July 2013 Issue #4
Building a Passion Brand: How to Drive and Measure Advocacy
Social@Ogilvy / Cheerwine
The majority of people satisfied with their brand experiences aren't advocating online, leaving an enormous opportunity for brands to transform that satisfaction into advocacy.
Brands that drive substantial consumer advocacy can reduce their budgets for paid advertising and marketing. Advocates deliver the messages at no cost to the company. But what drives consumers to become advocates and express their passion for a brand in social media? How to Build a Global Passion Brand
, a recent report from Social@Ogilvy, analyzed millions of social brand mentions to determine which strategies are successful in driving advocacy. Among its findings: practicality trumps emotion. Consumers are more likely to talk about a product's features than its benefits, costs or customer service.
Social@Ogilvy then interprets the findings
and develops five recommendations to build brand advocacy and amplify passion. Recommendation #1: Separate "advocacy" from "satisfaction" discussions. Just because a product or service receives the most mentions doesn't mean it is the highest advocacy-driver. Marketers should utilize media monitoring tools to filter conversations by sentiment, message and subject to determine true advocacy. A comparison of products with key words like "amazing," "love" and "awesome," to words like "bought," "tried" and "picked up" is one way to determine high and low passion for a product. Such insights can be used to inform changes in messaging and products.
In Passion Brands
, Cheerwine researchers identify the characteristics and strategies of brands that create emotional relationships with their consumers. Starbucks, for example, positions itself as an "experience" for its customers, not just a coffee place. To accelerate the "path to passion," marketers should target values — not demographics — to promote a shared worldview; hire passionate employees; design its logo, products and image to stand out and personalize its conversations with customers.
Not all products or services can engender passion, but Starbucks and others demonstrate it's definitely possible to generate consumer passion about commonplace or commodity services. The secret sauce? Company hierarchy and employees are passionate about what they are and do. Passionate employees can convert customers to feel the same way.
The Future of PR and Sponsored Content
Edelman / Everything-PR / SHIFT
Sponsored content presents a new digital revenue model for online news as well as an opportunity to drive PR growth, according to Edelman's latest report, Sponsored Content: A Broader Relationship with the U.S. News Media
. The report addresses four key areas: (1) an analysis of why the media embraces sponsored content; (2) an account of its emerging formats; (3) a summary of key trends and questions and (4) a framework of ethics to guide PR pros in creating sponsored content. (CyberAlert covered the topic previously in a recent Media Monitoring News article
.) Steve Rubel, the report's author and Edelman's chief content strategist, details five possible trends that may hinder sponsored content (and thus, PR's growth), including the government's involvement, Google's intervention, and automated content. Rubel's key takeaways: publishers see PR as their strategic partner in creating sponsored content; and it is PR's responsibility to adopt a framework for disclosure, quality and good judgment.
PR pros must be careful when using sponsored content, Christopher Penn warns in Should PR Pay to Play?
If a media outlet is unwilling to accept an earned pitch, the answer isn't to swipe a credit card so that it gets published, Penn declares. If the editors turn down a pitch, then it's not a good story — period. Sponsored content may boost profits, but PR pros cannot allow it to affect the content they create for earned media or the engagement it generates.
PR Pros: Take the Content Marketing Plunge
PR News / ClickZ
If PR pros don't stay on top of the latest content marketing trends, clients might leave them in the dust. Matthew Schwartz advises taking notes on an infographic that summarizes The State of Content Marketing 2013
, a report that compiles statistics on the growth of content marketing and successful content strategies. In From Earned to Owned — Content Marketing Rebooted
, Jon Wade details the proliferation of new owned media platforms including blogs and newsrooms. The result: traditional earned media is not the only channel to spread a brand's message. The key to content marketing is to avoid overt selling and to tell your brand's story in new, engaging ways by creating content about the brand's people, services, history and news.
PR's Bigger Role in the Marketing/Advertising Mix
Companies must expand their knowledge, definition and application of PR, Nick Cowling contends in How PR is Extending Its Reach
. Sponsored content now contends with advertisements, and social conversations compete against marketing messages. The result opens more room for PR in the marketing mix. Cowling explains companies will see success if they utilize PR's role to build lasting relationships and inspire brand conversations that resonate. Bottom line: Companies that demand collaboration between marketing, PR and advertising deliver the best results.
Essential Storytelling Elements to Implement in PR Content
Three elements exist in every great story: sequence, suspense and a roller coaster, Sean D'Souza declares in The 3 Core Elements of Good Storytelling (and Why Your Business Needs Them)
. As basic as the qualities seem, most writers are unable to capture all three elements and most articles are written in a "how-to" style that lacks storytelling elements. Purpose, suspense and an unpredictable ending in your articles and case studies will enhance your content, D'Souza promises.
