The Secret Weapon Of Content Marketing Is Public Relations

If a brilliant infographic is created and never shared, does it really exist?

The world is likely filled with thousands of pieces of wonderful content that will never reach their marketing potential because minimal attention was paid to making them discoverable.

It’s not enough to write an eloquent white paper or create an engaging video. If no one sees your content, no one shares it, and no one will be inspired to get a demo of the product it supports.

So how can you make sure your content gets noticed? The secret to discoverability is public relations.

Public relations is the practice of communicating messages and creating connections. It’s about sharing stories. And what better story to share than that of your content?

A piece of great content is an asset that has value; the sharing of it should be given appropriate attention and care.

Strong content deserves a strong PR plan.

Never thought about it that way? Not convinced your content is worthy of a PR campaign? Ask yourself the following question: Is your content marketing as worthy as your last strategic partnership or personnel announcement?

Don’t make the mistake of under-estimating your content. Content connects and content converts.

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Content marketing has real value and is worthy of a well-crafted PR campaign to share those assets. Make your content discoverable by using a multi-channel, synchronized approach of paid, earned and owned media.

Send a press release: We use this tactic a lot in the marketing department at PR Newswire and it works. Although there are different approaches you can take when writing a content press release, the most common approach (and the one that works for our content) is writing a brief description of the ebook, white paper, infographic or blog post we’re sharing, and then directing readers to that asset with a trackable link that will help gauge results.

Distribute your content release through a newswire service and the release and link to your content will live on hundreds of websites, driving discoverability. Include a photo or graphic and you’ll see even better outcomes.

Bonus: media pickup of your press release can send positive signals about your content to search engines.

Blog about it: Write a blog post that doesn’t repeat or summarize your content, but touches on the same topic. For instance, if you’re promoting an ebook, you could write a blog post that focuses on one specific aspect of the larger topic your ebook is about. Then include clear calls to action that take people to your content.

Of course, if the content you’re promoting is a blog post, this suggestion may not seem like a good fit. But hear me out. In those cases, don’t write a blog post about your fantastic blog post, but do create opportunities to reference and link back to it from other blog posts.

Tailor your social media: Promote your content on all your social channels, but customize the messaging to fit the platform. Your Facebook messaging can be a little more relaxed than your LinkedIn message and your Twitter post has to be succinct and include an appropriate hashtag.

Do include an image with all. We see especially good results when a unique graphic is created with a quote from the content.

Don’t stop at just posting to your brand’s social accounts; tap your internal and external advocates to help promote your best content. And remember that social sharing should be used to not only direct readers to your piece of content, but also to cross-promote the aforementioned press releases and blog posts.

Every piece of content you produce is an ambassador for your brand. To learn more about PR’s impact on your discoverability and how to write a news release that drives engagement, read my recently published paper PR & SEO: Still Driving Discovery.

And remember, once you accept that your content is worthy and treat it as such, then others will also.

 

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


3 Tips For Trouble-free Monitoring On Social Media

Data: This one four-letter word can incite panic in the most stalwart of public relations professionals.

If it seems like there are numbers following you everywhere, that’s because there are. Website traffic, earned media pickup, social media engagement…Understanding these performance metrics and communicating them to others is an inescapable job requirement.

And as CNW Group’s Laurie Smith notes in her two part series, Social Analytics Danger Zones and MORE Social Analytics Danger Zones, it’s easy to lose your away among all of the data that’s out there.

Here are three ways to stay clear of trouble when monitoring and measuring your brand’s communications.

Pay attention to quality over quantity.

When working with analytics, it’s easy to hear what other brands are doing and get caught up in a number.

“More is not always better,” says Eden Spodek, a Toronto-based digital strategist. “What does it mean to have 5,000 Likes on a Facebook page? So you got 36 retweets on a tweet, but is that doing anything for you?” Case in point: She worked with one client who had a very small social media following, but a deeply loyal one that would respond with comments (and purchases) to most of her posts.

The quantity of social activity going on around your brand is only a fraction of what you should look at. Analytics can also give you a solid picture of how your content is being received and by whom, information that is critical to future campaigns.

It takes the careful eye of a PR professional to not accept the numbers at face value and provide context.

Avoid complacency.

Social media is tricky to nail down so when you find success, it can be tempting to try and replicate it again and again.

Although it’s ok to celebrate your victories and figure out what made a particular campaign successful, don’t allow your efforts to stagnate.

“You can get into a comfort zone,” says Gary Edgar, managing director of Ruckus Digital. And he doesn’t mean it in a good way.

Social media algorithms and best practices change all of the time. Even if something is working today, doesn’t mean it will tomorrow. You need to stay current on how social networks treat user content and you need to experiment with new tactics on a regular basis.

