How Blogs Play a Role in Promoting Your Service or Products

I woke up this morning thinking about my blog and how important blogs play a role in the “PR”. I have friends and colleagues that “think” blogs are a waste of time (offer little or no value). Blogs are the new PR world order, a blog can become a destination, aggregate of knowledge and expertise that helps customers, clients (or investors) make decisions while also building relationships. Relationships are THE name of the game.

Blogging also helps bring customers and relationships back to your company site and also helps point them to specific landing pages. This additional and internal linking traffic will help brand awareness, sales & leads, and Google rankings.

How many blogs per week? To boost organic traffic (from search engines, for example), you should publish 3 to 4 brand new posts per week, each of them fully optimized for search engines (HubSpot). For a specific industry like financial advisors, blogs are a great way to market your Company’s compliant content. Content shows up in Google Search and helps drive visitors back to your website.

You can also post Advisor compliant blog content across social media platforms that will also drive prospective clients (visitors) back to the website and fill out a “contact form” that will turn into a quality lead.

Publishing a blog post really depends on the platform, demographic, and region. There is no blanket “best time” to publish. Ideally, should be published when your target demographic is getting home from work and they start checking their favorite websites as well as checking in on Facebook and Twitter.

Need blog traffic? Just write good compelling content. It’s that easy. Content Marketing goals really depends on your overall business challenges. If your website has lack of visitors, then Content creation should center around getting website visitor traffic (“clicks” and “time on site”). If your product lacks branding or “awareness,” content marketing should center creating high-quality content that speaks to your target audience’s pain points will position you and your company as a helpful, knowledgeable subject matter expert. Other goals we can drill down to include: Revenue, Lead Generation, Trust, SEO, Target Audience, Returning Visitors, Customer loyalty, Website Bounce Rate…the list can go on and on depending on what stage your business or service is currently at.

Other techniques to get your blog up and pumping traffic include: Links to other blogs, Link Building, buy PPC ads that link to company blog, submit blog sitemaps, post blog content on social media platforms, or write guest articles for popular websites which allows you to tap their brand equity, user trust, and traffic stream back to website. So many ways.

Social Media Crisis Action Plan For 2021

Whether your a big or a SMB company, a celebrity or some kind of a famous personality with a large amount external public exposure, chances are you may have to deal with some kind of social media crisis sooner or later. A crisis can occur at random (insensitive tweet), or it can occur with a product misstep or even a social media account hacked. In this digital world, speed of these harmful conversations can implode on you or your company in mere seconds.

While there is no “one size fits all” approach, the below basic social media action plan will help you quickly identify the crisis (issue) and resolve it before it goes viral and turns into disaster.

The first stage of social media crisis planning is to identify the problem or issue in real-time before it gets out of control and goes viral. There are many tools out there that can help you keep tabs and monitor the majority of social media platforms. Most of these social tracking tools depend on keywords important to you or your company. Keywords such as “Company” or “product name” “name of person” “events” “competitors” “social media accounts” etc.

A short list below:

  • Social Mention. A great social real-time listening tool for your brand. It measures your influence within four key categories: passion, sentiment, strength, and reach.
  • Google Alerts. Track your brand mentions across web and news sites.
  • Mention.net. Track your brand across blogs, news sites and forums.
  • Talkwalker. Track your brand across across mostly blogs.
  • HowSociable. Measure and track what your competition is doing in Social Media.
  • Sprout Social. Great tool for monitoring and measuring your brands.
  • Radian6. A salesforce product. It allows you to quickly and efficiently track, monitor, and react to comments, questions, and complaints as they happen on most all social media platforms.

Here are five basic steps to include in your social media crisis plan:

1. Act quickly. Speeds kills, but speed also resolves! Explain the issue or problem FIRST and what your going to do to address it ASAP before it takes hold on Social Media. Be very transparent. You need to do this before it destroys your brand or major lawsuit.
2. Take charge. Step up and take charge of the issue and move fast (even if its at 2am).
3. Be transparent. If its bad and your company screwed up. Take ownership. Own up to the problem or issue!
4. Engage. Engage all the nay-sayers. Engage all the Social Media Trolls and critics.
5. Spread the word. Post your PR response on your website, company blog, social media pages and media releases.

Bottom line: Don’t wait until the threat to your company’s reputation becomes visible. Identify the crisis and get out in front of it before it takes hold.

