When running a business, revenue is important. That doesn’t even really need to be said, right? What companies, especially new enterprises, tend to overlook is how critical reputation and positive branding are to the success of the business as a whole. Connecting with customers on an emotional level and creating positive feelings associated with your brand can seem like an impossible, daunting and expensive task, but there are a few strategies that can be easily implemented without blowing the budget. We’ve compiled 5 of the top PR tips and tricks that, if done correctly and with integrity, will give your brand a fresh new edge, and eventually turn into sales.
1. Position Yourself as an Expert in Your Field
One of the most important public relations tips and tricks is to establish trust with, and positive emotions attached to, your brand. This includes both the services and products your business offers, and the people and activities behind the brand. The best way to establish trust is to become an expert in your field. You know your business. Your family and friends know you know your business. Now it’s time for the rest of the world to recognize that knowledge. We’ll get more into detail later about methods, but good PR can be achieved through interviews and positive mentions in the media, getting more followers and “Likes” on social media and creating a strong community with your peers, rather than fighting against them. Remember to always be honest and use integrity in all your business and marketing strategies, and admit when you’re wrong. Mistakes can (and will) happen, but owning up to them can go a long way with your customer base.
2. Do Interviews
How exactly do those people who appear TV or on radio shows get there? They probably know someone, right? Well, yes, maybe they do. But, that doesn’t mean they don’t want to meet you. Producers and writers are always looking for fresh new ideas, services and products that are interesting to their audience. The real key is to find a newsworthy angle for your business. Look at what’s happening in your city and think about how your service relates. This is where integrity comes in. Make sure you’re always sincere and legit. Think “Trust” rather than “Sales”. Here are a few points to keep in mind when approaching the media:
- Start by thinking locally – small media loves local content
- Don’t be afraid to reach out the big guys – be confident
- Spend time finding out who exactly to pitch your ideas to (hint: in a larger market it’s probably not the show hosts)
Another way to get mentions is to sign up as a source for a database like Help A Reporter Out (HARO). This service joins journalists with sources that can comment on stories they’re writing. It’s a great way to start connecting with the media and get your name out there!
3. Write For Someone Else’s Blog
Writing and keeping your blog up to date is a huge undertaking in itself, so why spend the time writing for someone else’s? Remember, relationships and trust is the key to a successful public relations plan. Read other blogs that interest you, has the same audience as you do, and would make sense if you were to partner up with them. Maybe follow them on Twitter and mention them in a tweet. Comment on their blog posts, and engage positively with them. Ask them to write a guest post for your blog. By writing a guest post on another blog, you’re reaching a new audience, and establishing more credibility by being “in the circle”. Also, don’t forget to ask them to link to your blog or website as it can help with the Search aspect of your marketing strategy!
4. Engage in Social Media Platforms
For those just beginning in social media, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can seem like another world. A popular PR tip when it comes to these avenues is to think of it like a party. You wouldn’t just barge into the party yelling at everyone and talking about yourself. Sit back a bit, listen to what others have to say, and then engage in the conversation. The more active you are in the community and the more people notice you have something of value to add, the quicker your follower base and Facebook “Likes” numbers will grow. Remember: The key is VALUE. Not how loud you are or how often you engage, but if what you say is relevant and emotionally touches those you want to reach. For now, let’s focus on Twitter, since it’s very quick and easy to implement into your PR marketing campaign today:
- Set up a content calendar to not miss any exciting & important events for your business/community
- Don’t be afraid to tweet a few times a day, but don’t inundate your followers feeds with ads
- As mentioned above, apologize immediately when you need to
- ALWAYS play by the rules to avoid “Twitter Jail” (it’s a thing)
5. Invest Time
One thing is for certain: A good PR strategy takes TIME. Being in the forefront of the crowd means there’s no faking it. A business owner needs to be constantly in the loop, always learning about not only their craft, but about their customers; what they’re doing, where they are and how to reach them. It takes time to craft a perfect query letter to the top publications, and nurture the newly formed relationships with the media and fellow bloggers. If you haven’t got the time or personnel to handle your PR campaigns full time in-house, make sure to hire someone. A good PR plan may take time, but the rewards can be exceptional.
Are you ready to implement your public relations strategy, but need a little help? Milgrom Marketing offers a turnkey solution for all your marketing needs including search, content creation, social media, PR strategies and more. Contact us today to get your free consultation and take your marketing to the next level.
