Tag Archives: social media marketing for public affairs advisors

8 reasons why your business should outsource digital marketing

Many business would benefit a great deal from outsourcing some or all of their digital marketing efforts — as these efforts are complicated and require specialized expertise.  A recent series of articles provides some of the best reasons why business should outsource digital marketing.  In preparing this post – I’ve drawn upon the insights of Freya Jones, Irene Sun and Sheldon Payne to create a list of 8 reasons why your business should outsource digital marketing.  Here they are:

  1. You’re hiring experts —  The best digital marketers can identify custom strategies for your business and their unique role within that strategy.  Some digital marketers maintain a successful focus on one or a small number of industries — and will have the track record to prove it.
  2. You’ll receive a valuable outside perspective on your business —  An outside perspective from a digital marketing expert will provide you with a wholly unique and informed perspective on what might best benefit your marketing strategy.   
  3. You’ll receive a continually optimized strategy — A digital marketing expert will be committed to the ongoing, informed optimization of your strategy to achieve best results.  
  4. Less risk —  Digital marketing involves a number of areas of expertise, including strategy,  content marketing, social media engagement, analytics and more.  When you outsource these tasks you won’t be wasting your own time attempting to hire one person who is capable of performing all of these roles capably.
  5. You’ll achieve better results — A digital marketing expert will have the experience of previous successful efforts and be in a position to help guide your strategy and implementation to faster results. 
  6. Your marketing efforts will be seamless — By hiring a digital marketing expert, you’ll ensure your own staff won’t need to worry about this often labor-intensive work. Your digital marketer will have much experience in juggling a wide variety of tasks at all times.
  7. You get to do more with less — As digital marketing utilizes many channels and a variety of areas of expertise – by hiring the right professional for each task — you can turn over large portions of your marketing function to the copywriters, designers, SEO specialists and others integral to creating a fully functioning, sophisticated digital marketing effort.
  8. You get access to the latest technology — Digital marketing utilizes technologies that often change and adapt in the fast-paced digital economy.  An expert in digital marketing will know about these changes and be adapting your marketing efforts to be as up-to-date as possible.

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Essentials of Content Marketing Part #1: Strategy

The ascendance of content marketing

More and more companies are now utilizing the internet as a means by which to communicate with key audiences.  And this communication is commonly referred to as content marketing.  Content marketing utilizes a variety of forms of communication — including written, audio and video — often published on a range of social media channels.

Alexander Jutkowitz, vice chairman and chief global strategist at Hill+Knowlton has written about this trend, noting the “historic transformation for brands and companies” centered around content.  In particular, Jutkowitz has detailed how “nine out of ten organizations are now marketing with content”.  “The succes of content marketing”, he explains, “has radicalized the way companies communicate…mark[ing] an important new chapter in the history of business communications: the era of corporate enlightenment.”

With the importance of content’s role in modern marketing, those who might utilize it should first be aware of its’ essentials.  This post is the first in a series dedicated to the Essentials of Content Marketing.  It’s about getting the overall strategy right — before beginning any content marketing effort.

Content strategy tailors consistent messages to specific audiences

British public relations consultants Mackman Group have ably detailed the essentials of content strategy on their website.  As they explain, a content strategy permits an organization to align their business objectives with meeting the needs of their customers via online engagement.  Well thought-out content, as they explain, will be shared and more easily relevant in internet searches.  This amplifies those key messages and ultimately leads to more interest and more customers.  

The first step of a content strategy is research — which allows an organization to understand their key audiences.  Once understood, content can then be consistently crafted to meet the ongoing needs of an audience.  Too, companies should utilize platforms best suited to reaching and engaging with the audience that specific content is created for.  In particular: “[Content] output must be consistently good…regular, original and varied, [while] in keeping with the brand’s overall style.”  This is essential for building and maintaining an audience.  And well planned social media is required to properly promote content and engage with an audience.

Importantly, “customers are not the only audience content engages… members of the media community – [including bloggers and writers] — should not be overlooked”.

A well-planned content strategy will lead to measurable results

Mackman Group concluded that a “clearly set out strategy” means content is easy to implement and measure.  They recommend setting specific objectives which can be analyzed by using social media feedback and analytics from web traffic.  This author would also note that content marketing, properly integrated into outbound business development initiatives, can be credited with a percentage of the sales proceeds firms generate from this unified effort.