Digital PR Tips for 2021

A short, brief list of digital PR tips & essentials. The target of Digital PR is to get high-quality backlinks from online publications and websites. You need to target the websites, podcasts, and social media accounts being browsed & loved by your target audience.

  1. PR blog posts and press releases views happen mostly on Mondays and Wednesdays. First thing in morning.
  2. Tuesdays are a bad day to issue a PR or a good story on your company’s blog…people tend to work and stay focus on Tuesdays.
  3. Fridays are bad. Fridays see very little traffic to content. Everyone is out to lunch on Fridays or gets in late to work.
  4. If you do send out a press release (wire), post it on your company blog as well = more traction.
  5. Ideal blog post length is between 1,000-2,000 words.
  6. Make your PR or story post link-worthy. Do not forget a great image (hi-res) or visual to your digital content like an Infographic. Add keyword themes associated with the brand, product or service.
  7. All Press Releases and PR campaign’s must contain complementary digital assets in order to get links. Links are symptomatic of good PR. Your SEO team should be helping your PR team optimize the links in all of their earned media coverage. SEO can help with PR keyword links that will rank high on a Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
  8. Twitter is a perfect PR distribution platform. Use Twitter for media relations. Busy reporters & reviewers do not answer their phones and receive countless e-mails, but they do pay attention to Twitter! Twitter is a great way to link a press release or a quality company blog post. It adds traction and traffic (value-add). Twitter can also be used to Pitch. Before any pitch has been made on Twitter to @journalist follow them for a few months. Get to know them. If you like what they are doing and reporting, retweet them or give them props! Share their stuff and links to their articles. If @journalist needs info or asks for help, reach out immediately and make it your priority. Help them out, and they will help you out. It goes both ways. Let the reporter know you’ve been driving traffic to their story. Keep the pitch respectful and short. Example: @journalist Do you accept story pitches? @journalist I just sent you an email, take a look when you get a chance. Its a good fit for your outlet.
  9. Facebook. Yes, @journalist use Facebook as well. @journalist will use Facebook on their own or through their publication page. Share their stories + interact with their readers. Interact with them and become visible by liking and commenting on their posts. Establish a professional relationship.
  10. Build a journalist / reporter list for your niche. Need to build a good list of Press for your particular product or service? Start with research. A good shortcut is to use JustReachOut. JustReachOut is a website dedicated to finding reporters who have written about your particular product or service. Just add your company’s product category in the search box, and the engine will bring up reporters interested and have written about your industry. Connect with them and reach out.

Lastly, monitor your news and social coverage by analyzing website referral traffic (Google Analytics). Figure out what works, and what doesn’t. Social proof for brands is now about data and metrics. Digital PR has become an inseparable part of the digital marketing strategy. Takeaways from this quick tips bog post will help improve your next Press Release (PR) strategy!

Tips On Setting Up Online (Interactive) Newsrooms

With the advancement of internet technology and the increase adoption of bandwidth around the world, the new PR/media relations professional has to make sure to embrace the modern day platform. Setting up an online newsroom for your company is essential for a few reasons:

1. It’s going to be the main source of credible information about your company, especially when journalists, analysts, and customers are researching at all hours or use your online news center to obtain breaking news.
2. The newsroom is also a great way to maintain control of brand communication (much better for a journalist to receive info straight from the brand rather than another source).
3. Newsrooms can also save in costs associated with sending out media kits or informational product USB sticks. All Media kit information can be converted into PDF format and posted in the newsroom as well as USB sticks converted into video format.

Most journalists or investors expect to see the basic elements included in your newsroom. Basic elements include:

Contact info for your main PR contact. Basic facts about the company. Executive bio section. Company’s point of view on its industry. Access to financial information, quarterly newscast of earnings. Easy downloadable images for stories. Images and logos should be in 72 dpi for web usage and hi-res 300 dpi files for print publications. Searchable news release archives. Product information.

Online newsrooms range from the basics to the more advanced media centers with searchable databases, video presentations, and podcasts. These interactive newsrooms can contain blogs, RSS feeds, and SMR (Social Media News Releases). When sending out PR email alerts to journalists or investors, it’s always good practice to put link-backs to the online newsroom. Targeted messages using RSS feeds are also great for wireless devices like mobile phones.