Delving into the world of social media marketing can be pretty overwhelming. There are apps to research, and even a certain type of etiquette to learn. When just starting out, it’s best to break it down into smaller pieces. We’ve helped you get a good start with these 10 Quick Social Media Marketing Tips and Tricks you can implement into your plan today.
1. Be Organized
The first and easiest step is to create a social media marketing plan. This should include what you want to say, and where you want to say it. Create a schedule for when you’re going to write a blog post or tweet certain events. This content calendar should always be near where you’re working, either posted on your physical wall in your cubicle or on your desktop. Following this schedule is essential because the last thing you want to do is miss out on covering a big sale or holiday (like Cyber Monday).
2. Pay Attention
The social media world changes in the blink of an eye, so you need to be prepared to switch gears if need be. You don’t want to piggyback on an inappropriate hashtag or post when the rest of the world is focused on something major happening in the world. Even if done innocently, it could be seen as really distasteful. Before using a trending hashtag, understand why the hashtag is trending and if it would be appropriate for you to use in your post. Because….
3. Remember: There is a Human on the Other Side
Sometimes you can get so caught up in what you want to achieve that you forget that there is a living, breathing human reading your posts and tweets. And that human being may become a customer, so act accordingly! Always practice honesty, kindness, and be interesting if you want to win over those readers and turn them into customers. If you make a mistake, apologize immediately, just as you would do IRL (In Real Life). Remember, your social media community can quickly forgive, but the internet never forgets. That being said…
4. Be Brave
You’ve written, what you think, is the best blog post ever, but your finger still hovers over that PUBLISH button. Sending out your first few interactions can be scary. Did you do your research? Is it interesting enough? Did you proofread it thoroughly? Is the link going where it should? Take a deep breath and relax. If you’ve done your best, then send away. The thing with social media is that it definitely gets easier the more you engage. By tweet 50 you’ll wonder how you were ever intimidated.
5. Explore Different Ways to Engage
Having conversations and sending out information are the typical ways to engage with your community, but try out other methods of interacting as well. Next time, try out a poll, or hold a contest. You may even attract new followers.
6. Don’t try to sell all the time
Obviously you want your social media efforts to evolve into sales, but that shouldn’t be your whole intent. People don’t like their social media feeds to be bombarded with sales all the time, so offer up some valuable information and insight as well. Build trust and the customers will appear!
7. Use images & video
Posts with images and video elements get more traction than simple text. Here are a few thoughts on using images and video:
- Pick an image you can use across all social media pages for your background & profile pictures for unity (either a picture of you or the brand logo work well)
- Find the right dimensions for each social media space & adhere to them for a clean & professional look
- If design or photography are not your forte, don’t be afraid to hire a professional graphic designer or photographer (it will be worth it)
Using video puts a face to your company which bolsters respect and trust as a certified contender in the market. They don’t have to be long videos, even 2 or 3 minutes at first is fine. For more on video production check out Milgrom Marketing’s blog post 7 Things All Marketers Need to Know About Video Production.
Make sure your social media strategy is working the way you want it to by measuring your efforts vs. sales. It can be tricky in some respects to clearly see the ROI, but using a tool like Google Analytics lets you see where and when people are engaging with your brand. As with the point above, sometimes hiring someone who knows what their looking at can help you interpret what’s really happening.
9. Don’t Forget Linkedin
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest may be the cool kids in your circle, but let’s not forget respectable and responsible LinkedIn to add a bit of professionalism to your social media strategy. Largely not thought of in regards to actual sales, but it helps with trust and how the online community views your business.
10. Always have a clear call to action
Saving the most important for last! Even in social media you have to tell your customers how to get what they want. Always send your audience somewhere that houses all the information needed to make a transaction. A few ideas to start:
- Call us!
- Buy it here!
- Visit us at…!
- Get it for less by…!
Creating landing pages on your website are an excellent idea, as they can be changed to suit a sale or event, and are pretty easy to measure when doing analytics. When posting on Facebook or tweeting about a sale remember to link to that landing page!
Doing business in today’s world means having to take on social media whether you like it or not. It may take a bit of commitment at first to get a handle on the different properties, but the reward for your time can be extraordinary for your sales.
Make sure you’re getting the most out of your marketing strategy by contacting Milgrom Marketing for your free consultation.
