2013 Trends of the Internet, Online Marketing and Social Media
Business2Community / KPBC / HubSpot
Public relations has evolved into Digital PR, or what Carrie Morgan defines as a combination of traditional PR strategies and content marketing, social media and search. In What Is Digital PR?
, Morgan urges PR pros to bypass the media and speak directly to your target audience online. Today's PR doesn't allow for silos, she insists, and PR pros must use content marketing, social media, SEO and customer service to cross-promote corporate and brand messages.
With that in mind, PR, marketing and social media professionals would all benefit from reading Mary Meeker's 2013 Report of Internet Trends
, which she recently presented at the AllThingsD Conference. The former Wall Street analyst and "Queen of the Internet" outlines a shifting online landscape that focuses more heavily on social media and content, with the expanded use of multimedia. Mary Meeker's Newest Internet Trends Report a Must-Read for Marketers
does a solid job of summarizing the report's key points for marketers: content is exploding and is expected to increase four-fold by 2015, and short-form information via apps like Snapchat and Vine is expanding. The rise of wearable computers like Google Glass is imminent, Meeker adds. PR and marketing pros, then, should anchor content with engaging forms of multimedia so that it can be shared through different channels and networks.
In addition to how marketers should publish their content, the report also highlights where marketers should target their efforts. Tablet use is still expanding — iPads saw 3x as many sales as iPhones in the past 3 years —while mobile devices still remain a largely untapped area for marketers and advertisers. Communications professionals should also expand their efforts to an international audience: according to the report, the United States falls 10th in the list of countries with the highest number of Internet users. China, India and Indonesia are ranked at the top three, while Iran has the fastest growing number of Internet users. And when it comes to sharing content online, "Americans are huge underachievers," Meeker reveals. Compared to Americans at 14 percent, 24 percent of the world shares "most or everything" they do online.
How PR Pros Can Take Advantage of Their New SEO Role
Public relations is increasingly becoming SEO's strongest vehicle, Cheryl Conner declares in The 15 Steps to 'Power SEO' (PR Is the New SEO)
. Conner frames important steps to optimizing PR content, from setting up Google+ Authorship to using "on-land" promotions through Foursquare and Yelp's check-in processes. Reputation management remains a vital PR responsibility, especially since negative reviews or a crisis could gravely impact the results of a brand's search. Give special attention to social media monitoring strategies, Conner advises — not just to enhance customer service and identify potential crises, but also to track where personal and company names are shared to avoid surprises when you enter your company's key words into Google.
Approach Blogger Outreach Strategies as PR Campaigns
Blogger outreach and engagement is much more than social media, Chris Abraham maintains in Blogger Outreach Is More PR Than Social Media
. Rather, it is a communications campaign to discover and prospect influencers. That is — essentially a public relations function. Abraham offers PR pros his "long-tail blogger outreach" approach, which focuses on identifying a mass of bloggers relevant to your topic and/or location and following up with those who are either interested or curious in your pitch. The "speed-dating" approach defies the precedent that blogger outreach should be carefully personalized, but it works, Abraham promises. His rationale: This attracts the B-Z list bloggers, and it's much easier to prospect for new fans when these fans haven't yet been "wooed" by a secure brand attachment. Blogger outreach not only administers earned media to promote your brand; it also harvests a solid group of bloggers with whom you can build a relationship for future campaigns.
