Archive for the ‘Social PR’ Category

31 Sensational Social Media Marketing and PR Stats and Facts

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

Business and consumer marketers are nearly unanimous in their belief in the importance of social media to marketing activities. As noted below, the money is following that belief: social media now accounts for about 11% of all digital marketing outlays, and spending on social media marketing will total nearly $10 billion this year.

Still, marketers sometimes struggle with strategy, tactics, and measurement in social media marketing. Here are five actionable takeaways from the two-and-a-half dozen noteworthy social media marketing and PR statistics and facts presented below:

Social media customer service growth

Image credit: i-SCOOP

Be responsive. People expect to hear back from the brands they interact with on Twitter and other social networks. And when they report a problem or issue, they expect to hear back quickly: 53% of consumers on Twitter expect a response within the hour. Furthermore, nearly half of all social media users share content with their friends, family and co-workers at least weekly; so if they have a bad experience with your brand, the word is likely to spread.

Strategize and measure. 88% of marketers believe social media marketing is important, and 75% of consumers say they use social media in the buying process. Yet nearly half of marketers only “somewhat agree” that analyzing social media engagement can help improve the bottom line. The key to making social media marketing effective at the business level is to have a strategy in place and measure key performance indicators. Unfortunately, strategy and measurement are cited as the top two challenges faced by social media marketers. They aren’t easy, but those who get these two areas right will succeed.

Know your market (B2B). Twitter is the place to engage with companies: While just 20 of the of Fortune 500 companies actually engage with their customers on Facebook, 83% have a presence on Twitter—as do 76% of the NASDAQ 100, 100% of Dow Jones companies, and 92% of the S&P 500. For reaching top executives though, LinkedIn is the place to be. Though only 32% of Fortune 500 CEOs have a presence on any major social network, the majority of those (25% of the total) are on LinkedIn. And 59% of executives prefer video content to text.

Know your market (B2C): Nearly three-quarters of adult Internet users in the U.S. are active on at least one social network (predominantly Facebook)—but not all use social media the same way or have the same expectations. For example, while just 2% of all consumers prefer social media over other channels for customer service, 27% of Gen Y-ers favor it. On the other hand, consumers aged 55-64 are more than twice as likely to engage with brand content as those younger than 28. Older social media users favor Facebook and Pinterest; the 34-and-under crowd dominates on Tumblr and Instagram.

Get social PR right. While journalists are open to connecting with and being contacted by PR pros using social media, they prefer email for pitches and follow up. But 76% of journalists say they feel pressure to think about their story’s potential for sharing on social media platforms—so make sure that’s part of the pitch.

There’s much more in this collection of two and half dozen sensational social media marketing and social PR facts and statistics.

16 Social Media Marketing Stats

1. People ages 55-64 are more than twice as likely to engage with a brands’ content than those 28 or younger. (Social Media Today)

2. People share content 49% more on weekdays than on weekends. (Social Media Today)

3. On average, social media accounts for 11% of digital marketing spending. (MarketingProfs)

4. 72% of adult internet users in the U.S. are now active on at least one social network, up from 67% in 2012. (Marissa’s Picks)

5. More than 70% of users expect to hear back from the brand they’re interacting with on Twitter, and 53% want a response within the hour. (Marissa’s Picks)

6. 49% of people say they share online content they like with friends, family or co-workers at least weekly. (Ber|Art)

Twitter social media marketing

Image credit: Ber|Art

7. 86% of marketers believe that social media is important for their business. (Ber|Art)

8. U.S. spending on social media marketing will reach $9.7 billion in 2015.  (MediaPost)

9. Although 88% of marketers believe social media marketing is important, nearly half (48%) only “somewhat agree” that analyzing social media engagement can help improve the bottom line, and 15% don’t think analyzing social engagement matters at all. (eMarketer)

10. The top four challenges faced by social media marketers worldwide are assessing the effectiveness of social media activities (cited by 67% of marketers); designing an overall social media strategy (62%); making social media data actionable (61%); and educating staff on how to use social media (59%). (eMarketer)

11. Product/brand recommendations on social media mean more to younger people. 28% of those aged 18-34 say they are “very” or “fairly” likely to make a purchase based on a friend’s social media post, while just 33% say they are “not at all likely” to do so. The first figure gets smaller and the second larger with age; among those 65 and over, just 4% are likely to make a purchase based on a social media recommendation, while 78% are not at all likely. (Heidi Cohen)

12. 75% of customers say they use social media as part of the buying process. (Biznology)

13. 56% of marketers do not use any form of paid promotions on social media. (Cision)

14. Consumers may use social media for customer service, but they don’t love it. Although 67% of consumers have already used a company’s social media channel for customer service, just 2% say they prefer it over other options. Phone and email remain the most popular channels (66% combined). (MediaPost)

15. However–27% of Gen Y-ers favor social media for customer service. (MediaPost)

social network user demographics 2015

Image credit: Social Media Today

16. Facebook and Pinterest are among the “oldest” social networks in terms of their member demographics; 63% of U.S. Facebook users and 58% of those on Pinterest are age 35 and older. On the other hand, the 34-and-under crowd dominate on Tumblr (just over 50%) and Instagram (60%). Twitter is more balanced. (Social Media Today)

6 Social PR Statistics and Facts

17. While many journalists say they’d like PR pros to contact them via social media, less than half of PR practitioners have successfully pitched a journalist or outlet via social. So while engaging on social is a great add-on, traditional methods such as using a media database to target specific beats remains ever-important. (Cision)

18. The top three measures used by PR pros to show social media success increased website traffic (64%), increased engagement (61%) and increased followers (59%). (Cision)

19. 88% of PR professionals say their businesses or clients regularly engage on Facebook—more than any other social media platform. Twitter came in a close second at 85%. (Cision)

Social media is the #1 activity on the web

Image credit: B2B PR Sense Blog

20. Journalists receive, on average, 50-100 press releases every week. 44% prefer to receive them in the morning. 68% just want the facts. (B2B PR Sense Blog)

21. 76% of journalists say they feel pressure to think about their story’s potential for sharing on social media platforms. 64% say they prefer that follow-up on “pitches” be done via email rather than phone. (BentoBox Media)

