Slang for Brands to Keep Your Social Media Rad

Marketing these days is a tough gig. The average person is so overly bombarded with marketing messages, offers, and options that they simply tune out a large percentage of what they see online. If you can’t capture your digital audience’s attention in less than 8 seconds…POOF, they’re gone. Some poor inbound marketer out there is currently mortified at the sight of their website’s high bounce rate or zero page views for the matter.

Customer-Journey-Meme

Let’s just keep it one hunnid (aka one hundred, aka keep it real). Consumers’ attention spans will continue to wane and the amount of online content available to them will continue to grow at an exponential level. To top it off, we’re dealing with a demographic nearly one-fourth of the total population. Yes, we’re talking about the new boom, le Millennials. We know you’re probably sick and tired of hearing this term, but nearly every marketer today is making Generation Y a priority. And if you don’t know by now why, it’s because you can’t ignore a lucrative market some 80 million strong with $200 billion in annual buying power. Plain and simple.

We’re so sexy powerful and we know it. Yes, I’m one of them – scouring websites, blogs, and social media because I feel empowered by all of the remarkable or amusing content I’m discovering. And I’m liking, commenting, pinning, sharing, snapping, group messaging, and forwarding all of my findings to my peers. But only if it resonates with me.

Which brings me to the point of this blog post. If you want to attract this audience, you have to be more relevant than ever. That in itself is a hard pill to swallow given the aforementioned statistics and information. One way to stay cool in a post-modern world of choice dominated by Millennials is to speak their language. You have the potential to raise Gen Y’ers spirits when they hear or read words that could have come from the mouths of their peers. When you tailor your messaging to your audience, they will proudly share that content with others, in effect, building a real brand-consumer relationship.

But before I divulge into the slang terms to keep in your toolbox when competing for Millennial mind share, take precaution of the following two:

  1. Authenticity is still key to brand survival over generations. In order to sound bona fide, the message you’re sending out has to be relevant with your brand (vegetarians don’t want steak, bih). Brands who jump on trends just because they’re trending are asking for a backlash. Certain brands or types of products are just not going to be cool because it’s not built into the fabric of their company. We can honestly smell marketing construction from a mile away. Take for example the Twitter account Brands Saying Bae, who exposes all the brands that try to put a “hip” spin on communication and it doesn’t mesh with their core brand identity. Right now, Internet, we implore you…bae meme
  2. “Don’t show up to the party late af.” Thanks to social and mobile innovations, whatever is currently trending has a short life cycle. Now, “cool” travels way faster. Something trending can hit a saturation point and fizzle out within days, even hours. The goal is not to be a laggard, where you turn something cool into something nauseating (refer back to bae) because it’s already been mass consumed. Instead, be an early adopter of what’s in. A good example of this? The cool hunters at Taco Bell HQ’s. The fast-food chain has this weekly routine called “Millennial Word of The Day” that the marketing department employs. Words are “curated” by a group of employees in their 20s who send out an email every Tuesday or Wednesday of the real current Millennial lingo. Then they turn it into content that people engage the crap out of. Major key alert (I’ll explain what this means below): Be like Taco Bell, try out a social media platform they way your fans would.

Alright, let me put you on (this means I want to make you aware of something or someone new) with the trendy terminology:

Bih – This word is similar to saying dude or homie and it can also be used to pronounce a place. In its derogatory form, it’s also an abbreviation for b***h. If you follow rapper Plies on Instagram, you’ll quickly realize this is his favorite word, aptly naming his latest mixtape, “This Ain’t No Mixtape Bih”.

Use it in a sentence:

I can’t wait to go to the club on Saturday, I’m gonna be dancing all over that bih.

Waddup bih, long time no see.

Bruh – Another way of greeting a male acquaintance or an alternative to the word bro. It is also used during a stupid moment or as a reaction to something crazy – like saying seriously or really.

Use it in a sentence:

Chill out bruh.

OR

Person 1: I just dropped all the popcorn on the floor.

Person 2: bruh.

Dab – This is actually a dance created that looks like you’re kissing your biceps and it’s dominating the Internet. Everyone is doing it, even Hilary Clinton (it was actually pretty painful to watch). Obama fix it.

Tread lightly when you use this word, though. Dabbin’ can also mean the act of smoking highly-concentrated THC oils.

Dat ___, doe – Translates to “That ___, though,” and is used to emphasize that something is particularly awesome.

Use it in a sentence:

Dat backflip doe.

Forever Alone – this simply means you will be single for eternity (kind of like the lady that has no real friends, but has 50 cats as companions).

Use it in a sentence:

“So I finally gathered the courage to text him and he never replied. Forever alone.”

Lit – this is a word is an adjective “used to describe a certain situation, person, place or thing as awesome/crazy or just ‘happening’ in general.

Use it in a sentence:

Friend 1: Did you go to that party last night?

Friend 2: yea, it was lit!

tzqzi

Throwing shade – To “throw shade” simply means you’ve said something shady to someone. Watch Dorian Corey explain it in “Paris is Burning”.

