Forbes contributor, Theo Priestly pens a story discussing the challenges marketers face in these fast paced times. “Marketing: 3 Reasons To Tell A Story, Not Sell Technology” states that organizations need to turn their attention more towards storytelling and explains how to approach this task effectively. TheNextWeb’s article called “5 Social Media Fails and the Apps That Could Have Saved Them”, points out various social media mistakes by well known brands such as DiGiorno, New England Patriots and McDonalds. It offers insight on the apps that could have helped these brands when human error could not have been avoided. Justin Lafferty authors an article for AdWeek’s Social Times called “Was Amazon’s #PrimeDay a Social Media Failure?”, delving in to the success of this social media campaign. Though Amazon said that Prime Day sales surpassed Black Friday or 2014, a lot of the chatter around the sale event was negative or bland, according to Talkwalker.
Forbes writer, Nicole Narea, discusses the latest PR nightmare for Subway in “Lessons For Brands From Subway’s Jared PR Nightmare: Act Fast, Be Transparent” . She takes a look back at other PR blunders by brands such as Best Buy and Urban Outfitters and reviews the lessons we have learned from them.
AP Photo/Jeff Roberson
What is a social media influencer and why should you care? CIO contributor, Lauren Broussell, takes an in-depth look at the pros and cons associated with marketing to “internet influencers” and whether it is worth the effort. In this article called “Inside the murky world of ‘social media influencers’”. She also discusses “affiliate networks” and their importance to marketers.
Photo credit: ThinkStock
“The data-driven marketing revolution” authored by David Benady covers why brands are investing heavily in the latest digital technology. This very thorough Guardian report includes viewpoints from data technologists, website marketers and digital leaders.
“Brand Advocacy is the topic of AdWeek’s article called “How IBM Got 1,000 Staffers to Become Brand Advocates on Social Media“. Author Christopher Heine talks about IBM’s strategy that is catching attention worldwide. And last week, IBM’s #NewWayToWork effort garnered Armstrong’s team a Viral Marketing Campaign of the Year distinction during the 13th Annual American Business Awards in Chicago.
Mashable contributor, Dorey Clark discusses strategies to build a stratospheric social media fan base.This article “3 ways to turn your brand into a social media juggernaut” talks about early adoption of new social channels, hedging your bets and more.
“The 5 biggest social media mistakes to avoid” authored by Karissa Giuliano explores social media mistakes made by brands. This CNBC article offers helpful insight for not only brands, but also for any avid social media user.
PR practitioners used to have it easy! Remember the good ‘ol days when it was all about our media relationships and campaigns were linear, like this?
- Step 1: Work with client on strategy; get content.
- Step 2: Pitch content to media; get placement.
Ok, that’s simplifying things quite a bit, but you know what we mean.
Now, though, the entire landscape has changed with the explosion of the Internet, which has removed virtually all barriers to publication. Suddenly we’re responsible not only for the message, but also the mode and the medium, which follows more of a vicious cycle:
- Step 1: Coordinate with client on strategy.
- Step 2: Create actual content, which could be anything from case studies and white papers to blogs, eBooks, guides and all kinds of other collateral.
- Step 3: Publish content, which runs the gamut from media placements, company blog posts, contributed articles, events and more.
- Step 4: Promote content via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.
- Step 5: Interact with community on various platforms, reacting, responding and re-adjusting your course, as needed.
- Step 6: Start from the beginning and do it all over again!
In an nutshell, since we now play a larger part in the production of content (journalism), we’re no longer simply pitching and promoting it (PR), but are challenged to leverage it as a strategic tool for lead generation and brand awareness (marketing).
The only problem is that, well, everyone else is doing the same thing, which means it’s pretty noisy out there as we all compete for the time and attention of our audiences.
That’s where the shift to “inbound” comes in; it’s an offshoot of content marketing that focuses on aligning content with customer interest so that they are “pulled” toward your company, rather than the old-school spray-and-pray methods.
We’ve embraced this, both in theory and in action, with our clients. In fact, we recently attending the Inbound Marketing Summit in San Francisco and the Inbound Marketing Conference in Boston where we talked about how it’s not about being the loudest; it’s about having the right content for the right audience at the right time.
Put simply, the only way we can guarantee our clients are in the media nowadays it to help them become the media. Content has become their new currency when attracting, engaging, converting and retaining customers.
Savvy PR professionals are embracing their status as content custodians. But the most successful ones will recognize the beauty in marketing’s ability to measure return and directly tie to their clients’ bottom line.
To say that the lines between PR, media and marketing are blurred is putting it mildly. What was once about facilitating and gatekeeping has now become a creative free-for-all as more brands step into the role of content makers to try to strike a chord with their respective audiences.
As an agency, we’re constantly thinking about best practices among the complimentary disciplines, along with how we can leverage a combination of them most effectively for our clients.
One of the more recent discussions was around engagement on social media. While we’re all familiar with it from a personal perspective, it’s still an area that can be a challenge from a business standpoint.
Even though there’s a general understanding among brands that social media is a marketing tool that can help them reach out to their customers, it can be difficult to convince them to loosen the reins and fully harness their network’s power to unlock the true potential.
But rather than brainstorming something like a list of the “10 tips for better social media engagement,” we simply wanted to show an example of the magic in action in this video from UK maxipad maker Bodyform, made late last year. The company created it in response to a man’s tongue-in-cheek “rant” on their Facebook wall, claiming that he’s been lied to about the “happy periods” depicted in their ads over the years.
What might make some brand managers bury their heads in the sand to avoid addressing, Bodyform embraced as an opportunity to get a conversation, ahem, flowing in its community.
“We found Richard’s post very amusing and wanted to continue the positive dialogue around periods that this generated,” said Yulia Kretova, brand controller for Bodyform, in a statement. “…Breaking down the taboo around Bodyform and periods has always been a challenge, and I hope that we have started to address this.”
The result? Well, not only did it delight fans and followers, but the video went viral, and we’re still talking about it months later as a hilarious – and effective – example of engagement at its best.
While the saying “no publicity is bad publicity” will always be up for debate, there’s no denying that any kind of feedback – even negative – can be a major opportunity in social media to convert its loudest naysayers into its most fervent fans. And that’s something none of us should overlook – period.