PR Marketing Strategies PR Marketing Strategies Archives - CarsonPR
instagram

Instagram

Social media has become complex and not easy to attract customers. In just a few short years we have over a dozen ways to communicate online. And just like any media, you need to know the audience and why they are using that form of communication. Your PR Marketing Strategy should outline the different social media and how they function.

Instagram is one of the more popular social media. So businesses are trying to lure customers through Instagram, but many are finding it is not working. Why? Because what works for one media isn’t the same for all. You run a different campaign for Facebook than you would for LinkedIn, or Twitter. You need to understand why consumers use a particular social media, and then after you figure that out can you create a successful campaign.

Ok, so let’s discuss why your campaign in Instagram is a flop and how to correct the problem.

I came across an article by Blaise Lacey, senior content strategist at Bitly, who explains his 7 reasons why your ads aren’t working in Instagram. To read his complete article click here. This is a short summary of what he explained.

1- The ad looks too professional. He makes a great point saying that Instagram is like YouTube, it consists of user-generated content. Businesses, and ad agencies try to create clean, white looking ads that turn off Instagram users.
2. Your ad doesn’t tell a story. Most ads have a flashy logo, a brand name, or catchy tagline and a picture. These give the impression of a “banner ad.”
3. Loud call-outs & banners. People go to these social media apps for entertainment, to connect with friends and learn. Keep in mind, mobile screens are smaller than a monitor, so your ad could look like a big banner, or pop-up ad.
4. You feature shadowy and/or generic people. If you are trying to create compelling images, don’t use “stock photos” or something that could look like a stock photo.
5. Your product is just sitting there. Show your product in use, put it in context of what your product relates to.
6. Too much text. This is one I strongly agree with Blaise. He says “Text is a natural enemy of the mobile user.”
7- You’re not trying video. You are limited to 60-seconds, make it entertaining and show your product in use.

As you can see, Instagram is not like the other social media, and neither should you treat all the other social media the same. Learn why your customers use them and then create the campaign for each. That’s how to be successful.

If your PR Marketing Strategy campaign needs help, give George Carson a call for a FREE non-nonsense review of your campaign. 949-477-9400.

 

Many of the social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are still useful media. And business networks like LinkedIn are very powerful, if you know how to use the tools effectively. Are you experiencing “APP Overload?” Confused what is the best platform to use in your pr marketing strategies campaign? You’re not alone.

Vine App

Vine App

It hasn’t been 2 years since marketers and advertisers were finally understanding how to use them in social media marketing, and now we need to learn all over again how to reach targeted customers. Let me explain. These social media platforms I mentioned are continually expanding their capabilities to be more productive. One in particular is Twitter. Two years ago they created a new app called Vine. The purpose of Vine was to give marketers, like Coco Cola, Dunkin’ Donuts, Target and publicity firms a way to post short videos (6 seconds in length). It was great for the first 18 months. Then competition from other platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube created their versions of short video formats marketers could use. But not all is lost. Still today, Vine has about 4% of all videos posted. This can be an effective platform for PR Clients when combined with others.

Allison Stern, founder at Tubular Labs commented about the decline-using Vine saying, “I assume that brands are having this platform fatigue”. I think that best describes what is currently happening with this app overload.

If you want to post something that is happening now, then you need to look at Periscope. That’s another Twitter app, which has become popular because it is a live video streaming app. They have a few cool features. When you tap the video (screen) it sends little “hearts” across the screen. It is their way of acknowledging, “likes” to compete with Facebook. Originally Periscope was developed in 2014 by another company and named it Bounty. Then in February 2015 Twitter saw the value and purchased the app, renamed it Periscope. To understand how fast this app became a hit, in less than 6 months of its release, Periscope had 10 million accounts.

So before you abandon any of your social media apps, just keep posting videos on all platforms, and write short Tweets, blogs and keep your brand in front of customers through all the different social media platforms, today and whatever develops tomorrow. Need help getting your social media campaign going, if so, call George Carson at 949-477-9400.

Are you a person or company that does a lot of postings? Are you aware that there are best times and worst times to post content? If not, read on. Why, because your pr marketing strategy can be a success or failure if you don’t know when your followers are interested in their social media. So make sure your followers/readers are seeing your posts, otherwise you are wasting your time.

