Getting Started with Content Marketing

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What is content marketing?

Content marketing involves the creation and sharing of valuable information with the goal of retaining existing clients while acquiring new ones. Clients use this information to improve upon a process or otherwise better their own business. Though there are various types of content marketing, including white papers, webinars, and other formats, email marketing offers an effective way to distribute relevant information.

Using email as a vehicle to deliver powerful content to your audience provides you with an alternative to pushy advertising and overly aggressive sales pitches. If you send only promotional information to sell your services, readers tune out. However, if you send educational content, readers gain confidence and trust in your brand.

Why you need a content marketing service like Presstacular

Presstacular is a lead generation tool for IT consulting companies to win new and repeat business using content marketing and email newsletters. Presstacular includes a library of professionally written and industry-focused content for you to use and edit, eliminating the time-consuming task of drafting a newsletter every month to nurture leads. You also have the option to customize your newsletter template and masthead as well as access custom content just for your company.

Automated list management keeps everything in order and detailed reporting shows you who opened each email, who clicked on each link, which addresses bounced, and more. This allows you to see customer patterns and quickly identify potential warm leads.

Identifying your content marketing goals

Whether your strategy is to build brand awareness or promote your company's services, it's important to identify what your goals are.

Build trust

When you distribute valuable content that helps prospects and customers solve a problem or improve their own business, you build trust and a stronger relationship with them. Trust not only helps to retain current customers, it also attracts new business.

Attract new prospects

Interesting content that gets shared online has the ability to attract new prospects. Regularly distribute timely, compelling content in order to turn prospects into customers. Nurture these new prospects by offering more information that they can use and solutions to their problems.

Retain existing customers

To retain existing customers, it's important to listen to them closely and give them what they ask for. Deepen their customer loyalty with content directed specifically at their concerns and pain points.

Develop strong partnerships

Quality content can attract new partnerships. Strategic partnerships can form when each side has specific and useful skills that complement each other.

Building your email list

Setup list

Presstacular allows you to collect information on new members such as name, location, company, phone number and more. Identify the information you want to collect and update your account's list fields. Categorize your list in order to target your list members' specific interests and personal attributes. The categorization fields are fully customizable so you can collect the most relevant information from your list members.

Add list members

There are three ways you can add members to your list. Use the import list option to add list members who have already opted-in to receive your mailings. Quick invite allows you to manually add one list member at a time. With this option, the member is sent an invitation to join your list. Lastly, you can post an email signup form on your website using the link and code provided by Presstacular.

Creating campaigns

Using Presstacular templates

The simplest way to get started is to use one of our Presstacular templates which allows you to quickly and efficiently create engaging and meaningful email newsletters in minutes. Once an initial template is set up, it takes about 4 or 5 minutes to create an email start to finish, a little longer if the user makes many edits to the articles.

The article library includes a variety of professionally written articles and you are able to select only those that you're audience will find interesting. Review and select articles from the article library to automatically add them to your campaign. Each article includes three sections — the title, teaser, and copy — all of which can be edited and personalized to fit your unique needs.

If you'd prefer to have unique, custom articles written just for your company, we can do that too.

Creating your own templates

You can create your own email templates by either saving a draft or sent campaign as a template. Open your saved drafts or one of your previously sent campaigns and select "Save as Template," and it will appear in your account under "My Templates."

Tailoring your campaign

Personalizing email templates

For many businesses, email marketing is the go-to tool for selling products and services, promoting your company, and engaging with your customers and prospects. So it's important that your email template be as unique as the company it's representing.

Use the color palette and styling tools to match your site. You can also upload an image of your logo to use in your masthead. By tailoring your template to match your company's brand and site, you'll be able to develop better brand recognition with your readers. If you need assistance, we offer custom template design.

Customizing content

In addition to personalization options, Presstacular offers custom content created specifically for your company. Our writers take the time to understand your business and your clients, as well as your goals. Based on your specific needs and objectives, our writers will then produce relevant articles for your readers. These articles come with an exclusive license so no other organization can use them.

With custom content at your fingertips, Presstacular removes the burden that IT executives sometimes feel when faced with the task of writing content while dealing with other pressures of running a business. Additionally, custom content is written with your clients in mind, helping you to connect with them in a more meaningful way.

Publishing articles to your PrestoBlog™

What is PrestoBlog™?

Your PrestoBlog™ collects and stores Presstacular articles that you have sent to your readers. When you create a new campaign, the articles that you add to the provided SmartBlocks are automatically flagged and published to your PrestoBlog™ once the campaign is sent.

