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Executing Your Content Strategy

Last week, Adam and I presented a webinar all about creating and maintaining your content calendar. As we went through the presentation, we discussed the importance of organizing campaigns of content centered around specific events or releases, and I wanted to go further into this by talking about the very webinar series we are currently running.

Throughout the series, we have used many different types of content, like:

  • Webinars (of course…)
  • Blogs (just like this one)
  • Emails (both to invite and to thank attendees for joining)
  • Social Media campaigns
  • Handouts and Worksheets
  • Web and Print ads
  • Web pages
  • Videos

All for one specific project! The same goes for many of the projects and campaigns that we execute here at Delivra. The reason I bring this up is because when it comes to executing your content, it can be easy to become overwhelmed. It’s on thing to remember that you need to create, edit and release all of the content listed above, let alone do the other millions of things a marketer does on a weekly basis.april

The only way to successfully execute a content strategy is by using a content calendar, and you can hold me to it! As I mentioned in the webinar, we just implemented our content calendar in December of 2013, and the difference it’s made (in not only the organization of our team but the engagement on the content we’re releasing) is astounding.

I make updates to our content calendar on a daily basis, and am always trying to improve it. A quick tip for maintaining your calendar – color code! For each webinar, I color code the corresponding pieces of content so that I can easily see what’s coming up, and which pieces of content belong to which campaigns. Check out the webinar to hear the full explanation.

So what’s the next step in executing a successful content strategy? Testing, testing, testing! Sign up for this crucial webinar right here, and join Adam and I on Thursday, May 1st at 2:00PM ET.

 

Creating “Pin It” Links for Your Emails

There are many companies out there, both B2B and B2C, who have utilized Pinterest for Business to help promote their brand, Delivra included. As a constant “pinner” of everything from recipes to interior design ideas to business wisdom, I certainly recommend Pinterest for Business as a way for companies to expand their social media strategy into a medium focused on a very visual consumer. Though it is likely to be more successful for B2C retailers, there are plenty of B2Bs out there with Pinterest accounts that you might not expect - HootsuiteMarketing Profs, and Oracle, just to name a few!

If your company is on Pinterest and you have an email marketing program, this is the perfect opportunity for you to intertwine your digital marketing channels. A few of our own clients use the “Pin It” button in their emails, allowing subscribers to click and instantly pin images and URLs, complete with automatic description. Delivra’s Senior Graphic Designer, Celeste Odell, recently shared the details of how to create these buttons, and that knowledge is now being passed down to you. Here’s how it’s done:

For each button, use the following URL: http://pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=[DESIRED WEBPAGE URL]&media=[IMAGE URL]&description=[DESCRIPTION HERE]

Simply input the necessary info (URL of the webpage, the image you want to be pinned, and the description of your pin), and you’re good to go! The sample below will pin this very blog directly to Pinterest (insert evil laugh).

Pin It!

 Magic, right?! Want even more social media tips from Delivra? Subscribe to our emails right here!

Is Responsive Design Worth It?

If you’re subscribed to our emails, you received our monthly newsletter yesterday, giving you all the details of our Client of the Month, recent blogs, company updates, and so much more. If you opened the email on your mobile device, you may have noticed something.

In fact, you may have noticed one of two things, depending on which half of our list we put you on. Ah ha! You caught us – we’ve been doing some split testing. Half of our list received a completely responsive email, and the other half received a static email. Both would look identical on a desktop or even an iPad. On a mobile device, however, the responsive design would be much easier to read, adapting itself to the smaller screen, whereas the static version would look the same as it did on your desktop.

Why did we do this? Well, we talk a lot about responsive design and its benefits, but we figured it might be more convincing if we show you the stats directly from our own emails. Take a look:

mobilereads

A “read” is defined by Litmus as a viewer who stays on the email for 10 or more seconds… that being said, the responsive, represented by the blue bars above, had much higher percentages of readers that the static, yellow bar. To be exact, for all mobile devices, responsive had 22% more subscribers read the email, and on iPhone specifically, it had 21% more subscribers read the email.

Hey, that makes sense! With the responsive design, it’s much easier to read the text and scroll through, whereas with the static, it’s likely that subscribers glanced at the email and decided it was too difficult to read.

So, is it worth it? Absolutely. Not only is it much more visually pleasing for the small screen, it’s also very likely to heighten your engagement – the only way to find out is to test!

I’ll leave with this comment – it depends greatly on the specific audience of a company as to how well responsive design performs. If you have a small percentage of your audience using mobile devices, (as a B2B, Delivra does…) responsive design may not seem like the biggest priority. But in a world where over half of emails are opened on mobile phones, inevitably you will need to invest in a responsive design.

Need help deciding if your company is ready for responsive designReach out to us!

3 Reasons You MUST Keep a Content Calendar

For this Friday’s upcoming content webinar, we took a little poll of registrants as they signed up. The question was simple: does your company have and use a ? Take a look a the results…

contentcalquestion

Over half of registrants said “no, I do not have and use a content calendar.” Surprised? I certainly was.