I came across this great article and graphics from Richard Brownell, so thanks to Richard for making this simple to understand. Ok, lets start with the more staple social media. That would be Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. These are the more popular and better know social media for businesses. Below is a chart that illustrates what days of the week and times of the day that you should be posting, and when not to.

Social media do's and don'ts

When to post on social media

On Facebook, which is one of the most frequented social media sites, you should be active between 1pm- 4pm and the best day/time of the week is Wednesdays at 3 pm. Avoid weekends before 8 am and after 8 pm. I would stay away for weekends if you are a business, unless you have a retail store that is open on weekends. Twitter has a great readership Mondays-Thursdays from 1 pm – 3 pm. Almost the same time as Facebook followers. The peak time is Monday-Thursday from 9 am til 3 pm. Twitter readers move on to other things after 8 pm everyday and on Friday, so avoid any tweets after 3 pm. Probably they’re off to a party or fun weekend stuff. Now let’s look at LinkedIn. Seems Tuesdays-Thursdays are popular and the best times for the day are noon and again at 5 pm-6 pm. Most business people are not active Monday and Friday from 10pm-6am. Hey you gotta sleep sometime!

Other social media like Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+ have a different schedule that people use. For example Pinterest has heavy viewing on Saturday mornings (well, that does make sense) and the worst time is during work hours. Now Google+ is different with their community of followers. Everyday between 9 am-10 am (short window isn’t it) is the best time and Wednesdays at 9 am is peak times. But then again, similar to Twitter, Google+ is for short messages. You want to know quickly what’s happening and move on.

So there you have it. A quick insight on when to post and not post on your social media accounts. If you are developing a pr marketing strategy for the next season, keep these times and days handy so your social media campaign will have a greater impact. If you want more insights, give George Carson a call at 949-477-9400. He’s probably writing a post right now, but I’m sure he’ll take your call.

Handling your company publicity

Know what to do before it happens

Although you might believe this will never happen to you, I’m sure Donald Sterling and Brian Williams had that same thought until it happened to them.

There are a few basic things you can do now to prepare for a crisis situation with your company, or you personally. Having a  PR Marketing Strategy isn’t enough to prepare you for a negative situation. These four steps are designed to get you to think and are a good basis to create your crisis plan.

1-IDENTIFY THREATS BEFORE THEY HAPPEN
Think of any possible threats you or your company may face. It is impossible to predict if someone says a racial slur, or make up a news story, it is still important to have a proactive strategy when it comes to a crisis management situation.

Once you have identified these threats, develop a response matrix for each and every potential threat you listed. The worksheet should have strategies to help minimize damage and identify any key personnel who will develop and deliver the response to the media. It is ok to have a publicity person, but you or someone you assign should be the primary contact, not a pr person.

2-HAVE PREPARED BLANKET STATEMENTS
This is the time to get an attorney involved. If your company has an attorney, discuss with your legal counsel the statements written to get their approval. Make it easy on yourself; develop each potential situation with a statement that has easy-to-fill-in placeholders. When a crisis happens, this will allow you to be responsive quickly to the media. Plus, it will tell the media you are willing to address the situation vs hiding from it.

3-BE HONEST
Ok, I did say that step # 1 was probably one of the most difficult, but this might be as difficult if you are a person who doesn’t like to take blame, or always points the finger at other people. When confronted by the media, be straightforward and remember these 5 NEVERS:

• Never Lie
• Never Speculate
• Never Lose Your Temper or Swear
• Never Say “No Comment”
• Never Lose Eye Contact

4-KEEP YOUR MEDIA RESPONSES CONCISE
Are you a “talker?” Do you not know when to stop speaking because you want to make sure your point is

Have a crisis plan

Prepare for negative publicity

noticed? It’s time to break those habits and listen closely if so. Think in short 30-second sound bites. Have your three most important messages memorized. Don’t try to explain your entire side of the story. Use carefully worded messages when speaking to the media. It is ok to pause and collect your thoughts before talking.