Turnt – Used when an individual is super excited, hyper, or intoxicated.

Use it in a sentence:

“I’m so turnt for the new season of Keeping Up With The Kardashians.”

OR

“I’m so hungover, I got too turnt last night.”

And if you don’t know, now you know, bruh.

 

This article was written by Katie Cooper from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

 

7 Ways To Keep Your Startup Marketing Lean

Guest author Stephen Moyers is an online marketer, designer, and tech-savvy blogger. Associated with Los Angeles-based SPINX Digital Agency, he writes about online marketing, web design, development, social media marketing and more.

If you’ve recently launched a startup, you know your brand needs as much exposure as possible. When you don’t have much capital to work with, however, you may require a more cost-effective strategy.

Luckily, digital marketing is highly scalable. You can start working on effective, goal-producing activities right now, and build on your strategy as you get more resources.

Building Brand Awareness and Value

The more people who recognize your brand from a distinctive logo, voice, and design, the better your chances are of getting content in front of them and driving conversions. Products and services evolve naturally the longer a company stays around, but a recognizable brand is like an insurance policy for your business goals.

Don’t think you’ll get away with a catchy yet vague slogan like Visa’s “It’s everywhere you want to be” and create brand value. You haven’t gained enough market penetration. Startups have to use explanatory and emotional cues in their messaging to build awareness and trust.

Yet today’s startups have more power than ever to create brand awareness and value without spending money. Even young individuals on social media can create an impactful brand that resonates with followers. Popular YouTube stars Jenna Marbles and PewDiePie both make more than many actors and actresses, and it all started with a free YouTube channel. The key is finding where your target audience spends time and using those platforms to emotionally connect.

Every piece of content, including tweets, infographics, and short- and longform video, has the potential to resonate with your audience in a meaningful way. Having a social impact also increases the likelihood that current customers who believe in your product offering will recommend your product to friends and colleagues.

Optimizing Digital Marketing on a Budget

You don’t need to invest millions into marketing as a startup. Take Zillow. It’s now a public company that does spend millions on TV ads and more. But when it first started, it didn’t spend anything on marketing. Its website was its product, and optimizing it at every level ensured the site acted as its own marketing. Email, search-engine optimization, content development, and PR don’t have to cost much money in the beginning.

Consider investing in these areas:

A Strong Web Presence

Websites are at the core of digital marketing. Without one, you have nowhere to direct inbound marketing activities. Your page will serve as a data repository you can tap to gauge success, and it’s also the only place online that’s completely yours to create. Find ways to add value through your website to encourage traffic.

For example, Dropbox used free extra storage as a promotion for referrals, and Pinterest used an “invitation only” tactic to create an image of exclusivity before making the site available to anyone. Each tactic added value without costing the company much upfront.

In addition to traffic-driving tactics, update your website for visibility on search engines. These boring maintenance tasks will continually boost your visibility and become a source of value for inbound visitors.

Social Media

Find out where your audience spends its time. Are they younger folks who prefer to Snapchat, Instagram, and Yik Yak—or are they an older generation who’s more comfortable with Facebook and Twitter?

You can always buy your way to prominence on social platforms. But companies that really succeed in social media use these channels as a natural extension of other marketing activities. Social media is a forum for natural engagement that builds credibility, not revenue generation. Consider how Dollar Shave Club used YouTube and companies like Red Bull and Oreo used hashtag campaigns to generate conversations. People of every age use social media, making it a fantastic forum for startups to tap into—you just have to figure out where your users are hanging out.

 

Chart by MarketingCharts.com; data from Pew Internet & American Life Project

Your Personal Network

Every entrepreneur has to become a brand champion, and every business owner needs to get the word out. Grassroots marketing is effective because it allows you to leverage personal relationships for the benefit of the business, and almost every company uses it in some form. Get on social media, call up friends and old schoolmates, go to LinkedIn and take advantage of those professional connections, and ask your family to get in on it.

Request that everyone do something to promote the brand, whether that’s reviewing the product on a third-party site, sharing content on social media, or mentioning your company online. Every extra link your network puts out has the potential to reach hundreds more people than you could on your own.

Content

Content is the bread and butter of the digital marketing world. Whether you use slideshows, quizzes, surveys, blogs, videos, articles, or infographics, take the time to make each piece of content feel like an extension of the company. Think about what types of content other successful companies have used.

Although Target is a large company, for instance, its recent holiday marketing campaign told a story across digital and traditional platforms to inspire an emotional connection and engagement. Startups can do the same thing on a smaller scale to generate brand awareness.

Engage with Your Customers

Part of the beauty of digital marketing is the ability for brands to create a personal connection with consumers. Companies are living, breathing organisms that consumers care about. Brands such as Google, Lego, and Uber all outperform their competitors because they make a personal connection with their audiences.

