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22nd December 2012

BtoB firms embrace content marketing

BotB companies are embracing content marketing.  Curata’s “B2B Marketing Trends 2012 Report” found that 87% of US B2B marketers have used content marketing this year—the most popular tactic of any queried. That was up 5 percentage points from usage levels in 2011, impressive considering the already-high level of interest in content marketing.

Creating original content is number one on the list of content challenges, followed by the time to do it and then finding great content to curate.

A good online newsroom can alleviate some of these challenges.  It saves time, makes posting and curating quick and easy and has Google analytics installed to help you track results.

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20th November 2012

The Social-Creative Online Newsroom

David Armano of Edelman Digital wrote a great post about the need for brands to become publishers and explained the need for a social-creative online newsroom as part of that process.

“If your company doesn’t have the above model in place a year from now, you may regret it.  It’s all going to come down to this: content, quality, frequency and relevancy.  If companies are to become media, they must master the art and science of merging marketing with a real-time news cycle,” said Armano in this article.

 

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6th November 2012

Visual Storytelling

There  have been a slew of articles recently about tips to improve your content marketing.  And indeed, marketers are embracing the idea of using content as a marketing tool.

Using stories to spread the brand message is not a new idea for PR people though. It’s been a core part of PR for decades.

What is new is the need for visual material to expand and enhance the story. Rebecca Lieb, author of Content Marketing: think like a Publisher and an analyst at the Altimeter Group has this to say:

“PR professionals have a natural aptitude for storytelling, but primarily their skills are more written-word than technologically based. Research we – and others – have recently conducted indicates strongly that brands are enthusiastically ramping up their content marketing initiatives. However PRs are competing with advertising agencies for this business, and agencies are proficient in technology, design, video and other forms of digital storytelling that matter a lot to marketers.

A study I conducted earlier this year demonstrates that brands are de-emphasizing the written word in favor of infographics, images, and video. In other words, visual storytelling.

This requires a skill shift in PR. Learn visual storytelling, which necessitates both tactical skills and understanding of graphic design and video.”

So as facile as we may be with the written-word – and many PR thought leaders  still emphasize the need to be able to write well -  if you’re keeping your PR eye on the technological ball you will also learn these new skills needed for visual storytelling.

Once you are producing visuals with your stories and news content make sure you have an online newsroom that can display it all in the format the media prefers and the public can easily share.

 

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15th October 2012

Modern Media Relations

 

The news and media landscape has been turned on its head in the last ten years. Newsrooms no longer operate like they used to.  Journalists have to cover several beats, watch feeds of related stories online, troll social media, find sources and then produce multimedia assets with every story. See this story about Andy Carvin of NPR and how he reports the news.

This is a marvelous opportunity for savvy companies that can see the possibilities of a collaborative media relations model.  Here’s how it is done.

  1. Do an audit of all the people in your firm who have expertise in a particular area.
  2. Create a database of experts and their topics of content.
  3. Post this list in your newsroom.
  4. Refine your media list – find the journalists and bloggers who write about those topics.
  5. Identify stories that these media outlets might be interested in developing.
  6. Put together a team that can investigate and develop the story, with supporting images, graphics, slide shows, videos that would make this story come alive.
  7. Pitch the idea to the journalists and offer your experts and your team to help them craft the story with killer multimedia assets.
  8. Add a ‘story ideas’ section to your newsroom, with elements of news stories that could be developed this way.

The new media landscape may be radically different, but it is filled with amazing PR opportunities.

To learn more and hear examples register for our next webinar

 

Space is limited.
Reserve your seat now at:
https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/372580841

 

 

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10th October 2012

HowSocial Networks Influence Travel Purchase Decisions (Infographic)

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12th September 2012

Content Marketing World – Lessons learned

This year’s Content Marketing World conference was held last week in Columbus, OH and many of the socialmedia stars were there.

Here are some of the key takeaways:

From Jason Miller of Marketo:
Only 36% of businesses believe their content marketing is effective. Back in the day advertisers used to lament that they knew only 50% of their advertising was working, they just didn’t know which 50%.   So while marketers are hot for content marketing, two thirds of them are flying blind.

