Natasha Ponomaroff is the Senior Marketing Director of Instasize – a content creating tool-kit for anyone editing photos and online content on mobile. A weekly contributor on the site’s blog, Natasha tracks social media trends and updates the millions of “creatives” who are currently using Instasize to curate awesome online content.
Seeking to establish a well-rounded online presence?
There are many different digital marketing channels to choose from, and all of them contribute to a holistic online strategy.
However, to succeed you need to know how to pair the right kind of content with the most suitable platform.
For marketers, there’s a constant pressure to create new content while maintaining a high level of quality.
To alleviate that burden, look to social media content.
Social media content, especially the kind of content you’ll find on a visual-focusedchannel like Instagram, is perfect for repurposing. Consider the fact that not all audiences favor social media as their communication medium of choice.
While effective in its own way, studies have shown that email marketing is 40 times more effective at reaching target customers than some social media channels.
With that in mind, and to cover multiple audience bases at once, here’s how you can bring Instagram content into your email marketing campaigns and save time in the process.
In this Process Street article, we’ll cover:
- Embedding user-generated content into your email marketing
- Making the most of original content in emails
- How to save and share Instagram Stories through email newsletters
- Getting started with repurposing your Instagram for email marketing content
- Use Process Street for your email marketing processes and more!
1. Embed user-generated content into your email marketing
To showcase products more authentically, use photos of actual people who use them, sourced from their personal accounts.
By tapping into user-generated content on Instagram for emails, you can have a pre-curated selection of product photos ready for use alongside trust that comes with digital word-of-mouth.
According to Social Media Today’s 2018 User-Generated Content report, 48% of marketing professionals they surveyed said user-generated content helps humanize their marketing, leading to improved social media engagement – an important KPI for measuring the effectiveness of posts.
To get the UGC you need, you’ll need a way to track your audience’s conversations about your brand, put out calls to action to encourage them to share photos of whatever they use, and repost the ones you prefer.
- Track. Any brand on social media needs their own set of personalized hashtags – one for the brand
name itself, and one corresponding to each major social media marketing campaign. Make your
hashtag visible on your Instagram profile and on each post to keep it top of mind for followers.
- Call to Action. Show support for those who want to talk about your brand. For some, even acknowledgement on
a brand’s official Instagram account is reward enough – after all, it acts as a promotion for their
account too – so use your captions to ask your audience to share. You can do this in your
regularly scheduled Instagram posts, or you can create a simple image or graphic specifically for
this call-to-action. Remember to include your official brand hashtag, as well as the fact that you
- Repost. When embedding images from Instagram accounts into your email, it will look much cleaner for
them to originate from the same account. Reposting photos keeps your brand Instagram account
there for any curious readers to click through to. This also keeps you in control of the caption’s
formatting. However, when reposting, it’s integral to credit the source of the original photo on
both the image and the caption.
After you have a good supply of user-generated content, it’s time to embed it into your emails.
But which ones do you choose? It all boils down to whether you have a specific marketing campaign in mind. Building your email around a theme tells the reader a story, and the Instagram posts shouldn’t distract from that.
2. Make the most of original content in emails
Keep all photos – raw and edited – you use for Instagram management in an easy-to-access location in your chosen file storage. After spending time conceptualizing and assembling great combinations of photos, filters and edits, and (possibly) text, it’d be a shame to post them once and subsequently forget about them.
Repurpose Instagram feed photos by using them as the main visual components of your marketing emails. There are a few different approaches to repurposing this type of content, and you don’t need to stick to one method. Evaluate which of the following suits your needs per campaign and deploy each method accordingly:
- Using the same raw photos – Hit two birds with one stone with this method of repurposing visual content. What you’ll be doing is simply taking the sets of raw photos you’ve taken for your brand’s Instagram account and using them again in emails. An example of this would be using the same product shot across digital channels. The benefit of this is that while you would be using the same shot, you can post-process, edit, and layout the images differently as needed, optimizing color and size to suit each platform. If you have some more time and historical data has shown that what works for your brand’s social media is quite different from your emails, this is the method you should go for.
