What is PR, we hear you ask.
PR is short for public relations, a very powerful part of the marketing mix that often gets forgotten about. It focuses on the way that a company builds its public image, sells its products or promotes itself.
PR professionals help to get a business into the media in a positive way, to create a public image or get the public to do something – whether that’s change an opinion or go and buy its products.
Part of the way they do this is through seeking out news stories from a business and liaising with journalists to get them in the press, in a positive light. Unlike adverts, PR content that has been written up by a journalist provides third party endorsement and builds trust with consumers. This means they are more likely to invest in a business or brand’s offering, because someone else has sung its praises.
PR in the marketing mix
PR differs from other forms of marketing because it is far subtler and does not buy the right to be featured. Unlike a paid-for advertising slot, to have your PR content featured, you need to have newsworthy content that is engaging, earning the right to be featured.
Making sure your marketing plan tallies
As a brand or business, you’ll want to ensure that you’re using all channels of the marketing mix to spread positive and united messages to your clients and potential customers.
If you’ve got the advertising team working on one thing, with the PR team working along a completely different line, your brand messages will get confused and diluted. Sharing information from an early stage is key if you want to guarantee success and ensure a joined-up approach to your marketing.
Share your news
If you have a marketing, digital or PR agency, make sure you communicate with them regularly to let them know what’s going on in your business. If you don’t then they can’t ‘PR’ all the good things you are doing, and won’t be able to amplify your business in the way that you would like. Perhaps you have won a new client? Expanded into new territories? Created a new product?
Shout about it!
If you want to increase sales, you need to give yourself the best chance you can by attracting more potential customers – whether that’s through blogging, social media content or creating a news story on your business. By not using all elements of the marketing mix, you’re doing your business a disservice and can miss potential opportunities.
What to do next
Have a think about your brand or business and all the things you want to shout about, before speaking to an agency that can use the right channels to promote your messages. They can then get cracking on a strategy that makes you more well known, incite change and increase your bottom line.
The way we develop and implement marketing strategies is rapidly changing; marketers and brands alike are all aware of the impending domination of digital driving us to take to social media, online advertising and a more mobile-centric approach to consumer engagement. With online companies such as Google and Facebook massively shaping the way businesses communicate and promote their products and services, we’re all feeling the pressure to stay up to date with the latest marketing trends and stay afloat amongst the flood of online competition.
But, ensuring that you’re meeting the needs of your digital market doesn’t have to cost the world or take an army of marketers to achieve. By making a few changes to your marketing campaign, looking to the predicted trends for the online market, you’ll be able to benefit from increased online presence, brand awareness and traffic to your website. Here are some of the ways marketing will change this year and what we expect brands to be doing to fully engage online:
How you can adapt to the latest online marketing trends
What’s new for SEO?
According to Search Engine Land, 70-80% of users ignore paid ads in the search engine results pages (SERPS), and only focus on the organic result. This means that building your organic visibility by focusing on properly optimising your brand’s content should be a key priority – here’s what you can do:
Mobile is a must: It’s predicted that mobile-optimisation will become more important than desktop optimisation. Ensuring that your website is responsive to mobile and tablet devices, will therefore be a strong factor influencing your online visibility and rankings in the SERPS. User experience for mobile users is a must; statistics show that 57% of mobile users will abandon your website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load on their device.
Additionally, the future is seemingly geared towards the mobile app; apps are becoming increasingly popular with the rise of wearable technology and the ease of usage. As it’s already been reported that users spend 90% of mobile usage on apps, Google will be indexing apps in a much similar way to how it indexes traditional websites. How can you cater for this growing market?
Social media gains more power: It looks like your social media content will become as or even more valuable than content from your independent website pages. Social content is becoming more readily indexed, which means that your communications must be consistent, relevant and targeted across the social sites your target audience interact with. Last year:
- Instagram is now bigger than Twitter
- Snapchat is growing at a rate of 56% each year
- Tumblr signs up an average of 120,000 users a day
If your marketing strategy isn’t geared towards providing a comprehensive social experience of your brand, you’ll be missing out to competitors.
Social is a discovery engine
Facebook has already overtaken Google for news traffic and will look to officially release its ‘Instant Articles’ feature this year. This will give users the opportunity to view brands’ content – articles and blogs – without having to leave the platform. Combined with the introduction of the ‘Buy’ button for Facebook as well as Twitter, marketers must look to take advantage of the increasing power of social media sites early on.
The video boom
Google is experimenting with in-SERP video advertising, in a bid to compete with Facebook and Bing who have started to offer video options for advertisers. Video will become an extremely important marketing device this year and beyond; in fact, it’s predicted that video will account for 69% of consumer internet traffic by 2017. Did you know that currently 400 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute? Make sure you benefit this year by tapping into the video boom.
Get into graphics: Along with the increasing visual appeal of online communications through video, shareable graphics will take preference for consumers digesting content. The trend for websites is becoming decidedly minimalistic, with clean, clear and easy to read written content. To grab your audience’s attention, you’ll need to develop or share more images to match the content created, which clearly relates to your brand and your brand message.
How will content marketing be affected?
HubSpot found that in 2015, companies who blog received 97% more links to their website and B2B marketers that use blogs received 67% more leads than those who didn’t.
Blogs have been rated as the 5th most trusted source for accurate online information, so it’s no surprise that for the online future, creating quality blog content built around the consumer will be the priority. This needs to be strategically integrated with all the other marketing channels. As well as sharing blog content through social media, you’ll need to integrate it into email communications, influencer relations, media relations, content sponsorships and social advertising.