Being prepared can minimize any negative impact or unfavorable situation and keep you from humiliating yourself or your company. To learn more about preparing for a pr crisis situation in your company, give George Carson a call, before it’s too late!

grow-your-businessUntitled-1

Have a plan

Businesses are always seeking new clients and most companies do so without a plan or use a process to find new clients. Making 100 sales calls per month isn’t productive anymore when you consider the odds to close new business is about 1% at best. New business development programs have been around for decades. Yet we keep searching for a full proof system that doesn’t require effort.

Maybe it’s time to stop searching, and time to begin with a plan or process that will help your business today. For those who want to grow their business, use these 8 tips. You might be surprised how these tips (reminders) can help your business grow this year.

1-   Existing Clients Bring More Business.

After we close a new client, typically we move on to look for the next new client. This is time consuming and not always rewarding.

Existing clients can bring you more business. For example, ask what their goals are and see how you can help them reach those goals. In turn, they just might buy more from you. Also, when you ask them for referrals, you might be surprised to see how eager they are to help you.

2-   Go Beyond What Is Expected.

Providing the goods and services to your existing clients is the easy part. Go one step further. Show interest in their industry and learn more about it. Use your network, or contacts to see if someone might be a good match for your client.

3-   Painkillers Remove Headaches.

pills

Learn how to listen to your customers

It doesn’t matter what type of business or service you provide, the reason why a client does business with you is to remove their pain. So become a “listener.” Whether you are at a cocktail party, an event or other social gathering, let a potential, or existing clients vent their pain. This might sound strange, but gaining their loyalty and being there to listen will show you are interested. Who knows, you might just have a solution to lessen their pain.

4-   Power Partners.

Surround yourself with similar businesses. Ask how they built their customer base and what things they did right and wrong. Ask how they improved their sales and if they have a new business development program. You may not get all the answers you are looking for, but you can learn from their mistakes to avoid those pitfalls.

Another great business source are your vendors. Ask them who they know that could use your products or services. It’s ok to request an introduction, just make sure you are offering your vendor an incentive. It can be a finder fee after you make that new sale, or a gift card to a nice restaurant.

5-   Networking Face-to-Face.

Belonging to groups online, such as LinkedIn is fine. But the best way to find new business is through the traditional face-to-face meetings. Some people call these one-on-one meetings. The point is to meet prospects in person, while keeping your online social network active.

6-   Elevator Speech.

This is the most known term in business, the elevator speech. Unfortunately most sales people, even business owners cannot explain their business in a short 30-second speech. Probably because we want to tell everything about our business fearing we might miss something in a short introduction. One way to better understand the elevator speech is to ask your self what would you put on a billboard, or say in a 30-second TV commercial. I recommend having two maybe three different elevator speeches. They can be written for specific markets, or industries. Then use the one that is most appropriate.

7-   Get Noticed. Stand Out in the Crowd.

standingout

Make yourself and business known

No matter how successful or popular a business or person might be, they are continually marketing themselves through all forms of media: print, broadcast, mailers, and social media. A day almost doesn’t go by without reading about Apple, UPS, Taylor Swift, or Kim Kardashian to name a few.

This doesn’t mean you have to spend millions, or invent the first smart phone to get noticed. You need to be creative. Join a local community program or offer your spare time to a charity. If you are a B2B company, or B2C, you can use social media to build your awareness. Using publicity is another inexpensive form of media that will get you noticed.

8-   Do Your Homework Before Making Any Contact.

Know what the company is selling, if they have more than one location, who their competition is, and where they fit into their market are just a few things to know before making that first sales call. Being knowledgeable about their company can give you the advantage over your competition.

These tips might sound like reminders, and they are, and you’re probably saying, “I have used a few of these in the past”, well, that’s the problem. These should be used all the time. So why aren’t you using them? Now get your team together and make this part of your new business development program.

If you need further help in growing your business to the next level, give George Carson a call at 949-477-9400 or you could wait until your competitors call him first!

As much as we all love and use Google everyday to find information, we are slowly becoming dependent upon them to guide us to what we hope is all the information.

Choices, are they getting limited?

Choices, are they getting limited?