- Using the same fully edited photos – After editing the raw photos for Instagram posting in an app like Instasize, save them to your device. You can then just insert these photos into your planned email layouts and mould all other visual elements around them. This is perfect for marketers who need to manage both social media and email marketing tasks and need striking visuals for both in a shorter amount of time.
- Embedding Instagram posts directly – If your email marketing campaign references an event or promotion occurring specifically on your Instagram account, share the posts directly. As with user-generated content, embedding these posts also acts as an additional call-to-action for readers to visit your account once they’re done skimming your email.
Need ideas on where to place these images within your email layout? Try to:
- Keep it simple. Use one image as the central focal point of your email, with minimal supplementary text above, below, or around it.
- Use a grid. Instagram photos are often in square dimensions. Put complementary ones together in a grid-like collage for an eye-catching effect.
- Play with color. Look at the dominant colors in your chosen photos—raw or edited—and position them to play off each other in the layout.
- Balance it out. If the context of each photo is just as important as the visual itself, try and make the amount of text equal to the photo size so both get equal attention.
The most important preparatory step for all these methods: ensuring adequate photo size and quality. While Instagram is accessed through an app and mobile has nearly taken over email use in recent years, you don’t want to slip up and leave a low-res file in an email someone could read on desktop.
Take photos in high raw quality at larger dimensions—it’s easier to scale photos down than scale up.
How do you write effective email marketing content?
Writing effective email marketing content is all about understanding your target audience, and figuring out the right balance of tone, language, brevity, and clarity in order to most effectively communicate your message.
3. Save and share Instagram Stories through email newsletters
Sharing regular newsletters is a standard part of an email marketing strategy. They’re a good way to touch base with subscribers and can assist in building closer connections with customers.
They need to be used carefully, though – some individuals tend to dislike newsletters as it suggests irrelevant fluff that may just fill up their inbox.
Email marketing remains effective when providing quality content that communicates value to subscribers. It lessens chances they unsubscribe. If you’re going for the newsworthy in a newsletter, then make the experience worth the load time by repurposing content from Instagram Stories.
Why Stories for email marketing content?
Stories gives brands so much more potential to play with different types of audience engagement than just responding to direct messages and comments on photo uploads. Plus, it works. As of January of this year, 500 million users per day view Stories posts, reports Search Engine Journal, with more than 2 million business accounts investing in Stories ads as well.
But Stories content only lasts for 24 hours until they get relegated to an archive – too bad for those who don’t check you out on social media. Why not give them a bit of tweaking for email?
While you can’t embed Stories into emails like posts, that doesn’t mean they have nothing to offer. Here are some ideas that start with Stories, repurposed for email marketing use.
- Use Stories screenshots (and videos!) for event recaps.
Collect the live vlogs and photos you take at special events and organize them into a collection.
Instead of a plain text list or a long-form blogged recap of your event, try a multimedia gallery instead. The
stickers, doodles, and tags on Stories can add a more personal touch to the recall, giving it a
more interesting angle. You can put multiple screenshots of Stories from one event, or you can
use a single frame as the main focus of the newsletter. For example, a newsletter themed around
a specific product collection can include the behind-the-scenes looks you posted to Stories as a
- Reformat Q&A’s into full interviews.
Instagram users can use the Questions sticker to prompt followers to ask any question. Whoever
handles your brand’s account can then see which questions come from who, and the option to
create a new story post to answer each one of them. Hold a Q&A session – from your brand,
with an influencer, with employees—and reformat it as a fun addition to your emails.
- Make mini infographics out of user polls.