It's important to note that only articles from new campaigns will be added to your PrestoBlog™. If a previously sent campaign is reused, it will not be flagged and therefore the articles will not be added. This is to avoid adding duplicate articles to your PrestoBlog™.

Customizing your PrestoBlog™

You can customize your PrestoBlog™ to match the look and feel of your company website. This creates consistency between the two and helps to build brand awareness for your company. To do this, you would enter your own HTML code or contact us for assistance.

In addition to matching your PrestoBlog™ to your website, you can also create a unique URL for it that will be easy for your readers to remember. To customize the URL, you need to create a CNAME record, or Canonical Name record, with your domain host and then contact us so we can configure your account with your new name. For more information on how to set up your own domain for your PrestoBlog™ see our Knowledgebase.

Sending campaigns

Sending a preview

Before you send your campaign, the first thing you'll want to do is send a preview of the campaign to ensure it looks good across all major email clients. Send a preview of the campaign to several webmail and desktop email clients and check each one. For a faster approach, use email test software such as Litmus. This software can test over 30 email clients and devices in just a few minutes.

Targeting your audience

Presstacular's targeting features allow you to send your campaign to your entire audience or target segments of it. All new sign-ups to your newsletter answer a series of questions you've set up in your categories. You can use the basic targeting option to select all members with a specific response to these questions or advanced targeting which allows you to target members with no response for a given field or category. Another advanced targeting technique allows you to add windward characters to the text field responses. For example, search for all members with an email address at a specific company by using * in the address field.

Scheduling your campaign

You may choose to send your campaign immediately or schedule it for the future. To help you identify the days and times that will get the most opens, we encourage you to test your campaigns and monitor engagement through Presstacular's tracking features.

For a campaign scheduled for the future, you have the ability to unschedule or reschedule it before it's sent. Selecting either of these options will place your campaign in your saved drafts.

How to avoid spam filters

There are several precautions you can take to avoid getting caught in spam filters. First, keep your campaign code clean and always include a text version of your campaign. Second, maintain your email address list and only send to those who have given you permission to do so. Finally, follow this basic check list:

  • Don't use bright red fonts or use complex styles
  • Don't use lots of exclamation points, question marks, or other punctuation
  • Don't use all capital letters
  • Don't use spammy words like mortgage, viagra, free, click here, click here now, act now, etc.
  • Don't use dummy text or word "test" in subject line
  • Don't get creative with spelling, spammers do this to avoid filters
  • Don't just use graphics, balance of image and text

Archiving your campaign

A campaign archive is a collection of your past email campaigns in one convenient location. Keeping a public archive shows people what they can expect from signing up to your list. You must first enable the archive on Presstacular, and then tag the sent campaigns that you would like to be included in your archive. Enabling the archive also adds a toolbar to the online view for each of your campaigns, letting people share your campaign on social networks, signup to your list, and more.

Measuring your performance

IT companies have limited time to contact their list of prospects. By seeing who is engaged with each article, you can easily identify who is interested and in what topic. This allows you to focus on the people who have the most interest while automatically nurturing the rest.

Within your account's "View Reports" page, you can view and use the interactive chart which shows open rates, click rates, bounce rates, and spam rates by individual email newsletters. The chart's scroll bar allows you to drill down and get more details about a specific mailing.

Open rates

An open rate is calculated by dividing the number of emails opened by the number of emails delivered and then expressed as a percentage. An open occurs if images are enabled or a link within the campaign is clicked. However, many recipients may open an email but fail to enable images. For this reason, it's important to consider the metric an estimate.

You can also use this metric to identify and acknowledge the people who continuously engage with your brand. Differentiating list members who regularly open your campaign from those who hardly ever open your campaign could be a great starting point to help you identify warm leads.

Click rates

Click rates provide an effective way to evaluate recipient engagement. Measured by dividing the number of unique clicks within the email by the number of total recipients, this metric is a useful source of data. Increase your click rate by providing relevant, interesting content that people can't resist. You can also experiment in your email by increasing the number of links in your campaign or drawing more attention to your links using different styling techniques.

Presstacular includes a 'Who Clicked' list so IT companies know specifically what their leads are interested in. This empowers them to follow up with people who are engaged and provide more content in line with what people are clicking on.

Bounce rates

Bounce rate represents the percentage of sent emails that cannot be delivered. There are two types of bounces, hard and soft. A hard bounce occurs when an email reaches an invalid email address, and is returned as "undeliverable." Soft bounces occur when there is an issue with the email server, such as a mailbox that has reached its capacity.

To keep your bounce rate low and maintain a positive sender reputation, use a double opt-in signup to ensure that the email addresses are active and remove email addresses from your list when they choose to unsubscribe from your mailings.