The PR Measurement Checklist: What PR Pros Need to Know
Huffington Post / K.D. Paine
PR efforts can
be measured, Paula Berg insists in Can Public Relations Be Measured? 6 Tips for Proving and Improving ROI
. The only way PR pros can effectively make informed decisions, achieve client goals and demonstrate their value is through measurement. Berg offers a step-by-step guide to establish habits for measuring the ROI of your PR results. Historically, PR firms focus their energy on traditional media, but Berg urges professionals to take advantage of measurement tools that allow you to assess channels like social media, message boards, forums and online videos. One common mistake: Reporting for the past instead of the future. Before you begin a measurement program, identify metrics to measure against, establish benchmarks to track progress, conduct surveys or research, etc. Reports should be a roadmap to improve strategy, not a history lesson.13 Questions Every New PR or Comms School Graduate Should Be Prepared to Answer
also acts as a checklist for current PR professionals to assure you're up-to-date on the latest PR measurement trends. The list's focus on measurement highlights the need for PR professionals to take on roles beyond writing pitches and expanding media relationships. Do you know what the three requirements of influence are in social media? The difference between reach and impressions? The two methods of measuring the value of PR? If not, K.D. Paine appends answers below the list.
Understanding Basic Web Analytics, Formulas and Definitions
For PR and marketing professionals who work with web analytics, Himanshu Sharma's Beginners Guide to Math and Stats behind Web Analytics
offers a thorough explanation of basic analytics formulas and identifies some common mistakes in analytics. One very common math error: if your page's conversion rate jumps from 10 percent to 12 percent, a hurried calculation might result in reporting a 2 percent rise in conversion rate. Such a report would be gravely incorrect. While it rose 2 percentage points, it actually achieved a 20 percent rise in conversion rate. A run-through of the guide's definitions and formulas could prevent silly and rushed errors and is a great introduction for "creative" PR pros who are beginning to journey into the realm of analytics.
Traditional Skills, New Applications: Introducing Inbound PR Into Your Mix
Business 2 Community
In 3 Ways to Integrate Inbound Marketing Tactics into Traditional PR
, Carrie Morgan explains that PR responsibilities remain the same, but must be applied differently. Continue writing press releases, but optimize them for search by using Google AdWords to identify the top key word phrases that fit your press release. Then, integrate the key word(s) into your headline and the first sentence. Don't stop at press releases and bylines, Morgan persists: use your PR materials to create infographics, eBooks, podcasts, white papers, etc. Bottom line: Focus on how you can re-purpose and reuse your PR work to generate new content and maximize readership.
A "Pitch-Perfect" Guide to Persuading Investors, Clients and Journalists
Bruna Martinuzzi compiles the best insights of her fellow PR pros to put together 12 Easy Steps to a Perfect Pitch
. Referencing Carmine Gallo's How to Pitch Anything in 15 Seconds
, Martinuzzi suggests presenting a message map — a visual display of your idea, all on one page. The tool helps pitch a complex idea simply, quickly and visually, so you can grab your client's attention with a summary of your pitch. Take a page from Steve Job's book (or iPad) and produce a "sound bite" that makes your message stick and resonate with clients, much like "The world's thinnest notebook" or "1,000 songs in your pocket." The basic, but perhaps most important, strategy: Always establish a need or problem that needs solving, and convince listeners that the product or service you're selling will solve it. This involves examples of potential ramifications of the problem, and how those consequences may affect people.
Tighten Your Writing Copy and Avoid Grammar Mistakes
Whether you're writing a blog post to be seen by a mass audience or a pitch to journalists (who are usually sticklers for good grammar), any grammar mistakes in your writing can be deemed unprofessional and unimpressive, Ben Yagoda asserts in 7 Grammar Rules You Really Should Pay Attention To
. Yagoda lists editors' pet peeves that all writers should watch out for: the dangling modifier, for example, which is an error Yagoda admits even good writers commit frequently. Word usage is also often a problem; "fewer" should replace "less" when describing objects you can count, just like "more than" should replace "over" unless you're describing physical height.
Responsibilities and Best Practices of a Successful Social Media Manager
AllFacebook / Kathi Kruse
This year, 62 percent of companies will increase investments in social media, according to an eConsultancy study. Thus, many social media managers will take on more work. Andrew Caravella recommends adopting the 5 Habits of Successful Social Media Managers
so you're not overwhelmed by the constant change in social media. Managers should study the latest tools that identify the strongest trends and networks, while implementing a monitoring and measurement strategy to determine if your social media efforts align with business objectives, fiscal plans and sales goals. Also, be aware that a social media manager now maintains initiatives beyond the social media and marketing departments, Caravella advises. Since social now permeates an entire organization, it's imperative to create strategic alliances to establish a collaborative social strategy throughout the organization.
