Great content means nothing in “content marketing” without a strategy for distribution and delivery. And what kind of growth-focused content marketer would you be if you didn’t explore and test all distribution tools?
When you include text messaging in your content marketing strategy, you create opportunities for engagement in all stages of the customer lifecycle. Starting to text your leads and customers is easier than you might think too.
Varied distribution in your content marketing strategy
Targeted email and social media sharing — both paid and organic — certainly help you spread your content. Using those as your only content distribution tools leaves you at a disadvantage though.
Text messaging gives you yet another avenue for sharing relevant content at specific points in the customer lifecycle. Similar to email, you see success with text messaging when you avoid blasting your entire customer database or every lead you’ve ever gotten.
Use personalized text messaging as a pillar of your content distribution and delivery to encourage focused engagement and start productive conversations. All by sharing targeted content at key times.
Here’s how to get started leveraging text messaging in your content marketing strategy.
Gather numbers and get permission
Well before you make your plans for using text messaging to help with your content marketing, you need to have people’s phone numbers and permission to text them.
So whether you’re meeting people at an event, gathering contact info from form fills, or going through your existing customer database, ask for mobile numbers and if it’s okay to text them.
On your site or landing pages, it’s easy to include texting as part of the consent to communicate language you should already have along with any form fill.
Send text-friendly links and graphics
So you’ve got permission to text your prospects and customers. Then what?
Start repurposing and creating infographics, blog posts, guides, podcasts… Whatever can be easily sent via text that helps you shore up your brand positioning and value prop. (Definitely take the time to do a content audit to identify valuable content you previously created.)
When writing and designing specifically to send something over text, keep in mind that super detailed images may be bothersome to look at on a phone. Like if an image requires a lot of zooming or dragging, it’s probably best to not text that.
To ensure deliverability, send smaller images and avoid using shortened links. Carriers may not deliver super high res images and people won’t want to follow a spammy-looking URL.
At Skipio I’ve personally seen a lot of engagement when sending resources through texting. We text leads and customers files and links to blog posts, ebooks, infographics, customer stories, video testimonials. (And for convenience we send it to their email for later viewing too.)
It makes sense that people like this. A lot of us spend significantly way more time on our phones. So of course that’s where we want to consume content.
Automate content sharing
Just like you build email follow-up sequences, create automated workflows with your text messaging platform to distribute content. The more ways you give yourself to send specific content to specific segments of people, the better off you’ll be.
This can come in different forms, such as:
Keyword campaigns allow you to automatically send text messages after someone texts your number with a designated keyword. You’ve probably seen them in action at restaurants as a way to receive special offers and coupons.
Keywords aren’t just for sales efforts and B2C strategies. You can create and advertise keywords for specific topics related to your business. Maybe you want to advertise at an event, through online posts… Anywhere your audience is, publicize a keyword and your number.
Then, when someone texts the keyword to your number, they get added to a messaging campaign you’ve built out to send resources related to whatever the topic is. Whether that’s articles, video links, or something else entirely, you now have an audience of people who actively want to consume your content.
Drip messaging campaigns
Like you drip emails with marketing automation platforms, all business texting platforms should give you an option to drip out text messages. Segment contacts into groups and add them to this type of messaging campaign to send out targeted texts on a schedule.
Using Skipio it can look like this: Someone fills out a form on a landing page to learn more about a solution you offer. The info from the form fill gets synced to Skipio because you integrate your CRM. That contact gets automatically put into a drip campaign for that solution. That new lead now immediately begins receiving texts relevant to that solution, helping you start a conversation.
Just make sure your platform allows contacts to engage and respond to your drip messages. Not every platform does two-way messaging and conversations like Skipio does.
When you or your teammates set demos, meetings, appointments, etc., you should already be sending reminders pre- and post-meeting.
Text messaging reminders are even more convenient than phone or email reminders and give you an opportunity to share share content that’s relevant to what you’ll be talking about or previously discussed. Especially after a meeting, this helps you stay top of mind and encourages conversation to continue.
Use resources as a gateway to a conversation
Have you sensed a theme? In every instance of sharing content through text messaging, you create opportunities for conversations.
Sharing content with a “blast this message to everyone” mentality gets you just about as far with texting as it does with email or social posts.
Not very far.
You encourage replies and engagement by asking questions about the content shared, ultimately with the hope of getting them to take another action. This is the umbrella goal of distributing content through texting.
So, if I sent a customer a link to one of Skipio’s lead nurturing statistic blog posts because they asked about lead nurturing strategies, I wouldn’t just ask, “Did you like the blog post?” That’s not a question that will get me much of a response.
Instead I’d say something like, “Pretty wild that nurtured leads make almost 50 percent bigger purchases. Have you noticed a significant difference in what leads are willing to spend on your business?”
Timing is everything
I think about the times that I’ve downloaded content from another company and immediately gotten an email asking my thoughts on it… My thoughts are I look forward to having thoughts once I even get a chance to look it over.
Yeah, texting is fast and your contacts will likely read that text sooner than they’d read a similar email. But it’s not that fast.
Give people a chance to consume the content you share. Delay your next message after sending out content and ask a specific, open-ended question to open a conversation on the related subject.
Be customer-focused & talk to who you’re creating for
Especially if you’re trying to do more demand gen, you need to be constantly figuring out what people want to see.
Use your buyer personas or ICPs to outline potential content ideas, and then get to work talking to your actual customers.
Texting may help you in a few ways with your content creation frameworks and strategies.
First, you can send brief survey-like texts to your customers about what they want to learn about or see you publish. Do they need more tutorials? Do they like webinars and live trainings? What sort of blog posts are most helpful? Do they really like infographics?
Prioritize sending these messages to customers who you know (or are pretty sure) already consume your content. Then target the customers who don’t engage as much with your content to learn what could get them to.
Second, use text messaging as a more personal way of reaching out to customers to schedule interviews, testimonials, and focus groups. Those messages are less likely to be missed than an email and are way more convenient than playing phone-tag.
In both situations asking your current customers what they find helpful gives you a better idea of the content that will draw in other people. Plus, those customers get a chance to feel heard and appreciated by offering their ideas and feedback. It’s a win-win.
Make text messaging key in your content marketing
You might be thinking that you could do all of these things with email (and you possibly already are). But there are distinct advantages to texting and these aren’t new.
98% of all texts are read.
People read most texts within minutes.
And a lot of people now prefer communicating with businesses and receiving information through texting.
That being said, text messaging isn’t meant to completely replace email automations in your content marketing strategy. Email can and will get you in front of the right people at the right times when planned carefully.
But when you use text messaging in addition to what you already do for content distribution and customer communication, you can suddenly reach people faster and in a more convenient way with content you know they want to consume.
What’s even better is that they’ll be primed to respond to you too because texting is made for responses and conversations.
Want to talk more about text messaging and content marketing? Connect with me on LinkedIn.