Published on April 22nd, 2011 | by Contributing Author2
Why Telling Stories is Important & Other Learnings from the Power of eMarketing Conference
Earlier this week VR marketing team members Amber Ricchetti and Ellery Long attended the Power of eMarketing Conference in San Francisco. There was an overarching theme at the conference which can be summed up as “connect, converse, create content, communicate and tell compelling stories.” Oh, and how to use the power of eMarketing to do it.
The “Making It Social” presentation was kicked-off with the question, “How do we better position ourselves to deliver our content to the right audience, in the right way, at the right time?” That’s a hefty question, and a riddle every small business and marketer tries to solve. The following ideas are some pieces to that puzzle which you can use for your business and make your own.
Tell a Compelling Story: It is all about the story isn’t it? One definition of “social” is “characterized by friendly companionship.” Friendly companionship can be facilitated by storytelling. Sometimes all you need to do is tell your customers a story as if you were talking to a friend. What story can you tell?
Build Your Email List: You might think I talk a lot about list building, and that’s because I do! The truth of the matter is you’re never done building your list. During the “Acquiring and Maintaining Email Addresses” presentation, the presenter used a brilliant list building technique. He collected attendee business cards and entered them in a drawing to win $100. The presenter made it clear that you’d be opted-in for his email newsletter, and fulfilled his promise by holding the drawing at the end of his presentation. Neither Amber nor Ellery won, but they sure enjoyed the technique! What type of drawing can you conduct to incentivize people to sign up for your mailing list?
Verify Email Addresses: Did you know that last year 50 million people changed their email address? That’s a lot of email addresses gone bad. You can head-off bad email addresses by sending a postcard to your recipients who bounced and ask them to verify or update their email address. Easy. That way when you want to send an email it’s easy for you to mobilize your list.
Facilitate Sharing: Another talented email marketer presented “Email’s Role in a World Gone Mocial,” and talked about the idea of shareworthy content. So think about what content is shareworthy. This is especially important because while only 14% of people trust what ads say, 78% trust what their friends tell them (according to a 2009 study from Nielson). So get your customers to share your content with their friends!
One way to do this is to create a designated email campaign with the point of going viral. You’ll need to come up with some pretty compelling content, but you can get a head start by targeting the people who click your share and forward to a friend links. This will help you define your most valuable sharers. You can also run a specific campaign to promote your social sites and educate people about why they should find you on other channels. Email marketing is still the best way to get your message heard, and social media is the best way to get your message spread.
Start a Social Revolution: The “Making It Social” presentation defined social revolution as “the ability to target people who will be best served by you telling them your story.” Where can you find these people? On social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. Your business should be where your customers are. And go to platforms where they aren’t so you can acquire new ones!
Get Human: Just because you’re not seeing your customers face-to-face doesn’t mean they’re not people. Here are some ideas to bring the human element into your email marketing and social media; create content that educates and solves problems, include consumer testimonials since having your customers sell for you is powerful, include a picture and quote from a real employee in your emails, and make your content “shareworthy.”
Converse and Connect: Another of our colleagues presented how email and social go hand in hand. He explained that technology has changed the way consumers connect with brands, as well as the way information is discovered and shared. Makes sense, right? This is most obvious when it comes to what he called “earned media” or media you can’t buy. This is where your customer does the marketing for you and it includes customer tweets, likes, shares, Facebook posts, testimonials, word of mouth and even survey responses. So, it’s important to take part in these conversations via social media and build quality relationships with these folks in order to amplify your earned media.
Do you use any of these tactics in your eMarketing, or do you plan to? What works best for your business? I’d love to hear about it!
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