Know how to report your analytics clearly.

Analytics are not just useful at developing and improving your campaigns, but also demonstrating the value of your work.

However, if your executive team or clients don’t understand what they see in your reports, it’s all for naught.

The key is defining your goals and KPIs in advance so that everyone sees the same thing when they look at your numbers.

If the numbers aren’t telling you the full story, it may be time to invest in tools that provide more meaningful insight. Although free tools can get you started, social monitoring subscriptions offer in-depth analytics that help you gauge success and benchmark campaigns.

 

 

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


Conduct a Facebook Analysis and Bring Home the Bacon!

How do we know if our Facebook page is being well managed? A quick and simple Facebook analysis check using Meltwater’s Likealyzer search tool can show us. And to top it off, it costs nothing. Yes, you heard us right, it’s absolutely free! To demonstrate the tool we’re going to run a Facebook analysis for Nike and Adidas’s and benchmark the two brands to see who’s coming up trumps.

Page information and milestones


Both Nike (below left) and Adidas have entered a sufficient amount of page information, thus allowing the audience to easily identify whether they’ve landed on the correct page. The liking of other pages is a good tactic to follow in order to increase reach and community size (amongst other things). One insight that the Facebook analysis reveals in terms of areas for improvement is the number of historical milestones. Adding milestones to our Facebook page helps us to highlight important events and enables us to tell our brands story.

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Page performance and engagement

The Facebook analysis shows that while both brand pages have millions of likes they’ve both relatively underperformed. Growth of likes is a good indicator of page momentum, but not always page success. The PTAT (People Talking about This) section of the Facebook analysis better signifies whether our presence on Facebook has been in vain. Adidas has double the amount of buzz compared to Nike, although this is still pretty low considering the amount of fans. PTAT is also reflected in the engagement ratio with the Facebook analysis research detailing that we require a commitment of at least 7% to be successful. How’s your ratio?

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Statuses, images and videos

The Facebook analysis shows that Nike is slightly lagging behind in terms of the amount of new content they’re posting, uploading one post every two weeks compared to Adidas who are keeping things fresh and uploading at least one post a day. However, we can see an uneven balance between images and videos when looking at Adidas’s Facebook analysis compared to Nike who keeps a more healthy balance in order to retain engagement. Speaking of engagement, the length of both brands posts on Facebook are spot on, whilst Facebook is a great platform to tell a story, fans aren’t expecting to see the whole brand history in one post, that’s what hyperlinks are for! The Likealyzer Facebook analysis also reveals optimum timing for posts. Whilst Nike posts a considerable less amount of content, Adidas are off in their timings thus the post reach for both brands could be the same despite the differences in amounts. The Facebook analysis tells us that the best time to post for Nike is between 9pm-12am GMT (bearing in mind that this is an international page), and the same goes for Adidas which isn’t surprising considering the similarities in audience (only Adidas are posting between 12pm-3pm GMT). We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again. The dark days of monologue marketing are over. It’s all about dialogue marketing to create engagement. And how do we create dialogue and conversations? By asking questions! This is something that both brands should work on improving.

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If you’re interested in running a Facebook analysis, enter your brand’s Facebook link into Likealyzer and try for yourself!

Why we should all be participating in Twitter Chats…

Twitter chats. What are they? Cyber debates around specific themes following designated hashtags; a community of professionals shedding light on topics in a Q&A format. An opportunity that isn’t utilised enough by companies…

Hosting a Twitter chat offers a number of benefits to the host, but also a wide range of advantages for the participants too!

What can participating in Twitter chats do for us?

·         Twitter chats improve credibility around our brand:

Twitter chats provide us with a route to share tips and tricks around a well-defined theme. By participating, we have the opportunity to position ourselves as industry experts and thought leaders. If participants perceive our brand to be knowledgeable, they’re most likely to also think we’re a trustworthy and credible company.

·         Twitter chats improve brand visibility:

By participating in Twitter chats, we will inevitably be followed, retweeted or favourited, that is if our ideas are relevant and insightful! Moreover, other professionals in our industry become exposed to our brand if we participate in Twitter chats via our corporate Twitter handle. Social media monitoring tools, such as Meltwater’s Media Intelligence platform, offer us insight into how many people have seen our brand via brand impression and post click-through metrics so that we can understand the ROI from participating.

·         Twitter chats are fun:

Even if it’s a part of our work day, Twitter chats are always fun! Meltwater’s #MarketingMinds chat takes place on Friday afternoons at 3PM UK time to round up our week doing something that is both entertaining and beneficial. Most participants are laid-back and open to debate and banter, this is the time to create new ties with a large number of people and make friends with industry influencers.

