Tinder sets age-based pricing tiers

With Tinder becoming one of the most popular forms of online dating, will tiered payment costs defer users from continuing to use the dating app?

Today Tinder launched a premium service called Tinder Plus. Users in the U.S. between 18-20 will have to pay $9.99 per month, and users 30+ will have to pay $19.99 per month. Tinder plus offers users the ability to have unlimited likes, rewind when swiping and even change your location to anywhere in the world with the passport feature.

But is the price for Tinder Plus really worth it?

The passport feature that allows you to change your location while traveling is helpful for those looking to create real world connections wherever they go before they get there. This is great for avid travelers or those looking to make new friends, but isn’t a feature worth paying for. The rewind feature that allows you to go back on a match is helpful but also not worth paying for. When have you ever thought, that was the love of my life I swiped past, I wish I paid money to be able to swipe them again?

But the biggest issue with Tinder’s new rollout isn’t the features- it is the age-based pricing tier model they adopted. This is Tinder’s first attempt at monetization, and the PR component of this launch was handled very poorly.

In an email to Bloomberg Business, Tinder spokeswoman Rosette Pambakian justified the price points by saying “lots of products offer differentiated price tiers by age, like Spotify does for students, for example. Tinder is no different; during our testing we’ve learned, not surprisingly, that younger users are just as excited about Tinder Plus, but are more budget constrained, and need a lower price to pull the trigger.”

Tinder is trying to get an older subset of the population to subsidize the cost of operations of their core users. As Jessica Goldstein pointed out, Tinder is still not solving the basic problem of getting core users to pay for themselves. But that is only one of many problems for Tinder. Their CEO has already made headlines (and not in a good way). As a woman, this is one more check against wanting to use Tinder knowing you have to pay more after you reach the ripe old age of 30.

When I went to Santa Monica recently, I stopped on the pier and wanted to take a touristy photo. The salesman asked me, “Where are you from?” When I said New York, he said it would be $10 for the photo. The Malibu native I was with said, “Wait a second, I was just here last week and the photo was only $5.”

Sizing up your customer base and charging them based on what you think they are willing to pay vs. a standardized rate is wrong.  If Tinder wants to charge users for a premium experience, I have no issue with it. But at least charge everyone the same price. The price for finding love in this country should not have to literally double the second you turn 30.

tindr p

Top 7 Marketing & PR Trends to Look Out For in 2015

It’s a new year, which means there is a whole new set of PR and marketing trends to look out for when planning your campaigns! Instead of sifting through all of the trends, we have done the work for you! Here are some of the top marketing & PR trends to consider as you lay out your 2015 PR plan:

1) Mobile is continuing to grow

As of 2014, 58% of Americans own a smartphone, which means 58% of the population has immediate access to the Internet right in the palm of their hands. To keep up with this trend, marketers must optimize their brands for mobile. Having your own and mobile friendly content is necessary to keep up with consumers needs.

2) Real Time Marketing is the optimal time to market effectively

Real time marketing is no longer just a good idea, but necessary for any successful communications plan. Due to the increased use and adoption of social media, responding in real time to customers will be a necessary function of B2C marketing.

3) Visual Content is the New King

Today’s social media-dominated society is seeing a steady increase in the popularity of visual content marketing. Studies have shown that 90% of the information the brain receives is visual, and our brains process visual content up to 60,000x faster than text. Posts containing, photos, videos, infographics and memes are easy to digest and make it even more enticing to “like” or “share” a post, which increases exposure.

4) Standard, text heavy press releases are going to become obsolete

Visual content in press releases is becoming more popular rather than text-dense press releases. Use visuals to cut through the expected press release mold and stand out.

5) Mom’s are a hot demographic to target

There are 82.5 million Moms in the U.S. who spend roughly $2.5 trillion annually. Do not underestimate the buying power of Mom’s! More women are becoming the financial managers of their household and using this information to make smart purchasing decisions. Think about how your brand can help a busy mother save time to appeal to this target demo.

6) Quality brand content beats out quantity

As always, quality supersedes quantity. You are better off having a handful of high quality content, than then releasing daily posts that will seem like white noise to your followers. spam to your followers.