Companies that win at engagement have created an emotional connection. They respond to feedback quickly and publicly. They understand what their target audience finds valuable. Startups can mimic these larger successes with fast responsivity and by sharing in consumer experiences online.

Mobile and App Marketing

Since many startups focus on providing app-centric services, earning visibility in Apple and Google’s app stores will yield the best marketing results. Make sure users looking for products like yours can find your app. There are more than 1,600,000 apps in Google Play and more than 1,500,000 in the Apple App Store. Spend time on app-store optimization, including keywords, icon graphics, and descriptions and screenshots to encourage users to download.

Email

Email still offers a lot of bang for your buck. Most online consumers check their email many times a day, and many use a mobile device to do so. E-commerce companies, in particular, invest in email marketing over every other type of marketing activity—and they’re smart to do so.

On a small budget, you can find an email marketing platform that allows you to create, send, and monitor responses to your campaigns. Add a subscription form to your website, and start building up your consumer contact base. Send out regular newsletters with the last few blog links or highlight promotions.

To Market, To Market

The world is your oyster. You can go social all the way or you can focus on using data to carefully market to a niche looking for more than a snippet of information. However, every business is different. Try out a few tactics and measure the results to see what works for you. If you can only spend money on one digital marketing front, invest it in your website. The rest you can DIY until you hit the big time.

 

This article was written by Stephen Moyers from ReadWrite and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


Getting Noticed: How to Get Your PR Working Again

Are you struggling because you’ve dabbled with trying to get media attention but you just don’t feel like you are cutting through? You know it’s not working but it can be difficult to get things back on track when you’ve tried time and again but just not got the results you wanted. So, where do you go from here?

Get your PR back on track by breaking down your activity

If you haven’t had much success, or feel that there is room for improvement, then it’s worth narrowing in on a few areas to find out where the problem lies. Ideally, you want someone to just tell you why what you are doing isn’t working.

Unfortunately, feedback may not come from journalists because, quite frankly, they don’t have time to tell you why your news story or article pitch wasn’t of interest. But, there are steps you can take to improve what you are doing.

1. Think aims

Look back on what you are trying to achieve. And, if you haven’t set this down in black and white then it’s well worth doing so. Are you seeking to raise your profile with a particular audience, or to educate them about something? Your specific aim dictates the approach you use in your PR – the type of press and media you target and how to target them.

2. Research, research, research

Do your research about your audience. Ask where they go to get their information. You need to be where your audience is. That might be on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or via specific websites and publications, or a combination. PR is all about communicating with your audiences and that can take many forms and happen via many routes or channels.

Don’t forget to look at membership organisations, or associations, and their in-house publications or e-news bulletins as well as publications and websites. While national press and media is often see as the Holy Grail it’s not that effective is you want to get noticed by a small niche. In fact, it’s a waste of time and effort.

3. Ask – who is talking, who is influencing?

Get to know the key people discussing the subjects relevant to your business. Communicating about your business should, as the picture suggests, be a two-way relationship. PR is not about pushing masses of information out there in the hope that something will appear somewhere. It’s about targeting the right people, using the right communication channel, the right type of communication and the right messages. That is a lot to get right.

A scattergun approach rarely gets the right results. It’s much better to pinpoint the people you want to connect with and to get to know them. And, then, to give them something so highly targeted and relevant that it fits with exactly what they are after. It’s not straight forward and it does take time and effort.

4. Analyze where you can improve

If you are targeting press and media and don’t have much success then you need to delve into why you aren’t getting results – is it relevance, timing, news value or simply that other stories have overtaken yours? You can save yourself a lot of hassle and disappointment simply by doing your research and speaking to journalists – find out what they are interested in and how they want to be approached.

And, if you still feel stuck then contact me and we’ll unpick what you are doing and how to get things back on track.

5. Keep going

There will always be occasions when your news or communication gets drowned out because of other, more high profile, events. Sometimes other things happen, or someone beat you to the punch. That is just a fact of life. Don’t get disheartened or hung up about it. Just. Keep. Trying.

In a nutshell: PR is like many other business activities, you have to know what you are aiming to achieve before you can put the right plans in place. Remember, not every approach or initiative will get results. To get your PR working again, keep trying, tweak what you are doing, try again and the results will follow.

Finally, you can learn some tips from content marketing on how to finetune your message and give your audience what they want. Read our latest e-book to learn more.

unlockingPRspotential.png

 

This article was written by Debbie Leven from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

 

5 Stand Out Social Media Campaigns Of Summer 2015

Summer is a great time for brands to launch creative initiatives. Without the frenzy of Black Friday or holiday season, summer is the perfect down time to produce compelling social media campaigns.

This summer we’ve seen some great concepts from brands and communities around the world. Here are some social media campaigns that have shown fresh perspectives on utilizing social media and user generated content to tell a story.

