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How to turn your audience into brand advocates

5 questions and answers from our Fifth P of Marketing webinar

During our recent webinar, The Fifth P of Marketing, our VP of Sales Christopher Lester presented a whole bunch of ideas and examples for using your marketing channels to have meaningful interactions with your audience, turning them into powerful advocates for your brand. We got a lot of great questions from attendees in the Q&A that followed, so we thought we’d round up some of our favorites to continue the discussion. Oh, in case you missed it live, here's a link to the recorded version

1. Christopher said that people should be our focus as opposed to the channel we are using to reach them, so how do we get consumers excited about our brand?

First, a disclaimer. Every organization is different, which means their audiences are different, so there isn’t a silver bullet that works for all brands. But we recommend that you start by thinking about and sharing pieces of your brand that aren’t just about selling things. People love cultural pieces that show the personality and people behind the brand. We all love a good story, so tell your brand’s unique story by highlighting your employees in a fun way, posting photos from company events or sharing your philanthropic work. Anything that gives a peek behind the curtain should help build that enriching relationship you’re looking for.

2. Are these strategies typical of B2B marketing? How can we use our social channels in concert with email to reach that sector?

It’s important to remember that you’re not just interacting with businesses online. It’s people who are on the other side of those user names and email addresses, so the idea of making a human connection still applies. Think of it like a relationship. Social media interaction is like the second date. You’re putting your best foot forward to help your audience decide if this is something that’s going to work out long term. Then maybe they’ll want to take it to the next level by giving you their email address.

And that’s where the real ROI is. According to the Direct Marketing Association, email has an ROI of 4300%! As an email marketing company, we often talk about putting email at the center of your marketing efforts. But it’s for good reason. It performs well, it’s measureable and it can truly drive your business forward.

With email marketing at the center, your marketing channels should work together to help your audience fall in love with your brand.

3. One big call-to-action (CTA) per email seems best, but what’s the best way to render that CTA? An image button? Just hyperlinks?

We recommend having a clear CTA in the form of a button. The button should be large enough to stand out and be easily tapped on mobile phones. Apple recommends a button size of at least 46 x 46 pixels, which is the size of the human fingertip (babies and NBA players excluded).

But going beyond CTAs, the best way to learn what works best for your audience is to test different options. Split test your subject lines to see what language inspires more opens. Try out different hero images at the top of your email to see what's getting their attention. Test sending at different times of day. Eventually you'll hone in on your audience's preferences and watch your opens, clicks and shares soar.

4. Since video is so effective at storytelling and grabbing people’s attention, what’s the best way to embed video into email?

Video isn’t going to load correctly for everyone if it’s embedded, so we don’t recommend embedding directly into your email. You could risk immediate deletion or an outright unsubscribe if it doesn’t work. Link out to your video instead. Drop in a beautiful still image from your video, add a play button overlay and link out to the video hosting platform. People are used to clicking out of an application to view a video, so don’t worry about losing them. They’ll come back to your email once they’ve viewed your compelling video content.

Mario Batali is one Emma-powered brand that makes the most of video in email.

5. What's your advice for encouraging our more active followers to advocate for our brand? 

Your brand's biggest fans are a special audience, so help them feel special by serving them content that you don't share with your larger audience. Give them exclusive deals, sneak peeks and other insider content to create excitement for your brand. Leak information to them early so they can share the announcement with their own followers. They'll help you tell your brand story and provide the social proof that's so crucial for attracting and converting new customers. 

Have any other questions or ideas about The Fifth P of Marketing? Let’s keep it going in the comments.