22. When using video, 74% of journalists prefer content created by their own organizations. Just 3% use corporate / branded videos. (BentoBox Media)

6 Facts and Stats About Executive and Enterprise Social Media Use

23. Just 32% of Fortune 500 CEOs have a presence on any of the major social networks (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Instagram). Most of those have a presence on only one platform, with the majority (25.4% of the total) on LinkedIn. Mark Zuckerberg is the only Fortune 500 CEO on all five major social networks — and he owns two of them. (MediaPost)

24. 59% of senior executives prefer video over text. (41 Stories)

25. Just 20 of the Fortune 100 comnpanies actually engage with their customers on Facebook. (i-SCOOP) [IMAGE maybe – good one – social customer service]

26. On a company level, 83% of the Fortune 500 had a Twitter presence in 2014, up from 77% the year before. 80% were on Facebook, up from 70%. (Sword and the Script)

27. Among 500 of the largest U.S. companies, Cisco and HP score first and second in their use of social media for corporate communications. But Facebook is only number 242, and Apple comes in 416th place. According to research by Investis, “Facebook was marked down because it did not engage with its corporate audience using the other social media platforms reviewed. Even on its own platform, Facebook’s investor relations page fell well short of best practice. For example, it does not use videos or hashtags and it does not appear to have responded to any of the posts left by users.” (Virtual Press Office)

28. Only 76% of Nasdaq 100 companies maintain a corporate Twitter account which compares with 100% of the Dow Jones and 92% of the S&P 100. (Virtual Press Office)

3 SMB Social Media Marketing Stats

29. 75% of SMBs use social media to promote their businesses–more than any other media category. (MediaPost)

30. Social media is not only number one in terms of utilization by SMBs, it is also number one in share of SMB media spending (21% of total media budgets). (MediaPost)

31. In the average firm of 100-500 employees, seven people are involved in a buying decision. (Biznology)

This was post #5 of Marketing Stats Summer (#statssummer) on Webbiquity.

#1: Welcome to Marketing Stats Summer!

#2: 34 Compelling Content Marketing Stats and Facts

#3: 21 Spectacular SEO and Search Marketing Stats and Facts

#4: Five Intriguing Inbound Marketing Stats [Infographic]

#5: 31 Sensational Social Media Marketing and PR Stats and Facts

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Seven Top Marketing Posts for 7-7

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

With the 4th of July celebration just behind us in the U.S. and many people still away from the office (mentally if not physically), it seems an opportune time here in the lazy, hazy days of midsummer to take a quick look back at the seven most-read posts of 2015 so far.

7 top marketing blog posts of 2015 so farLooking for advanced Twitter tips? Expert guidance on social media marketing and social PR to maximize brand visibility? What SEO tactics work most effectively in 2015?

You’ll find all that and more here in the top seven posts on Webbiquity so far this year.

7. How to be Twitterific – 39 Expert Twitter Guides and Tips (March 3)

Which advanced practices are most helpful for Twitter marketers? How can brands and individuals make their tweets stand out? Find those answers and many more.

6. 10 Top Marketing Thought Leaders in Social Media (May 21)

If you were asked to name the top thought leaders in marketing today–those you’d definitely advise others to follow on social media–who would be on your list?

5. 27 (of the) Best Social PR Guides and Tips of 2014 (January 6)

In few professions has the emergence of social media been such a double-edged sword as public relations. Here’s how PR pros can help maximize brand visibility.

4. 2015 SEO Checklist [Infographic] (March 17)

As search algorithms have become more sophisticated the practice of SEO has gotten easier to explain yet more challenging to execute. Here’s what to do in 2015.

3. 48 Phenomenal SEO Guides, Tips & Tactics (February 24)

Which SEO tactics are likely to remain effective? What’s most important: on-page optimization, link building or technical SEO? Find those answers and many more.

2. 19 More Outstanding Social Media Marketing Guides (January 13)

What are the best social networks for b2b social media marketing? The best and worst times to post updates? Find those answers and many more here.

And the #1, most-read post of this year so far is…

1. 106 More Amazing Social Media and Marketing Statistics for 2014 and 2015 (February 10)

Discover how B2B social media marketing differs in effectiveness from B2C, which network drives half of all social traffic to B2B websites and blogs, and more.

Social media marketing stats and facts are a hot topic! Useful for presentations, planning sessions, bar trivia and more. The Marketing Stats Summer (#statssummer) series will resume next week here.

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27 (of the) Best Social PR Guides and Tips of 2014

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

In few professions has the emergence of social media been such a double-edged sword as public relations. On one hand, the “citizen journalism,” blogging, and content-sharing platforms for all types of media have fundamentally altered the traditional print-based business model of professional and trade publications. Information scarcity has been replace by information overload.

There are fewer professional reporters and editors, and they inundated with more noise: it’s estimated there are now four PR professionals for every full-time journalist in the U.S..

How journalists use social media

Image credit: leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal

On the other, given their skills in relationship-building and content development, PR professionals (should at least) have a natural knack for social media success. And recent changes to Google’s search algorithm which place a premium value on earned links—the kind generated by effective PR and social media engagement—have increased the value PR professionals bring to maximizing overall brand visibility.

How can PR pros best utilize content in this environment? Is there still a role for press releases? If so, how should they be written and distributed to maximize their impact with a shrinking number of over-pitched journalists? How can PR pros use social media tools to identify and connect with key influencers? What do PR pros need to know about SEO?

Find the answers to these questions and many others in more than two dozen of the best guides to social PR practices of the past year.

Guides to PR Content and Press Releases

How to use contributed content to even the playing field by iMedia Connection

Maya SzydlowshiPointing out that “The size of the author’s company doesn’t sway an editor’s decision to publish an article — it has to be well written, polished, and highly relevant to the publication’s readers to stand a chance,” Maya Szydlowski details best practices for pitching and getting externally produced content published on high-authority news sites.

6 ways content marketing has changed the way we do PR by The Next Web

Shannon ByrneShannon Byrne outlines half a dozen “ways content marketing has changed the way we ‘do PR,’” among them: everyone is now a content contributor (“As long as your content is high-quality and not overly promotional, publications will often consider well-written, fresh content with open arms”); publications want to publish thought leaders; and “syndication + guests posts are great alternatives to earned media.”

