Email Marketing Trends for 2021

Email Marketing Trends for 2021

We know, you’ve heard it over and over the past year: COVID-19 has dramatically changed the way that businesses and organizations interact with current, and future, customers. Businesses shifted their marketing strategies to digital means (in particular email marketing!) to reach out and stay connected with customers, and email and social media became the main channels to inform people about new business hours, virtual opportunities, virtual events, and more.

So, since COVID is showing no immediate signs of slowing down, how do the changes you pivoted to in 2020 shape the way you’ll go about email marketing in 2021? Here are some things that we think you should keep in mind as you plan out your email marketing strategy for the year.

#1: Email is by far the most effective online marketing tool

We all know that the algorithms that social media platforms use (we’re looking at you Facebook) are always changing and can be murky and hard to understand. Email marketing gets you directly into the inbox of your customer, so you don’t have to worry about some unknown algorithm affecting your ability to market to your potential customers. In fact, active email accounts surpassed 5.6 billion in 2019, and that number that is surely expected to grow into 2021 and beyond. 

Additionally, social distancing forced customers to go online to view or purchase products and services, leading to an increase in sign-ups for email newsletters. Take advantage of this trend by setting up landing pages so your customers can easily sign up to join your email list. 

#2: Make sure your content is engaging and authentic

Ok, so you’ve gotten those new email newsletter sign ups, now what do you include in your newsletter? The content in your email needs to be eye-catching and relate to the customer. You must be offering something valuable to the person reading it, but also creating a connection for that reader to your business. Think of it this way- you’re trading your email for your subscriber’s time. Someone took the time to open your email (because the title was SO CREATIVE!) so make sure you’re giving them the value they are looking for to “make it worth their while.” 

Before you start creating your content for your email, stop and think about how you are helping your customers succeed- what does the product or service that you’re offering them DO? Does it help them save time? Help them feel connected to a community? What problem is your business helping them solve? Also be sure that your email content tone and personality accurately reflects your brand and will resonate with the email receiver.

#3: Personalize and automate your emails

Building on #2, the biggest advantage to email marketing is the ability to personalize AND automate. You can send targeted emails to each subscriber- making each one feel special. Take the time to think about the user experience from your customers side, and what they are looking for when they visit your website. Use any feedback from customers to consider how to target and create customized content more effectively. Knowing your customers’ journey and gaining insight on the customer by collecting data like demographic information, individual likes/dislikes, feedback on your company and it’s offerings can only strengthen your ability to send targeted and personalized emails that will encourage your customers to take action. Emailing your customer an offer that doesn’t resonate with who they are is a surefire way to get them to unsubscribe. 

Automation of your emails, also known as drip campaigns, are also a great way to ensure the emails your customer is receiving are relevant and timely. The last thing people want to see in their inbox is a useless or uncalled for email. Drip emails usually perform better than regular emails since they are triggered by specific actions taken by the customer. Drip campaign emails create a “friendlier” vibe and aren’t overwhelming- all the emails come in “drips,” so the customer is getting the exact information they want.  

In 2021, it’s likely that this trend in an increase in e-commerce purchases and email signups will continue. Make sure you stay one-step ahead and take these few ideas into consideration, as well as think about emerging trends (such as paid-newsletters) that could help brighten up your email marketing.

Here at SocialKNX, once you have someone in your content universe, we can help you grow that budding relationship! Whether it’s setting up welcome emails, nurture sequences, or sending monthly love letters that continue to build that connection, we’ve got you covered. Give us a call today to see how we can help you with your email marketing in 2021.

Can I Use This Image Online?  Understanding Image Copyright

Can I Use This Image Online? Understanding Image Copyright

You’re browsing the internet, trying to find the perfect image for your blog or your upcoming social media post, and you find it! So you schedule your post or publish your blog and go about your day. Then you check your email later and see a message from an attorney with a copyright infringement notice stating that you have illegally used an image. So what do you do now? (After you’ve taken a deep breath and calmed down!)

Finding the right images to use online can really mean the difference between “blah” and buzzworthy pages, ads, sites, and social media. Sourcing images for your website or social media posts isn’t always easy! The small print found in copyright image policies can be intimidating (and let’s be honest- how many people really sit down and read the fine print when they are searching for images in a hurry?). Words like fair use, attribution, non-commercial, no derivative are not something you see every day so they can definitely be confusing and hard to understand how they apply to you and your small business’ social media strategy. Unfortunately, “I didn’t know!” won’t fly as a valid defense, either.

Once you know the rules, though, it’s easy to follow them! There are also a ton of free stock photo sites that make finding photos a breeze.

So, what is image copyright?