It can often be difficult to assess whether social media staff are meeting your company's needs, especially as their roles and responsibilities have changed over the past few years. Kathi Kruse provides the Social Media Manager Job Description: A Complete Guide
to assist companies in defining the roles of social media specialists. The manager's essential responsibilities focus on online monitoring, listening and responding to the audience with the intent to generate leads and sales. Social media managers should also be able to analyze qualitative data (sentiment, positive/negative reviews) and recommend procedures for improvement. Key qualifications: proficiency in writing skills, content marketing and a knowledge of the blogging ecosystem.
The Latest Tools & Trends in Social Media Marketing
Social Media Examiner / B2B Marketing Insider
In case you missed Social Media Marketing World 2013 in April, Patricia Redsicker compiles some of the best tips and insights from the conference in 15 Actionable Takeaways from Social Media Marketing World 2013
. The list features summaries from social media and marketing leaders on embracing the latest trends. Redsicker's compilation includes conference speaker Nichole Kelly, who shares how brand awareness, lead generation and customer retention metrics can be used to show decision-makers how social media fits into the sales tunnel. Also highlighted is Joe Pulizzi's presentation, which urges marketers to utilize the largely-untapped tool, SlideShare. The "sleeping giant" of content marketing is a great way to employ calls-of-action into visual, easy-to-share content. Michael Brenner echoes Pulizzi in SlideShare Is the Biggest Opportunity in B2B Content Marketing
by noting that the tool receives 50 million visitors per month and more than 100 million pageviews. Since marketers spend a good deal of time creating and listening to slide presentations, Brenner challenges, why not transform those skills into something customers can use?
Influence is Defined by the Audience, Not the Messenger
It's time for marketers to stop looking for that one "magical influencer" and start focusing on the audience that is consuming your message, Matt Hixson declares in Influencer Marketing: Stop Looking for the Pied Piper
. The relationship between an influencer and his or her audience is usually subject- and topic-specific; if your message falls outside that topic, it's falling to deaf ears no matter how large the audience, Hixson maintains. Instead, identify the influencer's audience network and consider how they will respond to your marketing content.
The Value of Multi-Channel Attribution Measurement
Marketers and web analysts are now recognizing the importance of employing multichannel attribution solutions, rather than relying on the "last click" approach that measures only one marketing touchpoint before a customer's transaction. Attribution modeling — mapping the customer's online journey from the beginning to the checkout point — is set to be a top priority among marketing organizations this year, according to the results of a MarketingSherpa survey reported in Retailers Use Attribution Modeling to Measure the Touchpoints Driving Sales
. The benefits of attribution modeling are straightforward, the article insists: marketers can tap into advanced analytics to better understand the effects of top-of-the-funnel marketing activities. Marketers can now utilize attribution modeling and customer conversion paths through Google Analytics, which updated the tool earlier this year.
An All-Encompassing Guide to Case Studies in Content Marketing
A solid case study stirs emotion, relates to problems your audience can connect to and justifies the solution with logic and data. For more case study advice, marketers should use Lee Odden's B2B Content Marketing Tactics: Pros, Cons & Best Practices of Case Studies
to attain thorough understanding of how to leverage case studies in marketing content. Odden also includes examples of how to best use case studies, as well as a "mini how-to" for creating great case studies. Among the advantages: case studies can be multi-purposed for publication in websites, SlideShare, white papers and webinars. On the "Cons" list: Boring or underwhelming performance cited in case studies is more likely to turn prospects away rather than attract them. (Solution: convincing results and exceptional writing).
