Email: old tech but still number one

The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) put out its most recent “state of the nation” survey, which raised a number of interesting points. Among them an increased emphasis on strategy and the life of marketers using analytics software.

One standout factoid was research that showed a technology developed in 1962, the year Ringo Starr became the Beatles’ drummer, remains the best distribution channel.

Another was the rise in sponsored posts. Boosting of sponsored posts applied across both B2C and B2B marketing. According to the report, 91 per cent respectively boosted posts on social media.


The combination of these two findings highlights one thing: you need either an existing readership or the money to push your posts to the front of the queue.

This is not necessarily bad. CPC is relatively inexpensive these days and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn et al offer particularly good targeting.

On Facebook, you can reach people via their country or city, according to their age group, gender or interests. You can also test a variety of ads against each other.

The future

While this is all well and good, the question is what will happen when everybody starts doing it? If you have a niche product and specific market, then targeted posts will make sense. If your product is something more general, then everyone will be doing the same thing. But if you don’t have sufficient product differentiation, you have a bigger problem than content distribution.

The key takeout is email. Of the marketers polled, 74 per cent  said traffic and brand awareness were the key aims of content marketing. So if you are spending money boosting posts, traffic should be only one element of your strategy. Another should be to build your email list.

Indeed, if you are looking at content marketing long-term, an email list should take priority over clicks.

Your email list is your own. You needn’t pay Mark Zuckerberg to post to it and it’s an open door to people who are interested in your product. Proof of this is in the following: while 68 per cent of marketers deliver content via Facebook, 91 per cent use email.

This is the age of Snapchat, in which the market is looking towards new technologies such as virtual reality. It may go against the grain that a Sixties’ technology like email remains ubiquitous, but it is still going strong.

Email: old tech but still number one is part of Content24, the blog for London content marketing agency FirstWord.