It seems like everyone these days has a blog. There are Mommy blogs, Travel blogs, blogs about pets and cars. And of course, many companies have a blog. Even though it MAY seem like a bit of overkill, starting a blog is an excellent way to connect with your customers, relay important company information, and begin to position yourself as an expert and leader in your field. These essential blog tips will give you a firm foundation to create a successful blog for your business.
Before you launch your blog into the online world, take some time to make a strategy about what you want to say and how you’re going to say it. Is your tone going to be very professional, or conversational? Will your blog have specific topics? An excellent first step is to create a content calendar. Start generically with annual sales or holidays, so you don’t miss the big opportunities. Then go through the month and decide on a few topics to write about.
Remember: Best practice is to try and post at the same times every week, so your readers know to expect an update. The idea of anticipation can be a strong tool!
Another good idea to consider is a soft launch. Write a few articles without any advertising. That way, by the time you have your grand launch, readers will be able to spend more time looking around the blog and get a better feel for what it’s all about.
To really wow your audience and keep them engaged with your posts, it’s important to mix things up a bit! Now is the time to really get creative and explore different ways to present your ideas and thoughts. Here are a few ideas to get the ball rolling:
- Use appropriate images in your posts, whether ones you take yourself or from stock sites like iStock
- Try your hand at making a video post
- Switch up the tone a little by asking someone to guest post
- Engage your readers with a poll, quiz or contest (who doesn’t like winning stuff?)
- Add a simple & fun infographic
You’ve finally fine-tuned your blog. It’s engaging, has a clear purpose and looks fabulous. Now what? How do you get all those smart readers to find your blog? The first way to attract readers is to cross-promote. Use your other social media accounts to advertise that you now have blog up and running and they should check it out. Whenever you post on your blog, remember to announce it on both Facebook and Twitter. Don’t be afraid to promote it more than once over a few days, especially if you’re only posting once or twice a week.
Another successful way to make sure readers aren’t missing your blog is to have an excellent SEO strategy. By following a few white hat search rules, your blog can show up on the first page when potential readers are searching on Google. Here are just a few tips to get you started:
- Choose a few keywords your readers would be searching for & place them throughout the posts
- Always have the writing be first & make sure the keywords sound natural in the content
- Make your blog mobile-friendly
- The longer people stay on your site the better, so make sure your content shines & the design is user-friendly
- Get readers to engage with you on your posts (more on that in the next section)
Most importantly, get to know and be a part of your online community. Find out where your audience is and make a plan as to how you’re going to become known on the scene.
The whole idea behind blogging is to be a part of, and grow, an online community of likeminded people – people interested in what you have to say. Don’t just throw a bunch of words out into the world, but actually try to start conversations. Break down that barrier between writer and reader by asking questions at the end of the post. Ask them their own opinions, what their experiences have been like, and don’t forget to flat out ask them to leave a comment. When appropriate, of course. Also remember to reply to all comments as often as possible, and be cordial, even when they may not be. What you say on your blog definitely reflects your business.
Know Your Technical Limits
There are plenty of options when it comes to setting up your blog. It can be as straight up and simple, or as advanced and technical as you want it. Since there is such variance on what a blog can look like and how it can function, it’s important to know your limits, both skill-wise and financially. If you’re just starting and stretched financially, consider starting a blog for free at WordPress.com. It costs nothing and is VERY user-friendly. You’ll be up and blogging in no time!
Know Your Limits as a Writer
Contrary to popular belief, not everyone is a writer. It takes years of writing experience to understand how to write to a specific audience, capture proper tone, and present information in a way that’s easy to understand and interesting. One of the most important blog tips is to know your writing capabilities. If you’re not an experienced writer, keep your posts around 500 words. That being said, longer blog posts over 1000 words have a better chance of ranking higher in the search engines. When your ideas don’t match your skill level, it’s time to call in the professionals. A marketing team, like Milgrom Marketing, can bring your grandiose ideas to fruition – or at least send you on the best path possible to attain your marketing goals.
The main thing to remember about being a beginner blogger is to give your project a chance. If it’s not an instant success, that’s okay. Don’t throw out all your hard work at the first bump in the road. Blogs can actually be a slow burn, but, if given a chance, in the end may be the brightest star in your marketing tool box.
When a team starts putting together a successful strategic marketing plan, they know there are certain pillars that must be included or the whole thing will fall apart. Three of these important pieces are Social Media, Content Creation and SEO. They all work together to grow a company’s online presence. Of all these, the tactic most shrouded in mystery and that continues to baffle, is SEO. Search engine optimization is often overlooked because it can be confusing and takes time to learn, but without a proper SEO strategy and marketing plan, the content that has been so carefully created can get completely lost in the online world. This is why having a professional marketing strategy team is so important.
