Right Steps for Marketers in Bad Political Climates

Today’s American political environment poses significant risks to marketers. Companies need to adjust their marketing programs to ensure that they don’t step on a political landmine from either side. Marketers in bad political climates need to take the right steps to avoid potential negative brand impact.
It used to be said that all publicity was good publicity. Given the recent blowback experienced by several high-profile companies over the last two years, that axiom may no longer be relevant. A single misstep can lead to lost revenue, layoffs and even bankruptcy.
Marketers need to adjust their programs accordingly. Here are a few tips that can help you minimize brand risk.

Step one: Add an extra, non-marketer pair of eyes

Marketing departments can sometimes be opinion echo chambers. Before creative is rolled out to the public, you should run your concepts by people within and outside of your organization, who don’t have a vested interest in the creative or marketing concept. They can provide you with a fresh perspective and potential “gut check,” which you may not get through focus groups or from other members of your marketing team.

Step two: Don’t take political views to work with you

Most Americans have some sort of opinion on the state of the country and its political leadership. Marketers are no exception.  However, those personal opinions need to be checked at the door. No matter how much you like or dislike a specific political party or politician, you need to stay objective. Chances are that a material portion of your target audience does NOT think the way that you do and will be deeply offended by your creative message, even though you may view it as innocent or funny. Don’t do it!

Step three: Focus on marketing value 

Media has become saturated with marketing messages. Your target market is inundated with calls, emails, advertisements and more. It can feel like an impossible mission to break through all the noise. It’s at this moment that marketers might want to use either overt or covert creative tying directly or indirectly into the political environment. Don’t do it!
Take the smart choice and focus on the benefits that your brand’s solutions (products or services) bring to your target market. More than ever, prospects want to be educated on your products and services. This is especially true with B2B considered purchases. Take the time to fulfill this need through content marketing.

Step four: Educate your audience with content marketing, not bad political climate

Depending on the type of content, content marketing can fulfill your marketing requirements across all stages of the inbound funnel – awareness, interest and action. For marketers who want to be able to stand head and shoulders above their peers, a frequently updated corporate blog is a good first step. With the right content specifically tailored to your targeted audience, along with regular posting frequency, you can quickly achieve the visibility that you desire. Importantly, you’ll be able to achieve it cost effectively while minimizing political risk.
When developing educational content for your blog, focus on answering key questions that your target audience has about your product/service. Case studies and Q&A blog posts are excellent content vehicles to do so.
At the end of the day, your job as a marketer is to drive brand awareness and bottom line revenue results in a manner that does not harm your company. Do it right and reap the rewards. Develop the right steps for marketers that are dealing with bad political climates. Then dip your programs into the political waters and swim at your own risk!

Website Traffic | Content marketing for revenue growth and increased leads: Part 2

How to get website traffic with the right content marketing strategy

If a tree falls in the forest, but no one is around to actually hear it – did it make a sound?
Perhaps you’ve heard this age-old debate. It’s quite fitting for this chapter, where we will talk about distribution methods for content and website structure tactics for maximum engagement. That’s because your content can be some of the best your industry has ever seen – but if no one actually sees the content, it’s as if it doesn’t exist.

1. Before anything else, know your audience

Who are you trying to reach?
What is a typical day in their lives like?
How old are they? Where do they live? What do they want?
You can’t create amazing content that quality leads will want to read if you don’t know who you’re creating the content for.

2. Build a solid foundation

Create epic, cornerstone, evergreen, keyworded, visually rich content. Here’s what we mean:

  • Epic. Create long-form content that tells a compelling story and offers useful solutions.
  • Cornerstone. Your content needs to be authoritative. Show that you know your business inside and out.
  • Evergreen. Your content should be relevant no matter the time of year or what’s going on in the news. It’s always there to help when people need it.
  • Keyworded. Use primary keywords for what you’re trying to be found for. Don’t forget secondary keywords as well as long-tail keywords that consider every last type of potential customer who may need you.
  • Visually rich. Pepper your content with relevant, appealing images and graphics that help to tell your story and make your points.

