Lexi Goyette

This weekend is a big one. Saturday, Aug. 10 is National Lazy Day – your perfect excuse to lounge around in your PJs all day. Interestingly enough, this same day happens to be both National S’mores Day and National Shapewear Day. I guess this means you’ll be so stuffed with s’mores that you’re tempted to order a bunch of Spanx online? Seems like a fair deal to me.

But before your weekend of lazing around and eating melted marshmallow and chocolate, get ready for some of the latest content marketing updates.This edition of Content Marketing Weekly will give you some insight on bringing on the laughs and some major Instagram blunders to avoid.

How to Use Humor in Email Marketing

You might have an effective email marketing campaign in motion. But if you’re looking to take it to the next level, think about adding in some humor. Not only is laughter the best medicine in life, it’s an effective branding strategy that can engage and grow your customer base.

If you’re working in a pretty straight-forward industry – say, insurance, pharmaceuticals, telecom or venture capital – you might naturally shy away from humor. These industries aren’t innately funny, so content on them shouldn’t be funny, right? Flo, Tina Fey and the Verizon Guy would beg to differ.

I’m not expecting you to be a comedian right off the bat. Switching from informational email marketing right to a humorous, quirky voice might confuse your customers. Instead, Jilt recommends taking baby steps, starting with one step, mastering it, then incorporating the next step. Here’s the gradual progression you might want to take:

  • Transition your formal tone to a more conversational one.
  • Brainstorm and try out humorous subject lines.
  • A/B test your humor.
  • Take advantage of holidays, especially April Fool’s Day.

Once you’ve gotten ahold of the basics of humor in your email marketing strategy, you’ll need to work through some next steps to move onward and upward. Going forward, you’ll want to make sure you get several eyes on your email copy before having it go live. That way, you can avoid potential misfires before they get sent out to customers. Additionally, you should pay attention to your specific audience demographics when storytelling and crafting jokes.

You can read Jilt’s full article here.

3 Common Instagram Marketing Mistakes (And How To Fix Them)

It should come as no surprise to you that social media platforms, such as Instagram, can do wonders in building your brand. But if your business is on “the ’gram,” it needs to steer clear of some of the biggest social marketing no-nos – like calling it “the ’gram.” Here are some of the cardinal sins of Instagram, per Business 2 Community:

Misusing hashtags

Social media outlets, particularly Twitter and Instagram, transformed the word “hashtag” from a metadata slang term to an everyday piece of vocabulary. “Hashtag” was even declared Word of the Year in 2012 by the American Dialect Society. Long gone are the days of this symbol being referred to as the pound sign.

Businesses have leveraged hashtags as part of their larger conversion strategy, boosting brand visibility and increasing engagement among niche consumers. When brands incorporate hashtags in their posts, they’re getting more eyes on their content. But things start to go wrong when organizations aren’t paying specific attention to what hashtags they’re using.

A rule of thumb to keep in mind regarding hashtags is that quality is greater than quantity. Sure, Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags in each post, but does that mean you should use all 30? In most cases, no. Instead of hitting this maximum number, try to stick to 10 or fewer solid hashtags that are industry-specific and extremely relevant to the post.

Lacking consistency in content strategy

As aforementioned, quality always trumps quantity. When you run the risk of sacrificing quality, it’s simply not worth it. Too many businesses try to post on Instagram several times a day – but in a “more is more” approach, businesses risk losing track of their brand image. When they post regularly without a specific strategy in mind, their Instagram feed looks sloppy and inconsistent – something that is inexcusable on aesthetic-heavy Instagram.

Think before you post. In fact, think through your next half-dozen posts. Make sure the photos you’re sharing match your brand’s message and industry. For instance, if you’re marketing colorful products – like makeup, clothing and home decor – you might go for a vividly bright aesthetic for all of your photos. Meanwhile, a posh perfume company might stick with sleek, classy black and white photos across its feed. No matter what route you decide to take, make sure you maintain consistency in your posts.

Falling short in engagement

On Instagram – and all social media platforms – it’s important to follow the rules of engagement. Too many marketers work hard to boost their followers, but aren’t focusing hard enough on the ones they’ve already attained. Rather than just working on growth strategies, marketing professionals need to work on retaining and engaging their existing audience. Again, quality over quantity!

How exactly can you engage with your followers? One good place to start is by responding to comments and questions they leave on your posts. By paying attention to individuals, your followers will know that they’re more to you than just numbers; they’re part of your community.

Check out the full Business 2 Community article here.