Putting Together an Editorial Calendar for Content Marketing



Having an editorial calendar to keep your content marketing ideas on track is crucial in all niche publications. Being unorganized can lead to you loosing track of some very good pieces of content. We have found a few tips for creating an editorial calendar for content marketing, take a look:

Niche Media

Take a look at some tips for creating an editorial calendar for content marketing.

  • Have a master editorial calendar: Being able to view all content at a glance is very important, which is why having a master editorial calendar is a good idea. This will give you an overview of the content that is planned by the day and by the week. You can also track other key dates, such as holidays, on the master editorial calendar as well.
  • Create separate calendars for specifics: In addition to having a master editorial calendar, it is also a good idea to have separate editorial calendars for specific content ideas. You can divide up these calendars by publication type, such as blog, newsletter, and other types of content that you may have.
Editorial calendars are crucial for all types of content marketing. In addition they can help you get your ideas on track as well as see what works and what doesn’t.

 

 

Photo from Free Digital Photos

Read All About It: Making Twitter Work for You



Twitter is a powerful tool to use if you are trying to use social media to generate revenue for your niche publication. This great social media platform makes igniting conversation among your audience easy and accessible. If you have been wondering how to better your Twitter skills, take a look at some tips for making Twitter work for you:

Niche Media

Check out some tips for making Twitter work for you.

  • Keep people talking: One of the important parts of using Twitter is to keep your readers talking any way you can. Twitter is great for encouraging readers to visit your website and online magazine because of its usability. In addition, “Our latest reader survey shows that 50% of our readers now use our website, and moving people to the site with Twitter is a big part of that jump in site traffic.”
  • Don’t talk about your magazine all the time: While talking about your niche magazine on Twitter is important, you don’t want to make it the center of all conversations. Keep your audience interested by also injecting personal tweets as well. Readers want to interact with a person on Twitter and not something that feels robotic or pre-packaged.
  • Twitter content must interest readers: Having unrelated content on your Twitter is big mistake that should be avoided. In order to keep as many followers as you can as well as grow the following base, be sure you are keeping your audience’s interest. You can tweet about a tease for an upcoming event, or tweet a picture of something that relates to the magazine.
Using Twitter in your content marketing efforts is a great way for providing your readers with another platform for interacting with you and your niche publication.

 

 

Photo from Flickr

Creating a Content Marketing Style Guide



Creating valuable content is extremely crucial in your effort to grow your audience as well as your ad sales. While creating valuable content should be high on your list of priorities, another task relating to it should also be up there. Creating a content marketing style guide is also highly important to ensure you are going in the correct direction and getting everything you can out of your efforts. Take a peek at a few steps to creating a solid content marketing style guide:

Niche Media

Check out some tips for creating a content marketing style guide.

  • Have a clear definition of your objectives and audience: The content marketing style guide you create will not act as a general AP style guide. Instead, your style guide will focus on a specific number of issues that will improve the overall quality of your content. This will also help you better understand the end goal and keep the top priorities in mind.
  • Create a format that is easy and organized: After you have clearly defined the wants and needs of your audience as well as what you hope to achieve, you will begin to format the style guide. Be sure to pick a format that is easy to go by and does not cause confusion. Group items that are similar together to make for an easier time getting through the style guide.
  • Promote and enforce: Having a content marketing style guide is useless if it merely simply sits on the shelf and collects dust. After you have taken all the steps to create a good content marketing style guide, put it to work! Ensure each staff member gets one and make note of how important it is to the publication.
Having a content marketing style guide is important in that it helps organize and guide your content. In addition, it will keep you on track with goals and objectives.

 

 

 

Photo from Free Digital Photos

Tips for Effective Social Media Contests



Hosting a social media contest is an excellent way for boosting online revenue as well as audience development for your niche publication. However, in order to ensure your social media contest goes smoothly, it is important to take note of certain items and elements. Check out some tips for effective social media contests:

Niche Media

Check out some tips for creating an effective social media contest.