SEO Still a Mystery
SEO (search engine optimization) is always changing. To make online searching more user-friendly, Google is constantly updating its algorithm. This can mean small daily changes to giant overhauls that send businesses that have enjoyed the spotlight at the top spiralling down to the bottom. This is great for the average Google user as it allows for a better searching experience, but a nightmare for a business that has been trying to appear in the coveted 1st page ranking. Luckily, a team versed in Search, like Milgrom Marketing, can assist in making this high page ranking a reality, and help the company get in front of their customers in the online world.
Recently, Milgrom Marketing was able to increase a customer’s visibility on Google by over 2000%. This means a client that was getting lost in the Google shuffle was finally able to be seen more easily by those looking for the product/service in question.
Let’s take a closer look at how we at Milgrom Marketing were able to assist our client in increasing their visibility by such a high percentage.
Step 1: Keyword Research & Competitor Analysis
A keyword is a single word or phrase that people use in their Google Searches. Consider someone looking for “Pink Flower Hats”. Some keywords could be “Pink Flower Hats”, “Flower Hats Pink” or Pink Hats With Flowers”. There are ways to find out which phrases people are using most and which phrases are being utilized most by competitors. The key to a successful keyword for this client was to find keywords of value (those with a high search volume and low competition). We then planned our content and SEO marketing strategy based on these findings.
Step 2: Keyword Implementation into Content
The next step in our client marketing plan was to include those keywords throughout our customer’s content. One big mistake companies make is to use the keywords in just one aspect of the SEO strategy, most of the time just on the website, then forgets about them in other online properties. Milgrom Marketing used the keywords discovered in the research phase and made sure to include them throughout the website (on appropriate pages), AND on the blog, in directories, videos and other important client content. We even dedicated landing pages to target more competitive keywords.
Below is a graph that outlines the growth seen over the 6th months once the plan was implemented:
Step 3: Staying on Top of Google Updates
As we discussed earlier in the post, Google is constantly performing updates to its search algorithm. We know that can affect our client’s search results drastically, so we had to make sure we were constantly in compliance with what Google deemed good search tactics to avoid penalization. Website updates, fixes and changes were made weekly to continue to stay in good standing.
Step 4: Implement a Touch of PR
PR is an important aspect of any marketing campaign. The company name needs to get out there somehow! Traditionally, a public relations plan includes radio and TV interviews, and newsprint mentions, but there are also elements to include from a Search perspective. If implemented correctly, the results can be magic, with high publicity in a fairly short amount of time. To increase our client’s website relevance we issued a series of online press releases, directory optimization (by submitting to various online sources), wrote guest posts for other relevant blogs and used several other similar SEO tactics.
Another very important aspect to note is that this was all following the rules set out by Google, otherwise known as White Hat SEO. There is something called Black Hat SEO, that manipulates and bends these rules. Sure, for a short while you’ll be at the top, but it’s a hard fall if Google’s next update doesn’t like what you’ve done. It can mean not getting found, or even getting booted from Google’s search completely. Playing by the rules can be just as easy, and way less stressful.
Once we implemented our SEO marketing strategy, we monitored the results. If a business doesn’t have the time or desire to track the daily changes and make adjustments, Milgrom Marketing offers a plan to be the watchdog ourselves. In this case, we stayed on top of everything outlined above, and it worked. Our customer went from ranking for 22 keywords to over 450 keywords in less than 6 months. We were happy we could help a client help grow their business, and our client was happy they were finally getting in front of their online audience. It was a win-win for all parties.
Not all businesses are alike. Milgrom Marketing specializes in assisting companies with their marketing plan, including content creation, strategy planning, implementation, video creation and improving search results. We put together a personalized plan that works for YOUR business.
It’s not just those new to marketing that need assistance. Sometimes a marketing department can be overworked and unable to not only create the content needed, but keep up with the day-to-day Google changes that may affect the business online ranking. If you need help with your SEO, book a free consultation today, and see how Milgrom Marketing can help you achieve your online goals!