3. Utilize your owned media

Post the content on your company blog and distribute via company social media channels. Include the content in your e-newsletter, and use it to gather more subscribers.
Now, reach a little further.

  • Reach out to relevant bloggers and ask for guest blogging opportunities.
  • Reach out to relevant social media influencers and ask them to review and write about your product or service.
  • Consider sponsored content by using resources such as Outbrain or LinkedIn Sponsored Content.

4. Drive traffic to your content with search engine optimization (SEO)

When you know your audience and have fully defined the different faces and personalities that an ideal lead can embody, your SEO strategy can begin to take shape. When you know your leads, it’s easier to pinpoint what they might be looking for when they happen to find your content instead.
Find target keywords. Do your research – For example, put some possible keywords into a Google search and see what comes up. Are your competitors ranking for those terms? Then maybe you should be, too.
Monitor search engine results page (SERP) rankings. When someone searches for one of your target keywords, where are you in the results? Are you on Page 1? Are you not there at all? Continuously monitor your SERP rankings for your blog posts and website and adjust as needed.
Optimize your homepage and blog.

  • Use keyword research tools to help build and then narrow down a solid list.
  • Audit your website content to ensure it follows SEO best practices.
    • Does your website use keyword-rich titles?
    • Is the text broken up into short paragraphs using easy-to-read, plain language?
    • Do you use lists where possible to help break up text?
    • Are relevant links to other websites peppered throughout your content to help it build backlinks and authority?
    • Scan for mistakes.
      • Don’t overdo it on the keywords – search engines can figure out what you’re up to and penalize your website for it.
      • Don’t duplicate content on your site.
      • Fix broken links.
      • Convert to an SSL website. Switching to https:// preserves your referral data and assures both search engine and visitors that you provide a safe online experience.

Utilize social media. Remember when we talked about where your potential leads hang out? Well, chances are, they’re hanging out on social media, but WHERE on social media?
Focus your efforts. It’s very tempting to be everywhere at any time to appeal to as many potential customers as possible, but this isn’t the way to go. Find out where your customers hang out and then focus on preferably no more than two or three social networks. Better to be amazing at a couple than spread too thin across many.
Leverage audience targeting. Facebook is particularly good at this. Using your social networks’ analytics capabilities, zero in on who engages with your content the most and then cater to their habits, such as the times of day that they are likely to be online.
Bake social into your website. Make sure your website prominently utilizes social sharing buttons.

Content marketing for startups

A lot of startup companies are driven by people with deep technology expertise, for example, programmers or engineers, who had a great idea about a product or service. They started developing a product or service in the hopes of ultimately being able to serve their audience. The challenge that nearly every startup faces is how you go about attracting and getting the attention of prospective customers, when you have so little budget to work with.

Start by building your website

From my own experience, my advice to startups is to create a website, even if your product or service isn’t at market yet. Get your domain up and get at least a couple pages on the website. Get an ability for prospective customers to get added to your newsletter and spend your first marketing dollars on content marketing.

It pays not to wait

Content marketing, by its very nature, takes anywhere from three to nine months (on average, 6 months) to be able to start getting traction. If you’re early on with your company and you haven’t yet launched your product or service, that lead time that you spend by building up your content marketing in your domain presence within the internet will be invaluable to use when you do launch. When it comes time to launch your new offering, you’ll already have an established presence online.

The number one mistake that startups make worldwide: They wait until their product is launched before they start doing any marketing. I would contend that startups should start marketing the day that the company becomes incorporated. This is step one.

Start with a Blog page

Step two is determining what kind of content you should create and how you should do it. The purpose is to get your content indexed within the search engines so that it can start ranking. You really need to publish at least once a week. Something that I recommend is that you get a Blog started on your website. Even if your site only has two or three pages, such as a Home page and About Us or Contact Us, there should be one more page called Blog. If you are opposed to calling it “Blog” other names could be “Insights”, “News”, “Thought Leadership”… you get the idea.