I truly believe Google is actually controlling what information they want us to read about. Yes, you can say that about any search engine, like Yahoo as well. But if you recall when we all began using Google it was because of their ability to provide more listings of places, people, and information we were searching for.

I do like them, and Google has been perfecting their searches, but are you aware of the recent changes to their algorithms? If not, then before you plan your pr marketing strategy be sure read this blog. The past updates have hurt and destroyed many websites who rely on the traffic from the searches.

I recommend that you don’t only rely on Google alone, but use other sources, search engines, to get a good cross reference of information. Just like getting more than one doctor’s opinion, do the same with your searches.

You might recall when Google launched its Panda update four years ago. It had a terrible affect on thousands of websites. You probably noticed that Google is providing more and more content directly on its search pages. Yes, that is good, but it reduces the need for users to click over to the websites, therefore reducing traffic to other sites. To take this a step further, are you aware that Google is showing lyrics in search results? They will show part of the lyrics and then insert a link to their Google Play if you want to see the entire lyrics. Isn’t that more control Google has on us by directing you to where and who you get information from? I think this is pat of their marketing strategy and it is doing more harm than good, in many cases.

Ok, need more proof? A list of the top “Falling Stars for 2014” by SearchMetrics shows in terms of search visibility and various lyrics sites that made the list. For example, LyricsMode and Sing365 both fell 60%. That’s a dramatic decrease. The hardest hit in this category was eLyrics.net which fell 92%. Here is the link to the full list of falling stars: http://bit.ly/1uLdfHt

Many of these and other business sites can only survive with the flow of traffic. We are seeing many of these online lyric sites decreasing staff in order to survive. I am sure this is also true for other online businesses. So what is the solution? Well for now, in my opinion, I suggest when you develop a social media campaign strategy, you do more than hope you get listed on Google, but include a wider array of social media to keep your brand and message in front of potential and current customers. I also recommend an on-going publicity campaign to keep your brand highly visible.

If you are experiencing this problem, or want to prevent Google from dropping your rankings, give George Carson a call at 949-477-9400. Don’t wait until something happens, as the doctor would say, use preventative measures.

We all know or have heard in social media that content is king. This was to my knowledge challenged recently asking if it is still true. Well, in my opinion, it still is. Besides content in your blog, or on your website, we now are finding how to effectively use content as a marketing strategy as another form of pr marketing strategies.

Simply put, a content marketing strategy actually refers to the power of the content and Social engineering conceptunderstanding how you create the appropriate content strategy. Confused yet?  Ok, let me give an example.  In social media, such as Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest you probably tell people, followers and sometimes even customers about your products or services. Take this PR one step further by now creating a “two-way” conversation.  Make your pr content be shareable, work to make it trigger a discussion to encourage your social network to continue the conversation within their social circle.

In order to be effective with a content strategy you should have a clear understanding of your objective before you begin making any statements, or starting up a conversation. This type of content is designed to build viable web content that will engage your target customers as well as search engines.  This can also help increase your visibility with the search engine rankings.

When you create conversations (content) it will usually increase your online business and generate maximum web visibility to build a strong reputation. Therefore be sure to always provide enough quality content for customers to talk about with others. This is an effective way to expand your pr marketing strategy.

Aron Agius a well-known person in the field who has helped online marketing campaigns become successful made this statement:

“The importance of content marketing strategy cannot be underestimated. Content is the foundation of any successful online marketing campaign. A great strategy is needed in order to fuel social media activity, to create high converting landing pages for pay per click marketing, and to power increases in search engine rankings for target keywords.” He continued saying, “businesses of all sizes can benefit from implementing a solid content marketing strategy. Small businesses have just as much opportunity as big business to reach an increased audience trough content marketing – the key element that needs to be monitored is consistency. Consistent content creation and marketing is what sets apart businesses from the many similar businesses jumping on the content marketing bandwagon.”

I do not think I could have said it any better.

And if you are not sure how to implement this strategy, Aron has these 5 steps that you can follow:

1) Focus your plan around being able to consistently create high quality content.

2) Ensure your content strategy covers a wide range of different content types. Text blog posts, advanced guides, info-graphics, images, video — the more types of media you create the greater the potentially reach and the number of different distribution channels you can use to get eyeballs on your content.