Other online newsroom features you will want to include are E-press kits. E-press kits include targeted news releases, images, statements and related content. Also include the ability for a journalist to sign up for email “media alerts.” If you really would like to cater to your journalists and media personal, include personal folders in the newsrooms with a password protected (encrypted) area to store information they’ve researched and want to archive for future use. Add special icons into press releases or other collateral that will enable the journalists with a simple click to add to their folder.

Break the newsroom into a “corporate” and “consumer” section. The consumer section should include news and info on customer satisfaction, feedback, e-commerce, marketing, safety, compliance and service. As you build your online interactive newsroom keep the following in mind:

Your brand’s newsroom will be a main source of credible information as journalist’s research story ideas or analysts looking for financial information.

Understand the basics of your online newsroom before enhancing it. Add features and functions slowly. Keep in mind that most journalists today that access your newsroom are technologically savvy. Don’t be afraid to add advance features.

Always post fresh content everyday (blogs are a good example). Fresh content will have journalists & Investors returning to your newsroom to check out the latest news and information.

Build your newsroom in phases starting out with the basics. A second phase can include features such as RSS, podcasts, video. A third phase you can add blogs, tags, social bookmarking sites and even Twitter searches or Mention to check out all the chatter on a topic in the blogosphere or social media platforms.

What is a Twitter RT?

A Retweet (RT) is a Twitter post originally made by one user that is forwarded by another user. Retweets are useful for propagating interesting posts and links within the Twitter community (although you can also say outside the Twitter community via real time social search from Google and now Bing). Retweeting provides an enormous potential for viral marketing. Numerous studies suggest the average Twitter user retweets only one in 300-400 URL’s. One can measure how much influence user (person A) has one user (person B) by counting the number of times B retweeted A. Getting retweet is important on a few different levels:

  • People are actually reading your tweets and think that some of them are actually valuable enough to retweet to their followers.
  • The act of someone retweeting your tweet generates traffic back to your profile or the URL you listed. This can be valuable traffic generator if your URL is pointing back to a webpage that sells products or services (think branding). When you get a retweet, the potential of reaching larger audiences suddenly opens up for your business.  Basically, the amplify effect of retweets, has the potential to make your business content posts go viral on Twitter.
  • People want to be retweeted! Having retweets and other interaction in your tweet stream makes you a much more attractive person/entity to follow than someone whose tweets one-way.
  • RT’s will get you more #FollowFriday recommendations. No brainer here, if you’re on a #FollowFriday recommendation, your Twitter followers will grow thus wielding more influence.
  • Retweets help build trust. Period. If you retweet valuable posts, your followers will trust you more than ever. But be careful, At the same time, ineffective retweeting can wreck your personal brand reputation.

Why Your Business or Service Needs To Get On Twitter NOW

Product Launch Essentials for Start-Ups & Small Business

If your a start-up, small business, or a one-man show, you may not have an enormous budget to launch a product like say Microsoft or Apple. Never spend more than what you can afford to lose or gain a new customer. Below are few essentials for a successful product launch with limited budget:

  • Social Media. Set up a refresh of your Facebook page, LinkedIn & Instagram company page. Send out Twitter product launch tweets (schedule tweets 24 hours before launch date), create a LinkedIn group, create a webinar (webinars are huge right now, and they are the easiest way to connect with your audience). If your in retail, use Groupon. If you have a physical location your customers frequent, utilize geolocation tools like Foursquare or Gowalla. In addition to a review site, Yelp also offers “check-in” offers and “deals” that are similar to what Groupon & Living Social offers. Use these services to reach out to new, potential customers.
  • Website refresh. Create new product-specific landing pages, feature photos (.png’s), blog content, online collateral. Adjust and enhance your website meta tags/keywords to reflect new product information.
  • Review copies. Reach out to influential bloggers + online publications. Send them copies 1-2 weeks before launch with an embargo date. Make sure you have some type of “blogger relations” program at least 6 months before launch. Relationship building with bloggers is key. Get to know them, comment on their blogs, reach out to them and introduce yourself.
  • PPC campaign. Stick to one advertising platform like Google Ads, Amazon, or Facebook ads.
  • E-mail marketing. Consider offering a pre-order for your new product, exclusive only to e-mail recipients. Or, offer a sneak peek at the new product before it’s released to the public. Use Constant Contact software and automate your email campaigns.
  • Press Release. If you have some budget, use Business Wire. A cheaper alternative is PR Newswire. These PR distribution companies now are fully automated and support Social Media + mobile (iPad, smartphone) tools.
  • Work your ass off. Rather then using a ton of money, use your time, energy and creativity!