The simple definition is that image copyright is image ownership- whoever took the photo is who owns the image. Image copyright is a form of legal protection that is automatically given to a creator as soon as an image is snapped. Anything from digital art, photographs, paintings, drawings are all subject to image copyright. If your friend takes a selfie with you using her phone, texts it to you, and you post it on Instagram. Technically you needed to ask for her permission to repost that photo since she was the original creator of that image.

How can I tell if I can use an image on social media?

Image copyright covers any image you want to use on social media. If you want to use an image that isn’t yours, you must obtain permission to use it- that may be through a license or obtaining permission directly from the creator. If you are given permission to use the image, be sure to keep a record on hand for future reference, just in case.

Just because a company or an individual has shared an image on a public account, it doesn’t make the image public domain. He/she/the company still very much owns the copyright! That being said, there are some unique ways copyright images can still be shared on your social media page.

Sharing/Retweeting/Repins

It’s typically ok to share images within the various social media platforms, as things like retweets, reshares, repins, or reposts automatically credit the creator of the post/image. Instagram is one of the platforms that this can be tricky – since there is no built-in feature that allows reposting, you must ask for permission. You can do this by sending a direct message or even commenting on the post to make sure the creator is ok with you sharing. Alternatively, there is also an app called Repost that allows you to repost your favorite images or videos on your own feed while giving credit to the original creator.

What about websites?

The same rules apply to images you want to use on your websites. You must be sure to get permission from the creator if there is a specific image you want to use that wasn’t found on free stock photo sites.

OK, so where can I find images to use?

Traditional stock photo sites like Shutterstock, Getty Images, iStock Photo, and Adobe Stock Images are great if you have the ability to pay for your photos. However, there are some great free sites like Unsplash, RawPixel, Pexels, StockSnap, and ReShot are just a few. The images on these sites are creative, eye-catching, and you won’t have to worry about image copyright issues! Although, it is always great to credit some of the creators of the images if you can – a simple tag on IG or “photo cred” in the caption. Additionally, if you use Canva to create your social media images for your posts, Canva has some free photos that you can use in the amazing visuals you’re creating.

 

Feeling a little overwhelmed by all of this information? SocialKNX can help with that! Our team of marketing rockstars can help you out by creating visual content for your social media that will complement your business and your brand. Reach out to us today to see how we can help!

The Importance of Introductory Videos for Your Business

The Importance of Introductory Videos for Your Business

We’ve all been there. You’re redoing your website and you’ve gathered beautiful photos and created thoughtful text that describes the value of your business. But, does it feel like “something” might still be missing? That “something” could be a short introduction video.

As we’ve mentioned, the internet is constantly changing and the content that catches users’ attention has to adapt to be creative, eye-catching and engaging. Creating an intro video will grab your audience’s attention and show what your business is about and what you offer. (Kudos to you if you’re already incorporating video marketing in your social media efforts too!)

 

What is an Intro Video and What Should it Include?


Think of an intro video as a “snapshot” of your business. It should be approximately 30 to 60 seconds and explain exactly what your business does, what product or service you offer, and why people should buy it. Intro videos should be one of the first pieces of content users see (read: on the front page of your brand new, redesigned website!), so you want to make sure that you not only include the most important points about your business, but also create that connection with the customer that generates some
excitement. A great intro video will reflect your business and its personality, inform your audience, and leave them wanting to know more. Also something to keep in mind: the average video is abandoned by 20% of users within the first ten seconds, so you’ll need to capture your audience’s attention within the first five to ten seconds. No pressure. 

 

What Are the Benefits of an Intro Video?

 

vIDEO eNGAGEMENTBy using an intro video, your website instantly becomes more interactive. Although there are certain visitors who may prefer to read text, the majority of people who land on your site will gladly watch a short video to learn more about your company rather than reading two paragraphs of text. Just remember to keep the video short and sweet – the short attention span of internet users is a real thing!

Intro videos also allow you to efficiently demonstrate what your business does or offers in ways that text alone might not be able too (remember- you want to create a connection!) You can use your video to briefly show how your product or service works, and an intro video will get your message across without “boring” your visitor. Holding their interest throughout the video will increase the chances they will contact you or buy your product and become a (loyal) customer. 

Did you also know that Google search results actually prioritize websites that have a YouTube embedded video? Some studies have even found that a website is 53 times more likely to show up on the first page of search results on Google if it has an embedded video. Be sure the title of your video is well written and keyword rich as well (we love this online tool for title optimization).

If your website has a high bounce rate, it could be because visitors are not finding the answers they need right away. An intro video can provide direct, easy answers about your business. A website that has an intro video could see visitors staying longer on each page and the website as a whole. A video encourages engagement on the website- prompting people to learn more about your product or service.