Generational Marketing: Marketing to Millennials
Marketing to millennials is all about speaking to a potential customer in a way they can relate to, and in an environment you can connect with them in. Therefore, it’s not a stretch to assume that marketing to Baby Boomers is way different than Millennials Marketing. As Millennials become the prime target for companies, marketers are beginning to explore just exactly who this generation is and how to reach them successfully. Everyone seems to have a view on the topic, but one thing is for sure: It’s not easy. In fact, marketing to this group is such a discussed and debated topic that there is an entire two day conference devoted to marketing to Millennials in Australia.
It’s definitely tricky business, but we’re sure you’re up for the challenge.
1. Who Are They?
Unfortunately, Millennials are getting a bit of a bad rap. They’re frequently seen as needy, soft, self-absorbed, and lack the ability to have meaningful relationships outside of their social media pages. But who are they really?
Millennials are considered to be the generation born around the beginning of the 1980s to beginning 2000s, although this is one of those topics in heated dispute. Millennials are smart, savvy, they have little patience, appreciate substance over simple flash, and they deeply care about their causes and community. Think of your Millennial not as hiding in a basement hunched over their phone, but rather as the one out protesting for what they believe in, and climbing the ranks quickly in their company (the no patience part). That’s the Millennial companies need to engage with, rather than the old stereotype.
2. They Are Smart
Millennials are a savvy bunch. So, when you’re marketing to Millennials you better remember that you need to be straight up with them. Flashy pitches with little substance just don’t go over as well as a campaign with emotional ties. Millennials want to feel emotionally connected to the brands they choose, either as an extended statement of themselves, or as a cause they align closely with. Loyalty and trust are the winners here.
Remember that Millennials are not just “kids, either. The Millennial generation technically includes those over the age of 30 as well, so any marketing plan should consider all segments of the generation.
3. They Have Low Patience
Saying Millennials have very low patience may sound like a bad thing at first, but it simply means they’re not going to sit around waiting for services and products on the company’s timeline. The business has to adapt to suit their needs. Remember, this is the internet generation, where information is at their fingertips instantly, and their favourite brands have a team managing their social media accounts almost 24 hours a day. No wonder they don’t like to wait.
Here are a few points to consider in regards to a solid Millennials marketing strategy:
- In regards to your online strategy, make sure everything is mobile-friendly & fast (speed counts)
- They’ll want your service or product when they want it, even out and about, so you better be ready to offer it on whatever platform they’re using
- Make sure your website/blog is as fast as possible, so they don’t leave the site
- They hate being ignored, so respond promptly when they engage with you
- They have no patience for mistakes, so make sure your campaign is air tight (you don’t want your hard work to go viral for the wrong reasons)
4. They’re Unique
Millennials love exploring their own uniqueness and are not afraid of showing it off. They take pride in who they are, and they’re looking for products and services that understand and appreciate the idea of individualism. With individualism comes creativity, so when finding your Millennial audience, think more along the lines of Instagram and Pinterest rather than Facebook. Traditional marketing avenues don’t cut it when it comes to grabbing a Millennial’s attention, either. Here are a few ideas to implement in your strategy:
- Use videos & pictures for that creative edge (also quicker to absorb when browsing feeds)
- Get to know who the “influencers” are on Twitter & consider creating a partnership
- Become an authority in your space to build trust in your brand
- Tell stories rather than simple sell lines to connect emotionally
As much as they share certain traits, Millennials make up everyone from students just getting out of college to CEOs of big business. They’re artists, tech gurus, and business owners, parents, married and single. Basically, your marketing campaigns need to be as unique as your audience. It’s best to segment your marketing plans into separate groups rather than trying to hit them all with one message. It probably won’t be successful.
5. They Care
Perhaps the most important aspect of marketing to Millennials is to truly understand how passionate they are; not only about how they live their own lives, but about how they care for their friends and the world around them. The brands that grab the attention of this generation are the ones committed to making the world better. Think experiences vs. stuff. This is the generation of the tiny house movement, after all.
Millennials want to engage and be a part of a strong community, so social media is the best way to go. It also helps if your brand is associated in any way with a cause. If you’re not currently helping out a charity or other great cause, it’s a good excuse to start. Why not help your business and your community?
Hopefully we’ve helped you figure out how to find your Millennials audience, and given you some tips on how to approach them. The Millennial generation is going to expect the world from your brand, so you better be prepared with a solid reason why they should choose you.
Keep reading the Milgrom Marketing blog for the next chapter in our Generational Marketing series: Marketing to Baby Boomers. And for help with your own social media marketing to Millennials strategy, contact Milgrom Marketing today to get your free consultation.