Yes you! Back up your email distribution list

One long-held concern about using social media for content marketing campaigns is that you’re putting your furniture in someone else’s house. In simple terms, your words or video are living on someone else’s page. This is true even of LinkedIn and Facebook, despite their status as the premier places to distribute B2B or B2C content marketing.

Nor is it just about content. Break point – if you only read one thing in this article, read this. 

Many of LinkedIn’s groups are now cluttered with spam, so it’s difficult to get traction with posts. Yes, Pulse can be useful, but it’s a lottery in terms of what will move. And the only way to game Facebook’s News Feed is to pay.

Of course, there are other ways to approach pushing content.

For a start, you should always look to build up your own platforms. A 500-person email list of people who are interested in your product is gold. It’s yours and, to reiterate the point, you don’t have to pay anyone to use it. Most importantly, click rates are around 20 per cent. Far higher than any other of the social media platforms.

It’s about the quality, stupid

There’s still a lot of jabber about email subscription lists. As with social media, a lot of people think it’s a numbers game. Well it is, but only when it comes to click-throughs. Is a 20,000-name list better than one of 5,000? Not when the 20,000-name one has been bought from a list seller, it hasn’t been cleaned for 18 months and brings in fewer than 20 clicks.

The 5,000-name one, on the other hand, was built organically and contains people who actively signed up. Moreover, it has a 25 per cent click-rate. Yes, email is a numbers game. But you’ve got to get the right number.

Build it and they will come

Building up lists like this takes time and patience. Create a sign-up form on your site and on any content you produce. Originate regular content and send an email out regularly. Once a week is best; twice a month OK. Anything less than once a month, though, is too infrequent. Make sure you have four or five stories on each email.

Important point So you have your emails going out and people are signing up. You’re probably using MailChimp, Mailgun or one of the many email distribution services out there. Fine. But remember this: back up the subscription list regularly.

Treat that list as a priceless asset. If you think it is safe residing in any of these services, think again. Stories abound of carefully built up email lists disappearing into the ether when a service goes out of business or suffers a tech issue.

Yes, using other third-party services is good. But you should always try to keep control of your content, be it an article or something as important as a list.

Keep your content marketing gold somewhere safe is part of Content24, the blog for London content marketing agency FirstWord.