Its crucial to measure your results after your launch. Go back and re-double efforts on which of the above techniques are working and abandon the ones that are not working.

Product (or Services) Launch Essentials for Start-Ups, Retail, Brick and Mortar

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  • Social Media. Set up a refresh of your Facebook page, send out product launch tweets (schedule tweets 24 hours a day), create a LinkedIn group, create a webinar (webinars are huge right now, and they are the easiest way to connect with your audience). If your in retail, use Groupon. If you have a physical location your customers frequent, utilize geolocation tools like Foursquare. Make sure your business is already discoverable on geolocation apps.
  • Website refresh. Create new product-specific landing pages, feature photos (.png’s), blog content, online collateral. Adjust and enhance your website meta tags/keywords to reflect new product information. Dont forget your social sharing buttons (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc) on all website content.
  • Review copies (product launches). Reach out to influential bloggers + online publications. Send them copies 1-2 weeks before launch with an embargo date. Make sure you have some type of “blogger relations” program at least 6 months before launch. Relationship building with bloggers is key. Get to know them, comment on their blogs, reach out to them and introduce yourself way before your launch.
  • PPC campaign. Stick to one advertising platform like Google Ads, Amazon local advertising, or Facebook ads.
  • E-mail marketing. Consider offering a pre-order for your new product, exclusive only to e-mail recipients. Or, offer a sneak peek at the new product before it’s released to the public. Use email software such as Constant Contact, MailChimp, ExactTarget, Emma Mail, AWeber, or InfusionSoft.
  • Press Release. If you have budget, use Business Wire. A cheaper alternative is PR Newswire. These PR distribution companies now are fully automated and support Social Media + mobile (iPad, smartphone) tools like analytics.
  • Work your ass off. Rather then using a ton of money, use time, energy and creativity.

After launch its crucial to measure your results. Go back and re-double efforts on which of the above techniques are working and abandon the ones that are not working.

Digital Press Relations Tips & Essentials

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A short, brief list of digital PR tips & essentials.

-PR blog posts and press releases views happen mostly on Mondays and Wednesdays. First thing in morning.
-Tuesdays are a bad day to issue a PR or a good story on your company’s blog….people tend to work and stay focus on Tuesdays.
-Fridays are bad. Fridays see very little traffic to content. Everyone is out to lunch on Fridays or gets in late to work.
-If you do send out a press release (wire), post it on your company blog as well = more traction.
-Ideal blog post length is between 1,000-2,000 words.
-Make your PR or story post link-worthy. Do not forget a great image (hi-res) or visual to your digital content like an Infographic.
-All Press Releases and PR campaign’s must contain complementary digital assets in order to get links. Links are symptomatic of good PR.
Twitter is a PR wet dream. Use Twitter for media relations. Busy reporters & reviewers do not answer their phones and receive countless e-mails, but they do pay attention to Twitter! Twitter is a great way to link a press release or a quality company blog post. It adds traction and traffic (value-add). Twitter can also be used to Pitch. Before any pitch has been made on Twitter to @journalist follow them for a few months. Get to know them. If you like what they are doing and reporting, retweet them or give them props! Share their stuff and links to their articles. If @journalist needs info or asks for help, reach out immediately and make it your priority. Help them out, and they will help you out. It goes both ways. Let the reporter know you’ve been driving traffic to their story. Keep the pitch respectful and short. Example: @journalist Do you accept story pitches? @journalist I just sent you an email, take a look when you get a chance. Its a good fit for your outlet.
-Facebook. Yes, @journalist use Facebook as well. @journalist will use Facebook on their own or through their publication page. Share their stories + interact with their readers. Interact with them and become visible by liking and commenting on their posts. Establish a professional relationship.
-Build a journalist / reporter list for your niche. Need to build a good list of Press for your particular product or service? Start with research. A good shortcut is to use JustReachOut. JustReachOut is a website dedicated to finding reporters who have written about your particular product or service. Just add your company’s product category in the search box, and the engine will bring up reporters interested and have written about your industry. Connect with them and reach out.

Lastly, Monitor your analytics for referral traffic. Figure out what works, and what doesn’t.