Weave Your Instagram Shot

This summer Forever21 partnered with BREAKFAST, an agency out of New York, to bring fans Instagram photos to life in the form of a 2,000 pound “Thread Screen.” The extremely complex machine taps into 6,400 different spools of thread to create a tangible version of photos shared on Instagram with #F21ThreadScreen. The project is an incredible case for how fashion and technology can work together seamlessly.

Panama Tweeting Potholes

Brands can get into a rut with different social networks, using the same tactics over and over again. A campaign by Telemetro Reporta in Panama utilized Twitter in a completely original way. In an effort to prove to the Ministry of Public works that the streets of Panama needed some attention, they had the potholes tweet directly to the @MOPdePanama, the handle of the department. The team placed devices in potholes throughout Panama, that when driven over by drivers would auto-send creative complaint messages to the handle. Due to the influx of tweets, the department began development on improving the road conditions for drivers across the city.

S’mores Oreos

 

Oreos launched creative PSA-style social media content to promote its new s

 

Oreos launched creative PSA-style social media content to promote its new s’mores flavor.

Together with 360i, Oreo launched a whimsical campaign for its new s’mores flavored cookie. The flavor was launched over Memorial Day weekend with a playful PSA-style campaign debuted on Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, and YouTube. The PSA’s feature S’morey, a furry forest friend advising on finding your s’mores dose without the danger of live fires. The campaign targets both the digital millennial consumer, as well as an older crowd with the retro style content and imagery.

Turkish Airlines Periscope

Periscope is the cool new kid on the block this summer. With its real-time video capabilities, different brands are experimenting with the app to discover its best use for marketing. Turkish Airlines has been upping its ante on its social media game, and decided to be the first to Periscope a flight. The broadcast took viewers from Istanbul to New York and showed the flight preparations as well as behind the scenes video with the airline crew. Along with the stream, Turkish Airlines synchronized promoted tweets to launch when the broadcast went live.

#ILookLikeAnEngineer

 

I_look_like_an_engineer

 

In response to comments on an ad that featured Isis Anchalee’s, she started the hashtag #ILookLikeAnEngineer.

This summer thousands of female engineers banded together over #ILookLikeAnEngineer to tackle tough conversations surrounding stereotypes of the engineering community. The hashtag was sparked in retaliation to responses to a recruitment ad produced by the software company OneLogin. The ad showed employee Isis Anchalee, and after she received close minded feedback to the photo, the engineer posted her own response photo to Twitter with the now iconic hashtag. Since it went live, #ILookLikeAnEngineer has seen over 75,000 uses (as of August 6th) from women across the world in all types of engineering sectors, showing how varied the community is, and that there isn’t just one type of engineer.

 

This article was written by Rebecca Gibson from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

 

Beyond the Buzzword: Gamification

Let’s be honest: All of us can be kids at heart. When it comes to content marketing, gamification offers the play time all of us desire.

But gamification is more than just a substitute for recess. It’s ideal for increasing important metrics and creating brand affinity in spades.

The Simple Definition

“Gamification” can be a mouthful to say, but it’s not nearly so complicated to define. Simply put, gamification is the art of making a game out of your content marketing. Apps, interactive tools and even quizzes can fit the gamification bill.

Though not a new concept to the Internet at large, gamification has become a go-to tool for many content marketers. It’s hardly surprising why: Gamification can yield a slew of coveted marketing benefits.

Engagement is the most obvious of these results. Though engagement is a buzzword in its own right, it translates into very specific metrics. Time on site/app, bounce rate and social sharing all fall under the engagement umbrella, and each of these benchmarks can be improved with gamification.

For example, GrubHub offers a classic video game experience while customers wait for their food. Rather than let users exit after purchase, GrubHub Fastfood Runner utilizes gamification to increase the time each customer spends in the app.

Common Mistakes

Before you start designing gamified features, there are a few roadblocks to overcome. First and foremost, consider your budget. In order to pull off a game that users actually want to play, the game must be well planned and well designed.

Unfortunately, this achievement doesn’t come cheap. A clean, functional app will cost $10,000 minimum (though intricate designs can run upwards of six figures). For a full rundown of app design budgets, check out SavvyApp CEO Ken Yarmosh’s detailed advice.

As always, you must also consider your audience. Do users tend to visit your site on the go? If so, consider a game that takes no longer than 30 seconds. If your audience is more charitable with their time, you may be able to increase that. Just be forewarned: Very few games should last longer than a couple of minutes.

Finally, gamification can go south quickly if you don’t optimize for different platforms. While this may increase your budget significantly, keep in mind that mobile now outpaces desktop traffic. If you aren’t optimized for mobile, desktop and tablet, you might as well not attempt gamification at all.

 

How to Get Started

If you’re convinced that gamification is right for your brand, it’s time incorporate it into your overall content marketing strategy. But what type of gamification should you pursue? Luckily, there are ample opportunities for gamification that work at every stage of the funnel.

  1. There’s an app for that

As we mentioned above, app design can claim a chunk of your marketing budget. Yet don’t discount apps just because of an upfront cost. After all, apps are one of the most evergreen forms of gamification.

