Monthly Archives: June 2013

Want to grab email subscriber mindshare? Feed them some content.

The competition for email subscriber mindshare heats up every day as inboxes fill up. Having a good sender reputation and clean, opt-in lists is only half the battle, at best. You must provide content that grabs subscribers attention and distances you from your competition.

Developing content rich messaging as part of your email strategy meets three very important marketing objectives:

1. Break the monotony:  email marketing is a form of promotion, but if that’s “all you brought” it is unlikely that your subscribers will keep reading the same basic message. Content focused messaging breaks the monotony of promotional messaging and helps to re-engage your audience.

2. Create relevancy:  content rich promotional emails create relevancy by providing interesting, useful information.  They can also create subscriber perception of the value of your brand and its ability to meet unmet needs or address a challenge.

3. Facilitate sharing:  content rich emails, even those that are promotional, can inspire social and viral sharing. Spreading the word to new audiences and potential customers is a marketing gift that can’t be purchased directly, so give your subscribers an incentive to share through interesting content.

For food marketers, creating a content-focused email campaign should not be difficult because of the wide range of material available and the generally high level of consumer interest in food and nutrition.  Here are a few content development ideas to consider:

1. Recipe and menu suggestions that feature products and lifestyle eating occasions…any  opportunity that positions your products as a perfect meal or ingredient solution.

2. Product lists categorized by interest such as most popular, best sellers, eating occasions, meal or ingredient solutions…any category that positions your product as an established solution.

3. Q and A’s with nutritionists, chefs, other experts…anyone in your organization that is uniquely qualified to answer consumer questions about your product, and food and nutrition in general.

4. Comments, discussions, and consumer activity on social sites…let your subscribers know about the buzz going on.

The more meaningful the content you include in your email marketing, the more you increase the odds that your target audience will engage and share.

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Pins stick around much longer than tweets and Facebook posts.

The shelf life of a tweet is measured in minutes. That’s the time a brand or product mention hangs out on Twitter. Facebook fares a little better with a shelf life measured in hours, according to a recent study by Pinqora, formerly Pinfluencer, that tracks and measures Pinterest activity. By contrast, a Pin has a shelf life measured in weeks. Yes, weeks is the timeline that Pins generally get seen and repinned on Pinterest, but repins can and do occur months after the original Pin. Considering that food/recipes/lifestyle are the top categories of consumer interest on Pinterest, there is enormous marketing potential for food and beverage producers on this site.

What makes Pinterest so unique in the social media sphere is that it is designed as an idea sharing platform and as such encourages leisurely search and recurring visits. Facebook, Twitter, and many other social platforms are structured for immediacy and posts become irrelevant quickly as the the conversation moves on. Since food and recipes are occasion driven, pinners search the site for ideas as the occasion arises for them, which could be daily, even several times daily, or weekly. Pinterest is designed as a destination site that always has new as well as lasting ideas.

According Pinqora, Pinterest functions more like a search engine, but with two big differences. For example, when a consumer enters a search term on Google, if the results on the first page or two do not match the need, a new or refined term is entered and new results appear.  On Pinterst, there are no results pages, just a continuous scroll of relevant results. In addition, Pinterst results are visual. This encourages users to stay on the site and continue to scroll/look at results, some of which could have been pinned weeks, even months ago. Most importantly for food marketers, food and recipe Pins remain relevant for a very long time.

There has been a lot of conversation about collecting Facebook “Likes” and the marketing value of them. For food and beverage marketers, a comprehensive social media plan should consider the immediacy platforms like Facebook, as well as the idea sites like Pinterest. Adding a Pin button on website pages to encourage Pins of recipes and serving suggestion photos can have both a short-term and long-term ROI for food marketers.

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