  • Keep a goal in mind: In order to ensure you accomplish what you want with a social media contest, it is important to keep an end goal in mind. While using a social media contest to raise follower or fan numbers is a nice result, this should never be the end goal. Instead, make your goals more attainable, such as conducting research, or revealing a new consumer base.
  • Create a target: Once you have a solid goal down for what you want to accomplish with a social media contest, you will then have to create a target. Instead of trying to catch the attention of the most people possible, narrow down your audience and create the contest to cater specifically to them. This will help you grow more faithful and meaningful audience members as well.
  • Select the right prize: The prize that you choose for your social media contest should be shiny and attractive. Think of items like tablets, vacations, gift cards or money. These prizes work well because people generally just want a nice prize and will be willing to participate in a contest if one of these items is at stake.
Creating an effective social media contest is a great for boosting online revenue as well as reader development of your niche magazine.

 

 

Photo from Free Digital Photos

Tips for Recycling Content



Creating all of your content from scratch can be near impossible, that’s why recycling content is such a great idea. However, recycling content can be tricky as you don’t want to create a feeling of redundancy for your audience. If you have been in search for remarkable content for your niche publication, consider recycling what you already have! Take a look at some tips for recycling content:

Niche Media

Check out some tips for recycling content.

  • Don’t forget about offline content: If you are trying to create content for your web publications, consider using what you have used in the past for your offline content. Crack open your own print materials and take a look at what you have already done. How can you tweak this to make it suitable for the web? Perhaps you can take a short, informational past article and turn it into a web-friendly infographic.
  • Consider your readers: Your readers are a wonderful resource to tap into in terms of content. Take a look at some of the letters and testimonials you have received from them. These often contain great suggestions or ideas that you can turn into an edited and updated FAQ list. Listening to your readers is a great way for recycling content as they will often tell you what they liked as well as what they didn’t.
  • Tap into your online archives: Just because you created a piece of content in the past doesn’t mean you can’t recreate it. Look way back into your archives and decide what you haven’t covered in a while. If you find something you and your audience really enjoyed, figure out different ways you can use the same idea but format it differently.
Recycling content is a great idea to incorporate into your content marketing strategy. Be sure you are taking the right steps to do so in order to avoid creating redundancy.

 

 

Photo from Free Digital Photos

Using Videos to Increase e-Newsletter Revenue



Internet guru Ryan Dohrn offers tips on using videos to increase e-Newsletter Revenue:

 

This originally appeared as part of our Vitamin E e-newsletter for e-newsletters. All the articles:

e-Revenue: 6 Ways to Improve Your Ad Sales e-Newsletter

E-Newsletter Layout: Three Things that Should Appear in the Preview Pane View

Top 5 e-Newsletter Elements to A/B Split Test

How to Use Video to Increase e-Newsletter Revenue

Carl’s Capsules: Top 10 Reasons to Attend the Unconference

E-Newsletter of the Month: Condé Nast’s GQ Pulls off a Daily e-Newsletter with Simplicity, Style, and Sales Savvy

e-Toon

Re-run: Mastering QR Codes to Increase Subscriptions

Top 5 e-Newsletter Elements to A/B Split Test



Are you using A/B split testing to evaluate key elements of your e-newsletter? If not, you’re merely playing a guessing game when it comes to content and design decisions. No matter how big or how small your e-news audience, you should be taking advantage of this simple method of testing to fine-tune your e-news product and stop gambling on hunches and guesses when it comes to important e-marketing decisions.

If you’re new to A/B Split Testing—don’t panic—the concept is quite simple and easy to implement. When putting together your next e-newsletter chose one element that you’ve considered changing, but rather than just blindly going ahead with the change, send the altered version of your e-newsletter to only a segment of your subscriber list, then compare the response rates with those from your current unaltered e-newsletter.