3) If need be outsource your content creation, but only do so once you have developed strict guidelines around tone, style, voice, and the core messages that you want your content to speak towards.

4) Identify the problems in your industry, the questions people are asking and focus on being a resource that creates content that solves problems and puts you in a position of authority within your industry.

5) Don’t forget the marketing in content marketing. This is the most important point. People are now creating endless amounts of content and thinking they are doing content marketing. You should be spending as much time in marketing the content as you are creating the content on the first place.

Now go and start some conversations to engage your customers.

As a business entrepreneur, it is very difficult to know if you are making good or bad decisions. Or if you chose the right type of business. So how did you get started, and how do you avoid any of these mistakes?angry-boss1

Starting a business in your mid 40’s or 50’s can be fulfilling, but has its risks if you don’t have any guidelines, especially if this is your first venture. To help you avoid being one of the 80% of businesses that fail in their first three years, review these mistakes that many businesses have made over the years.

1-    Start with a passion and keep it going. When you started the business you might have thought you had clarity and direction. Try to not get caught up in the “BUT” excuses. For example, if you are not a super salesperson or know how to generate sales leads, don say “I don’t know how to do this”, rather seek help and do some research to find how to improve your sales approach. Don’t make excuses for not knowing how things get done.

2-    Are you undercapitalized? Don’t rely on banks or other financial institutions lending you money because you have a great product/service. Banks are not in the business of loaning money to new businesses, it’s just a fact in life. So make sure you have enough capital to keep your business afloat for several months to a year before jumping in.

Before starting, estimate the overhead to run the business, consult with friends or colleagues who have their own business and ask questions on how they managed their first year and what expenses they did not expect. There are a few organizations available to help such as SCORE who can provide guidance and direction.

3-    Build it and they will come. If you want to start a business based on the fact you have a unique product and people are just waiting to buy, think again. People have developed buying habits and the only way to break into that habit is to let people know you exist and have a great product. Offer compelling reasons why they should switch to your product.

bigstock-Businessman-Circling-Success-41064631Do your homework. Identify who your customers are, and then develop a plan how to sell to them. The two simple reasons people buy are to avoid pain and gain pleasure. Not just aches, but the pain of not liking something, such as their kitchen, their clothes, or poor skin or hair.

4-    Know when to quit. This is about an exit strategy. Even though you are just starting out, knowing how you plan to leave the business will help you develop a plan to grow the business. Sounds weird, but this will help give you some clarity to building up the business.

Keeping track of your investment and what you plan to get out of it puts things in focus. Did you know that 90% of businesses that go up for sale never get sold? So have an exit strategy.

5-    Support from those you know, especially family. Starting a business is a commitment, and that will put a lot of stress on a family. In the beginning most of your time will be dedicated to building the business, and that should be clearly understood when you take this giant leap. After you get a foothold and the business becomes profitable then you need to take time off. If you are married and have children, you need to take a break from work. Vacations, even short, two day camping trips will re-energize you and keep the family supportive.

To sum all this up:                                                                                                                                 Keep the Passion, Have Clarity and Continue To Learn From Others

Give George Carson a call when you need to build more traffic to your business. A solid publicity campaign and marketing strategy can keep your passion alive! Call: 949-477-9400 today.

Google and Yahoo are constantly competing with each other to prove they are the better choice. They are continually changing their algorithms and it affects the way companies are listed. Well, this has also created a lot of issues and complaints. Because just when you think all is figured out, they change it again. So now is the time to re-think your PR Marketing Strategy.web-optimizing

Ok, so what’s the secret? Actually, there isn’t a secret. Knowing the basics to search engine optimization and using these tactics can improve your rankings. Let me give you few tips to improve your website rankings:

1- Forget Keywords! Yes, that’s right. Keywords placed in meta tags, etc. are a waste and can actually cause your website to fall lower on the listings. In the last couple of years, SEO’s have decided this is no longer a valid way to rank sites. One reason (among others), many so-called web optimizers would “stuff” words and often they didn’t even relate to a company’s industry. So don’t let anyone tell you that using keywords in your meta’s is the way to go.