The 10 Commandments of Press Release Writing by PR Breakfast Club

Mickie KennedyMickie Kennedy hands down ten commandments for writing effective press releases, beginning with “Thou shalt have a relevant topic” and “Thou shalt be truthful” and progressing through “Thou shalt proofread” (“Read it. Read it again. Go through every sentence and whittle them down until they’re iron tight. Check your grammar. Check it again.”)

How Content Promotion Lands the #PR Story for @LarryKim…Everytime! by Social PR Chat

Lisa BuyerFrequent best-of honoree Lisa Buyer summarizes the high points of a presentation by WordStream CEO Larry Kim. Among them: “use social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to pitch directly to media and influencers”; include visual assets (such as infographics) in your content to increase sharing; optimize titles, meta details and image names for SEO; and extend the value of content through repurposing and syndication.

9 Timeless PR Positioning Strategies by Sword and the Script

Frank StrongEver notice how many companies are “leaders” in their respective markets, according to their own press releases? Noting that “Positioning as a ‘leader’ is generally a difficult proposition because every company claims to be a leaders; if everyone is a leader, then leadership as point of differentiation has lost its luster,” Frank Strong suggests nine alternative positioning strategies that are less shopworn and more defensible.

What Journalists Really Think Of Your Press Release by Forbes

Robert WynneTo help PR pros craft better, more effective news releases, Robert Wynne here compiles “unfiltered, honest, sometimes brutal yet always helpful, responses from some of the top journalists at publications including The Atlantic, Los Angeles Times, Mashable, Popular Science, Tech Crunch and Yahoo!.”

Public Relations & Social Media Insight by Scoop.it

Jeff DommanskyAs Monty Python used to say, “and now for something completely different“: this Scoop.it curation from Jeff Domansky is a fantastic resource for the latest articles, blog posts, infographics and other content related to the intersection of PR and social media. The content changes frequently so it’s worthwhile checking in here often.

3 Free PR Photo Hacks by Sword and the Script
*****5 STARS

Writing that “The research on the impact of visuals in press releases, blog posts and even tweets is nearly unanimous:  Images drive interest and that interests lasts longer,” Frank Strong (again) passes along his three favorite free, quick, and relatively easy methods for finding or creating images to supplement text content.

[Tips] Journalists and Customers Love Online Newsrooms…Do You Love Yours? by Social PR Chat

Quantifying the importance of building a rich online newsroom, Lisa Buyer (again) writes that “More than half of the journalists surveyed visit an online brand newsroom at least once a week, with 25.2% of them visiting newsrooms daily. And lest you think online brand newsrooms appeal only to traditional journalists, they are also being accessed by bloggers, tweeters, customers, potential investors, anyone who is interested in your company.” She then provides eight helpful tips for optimizing an online newsroom, including knowing your brand’s audience and using a team approach.

Guides to PR and Influencer Research

8 Powerful Influencer Research Tools That Get Results by Blogging Wizard
*****5 STARS

Adam-ConnellAdam Connell reviews eight helpful tools to help identify the key influencers on any topic, including NOD3x (powerful though not cheap at $160 per month), BuzzSomo (only covers Twitter, but free), and Authority Spy (an inexpensive tool that works with Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Klout).

How to Use Social Influencers to Build Your Brand by Inc.

Adam HeitzmanAdam Heitzman details a five-step plan to use “social influencers to build your brand,” starting out with spending time to find the right influencers (for which the post above may be helpful) and progressing through always paying it forward (“If a social influencer is writing great things about your company, do the same. Commenting and engaging with a social influencer’s content is great, but take it one step further by actually promoting it on your own social pages”).

How To Search For Influencers: 4 Tips To Make It More Efficient by InNetwork

Shawn HewatShawn Hewat shares her “top 4 tips to start building an ideal list of influencers” for outreach efforts, ranging from power searches on Google to investigating blog rolls (still a solid resource on older blogs, though sadly not used or maintained as regularly today as in the past).

Guides to PR and Social Media

The State of Social Media for PR Pros by Cision

Gina JosephGina Joseph reports on findings from Cision’s State of Social Media for PR Pros survey, such as: Facebook (used by 88% of respondents) and Twitter (85%) remain the most popular social sharing platforms for PR pros and their clients. But only 44% use any type of paid content promotion on social networks. And “less than half of our survey respondents have successfully pitched a journalist or outlet via social…traditional methods such as using a media database to target specific beats remains ever-important.”

Infographic: State of the Media 2014 by leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal

Jim DoughertyJim Dougherty presents an infographic from Vocus illustrating how journalists view social media. Among other findings: about half of journalists use social media to connect with viewers and readers, and to promote their stories; but 95% don’t believe social media is completely trustworthy, and 91% still prefer to be pitched by email.

Guides to PR and Guest Posting

7 Simple Ways of Maximizing Value from Guest Posting by Razor Social

Ian cClearyFrequent best-of honoree Ian Cleary suggests seven “ways to maximize the value of guest posting” (and stay out of trouble with Google), ranging from posting on highly authoritative sites within your market or industry niche (“Google likes to see that you hang out with good company”) to writing great, detailed content (the top results in Google often have more than 2,000 words).

Google Beats a War Path for Guest Posts; PR Needs to Listen by Sword and the Script

Responding to comments made by Matt Cutts about guest blogging and Google’s subsequent actions against using the practice merely for link building, Frank Strong (yet again) advises PR pros on how to use guest blogging and backlinks in ways “that will help keep PR out of the Google penalty box.”

Guides to PR and SEO

Press Release Rankings: Slammed by the Panda? by SEER Interactive

While it would be an overstatement to say that (legitimate) press releases no longer have any SEO value, Google algorithm modifications clearly changed the landscape last year. This post quantifies the result of changes for sites like PRWeb.com and Businesswire.com, but also notes more positively that “the days of the press release for legitimate reasons, earnings reports, technology innovations, acquisitions, etc, are still very alive & well.”

Everything a Public Relations expert should know about SEO in 10 minutes by Mustr

Atelina PelteaPromising information that “will make you an expert on everything you need to know about SEO in Public Relations without any headache and avoiding all slang,” Adelina Peltea concisely covers the basics of backlink analysis, keyword research, how Google treats links in press releases, and more.