I’d be prepared to bet that the 36% who are effective base their content on research and have a solid content strategy

CMI founder Joe Pulizzi went over the CMIs report highlights:

  • 54% of businesses plan to increase spending on content marketing over the next 12 months. (Let’s hope they get a content strategy in place first, so that they have a plan in place before they spend the $$$)
  • Businesses are still struggling to find a process that works and to gain C-level buy in. (If they can show the ROI there will be no problem getting C-level buy-in.  The C-suite wants to see’ beans for beans’)
  • The biggest challenge content marketers face is producing enough content, followed closely by producing the kind of content that engages. (Producing enough content can be resolved by finding an excellent and affordable resource to help you produce content.   A sound content strategy based on listening to the right conversations will tell you what content will spark engagement)

It is surprising to me that no-one spoke about delivery and distribution of the content as a key takeaway. Looking at write ups about the speakers, I don’t see anything about delivery and distribution of the content there either.  Producing content is obviously the first step.  Then you have to deliver it.  You can post it on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc. But putting all your content on a content hub on your own website is something that is being overlooked. The Washington Post listed not having a content hub as one of the top 10 mistakes companies make in social media.

Turn your online newsroom into a true content hub.

 

 

 

 

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4th September 2012

Fortune’s Fastest Growing Companies #Failing Online PR

Toprank Marketing posted today about the social media use of Fortune’s fastest growing companies.  Their analysis of the top 5 show that only one of them is actively engaged on Twitter.

This post prompted me to look at something a little more basic- their online newsrooms. Even though social media is maturing and we’d hope that companies such as these would be more active in the field, good PR and providing corporate information to the media is something every company should be doing well.

The 2012 Online Newsroom and Media Relations survey shows that journalists and bloggers want:

  • Immediately visible and easy-to-find press contacts
  • Press releases by year and by category
  • Visuals -ready-to-use images and video
  • Graphics with financial information
  • Embed codes with images and videos
  • RSS feeds
  • Links to all social content
  • Tags on all content so it is easy to find in search
  • Social sharing options

 

So let’s take a look at their newsrooms and what they offer, relative to what the media is asking for today.

#1  Allergan

Press Contacts:    Yes

Press Releases in Categories:  No

Visuals with press releases:  No

RSS feeds: No

Image Gallery:  No

Video Gallery:  No

Embed codes:  No

Corporate and expert bios:  Yes

Connecting to social content: Yes, a link to their Twitter account.  It was started back in 2010 and was inactive until recently.

Social sharing options: No

SCORE: 3/10

 
 
 

#2. Susser Holdings

Susser Holdings owns the Stripes convenience stores.  Although Susser Corporate is not active in social media, the Stripes convenience stores certainly are.  However, the corporate site could improve their online newsroom to serve both investors and the media.

Press Contacts:    No.  The contacts are on each press release, but not immediately visible in the newsroom.

Press Releases in Categories:  No. And their press release are in PDFs, which require a download.

Visuals with press releases:  No

RSS feeds: No

Image Gallery:  No

Video Gallery:  No

Embed codes:  No

Corporate and expert bios:  Yes – no tin the newsroom, but on the site.

Connecting to social content: No

Social sharing options: No

SCORE: 1/10

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
#3.  CVR energy

Headquartered in Sugar Land, Texas, CVR Energy is an independent petroleum refiner and marketer of high value transportation fuels in the Midcontinent United States.  Their newsroom is very basic.

 

Press Contacts:    No.  The contacts are on each press release, but not immediately visible in the newsroom.
Press Releases in Categories:  No. And their press release are in PDFs, which require a download.

Visuals with press releases:  No

RSS feeds: No

Image Gallery:  No

Video Gallery:  No

Embed codes:  No

Corporate and expert bios:  No

Connecting to social content: No

Social sharing options: No

SCORE: 0/10

#4.   Con-Way

Con-way Inc. (NYSE:CNW) is a $5.3 billion freight transportation and logistics services company headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich. Con-way is in the transportation and logistics industry and delivers services through its primary operating companies of Con-way Freight, Con-way Truckload, and Menlo Worldwide Logistics. Their newsroom has many of the features the media wants today.


Press Contacts:    Yes

Press Releases in Categories:  No

Visuals with press releases:  No

RSS feeds: Yes

Image Gallery:  No

Video Gallery:  No

Embed codes:  No

Corporate and expert bios:  Yes

Connecting to social content: Yes

Social sharing options: No

SCORE: 4/10

 
 

#5.  Huntsman

Huntsman is a global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated chemicals. Our operating companies manufacture products for a variety of global industries, including chemicals, plastics, automotive, aviation, textiles, footwear, paints and coatings, construction, technology, agriculture, health care, detergent, personal care, furniture, appliances and packaging.

Their investor relations section of the site has many more features than the newsroom.  They could easily add the side navigation to their newsroom section too.