By establishing a repetitive cadence of publishing new content at least weekly, Google or the other search engines will start recognizing that you exist. They will start including those pages within their index for their search engine.

Keep in mind, you’re not going to show up high on any of the keyword terms that you aim to achieve for your business, but at least you are getting indexed. You have built up an initial reputation. Once you launch your product and/or service, then you should rapidly increase your cadence on content marketing. Your blog cadence should ultimately get to once a day. You should also make sure that you have your social media presence. So if you’re a B2B company, you should be on LinkedIn and Twitter. If you’re a B2C company, you should be on Twitter and Facebook, and/or potentially Instagram.

There are software plugins within WordPress that most companies start with at their website that automatically take your blog posts, create snippets of it, and publish it to your social media accounts. I strongly recommend that startups create a system to effectively promote their content to their website and across their social media channels. Once they’ve gone and started that baseline, then they’ll benefit from some initial traction.

Create your buyer personas

Now, let’s talk about what is it that you should write about (or have written for you). Before you could even do that, you have to understand who your target audience is. Most companies, especially startups, will have one or more target audiences whom they’re trying to go after. It is actually true for startups because they haven’t quite narrowed down who is the right buyer of their product and service. In many instances, the startups haven’t even launched a product or service yet.

What we recommend is that you create a persona for each and every audience that you’re going after. That persona will include who it is that you’re targeting, their motivations, what they’re like (demographically or otherwise), and what it is that you want to convey to these people that is of importance to them or solves their pain points.

At Tempesta Media, these style guides for content or personas are what we call our Voice Profile. We include these to our assignments for every single one of our customers. It’s the most basic thing that needs to get into place before you can really start any content marketing.

Start with the right keywords

The next thing that you’ll need to do is you’ll need to identify the keyword phrases to target and ultimately rank for on the search engines.

For example, if you’re a credit card company, you don’t go trying to say “I want to rank number one in the world for credit cards.” It’s just not going to happen right off the bat. Pick some two-, three-, or four-word keyword phrases that have relatively low competition and search. You can start to rank by creating content that specifically targets those keyword phrases and appeal to the audiences who would be interested in those.

That’s where startups should start within the first three to six months of launching their content marketing. Get some early successes with these smaller keyword phrases because when you get successes with those that you build up, you gain more authority within the search engines, which means more traffic to your site. It also means that it’s going to be easier for you to rank on the higher keyword phrases or the ones that have higher volume or competition. Content marketing best practices for SEO also recommend that the the keyword phrase be in your meta title and descriptions as well.

Geotags matter, sometimes

If you do a geographic attack to it, like for example, a “lending company in Chicago”, that’s actually a whole different keyword phrase. When using geotags, best practices depend on the type of product or service you’re offering. Let’s say you’re a dry cleaner. Having the geographic appendage added to your keyword phrases is absolutely imperative because if you’re a dry cleaner in Chicago, you don’t want to attract visitors that are from Texas.

Take your customers to the next step

The next step that a customer needs to do to get their content marketing strategy off the ground is to determine what action that you want your visitor to take. In marketing terms, this is called the buyer’s journey.

Once someone is on your website and has read an article – it is time to determine what they should do next. If you’re a startup and you don’t have your product in the market, start off with something that is very low commitment from the visitors perspective. You can ask them if they want to sign up for a newsletter at the end of the article or recommend other articles that may be of value to them. This builds your credibility, keeps the prospect engage, and serves as another relationship touch point.

The more content someone reads, the more they’re going to gain an affinity toward your company. They will also positively view your company and be more likely to buy from you in the future. So at the end of each piece of content, there should be some sort of call to action. At the start, it should be something as simple as “here are some other articles that you might be interested in” or “download this e-guide on how to do X Y and Z” or “sign up for our newsletter to get timely briefings on content marketing.”

There always should be a call to action because even though start ups have numerous priorities and initiatives, there’s nothing wrong with building up a newsletter and an email list early on. There’s nothing wrong with building up an affinity with your prospective buyers.