Why PR Pros Will Now Dominate SEO by Cision

Kevin BaileyKevin Bailey believes PR pros are well-positioned to help with SEO in the post-Penguin era, writing: “The (links) that really move the needle come from the established media outlets that cite them all over the web—the industry media outlets with large engaged audiences and domain authorities in the high 90s…PR pros have a huge leg up in terms of earning the hard links. They have the ability to reach top media outlets and get content assets covered—content assets that are more about solving a large problem in a given industry than they are about touting a brand and its products.” True, which is why PR and SEO are two key components of a broader web presence optimization strategy.

Guides to Journalist Pitching, Media Relations, and Blogger Outreach

How to Contact the Media: 12 Email Tips That Also Boost Email Marketing by bridgebuzz blog

Lucy SiegelNoting that “an email has to be really compelling to avoid the delete key. Journalists get more email than most of us: some journalists receive over a hundred email pitches a day from PR people…to stand out among such intense competition and get opened, an email pitch has to be just about perfect,” Lucy Siegel provides a dozen suggestions for effective email pitches to journalists (and writes that most are just as valid as email marketing tips). For example: “Brevity Is Key to Getting Read. After the lede, get to the point right away by covering the basics: who, what, when, where, why and how. Don’t sell, tell.”

Be Memorable: 10 Practical Ways to Successfully Get Influencers’ Attention by Traffic Generation Cafe

Ana HoffmanAna Hoffman details 10 ways to get the attention of influential bloggers, journalists or other influencers in your industry, from linking out “shamelessly and unceasingly” to their content, to writing weekly roundups (with some value-added content–not just a collection of links), to quoting them (with detailed instructions on how to do this effectively).

A PR pro’s 10-point media relations checklist by ragan.com

Austin CrossAustin Cross entertainingly shares his “10 commandments of pitching” to the media, from research and personalization (“Not only does the ‘spray and pray’ method require no skill or effort, but it is also arguably the least effective way to pitch”) to scrapping the call script and talking to journalists as if they are real people. (Most of them are.)

Blogger Outreach: Persistence is Fertile by FeedBlitz

Chris AbrahamObserving that “It’s not uncommon for someone at a loud bar not to hear you the first time, or even twice. If you assume someone isn’t interested in getting to know you better just because they don’t hear you the first or second time, then you’re doomed. The Internet is the busiest, loudest, most distracting place ever created,” Chris Abraham outlines the three characteristics needed to “score the digits in content marketing.”

6 Ways to Pitch Journalists on Social Media by Social Media Today

Jess WynantsJesse Wynants provides half a dozen helpful tips for reaching journalists. For starters, build relationships first: “If you want journalists to pay attention to your brand, you need to build a mutually beneficial relationship long before you ever reach out with a pitch.”

Getting Positive Results From Blogger Outreach Is Difficult, Or Is It? by Tweak Your Biz

Adam Connell (again) offers nine tips for crafting “the perfect outreach email” for bloggers, starting with keeping it relevant (“take the time to check out the blog that you’re contacting”) and proceeding through keeping the pitch short and reaching out on social media before sending an email.

Guides to PR for Startups

PR Tips & Strategies for Startups by Social Entrepreneur Blog

Mark HaraiMark Harai shares a presentation focused on PR tips for startups, organized into six sections: foundation (make friends, not contacts), research, perfecting the pitch (positioning statements, personalization, answering “what’s in it for them,” keeping it concise, newsjacking basics), media outreach, measuring success, and best practices.

Infographic: How To Get PR by Publicize

This infographic illustrates a seven-step process for obtaining media coverage for a start-up (or a new product), from creating your story and tying it into larger trends to offering exclusivity (offering an exclusive to the right outlets makes journalists “more likely to write about your story”) to promoting exclusive features.

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23 Outstanding Social PR Guides

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

As noted in several of the posts highlighted below, the PR professional has changed considerably over the past few years. The audiences, topics, tools, and tactics employed in PR have evolved.

The PRiodic Table of Elements

Image credit: PRNews

Foremost among these developments is the shift from communicating primarily to a closely-guarded list of traditional “media’ contacts (editors and paid journalists) to working with an amorphous and expanding pool of influencers in specific industries and specialties: vendors, buyers, brand advocates, bloggers, freelance writer, peers, and others.

This shift has led to today’s emphasis on “social” PR. But it’s not merely about using social media platforms and outreach; as one of five pillars in the web presence optimization framework, PR now impacts SEO, content marketing, website design, and other marketing disciplines.

What role do press releases play in PR today? Are they still important for SEO? Is blogger outreach still an effective PR strategy? What are the best practices for social PR?

Find the answers to these questions and others here in almost two dozen noteworthy social PR articles, posts, and guides from the past 18 months.

Social PR Strategies and Tactics

What Brands Can Learn From @TODAYshow in 2014 by #SocialPR Chat

Lisa BuyerSocial PR expert Lisa Buyer writes about the transition of the TODAY show’s social media presence from awkward to awesome, and offers four related tips, including the importance of inspiring and training your own team first: “Brands of all sizes have the strongest army of brand advocates closer than they might think, with the right direction and structure – employees make the best brand cheerleaders.”

Why the News Release is Alive, and Well, and Thriving in the Wired World by Strategic Objectives

Deb WeinsteinDeborah Weinstein expertly explains how the news release have evolved over time, why news releases serve as a pillar of content marketing (news releases are “a tool we PR pros use to communicate with mainstream and social media journalists who share their stories, AKA “earned media,” with your brand or organization’s key audiences – be they consumers, stakeholders, shareholders, regulatory authorities, and/or, all of the above”), and what opportunities this creates for PR professionals today.

The Soft and Subtle PR Pitch of Content Marketing by Sword and the Script

Frank StrongThe brilliant Frank Strong says he’s “reached a point in my career where my best PR efforts aren’t made with a telephone or email, but rather with useful content that’s made freely available,” and explains six ways content marketing is invaluable for PR, among them “credibility” in the form of social proof as well as how “people, including the influential, look at us as individuals when they weigh a pitch.” Quality content and engagement matter.