General Tips to Keep in Mind

Think Outside the Box

  • The viewer will want to know what your business can do for them – how can you help them with a problem they already have or make them realize they have a problem that they didn’t know about and YOU can help? Keep in mind why visitors are coming to your site and be sure to clearly offer a solution to that problem
  • Consider answering common questions that customers have come to your business with. Having a running list of these questions that you can address not only in your intro video, but also in future videos. This will ensure you always have fresh content to put out!
  • Always draft a script for your video. Start by making a bullet point list with all of the topics you want to touch on, and start with a short introduction and end with a clear call to action (CTA)- a video without a call to action is a video without a purpose! Don’t make your CTA something generic, consider offering a free guide or redirect them to a landing page on your website. CTA messages should be clear and easy to follow, and  be sure to reinforce the CTA by having the text overlaid in the video that repeats what you are saying. 
  • Videos that are funny or emotional tend to have higher engagement rates, so be creative with your script! Also, a great “template” to follow for your script is: Short Introduction→ Main Message→ Details→ Call to Action

 

Video engagement isn’t the future- It’s NOW! Missing out on video means you’re missing out on potential customers. Here at SocialKNX we can help you come up with creative content and ideas for your video marketing needs to ensure your content is always engaging and up to date.

Optimal Video Length for Social Media

Optimal Video Length for Social Media

What’s the first thing you do when you see a video as you scroll through your Facebook feed? I’d guess that you first check the length of the video to decide whether or not it’s worth the time to watch it. Even if you do press play, how often do you actually watch the entire video? 

Only 52% of viewers actually watch a video all the way till the end. If a video is under 60 seconds, that number jumps to 68%. These days, it’s hard for marketers to hold the attention of consumers- small bites of consumable information are what people seem to crave right now- as a result, marketers are tailoring content to consumers’ short attention spans. 

While the long-standing “2 minute” rule is still a good guideline to go by in regards to your video length, it’s important to tailor each video length to the specific platform on which you are posting the video. Odds are, someone is more likely to watch a 4-minute long video on YouTube, but only last a minute if the same video is on Twitter.


How Long Should Your Videos Be?

 

In a nutshell, your video really should only be as long as it needs to be in order to convey the message you are intending. The video should be engaging all the way through – providing information that is valuable or that tells a compelling story without any “fluff.”

 

Facebook

Facebook videos can technically be up to 240 minutes long, but let’s be honest, nobody wants to watch a 240 minute video on Facebook. On Facebook, videos organically get exposure on a news feed when they are at least 3 minutes long. That doesn’t mean that all of your videos need to be 3 minutes long – you want to focus on the message of the video rather than time limits. The video itself is what captures interests and sparks engagement, not the length of the video.

Some other things to keep in mind when creating a video for Facebook: use eye-catching imagery early on in the video as the first few seconds will automatically play as viewers scroll through a newsfeed. In these first few seconds, it is crucial to include only the information you need to get your point across.

Instagram

Instagram essentially has three different options for posting videos: Instagram Feed, Instagram Story, and Instagram TV (IGTV). 

Instagram Feed
Videos posted in your Instagram feed can be up to 1 minute. That being said, Instagram is now set up so that if a video is posted to IGTV (more on IGTV below!), a 10-15 second preview will also show up in the regular feed. According to Hubspot research, videos that are, on average, 26 seconds receive the most comments on Instagram. Similar to Facebook, people are scrolling quickly through their Instagram feed and may not want to stop to watch a long video.

Instagram Story
With Instagram Stories, each video uploaded directly to your story can be up to 15 seconds, but you can also post a longer video that will be broken up over multiple 15-second Instagram Story scenes. Statistics say that a story with 3 “parts” tends to be the most engaging.

Instagram TV (IGTV)
IGTV was designed with long-form videos in mind, so like Facebook, your video should only be as long as it needs to be in order to get the point across. Previews of your IGTV video now show up in the Instagram feed, and users must then tap “Keep Watching” to watch the rest of the video.

 

Twitter

Originally, Twitter had a 30 second limit for video uploads, but it has now been extended to as long as 2 minutes and 20 seconds. However, since Twitter users are used to short updates, it’s usually best to keep your videos on the shorter side. You could always consider creating short teaser videos and linking out to the full video on another social media platform like YouTube.

YouTube

You Tube The audience for YouTube is different from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter because users turn to YouTube specifically for video content! As a result, viewers are prepared for longer videos as they are not aimlessly scrolling through a feed. Similar to Facebook, YouTube rewards videos that have more engagement (watch time) and will feature them more prominently in search results. 6 to 8 minutes is usually the ideal length of a video on YouTube, BUT if you can get the information across in less than 6 minutes, avoid stretching the video out with filler content. 