There was one company that didn’t launch for 12 months. Within that 12-month period, they built up excitement about their potential launch through their website. They added hype right on the front page “Sign up here to be informed when we will launch.” So almost 25,000 people had signed up for their solution before it even was launched. The moment that launched, they had tremendous success right out the door because of the material that they used to build up the momentum.

Repurpose old content

The last thing that startups tend to tend to overlook is repurposing the content that’s being created. When sharing content, you can use snippets when posting in your social media networks. The other thing that’s incredibly effective as well is using micro influencer marketing to start getting the word out about what you’re talking about.

Tempesta Media offers a micro influencer marketing solution, which is very inexpensive from a budget perspective. It could be quite effective when used in conjunction with a content marketing or your SEO program.

Why you should incorporate cat videos into your marketing

How cat videos might help your content marketing efforts
From Morris to Grumpy Cat, there is a bit of, shall we say, feline attraction, when it comes to marketing efforts. While there are some experts who say using cute cats will cut your credibility, you have to look at the data: more than 2 million online cat videos have attracted an impressive 24.6 billion views. And with those types of numbers, companies have to wonder how the can get a piece of that pie.
Note that using cuddly kitty or creative cat video is not right for every business everywhere, but here are some examples to get you thinking that maybe a good meow could be magical for your marketing efforts.
The audience is out there
If you need verification and want some faces behind the numbers, one only has to investigate the Internet Cat Video Festival. In 2015, organizers celebrated their fourth year and set an attendance record of 13,000 enthusiasts. Young and old alike filled the CHS Field baseball park in downtown Saint Paul, MN for the event. Approximately 40,000 votes were cast for the Golden Kitty award.
Online, statics also show great a great audience for cat videos: an average of 12,000 views per video on YouTube with 25 billion (yes, with a B) views. The most popular cat video on YouTube is Nyan Cat, with 114M views.
That said, research conducted by Kevin Allocca, YouTube’s trends manager, reports that searches for “dog” on YouTube result in roughly 2 million results – half a million more results than the same search for “cat.” Here, however, it’s not simply the number of views that matter. Buzzfeed notes that the average cat posts getting approximately 9,000 shares, and the average dog post only 5,000.
Thus, when decided whether or not to create the videos, be clear about what your success rate will be, for example: views or shares. Additionally, Buzzfeed data show if you add up the numbers for the top 5-performing cat posts since 2011 vs. the top 5-performing dog posts, Cats are at 2,655,412 – almost 2 million more than the top dogs, who could only muster a measly 700,729 views between them.
Videos help your overall marketing efforts
If you are looking to new ways to increase your search engine optimization, videos help in the effort. Writing for Kissmetrics, Josh Hardwick, founder of ShortyMedia states, “One type of content that still is underutilized in the world of SEO is online video. Although a lot of brands are incorporating video content into their overall online marketing strategies, most SEOs don’t place a high priority on it.”
According to Cisco’s 2014 Visual Networking Index, video makes up to 64 percent of all Internet traffic and it is forecast to grow to 80 percent of traffic by 2019.
Rob Toledo , a user engagement and bounce rate specialist at Shutterstock, says, “No longer just an interesting add-on, video has become an important feature for anyone concerned with SEO, conversion rates, or brand recognition.”
But does it work?
Again, cat videos may not work in every instance. However, there have been some success stories.
For example, Kia, in 2011 rolled out a “new marketing campaign to target ‘progressive, modern, mainstream’ consumers” and introduced Henry the cat to promote Picanto. Not only did they create videos, the campaign included a Facebook app called the “Fight4Picanto” app for game-orientated users.
Skittles candy created the Skittles Touch Cat ad that currently has more than 7.3 million views and more than 15 million Facebook fans.
When General Mills looked to reach a younger, more connected generation, they turned to Grumpy Cat to star in their Honey Nut Cheerios commercials. While the video was made for television and YouTube postings are unofficial, collectively the ad received more than 15,000 views.
One of the most memorable Super Bowl commercials, debuting during Super Bowl XXXIV, is “Cat Herders.” The ad, according to Christian Science Monitor, is arguably the most memorable of the past 15 years. However, they also point out, “The commercial has even outlasted the company it advertises. EDS, a digital management firm, was absorbed by Hewlett-Packard in 2008.”
Other companies that decided to feature a feline in their campaigns: California Pistachios, Ameriquest Mortgage, France’s Bouygues Telecom and the United Kingdom’s biggest milk brand, Cravendale (British Internet users share more than 3.8 million photos and videos of cats each day).
Will it work for me?
Cathey Armillas, author of “The Unbreakable Rules of Marketing” suggests marketers “go big or go home.” She states, “if you’re going to grow your business, or further your cause. . . you have to think past where you are now. And you have to go all out with everything you do.”
Could a cat video be risky? Yes. However, as with every other marketing step, you need to explore how it will fit into your overall marketing strategy. Do your homework. Kia Motors did market research on the existing market where they wanted to operate. They looked at the needs and the target audience they wanted to focus on.
Once you gather that information, be strategic and precise in your approach.
If you have a content marketing program, or are planning one, download our ebook:  100 mistakes businesses make when starting, optimizing and scaling content marketing programs.  Learn from the mistakes of hundreds of other companies.  100 mistakes walks you through common and uncommon challenges that they faced with their content marketing programs.