While much more is available online about content marketing strategy, this post provides a basic overview of the central importance of strategy to content marketing. More of those elements will be detailed in this series in the future.

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How Public Affairs advisors can leverage social media to reach a global audience

Social Media provides “an endlessly scalable platform for broadcasting messages to mass audiences”, according to Ryan Holmes (@invoker), CEO of HootSuite, in a recent article on the World Economic Forum website.  Holmes also noted that while many CEO’s of major corporations aren’t on social media, their customers increasingly are.

The importance of Holmes’ message apply equally to the senior management of public affairs consultancies in capital cities around the world including Brussels and Washington, DC.

Social Media Usage Rapidly Increasingly

Holmes detailed that: “Globally, more than 2 billion people are now on social media. The average user spends nearly 2 hours a day on social platforms. Studies have shown that Millennials watch more YouTube than TV and three out of four consumers say social media impacts their buying decisions.”

Social Media represents $1.3 Trillion in Value

“Social media represents a cultural shift, not just a technological one, and it’s making the leap to the workplace” Holmes explains. “$1.3 trillion in value stands to be unlocked by companies who figure out how to apply social technologies in the years ahead – not just as marketing tools, but in sales, customer service and internal communications.”

3 Core Social Media Steps for Public Affairs Advisors

Public Affairs Advisors seeking to establish a social media presence can create and nurture a client-building initiative around 3 core steps:

  1. Publish  well-researched articles on a regular basis focused on the needs of ideal new potential clients.  Public Affairs advisors can create their own blog and/or publish on LinkedIn or other key platforms including sector-focused and other key widely-read online publications where your audiences will be seeking your expertise.
  2. Create and effectively manage the key social media platforms most widely turned to for news and information by their key audiences, including Twitter.
  3. Integrate any social media publishing effort with existing outbound business development activities to maximize return on investment (ROI). For example, instant opportunities and dangers for clients in your jurisdiction can inform publishing activities.  And those articles can then be proactively utilized by firm consultants and senior management to reach out to existing and new potential clients – as a means to generate more active conversations around how your services can help those clients achieve vital objectives.

Prepare for the future

Public affairs advisors have been adapting to the needs of clients by utilizing social media on their behalf.  But where there is a genuine potential danger is in not adopting social media as a means by which to attract new clients.  As Holmes notes: “Social media is where your customers are; shouldn’t you be there, too?”

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8 reasons why your company should be on Twitter

Companies are increasingly using the internet as a means by which to communicate with key audiences.  And as Ed Adler (@eadler12recently outlined in PRWeek, Twitter may be the best place for corporate executives to begin online engagement.

Importantly, as Adler notes, as a result of the rapid acceleration of internet adoption by consumers around the world, corporate executives “leave them[selves] and their companies at an increasing disadvantage” if they don’t adopt a considered online presence.

Social media usage greater than traditional media

Adler cited statistics which reflect that “by 2020, Millennials will make up 50% of the workforce. Today, 71% of Millennials check social media sites at least once a day. Twitter has more than 316 million active users, LinkedIn boasts 400 million members, and the population of Facebook (1.5 billion monthly users) is larger than that of China. The number of users is more than 150 times the combined daily circulation of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Financial Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Forbes, and Fortune.”

Twitter, Adler notes, provides companies with a superb means by which to:

  1. Deliver news;
  2. Manage crises;  
  3. Identify influencers;
  4. Raise awareness;
  5. Generate recognition;  
  6. Increase loyalty;
  7. Engage employees; and
  8. Control the narrative.

Twitter is unique among social media channels

Adler noted in particular that Twitter has the unique quality among social channels of serving as a stand-alone real time news platform where “industry influencers can truly change company positioning with just 140 characters”  He noted how “Goldman Sachs… no longer distribute[s] press releases on the wire, but [instead] use[s] Twitter to release its results.”

Social Media usage is seeing 25% year-on-year annual growth

He concluded by noting that social media usage is growing 25% year-over-year across all age groups (citing ComScore) — making it an essential component for the communications strategy of any company and its senior management going forward.

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How social media is helping legacy media reach new heights

As Lucia Moses (@lmoses) reported today in DigiDay, The Washington Post recently surpassed the New York Times in online traffic via a strategy that includes increased social media engagement efforts, including:

Facebook

“Digital news outlets today can no longer assume readers will come to them, so they need a strong social distribution strategy to reach readers where they are”, as Moses reported.