If you have a small subscriber list (<5,000-10,000) you’ll need to do a true “A/B” split and send the altered test version of your e-newsletter to half of your list in order to have a reliable test pool. The larger your subscriber list, the more complicated A/B split testing you can experiment with in any one issue, as you can segment out multiple batches of control and test groups within your audience base. Check out this article from ClickZ if you’re completely new to A/B split testing: http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/2144332/steps-effective-email-testing

Here are our top five most interesting elements that produced dramatically different results in recent A/B split test case studies:

  1. Subject Line: Possibly the most important element in your e-newsletter—if your readers don’t buy into the subject line, they’ll send your e-news offering straight to the trash before any of your fabulous content or design ideas even have a chance to win them over. This makes consistent subject line testing well-worth your time. My Emma recently tested a long-versus-short subject line; betting on the short subject line to win, due in part to the increase in views on mobile devices, they were surprised to find that a longer subject line had a 3% greater open rate.
  1. Button Color: Try a red or orange button color for your call to action—whether it is “Buy Now,” “Register,” or “Subscribe,” tests have found something as simple as bright colors increase response rates dramatically. GSM Mobile found a 5% increase in response after changing their “Buy Now” button from green to orange.
  1. Navigation Menu: Try testing the removal of your navigation menu or other elements that are cluttering up your e-news layout. You’ll be surprised how often less is more when it comes to design and layout. Yuppiechef recently saw conversion rates jump 100%, from 3% to 6%, when they removed their navigation menu.
  1. Pop-up forms: They may be annoying and you might have sworn you’ll never use them, but try testing before you make this decision. Visual Website Optimizer saw a 50% increase in response with the addition of a pop-up form to solicit subscriptions to their e-newsletter.
  1. Content Shifts: While content is the most time-consuming and resource-intensive element to test, it might just be the most effective change you can implement in your e-newsletter. Sensing that your topics are too stuffy and wanting to lighten-up the tone of your articles? Concerned that your content focus is leaving out large segments of your potential audience, but too worried about losing your current readers to experiment with new content? Try A/B split testing before you make any major shifts in editorial content and then you can tweak your editorial focus with confidence.

The beauty of A/B split testing is the security you’ll feel in knowing your e-marketing decisions are backed up by solid data and not mere shots in the dark. Instead of your marketing team crossing their fingers and blindly hoping for good results, you can rely on testing results to feel confident in your e-marketing choices, and that confidence is well-worth the extra time and effort it takes to conduct A/B split tests on a regular basis.

 

This originally appeared as part of our Vitamin E e-newsletter for e-newsletters. All the articles:

e-Revenue: 6 Ways to Improve Your Ad Sales e-Newsletter

E-Newsletter Layout: Three Things that Should Appear in the Preview Pane View

Top 5 e-Newsletter Elements to A/B Split Test

How to Use Video to Increase e-Newsletter Revenue

Carl’s Capsules: Top 10 Reasons to Attend the Unconference

E-Newsletter of the Month: Condé Nast’s GQ Pulls off a Daily e-Newsletter with Simplicity, Style, and Sales Savvy

e-Toon

Re-run: Mastering QR Codes to Increase Subscriptions

E-Newsletter Layout: Three Things that Should Appear in the Preview Pane View



By Jeanne Jennings
Consultant, Email Marketing Strategy (
www.JeanneJennings.com)

I’m not a designer – but whenever I develop an e-newsletter strategy for a client I always include a wireframe. I’m not so concerned about the colors and images they use; I’m more concerned about the placement of content, especially in the preview pane view.

The preview pane view is your prime real estate. It can be the difference between engaging recipients to read your newsletter – and having them move on without even looking.

According to Marketing Sherpa, over 80% of business people and more than 50% of consumers turn on the “reading pane” or “preview pane” in their email client. The majority, over 75%, are using a horizontal, rather than a vertical preview pane. Here’s what a horizontal reading pane looks like in Outlook:

There’s one more statistic you need to take into account when thinking about your preview pane – image blocking. Again from MarketingSherpa, only 33% of those surveyed have images turned on by default. Most email clients block images by default – here’s an example of what this newsletter looks like in the preview pane with images blocked:

Do you know what your email newsletter looks like with images blocked? You should. Many companies use a large “hero image” at the top of their e-newsletters. This plays well on a Website, but not so well in email. With images blocked all your recipients will see is a box with a small red “x.”