Whether paid or free, an app can result in long-term returns for your brand. For example, addictive games or useful features keep users engaged with your brand during many everyday moments where they need your product or want to kill some time.

Apps are also great for ongoing data collection. When do users open your app, and can you glean any buyer insights based on that information? Do users jump out of the app at a common point? If so, you might have a glitch or needless feature on your hands.

Before you assume apps are only for tech companies, consider that some would argue you need an app as part of your product portfolio. Chances are, if you’re selling something, an app is worth investing in.

  1. Personalization

Gamification doesn’t have to take the form of intricate apps or video games. In fact, most gamified features are little more than interactive building blocks.

Let’s take Blue Nile’s Build Your Own Ring as an example. The online engagement ring retailer encourages users to build their own ring using a straightforward pathway. Users are taken through diamond selection, ring setting and of course, purchase.

This type of personal gamification is a win-win situation for users and Blue Nile. On the one hand, users avoid the overwhelming task of filtering through thousands of rings. It’s especially useful for those who may be new to the world of clarity, cut, color and carat.

Blue Nile receives its own gems, as well. First, the brand gains invaluable insight into user preferences and taste. Not only does this help Blue Nile marketers improve its site and strategy, but it also helps operations and business teams make future product decisions.

Also, gamification allows Blue Nile to build a relationship with its audience. The Build Your Own Ring feature is a registered trademark, giving Blue Nile immediate street cred in the engagement ring arena. What’s more, the gamified feature conveys trust and expertise in a way that simple articles or photos never could.

  1. Interactive Sweepstakes

When it comes to brand sweepstakes, there is such a thing as free lunch. Audiences love an opportunity to win prizes, especially if entry is easy. Gamification can take sweepstakes to the next level, offering a fun factor that most sweepstakes lack.

Take VSP, for example. While eyecare may seem like a relatively humdrum category, VSP has gamified its content marketing. In fact, the brand hosts a gamified sweepstakes every single month. Users simply play a 20-second game to receive an entry into the contest.

VSP also recycles many of its game features each month, which is a smart idea for any content marketer who wants to host an interactive sweepstakes. While VSP’s games may vary from Whack-a-Mole to Memory, it uses the same icons, framework and microsite.

  1. Product Announcement

Obviously, you want any new product to make a memorable entrance. Gamification is a fantastic way to announce a new product or feature in a way that wows.

EA Sports released NFL Madden 15 in just such a way. Its NFL Giferator allows users to pick a football team and GIF (pulled straight from the video game, of course), followed by an opportunity to personalize and share the GIF. Engagement, high pages per visit and social sharing? Yes, please.

cardinals_aellington38_dancespike

rams_rquinn94_bigmanpose

panthers_cnewton1_manofsteel

 

So… we got a little too “in to” finding the right gamified content examples from the #MaddenGiferator site.

You, too, can create a game that allows users to have fun with your new product. Not only that, but users can have fun with the game long after your product has been released. Just make sure you tweak it accordingly.

One more thing: Please don’t forget a call to action (or seven). After all, the whole exercise is pointless if no one remembers your new product.

  1. Post-Purchase Engagement

Any marketer worth their salt knows a long-term brand strategy isn’t all about first-time purchase. A brand needs repeat purchasers and brand advocates to succeed.

This means engaging users even after their purchase is over. Enter gamification yet again. Gamified features in this scenario are unlocked only after a customer has completed an order.

Domino’s is one of the pioneers in this category. Since 2008, the pizza delivery brand has utilized GPS technology to let users know exactly where their pizza is in the delivery process. This registered trademark process keep users engaged and on the site even after their credit card has been approved.

If you have a long delivery cycle, this feature obviously won’t work for you. However, you can offer other post-purchase gamification. It can be complex (i.e., GrubHub’s Fastfood Runner) or simple, such as automated social sharing.

Now that you have an idea of the wide world of gamification, it should be clear that you really can engage users at every stage of the funnel. Let’s see how that breaks down:

  • Awareness: This top-of-the-funnel stage focuses on attracting new users. Gamification is ideal for this, namely in the form of apps or sweepstakes.
  • Engagement/Evaluation: In the middle of the funnel, users get to know your brand. Product announcement games are perfect for this stage.
  • Commitment: The very last stage of the funnel entails commitment and purchase. Intuitive, well-designed gamification will smoothly transition users into buyers. Consider personalized product-focused games, such as Blue Nile’s Build Your Own Ring.
  • Loyalty: Finally, gamification engages users beyond the funnel with brand loyalty features that unlock after purchase.

Though you must plan and budget for effective gamification, it’s well worth your time for most brands. Plus, who said content marketing can’t all be fun and games?

 

This article was written by Emily Faget from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


Of Course You Have An Idea for a Press Release. But Is It A Good Idea?

Most business owners, large or small, do not really understand why journalists write about some topics and not about others. It’s also common for business owners to think that many happenings within their business should be turned into a press release (and eventually, into a news article.)