Alongside the Question sticker is the Poll sticker. Implemented in 2017, users can create simple two-choice polls with customizable text. Ask users to choose between two different items (let’s say, breakfast food: pancakes versus waffles) or you could stick with yes or no. Tapping on the poll afterwards allows you to see voting percentages. Selecting elements from these Stories images to act as little infographics. You can create a small infographic on how many people had a positive reaction to, for example, the fall inventory in one of the samples above, and include that in an email newsletter about that specific fall collection.
- Use Instagram Stories to create a mini product catalog.
You can add stickers, doodle, and add text directly into Stories posts, which you can use for pointing out specific products in a shot. Customers are also more likely to buy products they receive information about through an opt-in email, and doubly so if it fits right in with their interests. Stories are also more likely to be oriented vertically, which gives you more freedom to play with layout choices in your email marketing campaign. You can choose to attach each image individually, aligning them to the side, or create a collage that acts as a header – whichever looks best.
Get started repurposing your Instagram for email marketing content
While this post may have given you some ideas, none of them will work if applied inappropriately. Before rushing to overhaul your email strategy, ask yourself:
- Do users I’m emailing already follow our brand on social media?
- Would anyone other than myself want to read this in their free time?
- Is my audience the type to enjoy more casual content?
If you need one key best practice for crafting effective email campaigns to follow, it’s this: Proper segmentation is the key.
Providing quality content that communicates value about subscribers’ interests improves your email marketing metrics overall. Don’t talk about everything under the sun though – A recent study by Ascend2 found 62% of marketing professionals have found personalized messaging to be the most effective type of marketing email, while 57% agree with single-topic, dedicated emails work best.
Since the main idea behind repurposing Instagram content is to keep the quality of your marketing materials up to par while shaving off the time it takes to make them, turn to data to evaluate whether it’s worth trying some of the specific tips on this list.
Take note of how much time it used to take you to create everything from scratch and compare whether preparatory work going into repurposing decreases that or adds another layer of stress to your routine. Once your campaign runs, measure whether the content works at capturing subscribers’ attention.
Use Process Street for your email marketing processes and more!
The best way to do this is to develop a consistent process, or set of processes, to follow when you repurpose content.
Having a process to follow standardizes your approach and makes it more easily repeatable. This way, you know how long it should take, what metrics you’re measuring for, and how to tell whether your campaign has been a success.
By constructing a process to follow to maximize your returns on your content, you can easily look to delegate that task in future to focus on the next innovative improvement to your marketing operations.
You can use features like form fields to gather information, stop tasks to enforce certain tasks, or conditional logic to let the checklist adapt to the information entered into it. Easily assign people to the checklist and track their progress.
You can also connect Process Street to thousands of other apps and webapps via Zapier or our internal automation features like webhooks. This way, you can trigger actions in the other services you already use straight from your Process Street checklist – or you can update the information in your checklist based on what you do in other apps. The options are endless.
Check out this recent webinar to learn more about what you can do with webhooks.
Ultimately, you’re aiming to find a balance between personal work productivity and improved engagement with customers. Follow these tips, test different methods, identify what works, and you’ll end up with a unique strategy suited to your own brand.
If you want some more marketing processes to help you boost your business, check out some of the premade checklist templates below:
- On-Page SEO Checklist
- Technical SEO Audit
- Product Launch Checklist
- UX Audit
- Social Media Manager Daily Checklist
- Influencer Outreach Checklist
- Keyword Research Checklist
- Affiliate Onboarding
- Advanced Content Promotion Checklist
- Find Almost Anyone’s Email
- Submitting Content to Social Bookmarking Sites
- Daily Mention Tracking for Content Promotion
- Creating a Database of Influencers using Buzzsumo
- Scraping Broken Links with SEOSpider and Ahrefs
- SEO Checklist: The Keyword Research Process
- Accepting, Formatting, Editing and Publishing a Guest Post
Have you repurposed content from Instagram or other social media for use in your email marketing content? Was it successful? We’d love to hear from you! Let us know your experiences in the comments below!