Ok, now that I crushed your SEO marketing strategy, let’s see how to effectively use keywords. Place keywords in your content. The website should include several of the keywords, but do not overuse them. That can also result in lower listings.

2- Titles are Key. One critical area that is always overlooked is the title of your pages. Web designers are becoming more aware of how important this is, but you should make sure that your titles are using keyword(s) to further improve your rankings. SEO’s look for titles that relate to your pages.

3- Content is Still King. Keep your content fresh. This doesn’t mean to always change your text. It means adding a blog section to your site. Be sure to keep this active. Have someone in your company blog at least twice or three times per week. And submit these posts to Google.

4- Backlinks. This still remains a positive way to show the SEO’s that your site is recognized by others. How do you get credible back links? Begin with a PR Campaign. This can be a series of press releases submitted to all the digital media in your market and submitted to Google, Yahoo, and MSN and sent through newsworthy online distributors. In addition, create a social media campaign. This should include Google+, a LinkedIn profile of your business, and a Facebook business page. These three social media combined with a pr campaign can give you the backlinks and awareness you need to get higher rankings.

The last thing on the list is a good, clean design. Why? Because as I said earlier, those little bots used by SEO’s are very sophisticated and can “see” if the site is ugly, hard to read, has poor grammar, or has too much color. The site should be easy to navigate and your home page should be clearly understood as to what services and products your company offers. If you need an SEO tune up to get more traffic and higher rankings, give George Carson a call. He will make sure you have a site to be proud of because it will get you results! Call today: 949-477-9400.

Maybe the question should be: If you are not actively involved with your customers (whether they are B2B or B2C) on a daily basis, do you know if they will continue to buy your product or service next year? 

Social networking is powerful

Face it; social media isn’t a fad that will go away anytime soon. You can only ignore progress for a certain amount of time. Then you need to either accept the realities of how to make social media be your partner to succeed, or you wake up one morning wondering how your business suddenly is loosing sales. If you have a solid PR Marketing Strategy, it should include social media.

I’m sure you heard this lecture before, but now is the time for PR Clients to become very active with this media. Before you jump up and down saying, “show me the secret to social media success!” first lets look at some current statistics.

Over 30% of US adults get their news updates from social media. Of those people, 66% use their smartphone or tablet to access the news. If your target audience is 18 – 29 year olds, 71% of them use the Internet as their main source for information. To put this into perspective, a consumer will talk to others (using various social media like Twitter, Facebook, personal blogs, Instagram, yelp, etc.) about their experiences. Over 90% will use some sort of social media while 27% will talk to an actual person, usually on the phone about their experience. Also, social media is a quick and instant method of making people aware of what they like, or hate. This is another reason why your PR Marketing Strategies need to be current with today’s forms of communication.

Email is an early form of social media. Today businesses cannot think of how to communicate without using email. Savvy PR Clients know that Twitter, Instagram, and Linkedin are quickly

Publicity is part of social media

becoming the choice for businesses to stay in touch with their customers and end users. You get immediate feedback on your products and services when using social media. This allows a company to make the adjustments needed to maintain a good position in the market. No longer do we need to do a focus group, only to then wait about a month to get all the data and then act accordingly. That process is too time-consuming, and becomes “old news” very quickly.  If you rely on that form of testing, then you might go out of business before you know it.

With the upcoming holiday shopping season, retailers are pushing hard with their social media to get customers to buy from them. Case in point, Walmart uses Twitter to talk about how their competitors are not stocking certain items, and they publish (re-Tweet) complaints by people about other retailers. Some refer to this as Twitter hijacking. It isn’t. It’s just smart marketing and knowing how to use social media to your business advantage. Facebook is another social media that Walmart has profited from. Other retailers are using this strategy to cut through all the clutter this season.

As you can see, social media can improve sales, create positive awareness, build your brand, and all this can be done quickly (as compared to a print media campaign). Don’t spend valuable time learning how to use this powerful media, instead interview companies that specialize in this media and hire the one that best fits your needs. If you are open minded and willing to embrace social media correctly, then what are you waiting for, your competitors to jump ahead of you?

Better yet, get the jump on your competitors, call George Carson today at 949-477-9400.