Fake Reviews: Your Best Customers Might Be Your Worst Enemies
The New York Times
It's a question that frustrates online reputation managers: Who writes fake negative online reviews, and why? A recent academic study called Deceptive Reviews: The Influential Tail
delivers an answer. Competitors are not the usual suspects behind fake attacks. Surprisingly, the culprits are devoted customers. Review sites act as a forum for customers to vent their dissatisfaction with their brand, even if they have never purchased the actual product, David Streitfield analyzes in his summary of the study, Why Web Reviewers Make Up Bad Things
. An example of this phenomenon occurred when Harley-Davidson released a perfume, and the image it relayed of the brand and its customers agitated its hardcore customers. One approach: Always try to resolve negative reviews to boost your online reputation — especially if you're assisting someone who is an established customer.
Essential Attributes of a Public Apology
Asiana Airlines' response to the tragic plane crash in San Francisco serves as a reminder to PR pros of the power of a public apology. In How to Apologize Effectively
, Dorothy Crenshaw claims that American executives have much to learn from the airline's form of apology. In Asian cultures, apologies are simple expressions of regret and a desire to repair. PR pros would benefit from adopting this definition of "apology" when mending a crisis. An effective apology is sincere, admits responsibility, offers no explanation, and fixes the problem. The latter is where most companies fall short, Crenshaw observes. Best PR advice: Seek to prevent the issue from recurring and commit to positive change. If there's no "teeth" in the promise, the apology falls apart.
PR Leaders Release Guidebook for Global Measurement Framework
PR Guide to Measurement
After four months of collaboration, major PR organizations AMEC, ICCO and PRCA unveiled The PR Professional's Definitive Guide to Measurement
. The guide offers common standards, case studies and best practices to provide a global measurement framework for PR pros. AMEC, ICCO and PRCA leaders and members including David Gallagher and Francis Ingham contributed to the 12-chapter guidebook that analyzes the value of measurement, options and tools for PR pros, social media measurement, and measurement definitions and terms, among other topics. Set for updates every six months, the guide builds upon the Barcelona Principles and represents the organization's newest initiative: to remind PR practitioners that measurement is no longer an option, but a strategic discipline to improve performance and promote the industry.
Creating Content with Better Engagement, Reach and SEO
Dukeo / BlogWorld / Content Verve
Engagement, reach and SEO are the measures of a successful blog or social media post. To enhance engagement, 12 Types of Posts that Always Get Lots of Comments
provides a quick and straightforward list of methods for increasing activity on blogs and social media. Ste Kerwer recommends that writers alternate the typical "how-to" post with a personal story to connect emotionally with readers. Chris Brogan
frequently personalizes posts by referencing a recent experience or mentioning his children.
For improving reach, Shanna Mallon shares the 12 Types of Content that Spread Fast
. While there's no formula to make content go viral, photos and GIFs with text — memes, especially — are "made to be spread," Mallon asserts. Negative stories also receive high traffic — so a blog post on marketing failures or a dissenting view of a topic can achieve significant positive impact. Other successful posts: research studies, problem-solvers and posts that mention other bloggers.
SEO Copywriting - 10 Tips for Writing Content that Ranks in 2013
presents an infographic for communications pros to optimize various types of content. An SEO myth: keyword density matters. Keywords are important, but writers must use them naturally. Cramming keywords where they don't belong does more harm than good. The infographic also introduces Google Tilde, a tool that lists related keywords that are relevant to your query to further optimize your posts. Before creating content, consider the questions consumers type into Google. Then, structure your content around the answers to those questions. This tactic brings readers to your site and takes advantage of long tail keyword phrases, which have a smaller search volume and less search competition, but also reach very specific targets.
How to Leverage Owned, Earned and Paid Media to Improve SEO
Search Engine Watch
Compelling data supports organic search as the most effective way to reach new audiences, and the best way to leverage organic search is by Integrating Owned, Earned & Paid Media for Better SEO
. Optimizing owned media — including your website, blog, social media profiles, and mobile apps — is vital because the more places search engines see your brand engaged, the more authority and higher search ranking your brand earns. The creation of quality owned media also enhances earned media such as reviews, comments and social conversations. While paid media has less of an impact on organic searches, Rebecca Murtagh stresses that the effects of paid media are evident when used in a promotional context to achieve visibility through other channels. Conclusion: The more organic and engaged a brand is, the higher it ranks in search results.
"Strategy" and "Tactics": Not One and the Same
Marketers often use "strategy" and "tactics" interchangeably. But distinguishing between them creates a more successful campaign, Andrew Ettinger professes in How to End the Confusion Between Strategy and Tactics
. He defines strategies as plans for achieving the campaign's goal, and tactics as tools used to implement those plans. A campaign fails when marketers confuse the two: some tactical ideas may be fantastic, but are useless if they don't fit within the established campaign strategy. A campaign should be constructed pyramid-style with the goal as the pinnacle, strategy the neck, and tactics the base. This construct helps assure that all your implementation tactics meet the campaign's goals.
Case Studies: Value of Social Media Monitoring and Measurement
What customers experience in their social interactions online — whether it's being shared by your brand or another customer — all adds to the impression they have about your business. Brandwatch's Social Media Across the Business
uses six case studies to highlight the importance of media monitoring and measurement. One case illustrates how a Target customer's negative tweet spread like wildfire overnight. However, Target turned the potential PR disaster around in just two days with its efficient monitoring and sharp response time. Another case analyzes the sentiment of H&M customers to exemplify the value of media measurement. By dividing sentiment based on the conversation's subject, H&M successfully determined the top problem areas among the clothing store's different markets. Bottom line: Marketers can gain actionable insights from social media conversations through media monitoring and measurement.