Engaging content matters: A central focus for online marketing will be on providing engaging, helpful content. Header and pop-up advertisements will begin to decline on web pages, particularly on mobile devices. This means that the content you provide on a page needs to be of a high quality to engage audiences’ interest and secure further interaction with your brand. The emphasis will be on creating an engaging headline that stirs curiosity and content that entices action. From there, you could include links within the content to a more ad-heavy page. By delivering quality content, you’ll ensure that your audience will click through and that responses to advertisements will be willingly made.
To find out more about creating an engaging online marketing campaign or for help with building your marketing strategy, please email us at email@example.com or call 0121 308 0219 to speak to a member of our team.
There are many ways to gain exposure online but one of the most effective currently is online or SEO PR. At SEO it Right we build online PR into the majority of our online marketing campaigns but in case you want to have a go yourself here are our top tips for writing an effective SEO press release.
What makes a good story
If you have to choose a topic for an online press release then you are doing something wrong. If something happens within your organisation that you think others should know about then this should automatically become the topic of a news release.
Bill tripping over his own big toe and spilling coffee on the shop floor is not newsworthy – blog worthy perhaps if you have photographic evidence or if Bill spilling coffee accidentally leads to the discovery of new floor cleaning practices, but amusing anecdotes do not make a good press release. The news is a serious channel for awareness building and thus you need to reserve your best stories for the online PR world.
Examples of good topics for SEO press releases would be the launch of a new store or branch, the acquisition of another business, the creation of a new website or brand development or an addition to your range of products and services. Further ideas may include how your business is responding to changes within your industry or the introduction of new, key members of staff.
Despite the fact that you may feel like telling the whole world your news, in reflection the most receptive and targeted audience will be your local one. If you are opening a new store or branch of your business then it makes sense to target news wires and publications within this new area to build up excitement about the forthcoming launch.
Getting the content right
Online press releases do not differ greatly from their traditional offline counterparts in terms of the structure of the content. An SEO press release needs to have a clear geographic target, be dated, have a headline that sums up the story behind the release and be set out in clear paragraphs using concise wording and delivering all the facts. Including a quotation from a key person within the organisation gives the release a ‘human’ angle and can provide an interesting snippet for readers and journalists to scan their eyes over.
Optimising the release
Some of the key ways to optimise your press release will be using hyperlinks within the text to drive interested parties back to a relevant landing page, website or blog. Crucial to the press release process now is to use no follow links wherever possible as Google classes press releases as paid advertising and thus any links within that release which are hyperlinked back to your site to create a backlink may be discredited if created as a follow link.
An SEO press release shouldn’t be seen as the start of the story but more the beginning. If you have something interesting to share about your business then it is only natural you should want to share it in lots of different places. Integrating your social profiles within a press release is vital so that anyone who finds your news interesting can follow you on Facebook, Google+, Twitter or Youtube to keep up to date with future developments.
Submitting in the right places
Traditionally press releases would be created by PR companies who would then call their contacts at various newspapers, publications, radio and television stations to get them interested in the story. Journalists would then decide if they wanted to run the story and possibly send round a photographer to take some snaps to accompany the news release. With the introduction of online news wires, this process has become much more immediate. Online PR news wires still need to approve content though so you need to make sure it is newsworthy, readable and featuring the relevant information if you want to have your release approved for online submission. You can purchase various packages or pay a one off fee to submit your news through the top PR wires, however unless you are an agency this can be very expensive.
As with any press release, getting people to publish is as challenging as ever. The more newsworthy your story is and the more targeted the places you send it to, the better your exposure will be. But at the very least, your news will be published somewhere online other than your own website and will create additional awareness about your business, brand, product or service, to complement an overall online marketing strategy.
If at the end of all this you think it might be best to call in the experts please feel free to get in touch 🙂
Posted by Frances Berry
There is nothing worse than a company constantly boring their social audience with promotional tweets and Facebook updates about ‘awesome’ products or services. Social media is not a platform for selling, but rather a place to generate brand awareness and encourage audience engagement with a view to then converting this interest into a potential sale at some point in the future. For this reason social updates ought to be engaging, different and interesting to those who may come across them – otherwise they are likely to be ignored.
At SEO it Right we pride ourselves in making our SEO, social media, online PR and email marketing relevant not only to our customers’ business and target audience but also what is going on in the wider world. Tapping into news stories, industry updates and awareness campaigns is a great way to increase your visibility both organically and socially.
To give you an example, this morning we are dressed as pirates and eating cupcakes – not that we need any excuse to eat cake here at the SEO it Right offices, but if we did then National Cupcake Week would be a good place to start! As for the pirate patches, well we have just returned from sailing the seven seas after a trip of plundering and pillaging…not really but as it is International Talk Like A Pirate Day there seems no better occasion to be donning an eye patch and singing a chorus of ‘What Shall We Do With The Drunken Sailor’.
Ok, so it is a bit of fun and it isn’t like we do any SEO for pirates, but if we did then today’s international awareness date would be the perfect opportunity for us to create some positive PR and engage with social audiences. Besides, having a little fun makes the day so much more memorable.
To find out more about how we can promote your business through social media marketing and SEO PR please do get in touch on 0121 308 0219. AArrrrrh! We look forward to your call me hearties!
Posted by Frances Berry