Free Marketing Tactics for Non-Profits & Small or Local Businesses
She Owns It
Free is better. Small businesses, non-profits and any organization with a limited marketing budget will benefit from 25 Ways to Market Your Business for Free
. Marlee Ward recommends networking through a variety of ways: attend industry conferences and webinars weekly, engage through social media and, after developing a list of referral partners, ask them to coffee or lunch with a personal invitation. The "gems" of free marketing is writing content for industry publications, white papers, and as a guest writer on relevant websites to gather a target audience. Ward's "super-secret tactic" to building traffic and relationships: offer to write testimonials for other vendors whose products/services you use and like.
Surveys Find Correlations between Employee Communication and Company Success
Deloitte / Institute for Public Relations
Employees who feel they have a strong sense of purpose at work are more likely to say their company succeeds financially and outperforms competitors, the Deloitte Core Beliefs and Culture Survey
suggests. The survey spotlights the differing opinions of executives and employees on the elements for a successful workplace culture. The findings propose that exceptional organizations create and sustain a culture that engages and motivates their employees. Surprising revelation from the survey: Business leaders may be using social media as a crutch in building workplace culture and appearing accessible to their employees — suggesting that the importance of personal messages and face-to-face meetings have not changed in the workplace. Best-In-Class Practices in Employee Communication Through the Lens of 10 Global Leaders
echoes those findings. Two factors that contribute to the success of best-in-class companies: an arsenal of tools and practices for listening and communicating company messages, and a strong commitment to keeping employees across the company informed in a timely fashion before company information is released publically.
Advice and the Unspoken Laws of Social Media
The 80 Rules of Social Media
offers a mix of truly helpful social media insights, as well as some humorous "unspoken laws" of social media. Genuine advice: Look after your audience; it's 7 times cheaper to keep a customer than it is to acquire a new one. Don't try to copy competitors when it comes to media monitoring, Jeremy Waite asserts. Just because something worked for them doesn't mean it will work for your company. Additional, more light-hearted advice: If you actually spoke to people the way social advertising speaks to people, they'd be tempted to punch you in the face.
Factoids of the Week:
60% of the top 25 technology companies were founded by immigrants. (Mary Meeker)
71% of B2B content marketers use case studies as a marketing tactic. (Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs)
Google+ is now the second largest social network, with more than 343 million active users (or 25% of Internet users), passing by Twitter's 21% . (Global WebIndex)
Quotes of the Week:
"Truly brilliant marketing happens when you take something most people think of as a weakness and reposition it so people think of it as a strength." — Reed Hastings, Netflix co-founder and CEO
"In God we trust; all others must bring data." — W. Edwards Deming, statistician and author
PR Meetings, Seminars, White Papers
— Marketing & Tech Partnership 2013 Summit
, hosted by Direct Marketing News, will be held June 20 in San Jose, Ca. The cost to attend is $260 for marketer/tech partners and $160 for an individual ticket.
— The Social Media Strategies Summit
, hosted by Global Strategic Management Institute, will be held June 12 in New York, NY. The cost to attend is $1,295 and $1,095 for government and non-profit organizations.
— Content Marketing World 2013
, hosted by Content Marketing Institute, will be held Sept. 9 in Cleveland, OH. The cost to attend is $1,295 for the full conference, $395 for the workshop and $695 for the summit.
— The 2013 IABC World Conference
, hosted by International Association of Business Communicators, will be held June 23 in New York, NY. The cost to attend is $1,430 for members and $1,795 for non-members.
— 4th Annual PR Summit
, hosted by Graffiti PR, will be held July 30 in San Francisco, Ca. The cost to attend is $300.
PR & Marketing Job Openings
The listing for this issue includes PR job openings and marketing positions — with detailed job descriptions for each. Readers are invited to submit job postings to email@example.com
Best of Previous Issues
Determining Your Media Monitoring Needs
Print News Monitoring Vs. Online News Monitoring
Broadcast Monitoring for TV & Radio News
Selecting a Social Media Monitoring Service
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