Hashtag use for business marketing

If you look around social media, you will find any number of hashtags. The # symbol is placed in front of a word (or words) to group that post with other similar posts on the same topic.
Using a hashtag is not just a way to keep things organized; it can also be used as a marketing tool for your business.

Hashtag history

Former Google developer Chris Messina is credited with being the first person to suggest the use of the pound sign as a way to create groups within Twitter in 2007. Another techie, Stowe Boyd, suggested calling it a hashtag.
Today, the hashtag is considered one of the most powerful tools to include in social media posts. It helps drive brand recognition and can boost customer loyalty.

Start simply

An easy first step for using hashtags is to create something specific to your business. In an effort not to duplicate what others are using, do a quick search on Twitter for your hashtag ideas. It is important to keep your hashtag short and make it easy to understand and spell so people remember it and use it correctly. For example, a local diner might consider #donsdiner or a veterinary hospital might consider #bestpetcare.
Once you find your word or phrase, include it in your social media posts. Be consistent and use it across all social media. Your hashtag should be the same on Twitter as it is on Instagram, Facebook or other social media. In addition to what you post, be sure to follow your hashtag to see what other users are sharing or saying about you and your company.

Get in with the group

In addition to unique hashtags you create, it is important to use hashtags that influencers use when you post to social media. Follow what is trending on Twitter to see if a hashtag there can be applied to your business. If you use a trending hashtag appropriately in your posts, you can connect with customers in real time. This can vastly expand your viral reach, especially if you are able to work your way into large events, such as the Super Bowl or the Oscars by using hashtags that are relevant to you and such an event. For example, a carpet cleaning company may take advantage of the trend and tweet: Our service helps keep your living room carpets as elegant as #RedCarpet at #Oscars2016. A business consultant might tweet: Watching #SuperBowl 2016? I can help align your company’s #team.
While this is a great way to get attention during events that charge large sums for ads, you cannot get carried away. Posting to too many trends, especially when they are not related to your business, is considered spamming. Spamming trends on Twitter can lead to account suspension.

Identify top hashtags

Use a tool such as Hashtagify.me to help you identifying top hashtags used for a variety of businesses and industries. You will find a number of relevant hashtags you may not have previously considered. For example, small businesses owners should not forget about vital hashtags such as #smallbiz, #smallbusiness and #ShopLocal.
Using these hashtags will provide you great exposure that will help people discover your business, connect with you and share your information with others.
But don’t go hashtag crazy. Make sure your hashtags are most relevant to your overall strategy. Then, follow the best practices of Twitter and use no more than two hashtags per tweet. Remember, overusing a hashtag devalues its strength.