 

While we do live in a fast-paced, ‘results NOW’ world, a benefit of longer videos is that they can build loyalty and create engagement with your brand on social media – as long as you make sure you are optimizing the videos for the correct social media platform to maximize your views and engagement. When a viewer spends more time watching your video, it typically means the content resonates with them personally, increasing their interest in your company. Video content can help your target audience get to know your brand, create that personal connection and establish that long-standing loyalty!

Here at SocialKNX, we know that different social media channels may require different strategies. Reach out to us today to see how we can help you break your content into byte-sized pieces that get shared across the social media universe!

How to Keep Old Blog Posts Relevant

How to Keep Old Blog Posts Relevant

It’s finally that time of year- there’s a cool breeze in the air, the trees are starting to change, you start to freshen up your fall wardrobe, maybe make a visit to Target or Home Goods to purchase ALL the decorative fall and Halloween decor (or wait, is that just me?!)

Just like your wardrobe and home decor, your blog posts could use a freshening up every now and again! After all, you don’t want people reading your blog post only once before it ends up in the blog post graveyard, never to be seen again. Sprucing up old blog content is key to maintaining your site’s relevancy and visibility over time. Think about it this way- a new visitor comes across your most recent blog post and likes it, so they might poke through older blog posts, too. So, it’s important to update and maintain the quality of those older posts from months or even years ago.

Before you dive into updating your blog, do a quick inventory check of your blog content. Go through all of your old posts and figure out how each one benefits your business and future goals. 

Strategically plan on which blog posts you will focus your refreshing efforts. For example, some posts may be more shareable, have higher conversion rates, or resonate with your visitors more – this includes time spent on a page, bounce rate, etc. So, you will want to focus on posts with higher engagement before posts that didn’t drive as great of an audience. 

Refreshing your old blog posts involves optimizing them to increase the amount of traffic they receive and refreshing the content so that it remains relevant and factually accurate. In fact, Hubspot was able to triple their leads using this exact same tactic! Additionally, freshening up your blog posts can improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) since it updates the date of your post on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP’s).

Blogging

 

Five Tips to Freshen-Up Old Blog Posts

  1. Re-Edit Your Content: Select old blog topics and give them a facelift! Update and add keywords that are high-ranking on Google. Keep in mind though, depending on how much editing you do, it could result in an entirely new post. If this is a direction you’d rather take, link back to the older post in order to avoid duplicate content – duplicate content pages can hurt your search ranking on Google. Re-editing your existing content doesn’t necessarily involve coming up with brand new ideas or adding to your blog posts’ word count. Even small changes can deliver huge results!

  2. Update Content to Make It Current: Especially in certain fast-paced fields, things that were true a couple of years ago may no longer be relevant or may be outdated theory-wise. You will want to be sure you are replacing content that refers to old platforms, theories, practices, or concepts, and replacing it with the most recent information to make your blog post more useful to visitors. Readers are more likely to share your posts on social media and other channels if they think you are an expert in your field or see you as a relevant thought leader in a certain area.

  3. Add, Update or Replace Visuals: By adding more or replacing old visual content, you are making the blog post more interesting and increasing the time someone spends on the page, which will have a positive impact on your search rankings. It’s always good to add quality images by changing out your featured image for example, (here at SocialKNX we love Unsplash and RawPixel!) Depending on what your content is, you may want to consider other engaging pieces of content such as videos, infographics or even polls. Finally, everyone loves gifs! Not only are gifs entertaining, but they can help you demonstrate a point easier and more clearly as well.

  4. Duplicate Content in a New Form: If you have the ability, consider creating video content on the same or a similar topic to an old blog post, then republish it as a new post. Just be sure that your video is relevant, clear, and helpful to your audience. Video content is proven to draw attention and interest faster and longer than written content. Be sure to capture the attention of your audience with a good HOOK. We all know the attention span of online browsers is short, so make sure your audience stays interested throughout your entire video. Also, make sure you are not limiting your audience – include subtitles and transcripts for each video!

  5. Add Influencers Into the Mix: To help spread your refreshed blog post content even more, enlist the help of influencers! You can do this in a variety of ways- reaching out to them directly, tagging them when you share your updated blog post on social media are just a couple of examples. This can even create a potential partnership and expand your audience to include the influencer’s followers as well. Be sure to check out our blog post on How to Employ Influencers in Your 2020 Marketing Mix too for some ideas!

 

Blogging

Refreshing your blog posts can go a long way with your SEO efforts and keeping your content at the forefront of not only your regular visitor but new visitors’ minds as well! 

Here as SocialKNX, our team of digital marketers can help you both create and refresh blog post content! We LOVE coming up with keywords and optimizing your content to maximize your exposure on the web. Contact us today to see how we can help you!