In particular, “The Post has been aggressive in distributing its content far and wide, from Facebook Instant Articles to Apple News, and its numbers reflect that”.  And “(Two viral hits in June helped make [The Post] the 20th-most-engaging publisher on Facebook, according to Newswhip.)”.

Mobile

Moses detailed how: “The Post’s total audience grew 59 percent in the past year, according to comScore. But while the desktop audience grew just 6 percent, the mobile audience nearly doubled.” [emphasis added]

Viral

“The Post’s most popular stories show a traditional newsroom balancing the demand for viral hits with hard news coverage.”

Fast-paced blogs

“The Post also has been breathing new life into its fast-paced blogs, and that effort has paid off”, as Post executive editor Martin Baron (@PostBaron) told Moses.

Lessons for the corporate and professional services sectors

Corporate and professional services would be wise to emulate the success the Washington Post has achieved via a well-thought-out social strategy.  Substantive, well-written content combined with proactive social media engagement on the best platforms will generate more traffic.

Businesses need to be online

As Stephanie Sammons has outlined in WiredAdvisor:  More business are realizing “that they need to be self-publishing to attract and retain clients in the digital age.”  “You may think of yourself as being influential,” she writes, “but if you’re not blogging in the digital age, you’re likely not going to be influencing anyone online.”

Good Content + Effective Mobile/Social Engagement are key to success

Barbara McKinney explains in an article published on exploreB2B (citing Derek Miller): “With every content marketing shooting for ways to stand out from among the competition, one simply cannot settle with mediocrity. The only way to compete is to offer something quite unique, and rich-media content is the go-to “variety” that everyone is looking for.

“Mobile is becoming the default device of choice not the laptop”, writes Jeff Bullas (@jeffbullas) on his widely read blog about social media marketing.  “This device shift will be most prevalent in emerging nations including Asia and Africa as 3 billion more people go online on mobile devices. Not tethered personal computers.”  And “mobile marketing spend is predicted to hit $65 billion by 2019 in the US alone”, Bullas outlines.

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Business Insider sale: Implications for corporate and professional services publishing

Corporate and professional services firms can learn something from the recent acquisition of online digital news magazine Business Insider (@businessinsider) by European publishing company Axel Springer (@axelspringer_EN):  Online publishing is something you should be embracing.

Last month, Julia Greenberg @julia_greenberg), reporting for Wired, outlined how Business Insider has just been purchased for $442 Million dollars – $200 Million more than what the Washington Post sold for in 2013.  And while Business Insider was able to rapidly scale itself thanks to $60 Million dollars in funding since its founding in 2007 — a corporate or professional services blog or online magazine could grow a substantial global audience with a comparatively tiny investment.

Seek to emulate the success of Business Insider

A blog, a managing editor, and a commitment to publish about subjects of importance to key potential clients and business partners might be all that’s needed to create a mini-Business Insider.  Imagine from that small investment what kind of audience might be built — and customers that might be won.  Since 2007, as Greenberg outlined, Business Insider’s audience has grown to 76 million unique monthly visitors.  A small fraction of this audience is likely to markedly increase knowledge of and custom for, a business that publishes online.

The importance of publishing in a digital age

As Stephanie Sammons has outlined in WiredAdvisor:  More business are realizing “that they need to be self-publishing to attract and retain clients in the digital age.”  “You may think of yourself as being influential,” she writes, “but if you’re not blogging in the digital age, you’re likely not going to be influencing anyone online.”

And while many professional services firms and corporations are still mulling over whether to take the plunge and establish basic publishing efforts, Business Insider’s acquirer Axel Springer is marching forward into new online niches.  For example, as Greenberg reports, they’re “also invested in digital news startups…and [a] news reader app.”

Create your own mini-Business Insider

A Business Insider valuation which exceeded that of the Washington Post sends a very clear message about the importance of online publishing:  Good all-digital publications can in a short time exceed the titans of the old-media era.  And since anyone can adopt online publishing at a relatively low-cost:  Why not, if you’re a professional services firm or corporation – create a mini-Business Insider and gain a wider, global audience and  generate more business as a result?

Corporations and professional services firms don’t need to out-do Business Insider in the publishing business to achieve online success.  But they can emulate its success on a much smaller scale and reap the rewards that online publishing offers.

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