Alt tags, which are a good idea, aren’t an answer to this. Many emails clients (including Outlook, you can see it here) put copy next to the red “X” to explain why the image isn’t appearing. Your alt tag will appear in the same text as this message – just after it. It gets lost in the mix. Better to design your e-newsletter so that, even with images blocked, there is content here to engage readers.

Here are three things that should appear in the preview pane view of your email newsletter:

1.    Branding

Most companies do include their logo at the top of their email newsletters. That’s good. But you need to also include your brand name in rich text format, so that if images are blocked people can still see that it’s from you.

In the example above, the church is featured prominently in the newsletter’s name (“Greetings from Grace”). In addition, we include it, along with contact information, in smaller type below the headline.

In this instance we’ve also included full contact information, since the church is primarily a brick-and-mortar (not an online) institution. For most of my primarily online clients this information would not be here.

In an admittedly unscientific study of 20 email newsletters that are currently in my inbox (I omitted those from organizations that are my clients), only 35% had non-image branding in the reading pane. This is so simple – and yet so often overlooked.

2.    Benefit-oriented Headline Specific to this Issue

Give the reader a reason to read your email now – not later. Tell them why it will be time well-spent.

The headline here “In this Issue: Holy Week, Friends of Grace Spring Gala, Rector’s Sabbatical and More!” does that. Note that it’s not a strict restatement of the subject line (although the key benefit, the Holy Week schedule, is listed in both) – it adds to the subject line to give people additional reasons to read.

Looking at 20 email newsletter in my inbox, only 15% provided me a headline of any kind to entice me to read their email newsletter. Again, so simple – but often overlooked.

3.    Link to View the Email Online

Since most email clients are now HTML-friendly, this link doesn’t get a lot of use. But with the increased reading of email on mobile devices, it’s more important than ever to include it.

It doesn’t have to be right at the top, anywhere in the preview pane is fine. But it should be here. Probably because most email service provider automatically append it at the top, compliance tends to be higher. A full 55% of email newsletters in my inbox gave me a link to view online.

Take a look at your email newsletter, with and without images, and see if these three key elements appear in the reading pane view.

In my next article I’ll be talking about the “above the fold” section of your newsletter and what should appear here to further engage readers and pull them in. For even more on laying out your e-newsletter to optimize engagement, join us at the E-Newsletter  World Unconference in May.

 

This originally appeared as part of our Vitamin E e-newsletter for e-newsletters. All the articles:

e-Revenue: 6 Ways to Improve Your Ad Sales e-Newsletter

E-Newsletter Layout: Three Things that Should Appear in the Preview Pane View

Top 5 e-Newsletter Elements to A/B Split Test

How to Use Video to Increase e-Newsletter Revenue

Carl’s Capsules: Top 10 Reasons to Attend the Unconference

E-Newsletter of the Month: Condé Nast’s GQ Pulls off a Daily e-Newsletter with Simplicity, Style, and Sales Savvy

e-Toon

Re-run: Mastering QR Codes to Increase Subscriptions

6 Ways to Improve Your Advertising Prospect e-Newsletter



by Ryan Dohrn

http://www.BrainSwellMedia.com

Twitter.com/ryandohrn

Are your sending your advertising prospects a separate e-newsletter tailored to their specific needs and interests? If not, you should consider adding this to your e-newsletter program.

If you can generate content that is valuable to your potential advertiser base you can keep your brand name on their radar even if they’re not quite ready to buy advertising space from you just yet. As you become a valuable resource for them, the chances of them becoming paid advertisers will increase with every e-Newsletter you send them.