As a previous journalist and editor, and as a current PR professional, I am here to clarify and help your business with its press release distribution efforts.

Just because YOU think a certain topic or business happening is interesting, does not mean that a lot of other people will find it interesting or important.

“Newsworthy” is the particular term journalists use to decide if a story topic is interesting enough for people to want to know about it. The more newsworthy aspects the story contains, the more newsworthy it is and the more likely a journalist will cover it. Journalists use their knowledge about their audience to determine if a topic is newsworthy enough for them to create a story about it.

AKA: Just because you put a press release in front of the eyes of a journalist, does not mean that the journalist will find it newsworthy enough to make it into a news story. Especially if there are a lot of other good news items that particular day.

Journalists are taught that there are nine elements to be used to consider if a press release (or a news story in general) is newsworthy. The more of these elements in a press release, the more likely that the press release will be noticed by editors.

Dec 4 press release

  1. Timeliness: Is the story relevant right now? People want to know what is going on now or in the nearby future.
  2. Novelty: This means that the information is fresh, unique, surprising or unpredictable.
  3. Impact: How many people are or will be affected by this? The more, the better.
  4. Proximity: Make sure that the story hits close to home for the readers. People are usually more interested in what is happening near where they live or work.
  5. Prominence: News about a well-known person, object or business gets read.
  6. Drama: The more mystery, suspense or heightened emotion equate to a more dramatic topic.
  7. Conflict: People are interested in reading about conflict and challenges. This can include a fight between people, countries or a single person battling society, nature or oneself.
  8. Human Interest: This is in regards to human emotion, whether it evoke a tear-jerker response or a feel-good response.
  9. Usefulness: If a topic will provide meaningful assistance, then it displays usefulness.
    Please use these newsworthy elements as a guide to decide if a certain business happening should turned into a press release. Journalists are much more likely to take notice of a press release with at least four of these newsworthy elements. If your idea for a press release only fits one or two of these elements, then consider putting the information on your company blog or social media, as opposed to a press release.

Some Good Press Release Topic Ideas:

Jan 4 marketing topics

  • If your business recently opened up a new office, moved, expanded, merged or hired new executives.
  • If your business is working with or just finished working with a famous person or business.
  • If your business set some type of record.
  • If you started a brand new business that is the first of its kind.
  • If your business helped solve a local or widespread problem.
  • If your business participates with charities or donates to nonprofits.

Other Helpful PR Tips:

Create a media list of local media organizations and industry magazines. (Industry magazines and websites are more likely to publish your press releases than the local media.)

Have a professional write your press releases, because journalists and public relations professionals write with a particular type of official style, and editors will throw out press releases with grammatical, punctuation, and style errors.

Don’t plan to make a new press release every week or every two weeks – only when something newsworthy is occurring.

Don’t make a press release for every conference or event your business attends or hosts: Create an Events page on your website to highlight your upcoming events. You can also put this type of information on your company Facebook page, blog and in e-mail blasts.

Post press release pdfs on your website and you can also share them via social media.

Research PR distribution sites. There are some very effective ones that you pay for, such as prweb.com, but there are also many sites that offer free distribution services, such as pr.com. This helps with SEO but also brings people to your website.

 

This article was written by Amanda Strouse from Bloominari and legally licensed via B2C through the NewsCred publisher network.

Twitter wants to let brands turn your tweets into ads

Twitter is developing an ad format that will enable marketers to leverage your tweets in their brand campaigns. A source familiar with the matter tells VentureBeat that the company has begun testing a product called the “brand enthusiast gallery” with the goal of letting advertisers identify positive tweets about a brand or product and syndicate it in their ads.

First reported by Digiday, this new tool is another step by Twitter to give marketers ways to promote their product through ordinary people, instead of just through celebrities.

With marketers looking to launch campaigns on Twitter, the ability to tap into real-time conversations can be critical, both for the company and the advertiser. Twitter needs to show more reasons why brands should care about its offering, especially when investors are wary about its future.

Once a positive tweet has been identified, the brand enthusiast gallery allows marketers to send a direct message to the tweet author to request permission to share the post in an ad campaign. How exactly a positive post is identified remains unknown, but likely there’s a human involved to determine sentiment. And if not, will the automated process be able to discern sarcasm from honest conversation?

This soon-to-be released ad format was unveiled to advertisers at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, most likely at Twitter’s theme park-like meeting space. Digiday said that the ad unit will be a standard tweet from an advertiser “on top of a carousel of related tweets from users,” which seems to indicate an expansion of the carousel ads that Twitter started experimenting with in 2015.

It’s another effort by the company to show its strength in giving brands a way to capitalize on the chatter taking place on its service. Last week, Twitter rolled out conversational ads that promise to provide more brand engagement through a single click.

Twitter declined to comment for this story.