 

Press Contacts:    No.  There is a contact on the press releases but not immediately visible in the newsroom.

Press Releases in Categories:  No.  The releases are not divided by years either.

Visuals with press releases:  No

RSS feeds: Yes, but it is not visible in the newsroom.  It is only available from the investor relations section of the site.

Image Gallery:  No

Video Gallery:  No.  there are presentations and webcasts in the IR section, but nothing in the newsroom

Embed codes:  No

Corporate and expert bios:  Yes, but only from the investor relations section.  There is nothing in the newsroom to tell you it is there.

Connecting to social content: No

Social sharing options: No

SCORE: 2/10

If you’d like an evaluation of your newsroom and a demo of what a newsroom ought to look like visit http://www.press-feed.com

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14th August 2012

The SEO Power of Content

Wistia

 

This is excellent advice from Rand Fishkin of SEOMoz.  He gives 5 things you can do on your page to improve the SEO value of your content and what the search engines look for in your content.

All five are relevant to the content in your newsroom:

1.  Semantic connectivity – are the words and phrases in your content related throughout the document. Search engines are getting very language-savvy.  They can tell if a piece of content has a thread of closely connected terms.

2.  Block level optimization.  Search engines index the page from top to bottom and expects the entire page talk about the topic.  Headline, subhead, first paragraph, middle section and last paragraph all have to be relevant and serve the visitors interests and the search query you are optimizing for.

3. Linking out to authoritative sites that are relevant to the content on the page.

4. Visitor Experience – usability. Never mind Big Brother – Google is watching!  They know how people respond.  Do they find what they want, do they come back, how long they stay on the page, do they complete actions on the page.

5. This one is particularly relevant for your news and blog content. Make it completely original and informative. Write great, unique content on every single page.  Post Panda Google seems to like longer copy – but it has to have value. Use longer, in-depth content that has an experiential feel.

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20th July 2012

Two Digital PR Tools

One digital PR tool every practitioner should be using is a dashboard that helps you track and monitor your online activity.  If you are working in an agency or large firm you probably have access to a sophisticated subscription service.

If you are an independent practitioner,  a small shop, or even a mid-sized business, you might find those fees too onerous and be looking at your more fortunate colleagues with more than just a hint of envy in your glance.

If that is the case, take a look at the new Netvibes dashboard.  It is quick and easy to set up, they have a slew of new widgets that make it possible to display your Facebook and Twitter feeds in the dashboard, do searches on news, blogs and microblogs, and run your replies right from the dashboard.  You can also connect and display your Google Analytics data, so you can keep track of how your content brings traffic back to your newsroom and your website.  And best of all, it is completely free!  Sweet!

 

digital PR tools dashboard

Using this dashboard in conjunction with your online newsroom extends the value of your digital PR tools.  The newsroom allows you to control your news and social content.  You can post and publish without the need to learn to program, or have to wait for IT or a webmaster.  And with the dashboard you can see where your social and news content is published, shared or commented on.  You can see who re-tweets it. And you can reply right away from the dashboard.

At PRESSfeed we assist our newsroom clients to set up a customized dashboard that works for them and we show them how to use these digital PR tools to best advantage.

 


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7th June 2011

Sharing: Social Media Currency

In a recent Pew Research report about how people get their news today, sharing was highlighted as one of the integral activities associated with news content online.

“If searching for news was the most important development of the last decade, sharing news may be among the most important of the next.”

Share This just released the results of a study of sharing behaviors which shows that while sharing is still unexplored and untapped by many publishers and advertisers, it is shaping the way users interact with each other and with content online.

Here are some of  key findings:

  • Sharing generates almost half of the traffic for websites and brands that is created by search
  • Sharing also accounts for 31 percent of referral traffic
  • Shared links are, on average, clicked on 4.9 times each
  • Everyone who shares is an influencer on that specific topic
  • Sharing is a viable marketing solution for reaching audiences when they are most receptive to a particular category of content or information

So are US companies and marketers aware of this effective social media marketing tool?  Is it indeed an unexplored and untapped opportunity?

We studied the websites of companies both large and small in the US to see if they are connecting to their social content and offering share options on their websites and online newsrooms.

  • 34% of Fortune 100 companies have share buttons on their website
  • 13% have share buttons on their newsroom content
  • 22% of INC 500 companies have share options on their website
  • 6% of INC 500 have share buttons on their newsroom content

Last year the CMO Council talked about the “Engagment Gap.”  Now we have a “Sharing Gap.”

If you would like to tap into these behaviors,  ask us for a demo of the social media newsroom.

 

 

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