Making hashtags work for you

When you use your hashtags within other marketing materials such as magazine ads, in-store signage or television commercials, you provide a call to action for those who see it. Create a campaign and invite people to engage with you with a hashtag. Encourage your customers to participate further by asking them to insert your hashtag into their posts and add it to their content.
Many businesses find success when tying hashtags to engagement requests such as becoming a fan of their social media page, signing up for a newsletter or participating in a contest. The hashtag can help you gather sales prospects who you can later engage with additional content.
Become a thought leader through social media by tagging content that is relevant to your target audience. Participating in #MotivationMonday, for example, is one way your words can help solve problems for your customers. Another way to become a source for your customers is to tweet names of other Twitter users you feel are important to follow. Use the hashtag #FF or #FollowFriday every Friday.
If you have a content marketing program, or are planning one, download our ebook:  100 mistakes businesses make when starting, optimizing and scaling content marketing programs.  Learn from the mistakes of hundreds of other companies.  100 mistakes walks you through common and uncommon challenges that they faced with their content marketing programs.

Holiday marketing: Give and you will receive

The holidays are a great time to give your audience a gift of interesting content. If you do it right, your gift won’t simply get the attention of your existing customers — it will also bring you some new prospects.
You can’t simply send out requests for customers to buy, buy, buy. Findings by Gleanster Research indicate that 50 percent of your leads — half of your audience — are not yet ready to buy.
This is a time when you need to engage your audience and put them into your sales funnel. First you to get leads; then you turn them into prospects and then customers. You do this by grabbing their attention, sparking their interest, stoking their desire and then allowing them to take action.
Forrester Research showed that companies that excel at lead nurturing — taking the time to use the sales funnel — generate 50 percent more sales-ready leads. Data from The Annuitas Group support this, reporting that nurtured leads make 47 percent larger purchases than non-nurtured leads.
Take a look at your content strategy and make sure it aligns with your holiday season goals. Are you focused on new business? Repeat business? More subscriptions? Higher web traffic?
Once you are clear on your purpose, you can begin creating the content to support your campaign.
Make sure your tactics match your goals. For example, if you want to engage with your readers, you want to give them something to respond to — maybe a fun holiday graphic they can share on social media. If you are seeking higher click-through rates, you need enticing headlines, a special offer or eye-catching images.
What to promote
In the retail world, the holidays are critical for generating revenue. Twenty to 40 percent of yearly sales come from holiday shopping. According to the National Retail Institute, 23.8 percent of annual sales at jewelry stores occur during December. National chain department stores see 15.3 percent of annual revenue; discount department stores, 13.6 percent; electronics stores, 13.4 percent; and sporting goods and bicycle shops, 13.5 percent.
Some dates to target for your campaign include:

  • The two days before Thanksgiving
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Black Friday
  • Small Business Saturday
  • Cyber Monday
  • Christmas
  • Hanukkah
  • New Year’s Eve
  • New Year’s Day