Breaking PR: The Essential Elements of PR by PR News

Casysey-WeltonCaysey Welton showcases graphical “PRiodic Table of Elements,” which lays out “several important elements that a PR pro needs to consider on a day-to-day basis,” from the basics of jumaity, logistics, and budgeting through ethics, framing, media relations, and negotiation, in this quick-read post.

Why PR Agencies Should be Great at Social Marketing, But So Few Are by SocialSteve’s Blog

Steve GoldnerSteve Goldner explores why many PR professionals and agencies struggle to get results with social media, despite the fact that “PR companies are very well suited for driving social marketing success because their entire success is based upon relationships (and) relationships are what drive social success.” Among the reasons: PR professionals have traditionally carefully guarded their contact lists, and have historically dealt almost exclusively with professional journalists. The world has changed.

Forrester #CMO REPORT: Embracing Digital and Delivering Brand Experience by #SocialPR Chat

Carah Von FunkCarah Von Funk reveals research findings that “By 2016, Forrester predicts advertisers will spend more than $77 billion on digital marketing, more than they spend on television today and that interactive marketing…will comprise a full 26% of their total spend,” then presents four tips for marketers and social PR professionals to capitalize on these trends, including “CMOs need to take stock of this digital disruption and embrace it by working across departments to assess their digital readiness and identify every area their brand experience can be improved including messaging, actions and product.”

Guides to the Evolution of PR

You Know You Are in PR When… by B2B PR Sense Blog
***** 5 STARS

Wendy MarxThe awesome Wendy Marx provides an entertaining and video-rich look at how the PR industry has changed over the past decade. For example: “You knew you were in PR when you wined and dined a reporter over a 1 1/2-hour lunch with much camaraderie and laughter (while today) You know you are in PR when the reporter you previously worked with is now heading up editorial for a major brand.”

Quick Refresh on Untapped Opportunities for PR by Ishmael’s Corner

Lou HoffmanLou Hoffman offers “three thoughts for pushing out of the comfort zone and generating greater results” with PR, such as using tools like HARO and ProfNet to build lists of freelance journalists, because “As media properties have reinvented themselves to make the economics work, they have greater dependence on freelancers. Yet, many consider freelance journalists as second-class citizens when they deserve the same treatment as staff writers. In fact, one could make an argument for spending more time with freelance journalists since they’re NOT getting crushed with pitches and tend to be more open to input from PR.”

What’s Changed, What Hasn’t in Media Relations by Business2Community
***** 5 STARS

Jon GreerAcknowledging that “the news media has changed enormously in the last 10 years,” Jon Greer astutely details five characteristics of media relations that remain constant (e.g., “There are still hundreds of pitching targets: While the mainstream media sector has shrunk, online-only media and blogs have risen up to fill much of the void”) and five that have clearly changed (i.e., “There are fewer reporters and less space in traditional media outlets…Those that are left are being bombarded with pitches” – so your pitch to one of these individuals had better be exceptional).

Guides to the Intersection of PR and SEO

A Guide to Press Release Optimization by Business Wire

Acknowledging that “inserting targeted keywords with unnatural links is no longer a best practice for your organization’s communications plan,” this guide offers 10 alternative tactics for maximizing the SEO value of news releases, such as that Google’s Hummingbird update rewards good writing: “Focus on writing for humans and creating a good user experience, and Google Hummingbird will take note. Including relevant terms continues to be important, but they need to be in context with your story.”

Enduring Questions on Press Releases and SEO by Sword and the Script

While the days of using marginal-quality, link-filled press releases to game SEO are clearly over, Frank Strong (again)here explains why strategic, newsworthy, well-crafted news releases still do have SEO value, and supplies five tips for getting better search results from press releases, such as “Use multimedia (photos and video)…Multimedia is important for two reasons.  First because search engines return a blend of search results, or ‘blended search’…Second, because visuals draw viewers in…viewers will stay on page (with multimedia) for up to 30 seconds longer.”

7 Ways to Obtain “Unicorn” News Links to Your Site Using PR by iMedia Connection

Allison FreelandNoting that “PR and SEO are becoming converging marketing practices” (yes, within the context of WPO), Allison Freeland walks through “seven ways to obtain juicy links from news organizations to your website,” including press release distribution through the reputable news wire services; producing unique issue / research studies; and producing / distributing infographics (which “still have value”).

Guides to Influencer and Blogger Outreach

How to Find Niche Influencers in Google+, Twitter and the World at Large by Bruce Clay Blog

Chelsea AdamsChelsea Adams details half-a-dozen techniques for identifying influencers in any market segment or topic area, from checking out who speaks frequently at relevant industry conferences to finding authors on Amazon.com (“Are they on Twitter? Are they on Google+? Do they have a lot of followers?”) and using tools like FollowerWonk to analyze the key influencers on your key influencers.

GroupHigh.com – The “Blogger Outreach” Multi-Tool by Justice Mitchell

Justice MitchellJustice Mitchell writes a glowing and detailed review of GroupHigh, a tool that helps identify bloggers for outreach by topic (along with supplemental information about each blogger including location, associated/guest bloggers, Moz rank, and other attributes); analyze competitor blogs; and track and measure outreach campaigns.

The 10 best ways to pitch a blogger by ragan.com

David Meerman ScottAuthor and PR guru David Meerman Scott, who (not surprisingly) receives “several hundred pitches a week from well-meaning PR people,” offers 10 do’s and don’ts for getting the attention of influential bloggers, among them understanding that bloggers can provide coverage in multiple ways (“I might tweet about your product. Maybe you have a story worth adding to a book I’m working on, or including in a speech. Don’t limit yourself”) and not offering guest posts unless the blogger actually accepts them.

Bad Outreach Examples – How Not to Secure a Guest Blogging Spot by SteamFeed

Charlotte VarelaCharlotte Varela shares five examples of awful blogger outreach, explaining why each goes beyond ineffective to the point of offensiveness (e.g., “Rule number one of guest blogging – never talk about or ask about links in the initial outreach email! This clearly demonstrates that you’re after a link and nothing else”), as well as six helpful tips for maximizing your odds of success.

How to Find Key Online Influencers by MyBeak Social Media

Laura-Lee WalkerNoting that “Active web users create about 500 million impressions or data points on products and services per year, yet 80 percent of these user impressions were made by a mere 6 percent of users on social media,” Laura-Lee Walker explains how to use tools like Klout for Business and Traackr to identify and effectively engage key influencers in any realm to “get them sharing stories about your brand.”