Manipulative Marketing Measurement Tricks: Know Them, Don't Use Them
Eric Wittlake scolds marketers who are guilty of the 16 Ways to Manipulate Your Marketing Metrics
. Among them: making it difficult for email subscribers to unsubscribe by signing them up to different lists; inflating social sharing metrics through tools that increase your reach; and focusing on positive metrics and trends to balance the negative ones. Often, marketers fall into the "distraction" trap, only reporting on the easy "view-through" analytics with high volume demographics. If you don't look at the bigger picture and report valid results, Wittlake warns, your executives will discover soon enough and "you may find yourself out on the street holding a cardboard sign."
The Social CEO: Learn from Richard Branson
As mentioned in an earlier Media Monitoring News article
, one of the best ways to drive engagement on Twitter is to encourage your CEO to share company updates. Richard Branson's 7 Secrets to Social Media
uses Branson's successful social stats as motivation for CEOs and offers tips on the best ways for a CEO to go social. One reassuring factor: your CEO having an active social presence already elevates your company above most. Encourage your CEO to ask and answer questions, share news that's important to him or her (not necessarily about the company) and train employees to be socially savvy for better customer service.
Social Strategies for Tangible Business Outcomes
The majority of organizations practice social media strategies instead of social business strategies. The result: intangible results that don't connect to business outcomes. An effective social business strategy has two qualities: it aligns with a long-term business goal and is supported throughout the organization. In The Seven Success Factors of a Social Business Strategy
, Brian Solis contends this is why social media is so undervalued, and why it's difficult to persuade executives to invest more resources on social media strategies. Solis encourages marketers to create a roadmap that identifies the goal's initiatives, guidelines, resources and funding over the next three years. Step 7: Invest in technology platforms that support the goal and avoid "shiny object syndrome."
Brand Logos with Secret Marketing Messages
If you look closely, you'll notice the Baskin Robbins logo uses the company's initials to advertise the number of ice cream flavors it offers. 15 Corporate Logos that Contain Subliminal Messaging
reveals how brands have embedded marketing messages in their logos. Tostitos plays with its name by transforming letters into people eating chips and salsa, and in Amazon's clever logo, the arrow not only points from "a" to "z," but also doubles as a satisfied smile.
The Power of Kindness
On her 42nd birthday, Jennifer Kane decided to celebrate by offering 42 Random Acts of Kindness
. Her acts were all little things — buying coffee for the people who work at her dry cleaners and hair salon, leaving a thank-you note for her mail carrier, writing Yelp reviews for her favorite local business. The results: an enjoyable day for dozens of people and an inspirational reminder that kind gestures can have a big impact. If you'd like more ideas for random acts of kindness, 67 Ways to Change the World
provides inspiring ideas in honor of Nelson Mandela Day. In addition to making a donation to the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the article suggests organizing a "clean-up day" in your neighborhood, helping at a local animal shelter, build a website for someone who needs one or to support a good cause, and write to your town manager about a problem in your area that needs attention.
Tricks to Avoid Long Lines on Vacation
Before going on vacation this summer, save yourself time and a headache by reading the suggestions in How to Cut Lines When You Travel
. Admittedly, most of the time-saving "tricks" cost money — but you're on vacation anyway, right? If you visit a theme park, consider making free reservations in advance for rides, or go the extra dollar with a "Flash Pass" or VIP tour. Best advice for any occasion, even when you're not on vacation: purchase tickets ahead of time. It's a simple step that people often skip, but saves time and, sometimes, money.
Factoids of the Week:
Americans spend an average of 16 minutes out of every hour on social media. (Experian Marketing Services)
61% of B2B marketers rated webinars as the most effective content marketing tactic. (Salesforce)
Shorter Facebook posts receive more interaction; the ideal post is between 100 to 119 characters. (Buffer)
Quote of the Week:
"Don't find customers for your products; find products for your customers." — Seth Godin
Upcoming Conferences and Webinars
, hosted by ManageCamp, will be held Sept. 16 in Las Vegas, NV. The cost to attend is $2,299.
PR Best Practices Summit
, hosted by Ragan Communications, will be held Sept. 25 in Washington, DC. The cost to attend is $1,095 for non-members and $845 for members.
PRSA 2013 International Conference
, hosted by the Public Relations Society of America, will be held Oct. 26 in Philadelphia, Pa. The cost to attend is $1,375 for non-members and $1,075 for members.
Recent White Papers and eBooks
Digital Trends for 2013
. Econsultancy surveyed more than 700 digital professionals to get a sense of what is on their minds for 2013, including social marketing, mobile trends, and data and marketing tools.
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
F.r.e.e & Low-Cost News Release Distribution Services
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ONLINE SOCIAL MEDIA MONITORING
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