With many companies thinking of alternative ways to market their business to the “stay at home” audience, we’ve been revisiting newsletters. These can be a vital way to communicate important information and keep your brand in your clients’ thoughts. Here are our top tips.
Building Your Mailing List
One of the most important things to consider when sending out newsletters, is your mailing list. Make sure you have enough people signed up before making the effort to write that newsletter.
- Website – You can have a pop-up box on your website saying “Sign Up to Our Mailing List and Receive 10% Off Your First Order”
- Facebook – In your Facebook page template select the Sign Up to Newsletter function
- Competition – Run a giveaway on social media where you encourage followers to sign up (ensure you make this explicit)
Newsletter Timing and Frequency
The constant flurry of newsletters into your client’s inbox can be annoying, so make sure you don’t overdo it, send a newsletter when you genuinely have some news or new products to share. Since the introduction of GDPR it’s now much easier to opt out of receiving a newsletter and it’s also very easy to unsubscribe, meaning you can just receive the ones you are interested in, so now we actually enjoy receiving newsletter as they are a handy way of keeping in touch with local organisations and for industry news.
We would advise picking a date and time when you think your audience would most likely read the newsletters – Friday afternoon perhaps – and stick to it.
Sometimes once a week is just enough to say “we’re here” particularly during lockdown as it’s such a good way to stay in touch.
Depending on the frequency of your newsletters, the amount of content may vary. Currently we are liking newsletters which have one or two pieces of information in them, as we are far more likely to read these straight away. Those with lots of information will probably need to be sent less frequently and at a time when your audience can read at leisure.
For online newsletters, we are massive fans of MailChimp. It’s simple to set up an account, add users (do follow their guidelines in order to comply with GDPR), and select a template. Stick to something simple to start with and remember to send test emails to either yourself or colleague before sending out.
Authenticity on Social Media
Having just read a fiction book on social media influencers, we were interested to read this article on Authenticity on Instagram on the social media scheduling platform, Later. In short, her takeaway tips are:
- Engaging with your audience
- Share your story
- Value the written word
- Understand what content resonates with you
- Stick to your ethics and set boundaries
Let’s explore these in more detail.
Engaging with your audience
In the Later article, Sarah Nicole Landry says you need to get to know your followers – the more you connect, the better you understand your community. She would spend half her work day (so 4 hours!) responding to DMs, commenting other people’s posts and actively engaging on other pages.
Red Desk Virtual says – not many small businesses are able to spend half their working day on social media but setting aside time to check if there are messages, replying to them in a timely manner and liking and commenting on posts will pay off. It’s always great to get positive comments on Facebook so it is always a pleasure to reply.
Share your story
Showing authenticity on Instagram means, yes, do talk about your business but also as Sarah Nicole Landry suggests, you need to share the more personal side of your life too, to give your account another dimension other than just work. Creating shareable content is the best way of growing your community.
Red Desk Virtual says – shareable content can take many forms, we often share social media or marketing guides we put together for our clients, or topics we have researched or discovered. These things are handy for small businesses looking for advice or tips but don’t have the budget to hire a social media marketing person.
Value the written word
According to research by Fohr, average caption lengths have doubled since 2016. They were around 142 characters and in 2020 have reached 405 characters (about 65 – 70 words).
Red Desk Virtual says – we certainly understand and appreciate that the visuals of your social media are very important but the written word is equally as important so do take time to choose your words and use keywords and hashtags to your advantage.
Understand what content resonates with you
Being authentic on social media means understanding what type of content resonates with you. Sarah suggests when scrolling through social media, see what type of content catches your eye, this might help you develop your own style.
Red Desk Virtual says – The best social media clients of ours, are the ones that have allowed us to post in our own business language (which matches their tone). We have found those that have been restrictive have had a massive impact on the way we’ve written the posts and in turn has affected engagement.
Stick to your ethics and set boundaries
The lines between work and private life can become blurred, so it is good to set boundaries. These boundaries can be how long you spend on social media (and when) and the ability to plan your content ahead of time.
Red Desk Virtual says – When we start working with a new client, we have to believe in their product, that it is ethical. We think about the type of content we put out there and what would be appropriate replies or not. We find that as a team of two working on social media, we use the other as a sounding board, to make sure that we are on brand and within boundaries.
Interested in finding out more? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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