Streamlining Blogger Outreach With Inkybee by Soulati-‘TUDE!

Jayme SoulatiThe smart and delightful Jayme Soulati explains how to use Inkybee, a platform that helps identify bloggers by topic or niche to facilitate blogger outreach activities. She notes that beyond just building lists, the tool also enables PR professionals to set up, track, and measure results from blogger outreach efforts.

Guest Blogging Guides

How Guest Blogging was Affected by Penguin 2.0 by AudienceBloom

Jayson DeMersIgnore the obnoxious pop-up here and you’ll find a helpful post from Jayson DeMers explaining how changes to Google’s search algorithm have impacted the value and practice of guest blogging, along with four tips for continuing to get value from this practice, such as focusing on content rather than links (“Google will begin to recognize mentions of a company or its website on other sites, even if that site isn’t directly linking to them. This is known as a citation, and is currently thought to play a major role in helping Google understand the buzz or importance of a particular brand”).

5 Tips for Guest Posting on Higher End Blogs by HigherVisibility

Amanda DiSilvestroAs Amanda DiSilvestro points out, techniques that work fine for obtaining guest-posting opportunities on smaller blogs don’t work with the large A-list blogs. She then steps through five tactics that must be approached differently for outreach to larger blogs, among them: “Take your time and form connections, and then use those connections. As with most things in business, who you know will come in handy. Authoritative blogs want to see that you have made connections to other important figures in the industry (or even in their specific company). If you can name drop, I highly recommend it.”

Guides to Creating Social Media Newsrooms

Why (And How) Brands Should Build Newsrooms by Contently

Shane SnowShane Snow publishes wisdom gleaned from his interview with former New York Times editor Neil Chase, regarding the value of buiding a brand newsroom (“Today, a business can create and distribute quality content that engages people…But creating content is a new skill for most companies, so it requires new capabilities and expertise. Building a brand newsroom gives the business control over its messaging and content — and the ability to create and distribute content quickly”), how it should be staffed, common pitfalls to avoid, and more.

The Social Newsroom – How To Make It Happen by MindJumpers

Jonas Klit NielsenJonas Klit Nielsen outlines “the ingredients you need to leverage” in creating an online brand newsroom, from (of course) your news itself (“The key is to catch the specific news that people talk about when standing by the digital water cooler that is the Facebook news feed…Just remember – the conversational topics must be in context with your brand”) and social behavior to understanding the creative skills required and measuring performance.

Brands with online newsrooms still lack SEO, content plans by Brafton

This post reports on research from Newsdesk showing that “98 percent of the world’s largest brands have their own online newsrooms,’ but also spells out how brands are struggling to keep content fresh, use relevant and high-quality images, and capitalize on the SEO potential offered by online newsrooms.

 

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31 Expert Guides to Maximizing Online Brand Visibility – WPO

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Given all of the changes Google has made affecting organic ranking factors (asking webmasters to disavow low-quality links, reducing the value of guest blogging, ignoring links in press releases, etc.),  the practice of SEO—optimizing owned content for search—is no longer sufficient for maximizing a brand’s online visibility.

This is not to say “SEO is dead” or that it no longer has value, only that it can no longer stand on its own. It needs to be part of a larger, coordinated strategy encompassing owned, earned and paid media: web presence optimization (WPO).

The original WPO model focused on content-sharing to maximize organic brand visibility; as the WPO framework evolved, it incorporated paid and industry (e.g., event sponsorships, community outreach, analyst coverage, trade association membership) components.

Today’s WPO model emphasizes the importance of fusing a solid content strategy with a comprehensive online distribution strategy in order to maximize brand visibility and credibility.

The Web Presence Optimization Model - WPOYet despite the analytical and strategic power of the model, WPO still largely remains the concept that everyone talks about, but no one names. It’s as if sportswriters constantly wrote about “contests in which opposing teams of five players attempt to shoot a round orange ball through a hoop with a net attached” instead of simply saying “basketball.” As indicated by the posts from Search Engine Watch and All Twitter highlighted below, that is starting to change, but only just.

How can social, PR, SEO, and online advertising efforts be coordinated to maximize brand visibility? How can paid, owned, and earned media be harmonized to achieve business goals? How can paid and organic content promotion channels be used together most effectively? What role does email play in extending online visibility?

Find the answers to those questions and many more here in 31 of the best blog posts and articles about WPO (even if they don’t call it that) of the past year.

Beyond Search & Social: Online Marketing in 2014 by Search Engine Journal

Marcela De Vivo covers a great deal of ground in this thought-provoking and wide-ranging post, from the impact of social signals on organic ranking to earning (vs. building) links, measuring key performance indicators (KPIs) based on your goals (e.g., “If your goal is organic visibility, your KPI’s will be based on increasing your rankings and organic traffic”), and the debate around paid, earned and owned media: all critical consideraations in a WPO strategy.

Convergence: Merging Disciplines Between PR and Marketing by InNetwork

Hessie Jones contends that while marketing and PR have traditionally been separate disciplines, due to social media, “these roles are converging in a big way,” so today brands need “a combination of PR and Marketing to stay on top of the conversation, and be ready to develop compelling content to engage and build advocacy,” and furthermore to pair “mainstream and digital media experts with creative specialists like copywriters, digital designers and video producers to uncover storytelling opportunities in real time, deliver critical business insights, engage influencers and customers and create the content that shapes news and conversations.” Which is to day: they need to coordinate the efforts of everyone involved in maximizing a brand’s online visibility and relevance.

How to build a robust content program by iMedia Connection

Writing that “Today, superb, consistent content best serves your customers and leads to increased loyalty and bottom-line results,” Deborah Hanamura explores a baker’s dozen considerations for content marketing strategy, including social, SEO, PPC (“Great Pay-Per-Click advertising requires great content. Create an impression versus multiple impressions”), and events—in other words, most of the key elements of WPO.

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Integrated Marketing: The Magic Formula for Success by Blue Kite Marketing

Laura Click (correctly) asserts there is no “one singular tactic that will help you achieve results” in digital marketing, but rather that achieving the objective of being everywhere your prospect look online requires an integrated marketing approach coordinating efforts across:

  • • content marketing;
  • • media relations;
  • • advertising;
  • • search engine marketing (actually, a form of online advertising);
  • • social media; and
  • • email marketing.