 

This article was written by Ken Yeung from VentureBeat and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

10 Resources for Stock Photos and Illustrations to Benefit Your Content Marketing Program

Images are an important part of creating engaging content. In fact, according to Jeff Bullas, posts or articles with images get 94% more views! But finding great stock photos can either be costly or time consuming.

Websites like Getty Images® have beautifully composed photos for sale. However, these rights-managed images can be very expensive depending on your usage needs. Getty does offer some royalty-free images for embedding on a blog or website or social media using their “embedded viewer” provided your site and site content conforms to their terms and conditions.

Stock photo site 123rf.com has similarly allowed certain images to be downloaded for free for use on blogs and in PowerPoint presentations. Essentially the site asks contributors to “donate’ their images for increased exposure; the images are available for a period of time and eventually expire.The quality of images on 123rf can be hit or miss with contributors whose photography and videography skills vary.

For the last several years, we have been compiling a list of stock photo sites containing free, high resolution images available for personal and commercial use, many of which are offered under a new Creative Commons Zero license. CC0 indicates all copyrights have been waived by the owner. This is not the same as public domain mark, however, where an image has been released, to the public, often due to the passage of time.

To help you find images, we’ve shared our ten favorites:

Stocknsap.io. This site has a search feature and all photos are free from copyright restrictions and no attribution is required. However, photos are curated by StockSnap from around the web and can often be found on other stock sites such as PicJumbo. https://stocksnap.io/

Startup Stock. Startup Stock offers a limited collection of hi-resolution photos which depict possible scenes from fictional start-up companies. The images are licensed under the CC0 license. http://startupstockphotos.com/

Life of Pix. Life of Pix has beautiful photos and an onsite search to help you find the perfect image. There are no copyright restrictions and new photos are added weekly. The photos are offered by an agency in Montreal and are donated by their network of photographers. http://www.lifeofpix.com/

Pexels. Pexels has a nice online search and a good size library. Images are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero license and are free for personal and commercial use. Their one restriction is that identifiable people may not appear in a bad light or way that they may find offensive. https://www.pexels.com/

Gratisography. This site offers free, high-resolution pictures for any project. The photos are all by Ryan McGuire. Many of these images are more conceptual or whimsical and may not be suited to every business. However, they are certainly different than what is found on other sites and could make your blog stand out. http://www.gratisography.com/

Unsplash. Unsplash is the project of Arthur Weill and has been a resource for bloggers for awhile. The original site, https://unsplash.com/, has no search available. You can subscribe to receive 10 new photos each day delivered to your email; this doesn’t necessarily give you the photos you need when you need them. There is a search in beta which utilizes tags or combinations of tags to help you find relevant images which makes this site more useful. http://www.arthurweill.fr/Unsplash/en

Vecteezy. Vecteezy offers vector art such as illustrations, icons and patterns. Artist’s share their free art and resources on Vecteezy to gain exposure or to get feedback. Artists can license work with various Creative Commons licenses. Make sure you read the rights associated with any item downloaded from this site. http://www.vecteezy.com/

FoodiesFeed. This site offers high resolution food and beverage imagery. The images are provided free of use for personal and commercial purposes and no attribution is required though the artist does appreciate it. In additional to the free photos, the artist does offer Premium photo packages as well. https://foodiesfeed.com

The Amazing Pattern Library. This project by Tim Holman and Claudio Guglieri compiles patterns shared by designers to use freely in designs. http://thepatternlibrary.com/

Morgue File. We’ve been using this one for a long time, mostly because in the beginning, it was one of the few sites offering free images for commercial use. Though the images on this site are generally less professional, it provides much greater variety than other stock photo sites which curate from the same sources. As such, mor becomes our fall-back resource. http://morguefile.com

The question that is often asked; “Can’t I just a use a Google image search to find what I’m looking for?” Sure. But chances are the images are copyrighted. Just because something is posted online or makes it into a search engine result does not mean it isn’t still copyright protected. And simply adding an attribution doesn’t necessarily protect you from legal action. The author/artist must give you permission to share or distribute the work.

This article was written by Janna Hartley from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

The Emoji Infographic: Stats to Back Up Your Obsession

A couple of years ago, emojis were the exclusive language of teenage girls. Today, everyone’s using them.

… everyone.

A new study from Emogi, “a real-time emotional intelligence platform that decodes sentiment,” brings new statistics about emojis to back up your obsession. Their first surprising discovery is that almost everyone uses emojis:

  • 4% mobile users use emojis several times a day
  • 5%: several times a week
  • 9%: several times a month
  • 5%: several times a year
  • 6%: once a year or less

While emojis used to be predominantly texted and Tweeted by teens, today there are more 25-29-Year-Olds identifying as “frequent users” (75.9%) than Under-25-Year-Olds (72.2%). More than six out of 10 in the age 35+ crowd self-identify as frequent users.

Why Do We Love Emojis?

Frequent users tell us that it’s because they feel emojis express their feelings more accurately than words. This statement was accepted by 84% of female frequent users and 75% of male frequent users.

