature as well.
Try spending a few bucks to get traffic
Keep aside a small amount so you can start gaining traffic and then move forward from there.
Nurturing your leads
If you are planning on going through your leads and nurturing them, you have to find a way to get in touch with them. You would have to get your hands on their contact information, and they would only give that to you if there is something beneficial to them as well. Try giving them some information they would not get anywhere else, or a trial of your product so they would be keen on coming back. You can then contact them after getting their information, and give them more information about your product, or just educate and inspire them ideally with the intention of turning them into repeat customers.
Hosting a webinar
People pick webinars over reading content any day, you would have more luck if you hosted a regular webinar, say bi-weekly and talk about your product or service. Put yourself in their shoes and throw in a few things your product users and general readers would care about too. How would they benefit from your webinar? Give them a reason to come back. The kicker would be to convince them to sign up for your product, and here is how you can do that.
If you just ask them, you might get some sign ups. Depending on how good your webinar is and how interested they are in your content, they would sign up. A conversation rate of 10% means you are definitely on the right track according to Neil Patel, a marketing expert who knows what he is talking about.
Something in it for them maybe?
It is believed that it is important to reward the ones who stick around. Not just when it comes to marketing but friends and colleagues in general. Give them the option of signing up for a free trial so they can see what you are talking about.
Don’t just market, re-market!
You have people coming to your platform and reading your content, what we are talking about is getting back to them with adverts on another site so you stay in their head. Retargeter and perfect audience are two software’s that allow you to do this and make it a lot easier to convince them to go for the product.
You point and they shoot
Some readers might be completely on the fence and waiting for someone else to tell them what to do, this is what a call to action is. It is you telling your readers what to do and most of the time they would do it. There are four different types of call to actions that you can use to get their attention.
- Hello Bar: A tiny little bar with text ad, a button on the top of the site.
- Navigation link: A button that is added to your navigation bar that would be connected to your product.
- Static ad: An ad on the side of the site through your content.
- Scrolling Ad: An ad that stays on the screen even when you are scrolling passed it.
Some more incentives
In exchange for their email IDs and information, you can give them some of your references or lead them to some reading material you worked on. You can connect them with similar content on the web, or some eBooks and white papers you came up with. Either way, it would be an exchange of information.
Offers, discounts, and sales
People are always looking at the ‘what’s in it for me’ aspect of what you are saying. The second you ask them for even something like an email ID, that’s the first thing that passes through their head. You can convince people that this is what they are looking for, and give them offers and discounts when they sign up. You have to make them feel special so it has to be a limited period offer, most users would not care much for an offer if everyone is getting it.