Add SEO to the list above and you’ve got WPO.

Integrating POEM: The Rhyme and Reason of Harmonizing the New Media Mix by iMedia Connection

Aaron Dubois explores the strengths and weaknesses of paid, owned and earned media (POEM), and advises marketers, “Throughout the planning process, take a step back and look at your brand’s overall marketing strategy. If the P, the O, and the E aren’t working in conjunction with each other – with a consistent brand voice across all communications – then it’s not likely you’re going to get as much out of your campaign as you hope to.” That’s another way of saying: adopt WPO, which coordinates efforts across these these three types of exposure.

Harmonizing owned, earned and paid mediaCreating a Multi-Channel Content Marketing Strategy by BlueGlass

Kevin Gibbons illustrates the POEM concept and recommends that marketers “have a fully integrated strategy, where everyone is involved towards having success across all of your owned, earned and paid media channels” in order to properly plan and execute to achieve online business goals (or in other words, adopt a WPO approach). He then provides further guidance regarding content creation, measurement, and audience targeting.

6 Reasons Social Media Is Critical To Your SEO by Convince with Convert

Jason Clegg offers “six reasons social media needs to be an important part of your website marketing and SEO strategy for years to come,” such as that social media enables you to “crowd source” your link building; social links actually drive traffic to your website; and “Google hates link building.” Though the post goes a bit over the top in spots (“link building as a direct SEO tactic is completely dead”—not quite true), Jason’s overall points regarding the SEO value of social media are spot on.

The PR Strategies SEOs Haven’t Learned by Siege Media

A helpful companion to the post above, Ross Hudgens here focuses on the value of PR for SEO: “Many PR companies still blast releases out to publishers that have no reason to receive them. Many SEO companies do the same with their outreach to bloggers. The best of both worlds will find the intersection, combine agility with empathy, and make for an extremely potent content marketing package.”

MarketingSherpa 2013 Marketing Benchmark Survey ResultsMarketing Research Chart: Integrating email and search marketing tactics by MarketingSherpa

Daniel Burstein notes that the chart at right “highlights one of marketers’ key challenges. They’re doing a lot. Even the least used tactic — digital asset optimization — is being conducted by 45% of marketers.” He then explains three ways that marketers can be more efficient by “SEO and email tasks to get more done in less time.” This type of coordination between different types of content promotion efforts is also at the heart of WPO.

The Evolution of Content In A Big-Content World by MediaPost

Writing that “‘big content’ is the definition of what content marketing has become: unruly, amorphous, exponential and everywhere,” Steve Kerho suggests that marketers should “think of big content as branded content that exists in multiple channels, across devices and…is no longer controlled solely by the brand.” Indeed they should, and efforts should be coordinated across these different channels to optimize visibility and engagement while maintaining consistent brand messaging.

SMO Guide for BusinessThe Complete SMO / SEO Guide for Business & Brands in Social Media by REALSMO
***** 5 STARS

Joshua Berg provides an indispensible and comprehensive guide to how social media and search work together; the principles of social media optimization, aka SMO (“Focus on the user and all elSEO will follow”–spot on); and the (possible) future of search.

The Aftermath Of SEO’s Death This Summer by Forbes

Writing that Google’s Penguin and Hummingbird algorithm updates “mean no more hat tricks, keyword stuffing, comment spamming, backlink image stuffing…Finally, Google uncovered the secret to blocking SEO tricks used to get customers on the infamous PAGE 1,” Eris Poringer provides excellent guidance on implementing a “comprehensive plan” for maximizing online brand visibility, incorporating social media, email, content marketing, native advertising, and other tactics. This approach isn’t SEM (paid search) though SEM is a key component of a wider WPO strategy.

Social Media Should Not Be A Stand Alone Brand Tactic by Brand Cottage

The smart and engaging Patricia Wilson lists seven reasons why social media should not be a stand-alone brand tactic (such as, “Social Media is very hard to scale on its own”) and suggests that “social strategy works best as part of a larger integrated marketing and business plan.” Couldn’t agree more; it’s a vital component of a WPO strategy.

The B2B Marketing Guide to Paid Content Distribution by B2B Digital Marketing
***** 5 STARS

In this highly bookmark-worthy post, Eric Wittlake details almost two dozen options for paid content distribution, from advertising on the large social networks to content distribution services like Outbrain and Taboola to native advertising and sponsored posts on B2B publication sites. As long as you stick with reputable sites that keep up with Google’s latest guidelines, these are great avenues for extending the reach of your content and increasing overall online brand visibility.

Social Media AdvertisingHow to Amplify Your Content Strategy with Social Media Advertising by Content Marketing Institute

Observing that tweets have an average half-life of 18 minutes, Facebook posts have a half-life of 30 minutes, and keeping up with algorithmic changes in organic search is getting increasingly difficult, Dan Stasiewski recommends “creating an advertising flow to your content ecosystem.” Excellent advice, though not either/or; successful content promotion requires coordinating all of the elements of WPO.

SEO And Other Web Marketing Techniques: Tools Or Tricks? by Forbes

Roger Kay comes down rather hard on content marketing and SEO (“a rather polite term for another way to game the system”), but writes that he likes “the concept of inbound marketing because it relies on product quality…at bottom, inbound will only work if the product is good.  Effectively, the Internet is a fantastic channel to give an idea a chance to make it in the wild, but the virus only spreads if the content justifies the buzz.” True, which is why content strategy forms the base of WPO. But as noted here previously, even the “most epic content will FAIL without content distribution,” which is why coordinated sharing and promotion across channels is just as important as creating high-quality content to begin with.

When Keyword (not provided) is 100 Percent of Organic Referrals, What Should Marketers Do? – Whiteboard Tuesday by Moz

Rand Fishkin steps through a number of steps SEO practitioners can take to deal with the loss of organic keyword data from Google, such as using “keyword suggestion sources like Google Suggest, Ubersuggest, certainly AdWords’s own volume data, SEMRush, etc. to see the keyword expansions related to your brand or the content that’s very closely tied to your brand.” Running AdWords ads and examining keyword performance is another option.