Dr. Owen Churches, a psychologist who has studied the uses and effects of emojis, found that “people reacted to emoticons the same way they would react to a real human face,” reports Mashable. Over time, as our brains become accustomed to perceiving a symbol as “happy,” “sad,” or “excited,” we gain an ability to actually feel the same emotion that we would feel by looking at a real face. Emojis give us the unique ability to make digital communications feel and act more human.

Brands Are Turning to Emojis

With their recent Grand Prix win at Cannes, Dominos is the standout example of brands turning to emojis. Dominos built a system that allows users to text a pizza emoji and place their regular delivery order. (The company’s ‘Anyware’ platform allows users to order via their TV, voice command, car, smart watch, or Twitter – in addition to text.)

Emojis are trendy, and they probably won’t be going away anytime soon. Should brands use them? Sure. They offer a great way to connect with your audience. More importantly – emojis remind us about something even bigger: people are constantly looking for better, more human ways to connect with each other digitally. Brands that can streamline that experience will win.

Emoji Statistics Infographic

Check out the full infographic below, then tell us in the comments what you like – or don’t like – about emojis. Will you use them professionally with your brand?


emoji-usage-01-2015

To find out what else you can learn about your audience using media intelligence, download our ebook The Savvy Social Media Maven’s Guide to Media Intelligence.

This article was written by Bob Hutchins from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


How to Do Permission PR

You might well be familiar with the term permission marketing and the idea that people opt in to receiving information and promotional messages. It is a term that has been used in marketing for some time but became well known through the work of Seth Godin and is used, successfully, by marketing experts and businesses. But, what about Permission PR?

Permission PR makes sense

It’s something that I think about often, every time I get a sales call. That call disrupts and, more than that, it launches in totally focused on the caller’s agenda. Not one sales call I have ever received has focused on me and my needs. Of course not, I hear you cry. But, that is just the point – there’s a script and it’s a numbers game.

Permission PR matters – 7 tips to get you started

Now, here’s the issue – my reaction to the sales call is the same as a journalist receiving a press release or a telephone pitch that isn’t relevant or comes at the wrong time. So, let’s turn it around and get permission. Here are 7 tips on how to do Permission PR to help your business secure press coverage:

  1. Check in advance of sending a press release (see PR glossary) to see whether the story will be relevant to media outlets you are targeting. Not only will this save you time and hassle but it will help you build trustworthy relationships with journalists.
  2. Also, check as far as possible to get the right contact name and details. Being sent stuff that isn’t of interest to them or the media outlet they work for is a big fat peeve for journalists.
  3. Do you pile on in with a pitch as soon as a journalist answers the phone, or do you check they have time to speak? Ask for permission to speak. It sounds simple, but it is one of the most effective ways for you to signal, and acknowledge, you understand something about how journalists work – that they have deadlines.
  4. Double check the websites for your press and media to see if there are guidelines about making pitches, or submitting press releases, then take the time to adhere to them. Your job is to make it as easy as possible for the journalist to use your story. It sounds simple but the vast majority of people just fire off emails and don’t make these simple checks.
  5. Never send email attachments, or logos embedded in emails, without first checking with the journalist. Clogging up their in box won’t win you any friends or help you get your story or idea noticed.
  6. Find out the lead times, and deadlines, journalists are working to – it means you can time your approach more appropriately and effectively.
  7. Think about what is going on in the world that might impact on them – other news or events they are likely to be interested in or be reporting on. Your aim is to make your approach as relevant, and timely, as possible and this will help you to do that.

In a nutshell: Permission PR is about building relationships with journalists who are signed up to receiving relevant information, in the right format, when they want it. It’s a different approach but one that gets better results.

What do you think about doing Permission PR?

Image credit: Debbie Leven

 

This article was written by Debbie Leven from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Journalists, Social News, and 4 PR Takeaways: New Study & Infographic

Social News Is A Media Must

In the age of social media democratization, news distribution is no exception.  Nowadays journalists are competing head-to-head with brands and publishers for the most sharable content. The changing landscape of interconnected social news distribution and consumption also means that PR communicators need to strengthen their storytelling abilities and social angles to support their chances of media coverage in this competitive environment.

A recent survey by Edelman, NewsWhip and Muck Rack with an infographic sheds light on how PR folks can exploit these changes to get the most coverage possible.  Here are 4 takeaways for PR profs:

The Social News Five W’s

The Five W’s of journalism—Who, What, When, Where, Why—have gotten a social media complement of five key storytelling ingredients reporters identified to make stories as sharable as possible: imagery (including video), localization, trending topics, the human voice, and brevity.

PR Takeaway: Your social, paid, and earned media strategies should include social amplification as a core part of the plan, not an afterthought. Harness these five elements in your pitch to make sure your story is incredibly sharable.

Journalists Are Feeling Social Pressure

Social news sharing also has impacted the way journalists examine their own craft and build their personal brand. In fact, 75 percent of journalists say that they feel pressured to think about their story’s pot