·         Twitter chats can increase our community

Participating in Twitter chats can also help us to increase our following, especially if we build a bond with an influencer as we can piggy back on theirs. Meltwater provides #MarketingMinds chat wrap up blog posts each week detailing key discussions and crediting participants on their ideas. The wrap up blog is often highly shared as chat participants circulate the blog with their community, who share it with theirs and so we see a domino effect.

What not to do in Twitter chats:

·         Be silent! It’s a chat guys, join in and talk! Sure we have great ideas and opinions, but what good is that if we don’t share them? Sharing is caring.

·         Respect others thoughts. Twitter chats are a debate, so be prepared for disagreements. Disagreements don’t necessarily mean that somebody is in the right or wrong, so let others express themselves. Remember why we’re participating in the chat: to have fun, learn and meet new people- not to argue

·         Follow the rules of the chat. For example, in #MarketingMinds, we think it’s best to include the letter A (for answer), followed by the question number when responding to a question. This helps the twitter chat to flow.

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Why can’t we let Frozen go? Blame Social Media.

Let it go? But we can’t. First of all, apologies for planting the song in your head once again today, but you know that if we hadn’t done so, somebody else would have! It’s been over a year since the release of Frozen and the craze has yet to melt. Since its release in November 2013 the film has raked in over $1.27 billion worldwide, $733 million of which was made in 2014. I’m sure all of our Facebooks were shrines to Elsa and Anna this Christmas, whether it was a friend miming to “Let it Go” on Dubsmash, a video of a little girl receiving a frozen Barbie (literally frozen) or parents asking where they can find the highly sort after merchandise.  Whether you’ve seen the film or not – we have all been struck by frozen fever!

Let’s take a look behind the scenes at the success of this global phenomenon and how we, as we Marketing and PR professionals, can learn from this.

Take Feedback on Board

Disney has been condemned in the past for its representation of gender equalities, with some critics stating the damsel in distress type of female characters are just too reliant on men to save them. But this time around sisters are doing it for themselves! Frozen has taken the crown for the most progressive film in Disney’s portfolio having featured two female protagonists, adding a modern spin to the typical fairytale plot. By doing so, Disney won the hearts of a larger audience, from rights activists to female bloggers and this new audience took to social media to share their experience online. Positive word of mouth spread like wildfire and if the suspense of ‘what is all the fuss about?’ hadn’t gotten to you last year, the fact that the hype hasn’t lessened since might just win us less-than-Disney-lovers over.

Engaging material

Is it the catchy tune that caused this Frozen movement? Quite possibly, after all Queen Elsa and friends managed to beat Queen B’s surprise December album to the number 1 slot. But, there is more to it than just this. Fan created content shared on social media is how the animation was really propelled into the phenomenon it is today. Tune into YouTube and we will find endless cute videos of children and their parents miming to the soundtrack in their car, remakes of scenes featuring cats, flash mobs, and Frozen inspired wedding speeches. Log into Twitter and we will see fans hashtagging lines from the movie that fit nicely into their everyday lives. Scroll through Tumblr and discover edited images of celebrities morphed into the characters.  The point we’re trying to make is that the audience made the film their own, and it is this sense of personalisation that has meant everybody can get involved and share their take on the film online. Once a post receives positive feedback you can be sure thousands more will follow. Fresh content that just keeps on coming is held liable for the steady momentum of the movie’s success. Disney ultimately let the audience create organic buzz whilst they sat back and enjoyed the ride.

Take Risks

Disney recognised this ever growing online community creating a tremendous amount of buzz and decided to offer fans an online exclusive. This was out of character for traditional Disney who usually keeps their new material close to their chest.  As such, Frozen fanatics were able to joyfully listen and watch the ‘Let it Go’ scene on loop causing the clip to clock up almost 400,000,000 views. In addition to this, Disney uploaded 100 videos on YouTube for their digitally savvy young audience to further obsess over, including tutorials showing how we can create  a french plait like Elsa’s and a short animation showing the two sisters going head to head in a snowball fight.

Know Your Audience

While Disney films are quite obviously aimed at children, Disney understood that they’re not the only ones watching. To become a huge success on social (an adults playground) Disney had to connect with their peripheral audience. Consequently, they made an effort to entertain those close to their target with cheeky one liners only the parents would understand, a refreshing story line that pleased their negative critics and empowering song lyrics for the nostalgic teenagers watching; all of which are avid social media users.

Evidently there is something about Frozen that appeals to everybody but it was the interactiveness of the movie experience that has caused this phenomenon to stay hot. The power is in the consumers hands and boy do they love it!