Time for a New Definition of SEO by Search Engine Watch

Writing that “digital marketing tactics such as email marketing, paid search and search retargeting have very clear, undisputed definitions. The definition of SEO, on the other hand, seems to be just as unclear as the practice itself,” Krista LaRiviere suggests WPO (she actually uses the term) represents the evolution of SEO, and defines WPO as “an all-encompassing approach to optimizing an entire web presence for organic search including the website, social channels, blogs, articles and press releases.” Her ideas clearly resonated, as the post garnered 50 comments.

The Web Presence Optimization Cycle [INFOGRAPHIC] by All Twitter

Allison Stadd showcases a helpful infographic designed to help marketers visualize “the steps to web presence optimization with the goal of helping you reach organic search success.”

The Web Presence Optimization Cycle Infographic

Getting less traffic from Google? Here’s why it may not matter soon by Jim’s Marketing Blog

Jim Connolly details three reasons marketers should diversify their efforts beyond just organic SEO, most importantly because “Google sends less traffic to sites than before…between August 2012 and March 2013, search traffic from Google nosedived an incredible 30%” to a collection of large publisher sites including The Huffington Post, The Daily Mail, Newsweek, Time, Sports Illustrated and Rolling Stone. It’s not that search isn’t still an important tactic, but that it’s only one of several important elements in a brand’s total online visibility (the focus of WPO).

Relying on organic SEO? You’re losing customers! by Digital Growth

Building on the arguments in Jim Connolly’s post above, Luke Chapman illustrates how ads and universal search elements continue to push organic listings further down on the typical search results page, making even a #1 organic ranking less valuable than it used to be. To combat this, he recommends using social media, email, PR, blogging and blog commenting, and industry/community marketing—pretty much the range of WPO elements. And investing in SEM also helps maintain search visibility.

Google SERPs - More Ads, Less Organic

Is SEO Dead — Or Decentralized? by MediaPost

Musing about the decline of traditional SEO and the rise of social media optimization and paid search, Ryan DeShazer concludes that “In today’s marketing communications organization, everyone is an SEO…creative teams (now) include content discoverability and SEO into their work streams; technologists are building sites and apps compliant with known onsite SEO best practices; and UX specialists are including keyword research before developing user personas and journeys.” Hmm, coordinating the efforts of multiple disciplines in order to optimize web visibility…sounds familiar.

The 4 SEO Trends Every Marketer Needs to Know by iMedia Connection

Tony Quin reveals what he believes are four key trends in SEO that marketers need to understand, the most relevant of which for WPO is number four, “Traditional marketing tactics will boost digital marketing initiatives…Press releases, for example, provide branded mentions and links that will increase the authority of your website while also increasing exposure. Despite what some might say, email is still extremely effective in creating opportunities for awareness and sharing.” Creating compelling content is vital, but that content then needs to be shared using social media alongside “traditional marketing tactics.”

Inbound vs. Interruption MarketingInbound Marketing: 15 tactics to help you earn attention organically by MarketingSherpa

Daniel Burstein (again) serves up a list of “quantitative metrics, case studies, how-to articles and other resources to help you improve your own inbound marketing efforts by learning more about how your peers are effectively using these tactics,” including SEO, PPC, email, events, PR, blogging, content marketing, and other aspects of WPO.

How to optimize your emails for search by iMedia Connection

Noting “It might sound like a strange idea to optimize your emails for search engines, but SEO is a skill that email marketers better start working on,” Michael Linthorst explores the ins and outs of Gmail Field Trial, an “experiment in which Google includes a user’s Gmail inbox in his or her search results.” Engagement, content, and relevancy are keys to “email SEO”—and a solid approach to email marketing regardless.

Social Search Engine Marketing Throws Search Experts A Lifeline by MediaPost

Laurie Sullivan reports on recent research showing that “Social signals continue to make their way into search results—making social search engine optimization the next major trend in organic listing. Enterprise SEO requires a search across traditional techniques and social media channels.” This integration is, of course, at the heart of WPO.

Why Your Online Marketing Department Is All Screwed Up by ClickZ

Andrew Delamarter describes how marketing departments can, and must, sop operating in “silos” and coordinate efforts across paid, earned, and owned media: “Now is the time to stop thinking SEO, media, content marketing, web analytics, and Facebook posts and start thinking holistically about inbound marketing that brings it all together.”

Marketing in Silos is Screwed Up

Must evolve to:

Integrating Owned, Earned and Paid Media Efforts

If you build it, they will come — maybe by iMedia Connection

The brilliant and prolific Rebecca Lieb believes “The winners in content marketing will create not just quality content, but distribution strategies that will get that content ‘out there'” (i.e., WPO). SEO, PR, advertising, and social all have their role to play, but so do media companies.

Six Ways Internet Marketing Meets PR Online by SteamFeed

Because “the online world of content marketing requires knowledge of Internet marketing which includes search marketing, key word designation, html coding, link building, and the other tools and tricks of the trade,” Jayme Soulati outlines half a dozen ways for PR professionals to work with their Internet marketing counterparts to maximize online brand visibility and impact.

Search Marketing Integration, a.k.a. WPOThe New SEO: Search Marketing Integration by Search Engine Watch

Brad Miller writes that while SEO isn’t dead, “the days of SEO as a distinct, independent discipline are certainly numbered. SEO is fast evolving into a more creative, diverse, and challenging profession.” He uses the term “search marketing integration” to describe the coordination of activities across social search, branding, PR, SEM, and others areas in order to integrate all your marketing efforts into “into one single, agile, engaging strategy.” That would be WPO.

2013 – Break the (Digital) Marketing Silos by The RKG Blog

As noted above in the introduction to this post, WPO is about coordinating the efforts of everyone on your team involved in content creation or digital marketing. As Todd McDonald writes here, “Imagine the insights available to those who successfully bring together PR, social, email, PPC, SEO, and other channels!  Each one can feed the next, providing ever-deepening levels of data and connections that will drive data-driven strategic marketing decisions.  SEO will be a cog in this machine and it will need the machine to work well in order to functional optimally.” He challenges marketers to smash their internal silos—a vital step (as noted above) in WPO, even if he doesn’t call it that.

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