So, what if your business is not retail? If you are hoping to gain business, be creative in your messaging. For example, plumbers might suggest readers have the guest bathroom ready before the in-laws visit. Security firms might consider a helpful newsletter with tips to stay safe during the holidays. Accounting offices can wish customers a Happy New Year and remind them of all you can offer for the upcoming tax season.
The holidays are also one of the best times to build brand awareness. For example, Thanksgiving is a national holiday. Consider sending an email to your customers and thanking them for their business. Post something on social media that indicates the same sincere thought.
Remember, it doesn’t have to be about selling — it should be about engaging. Send a holiday greeting, suggest contributing to charity or just remind them to be safe.
Make it mobile
Whatever message you send to your audience, be sure it is mobile-friendly. In 2015, Pew Research showed nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults own a smartphone. Seven percent of those smartphone owners are “smartphone-dependent” because they do not have Internet at home and must use their mobile device for Web access
The National Retail Federation’s Holiday Consumer Spending Survey predicts that this year 21.4 percent of smartphone owners will use their devices to purchase holiday merchandise, and 37.9 percent will use their smartphones to research products. When people are busy, they use their mobile devices more often. In fact, online marketing company Constant Contact reports that the very first thing 17 percent of Americans do in the morning is check their email.
Hit your target
During the holidays, social media should not be overlooked. It’s a great tool to continue to drive traffic to your website when you deliver your overall message. But don’t let social media be your only avenue.
Any good marketer knows you don’t want to send your message out to people who don’t care to receive it. This is why email marketing works so well at the holidays. Custora E-commerce Pulse found email marketing was the “No. 1 driver of online sales on Black Friday 2014.”
When you use email marketing, you can tap your CRM data and laser target your messages. According to Jupiter Research, relevant emails drive 18 times more revenue than broadcast emails. Segment your lists and deliver information to those customers who want to hear from you.
While it may seem hard to believe, not every person in your audience is looking for a discount during the holiday season. Some are looking for helpful information. Be their expert source and solve their problem. For example, provide wine/food pairing ideas, recipes, gift wrapping or tree lighting tips. Additionally, remember that what you say to each individual may be different. For example, if you sell purses, women in your audience see purses as accessories. Men in your audience likely see purses as a gift item
Get them to share
Yes, sharing is part of the season. You want your customers to help you with your marketing efforts by becoming influencers. A good email is like a good joke: people want to share it. In fact, according to TopRank, there are several sources of motivation for sharing email. Among them:

  • Self-interest — Sharing because they think they will be rewarded (i.e., sweepstakes or discounts).
  • Altruism — Sharing makes them feel good.
  • Affinity — Sharing makes people feel more a part of the community.
  • Prurience — Sharing makes people feel less guilty for gawking.
  • Validation — Sharing juicy stuff makes them look good to their friends.

Keep your email messages short and sweet. Data from Baydin, the makers of email plug-in Boomerang, says that on average, people receive 147 emails a day and delete 71. You have approximately 8 seconds or less to impress a reader during the holidays. Do it with great visuals and provide a service, discount, tips, recipes or other item your target audience specifically wants.
Enhance your campaigns with videos (2 minutes or shorter) and engage your audience. Make your message unique. People have so many things to do during the holidays — you want your message to be one of the top things they do. Make it worth their while.
If you are featuring a product, service, coupon or special offer — something like free shipping or an online discount — you need to make that message recognizable within one second. With just a glance, the reader should be aware of your offering.
Include a call to action and make it clear. Keeping in mind mobile users, create a button that is at least 50 x 50 pixels. Make sure the fonts and colors align with your branding.
Remember, not every reader will want to buy, so don’t put “buy now” on your call to action. Instead, make it shorter than five words long, but begin with a verb, such as:

  • Look inside
  • Send me the link
  • Give as a gift
  • Share

Adding a sense of urgency helps in the subject line. Add something that indicates a deadline, time sensitivity or create demand with scarcity (i.e., only 15 chances available).
In 2012, award-winning entrepreneur and Venture Harbour founder Marcus Taylor spent four months researching promotions. He found that by creating a sense of urgency, he was able to increase sales by 332 percent. And while the word “today” at the end of the headline increased his click-through rate by 3.94 percent, experts such as Kathryn Aragon at Crazy Egg suggest cutting to the chase and using the word “now.”
Just in case
Finally, if your campaign works the way you hope it will, sometimes systems get overwhelmed. Make sure your website can handle the traffic you intend to drive from email and social media.
Be prepared with an apology email template. If an error occurs, you want to have quick communication with your leads, prospects and customers. During this busy time of year, you don’t want to be caught scrambling for something to send. Be sure to brand the apology and have clear information on how they can contact someone should they need assistance. Most customers are forgiving of problems if there is clear communication on how to resolve it.
If you have a content marketing program, or are planning one, download our ebook:  100 mistakes businesses make when starting, optimizing and scaling content marketing programs.  Learn from the mistakes of hundreds of other companies.  100 mistakes walks you through common and uncommon challenges that they faced with their content marketing programs.
Need help with your holiday content strategy? Get more information on what Tempesta Media can do for you.

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