Here are a few tips on putting together an effective ad sales e-newsletter:

  1. Keep it short.  While context is good, bullet points are better.  Plus, bullets are easy to read and you don’t want to demand too much of your potential advertisers’ time.
  1. REALLY, really focus on success.  Get a quotation from an advertiser and include it each month.
  1. Remove all of your sales pitch “stuff.”  The idea is to “give a little and get a little.”  Become a resource.
  1. Consultant Advertise.  A good ad sales person provides great consulting to advertisers. Provide helpful marketing info, successful promotional tips, web traffic techniques, etc. Ask yourself, “Why does this matter to them – how is this helpful?”
  1. Remove all references to “advertising.” Instead, replace them with “marketing” or “partnership.”
  1. Subject line is so important.  Spend a good deal of time pondering the subject line.  What would get you to open the email—or more importantly, not delete it?  Clever is good, but wacky is not.  Ideas to consider…
  • “Did you fire me?”
  • “Need a hug?”
  • “Are you ok?”
  • “Hey!  What is the deal with this…”
  • “Hot money, put out the fire.”
  • “Your boss wants you to buy an ad from me.”

Worst Ad Sales e-Newsletter Subject Line of All Time….

  • “Advertising deadline is next week.”

Best Ad Sales e-Newsletter Subject Line of All Time….

  • “Buy and ad… get a cat.”  – Carl Landau

Ryan Dohrn is President and founder of Brain Swell Media, a boutique internet revenue consulting firm with a detailed focus on ad sales training and media revenue generation.  Ryan travels the globe teaching media sales training classes and offers detailed coaching help business owners and media companies looking to make money online.

This originally appeared as part of our Vitamin E e-newsletter for e-newsletters. All the articles:

e-Revenue: 6 Ways to Improve Your Ad Sales e-Newsletter

E-Newsletter Layout: Three Things that Should Appear in the Preview Pane View

Top 5 e-Newsletter Elements to A/B Split Test

How to Use Video to Increase e-Newsletter Revenue

Carl’s Capsules: Top 10 Reasons to Attend the Unconference

E-Newsletter of the Month: Condé Nast’s GQ Pulls off a Daily e-Newsletter with Simplicity, Style, and Sales Savvy

e-Toon

Re-run: Mastering QR Codes to Increase Subscriptions

Use QR Codes to Increase Your e-Newsletter Subscribers



Are you currently using QR (Quick Response) codes to attract readers to your e-newsletter? When building your subscriber base for your e-newsletter, don’t rely on any one source alone, or think that a “Subscribe Now” button on your website is all you need to build your e-news audience. Utilizing multiple strategies for audience generation will allow your e-newsletter to reach a diverse population of readers and maximize exposure to your company’s message. Here are a few tips we like on getting the most out of your QR codes:

http://blog.mailigen.com/how-to-build-email-list-with-qr-codes/

http://www.fulcrumtech.net/resources/qr-codes-and-email-marketing/

http://www.puravidamultimedia.com/signup-for-email-newsletters-with-qr-codes/

http://www.marketingprofessor.com/mobile/8-ideas-for-using-qr-codes-in-your-marketing/

 

For QR Code Beginners:

http://www.flyte.biz/resources/newsletters/11/02-qr-code-marketing.php

http://annehornyak.com/2012/02/20/qr-codes-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/

 

This originally appeared as part of our Vitamin E e-newsletter for e-newsletters. All the articles:

e-Revenue: 6 Ways to Improve Your Ad Sales e-Newsletter

E-Newsletter Layout: Three Things that Should Appear in the Preview Pane View

Top 5 e-Newsletter Elements to A/B Split Test

How to Use Video to Increase e-Newsletter Revenue

Carl’s Capsules: Top 10 Reasons to Attend the Unconference

E-Newsletter of the Month: Condé Nast’s GQ Pulls off a Daily e-Newsletter with Simplicity, Style, and Sales Savvy

e-Toon

Re-run: Mastering QR Codes to Increase Subscriptions