The good news is, at Friday’s webinar, Adam and I will talk all about the importance of a content calendar, how to create it, and how to keep up with it successfully. As my biweekly teaser for this next content webinar, I’d like to highlight 3 of the many reasons you MUST keep a content calendar.

1. Structure, Accountability, Consistency.

This is the obvious one – it keeps you organized. And not just you as a marketer, but your entire marketing team and company. Without a clear idea of not only when your content will be released, but what it is and who is creating it, your content strategy will fall apart.

2. It allows you to get ahead.

As a marketer, you know how difficult it can be to juggle your every day tasks, let alone manage a successful content marketing campaign. With a content calendar, you can stay one step ahead and have your content prepared and ready in advance.

3. Improving the Company/Customer relationship.

Making your content calendar visible company wide will ensure that every client-facing member of your staff knows what’s coming, and therefore, will know when and how to talk about your content to the customer. For each piece of content, no matter what medium you use (we use both a Google spreadsheet and a separate Google calendar), include a description of the content and if applicable, a link to it on your website.

Get ready to hear even more info at ! If you’re one of the many marketers without a content calendar, we’ll show you exactly how to get started in creating one. Already have a content calendar? High five! Attend the webinar to make sure your calendar is up to par, and get some extra tips on maintaining it.

signupnow

Neil’s Top Tweets: Volume 8

Here are the latest top tweets from Delivra’s President and CEO, Neil Berman! Be sure to follow him for the latest digital marketing tips and trends: @nfberman

3/24: Infographic: How to Generate Value from Digital Marketing | Marketing Technology Blog via @mktgtechblogneils_top_tweets

3/26: “Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.” — Satchel Paige, American Baseball Player

3/28: For Stores, Pinterest Trumps Facebook and Youtube via @mediapost

4/3: Chipotle’s “The Scarecrow” is a branding success via @Youtube (we also mention “The Scarecrow” in our webinar about knowing your company story – Chipotle knows it’s story!)

4/10: “Fortune favors the audacious.” — Desiderius Erasmus, Dutch Social Critic and Scholar

2 Tips for Companies Who Send Email… From a Parent

As a parent, I am often barraged with constant communication from my kids’ schools.  And while I love to hear about all of the things going on at the school that affect my children, I am always surprised by both the number and quality of communications I get.  Often, they have little to do with my child and the inconsistent quality negatively represents the school system.  It got me wondering, how many businesses out there are treating their email recipients to a torrent of emails that make them look unprofessional and have very little to do with what they care about?  And if they are, what will their recipients do?

First, and this applies to both businesses and schools, the professionalism you show when creating email communication reflects directly on your organization.  Email content is one of those things, like running – everyone can do it, but not everyone can do it well.  In my personal experience as a parent, it can be a great tool for communicating with families but requires a professional who takes ownership and follows a strategic email initiative.  If you are a business leader and cannot afford someone to take sole ownership of your email campaign, look into a company that provides managed email services.  Those companies can create strategy, content, design or anything else you need to make sure you stay professional with every communication.

Secondly, the content alone isn’t enough to reflect your professionalism.  You also need to know when and how to segment your email list.  I can’t tell you how many times I have been contacted by a school for issues that have nothing to do with my child.  And to be honest, it can be truly frustrating to sort through the email communications that are meaningful to me as a parent and to those that aren’t.  At your business, do you ever do the same thing?  Perhaps your email recipients feel frustrated that they aren’t receiving messages applicable to them.

The easiest thing in the world would be for me to report the email as SPAM and no longer receive it – or simply opt out entirely.  But how can I?  A few of the emails are directly applicable to me and my child.  Without an email preference center that allows for me to opt out of only specific types of mailings, I am left hunting for the proverbial needle in a literal haystack (ok, not literally).  But alas, I have an incredible incentive to stay opted in – a child I truly care about and details from a school that my child attends.   What incentive do your clients have to stay opted in when they are frustrated?

Writing Good Email Copy is Useless

Ridiculous title?  No, it’s true.  Seriously.  How much time do you waste thinking, working and testing your email copy when you could just as easily copy and paste stuff you wrote before?  Your email copy doesn’t change how many people open the emails and thus, writing good copy is simply pointless.

Alright, you got me, just like this subject header captivated your attention and caused you to read this blog, good copy is just as unseen and useless without an amazing subject line (or in this case headline) that draws in and pushes your email audience to open your email and read your amazing copy.  There’s a song by Blues Traveler called Hook that has the following relevant lyrics:

It doesn’t matter what I say
So long as I sing with inflection
That makes you feel I’ll convey
Some inner truth or vast reflection
But I’ve said nothing so far
And I can keep it up for as long as it takes
And it don’t matter who you are
If I’m doing my job then it’s your resolve that breaks
Because the Hook brings you back
I ain’t tellin’ you no lie
The Hook brings you back
On that you can rely

The ‘hook’ in email is the subject line.  Without it, there is simply no way to bring people to your actual email content – the email copy you have spent the majority of your time and thought on.  So treat the subject line as it deserves to be treated.  Ask your email marketing software provider for tips on how to create a good subject line or reach out to us.

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