7) The paid, earned and owned strategy is still relevant

With a well thought out strategy, paid media is still critical. Just because social media makes content more accessible, does not mean that the public has forgotten about traditional forms of media. Your overall PR plan should include an integrated communications plan for maximum exposure.

 


Digital Monogamy

Social media is a real challenge for anyone entering a new relationship (Business or personal!). Digital compatibility is a very real issue in today’s environment. For someone who is very plugged into social media, they can make quick judgments based on someone’s digital habits. For someone who could care less about social media, all of it seems foreign to them and irrelevant. How do you balance both when starting a new relationship in todays digitally connected world?

Digital Monogamy- Social media non-believers and social media gurus will have a hard time agreeing on this one. While a social media expert may want digital monogamy, the social media non-believer could care less.

If you are ready to cleanse your social media and be open to the possibility of a new relationship, be sure to clean up your social media and apply Ruby’s Digital Dating Karma Cleanse

Steps:

Un-friend ex’s on social media sites

Remove tagged photos of ex’s that may give the wrong impression to someone new in your life

Respect social media boundaries when tagging or posting about your date

Do not like others posts on Instagram that would be offensive to your significant other

Do not flirt through liking, following and cryptic tagging

Is it really that insecure to ask for digital monogamy? I say, absolutely not. In fact, it is a sign of security and respecting healthy boundaries- both offline and online. While the social media non-believer may see this as irrelevant, the digitally connected needs this to feel safe and secure. If you respect their boundaries offline, why not respect their boundaries online as well?

digital monogamy

 

 

If you don’t believe that digital monogamy is a real issue, be sure to click here to view what happens when this isn’t sorted out up front.

 


How to Craft an Effective Editorial Content Calendar to optimize your social media presence

why is content marketing important

 

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is the practice of crafting high-quality, valuable content and delivering it to your target audience. It is the opposite of old-school, spammy, promotional-driven tactics aimed only at a short sell. Content Marketing is the new way of selling through educating prospects with information they actually want to read. Content marketing should answer a prospects pain points and questions. It should be highly targeted to an audience with optimized keywords that matches a searchers intent. A content marketing resource library should include answers to your prospects challenges to help them become informed decision makers. Plus, this can help you get found in featured snippets on Google.

Why is Content Marketing important?

As the digital media landscape has changed, the expectations for content output has exponentially increased. The reality is that if you are a small business owner, content output is critical to your PR and Social Media Strategy. Plus, if you are going to use sponsored content or advertorial content to reach your target audience, you have to know how to craft SEO-friendly copy.

What is a content calendar important?

Content marketing is quite possibly the best investment you could make in your business right now. However, in order to do it right, you need to get into a publishing flow and have the right resources lined up to make sure your content is optimized for search engines. As any writer can attest to, writers block can spring up out of nowhere, sometimes when you least expect it. The best way to stay on track is to plan ahead. Great content does not come from thin air—it comes from a team of marketers, SEO strategists and editors who take the time to meticulously plan and publish through the use of an editorial calendar.

Follow these five rules if you’re serious about publishing consistently and increasing your search rankings:

5 Tips for Creating the Perfect Content Calendar

Set goals. Setting an attainable content goal is the first step to publishing quality content. It is imperative to clearly understand what you want to achieve before you start to execute a content marketing strategy. If you have no strategic direction, your content will not be effective. Clarifying the end result prior to launching your first piece of content will help make your ideas fall into place. For example, are you publishing content in order to build up keyword-rich content and backlinks to your site? Are you publishing content to create a library full of helpful resources for prospects? Or are you trying to distinguish your personal brand in an over-saturated industry? Be sure to establish the goals for why you are engaging in content marketing prior to writing your first piece.

Know who you are writing for. Before creating an editorial calendar it is important to identify your target audience. What do they want to read about? What posts have they liked in the past? Use your past engagement metrics to create content around what your audience is looking for. Sometimes, the content that you, as a writer, find most interesting may not be what your audience wants to read about. It is important to distinguish between the two, and to make sure the content that you publish aligns with what your audience craves.

Know what you want to write about. A great way to bring clarity to your content marketing strategy is by tying each month together with a cohesive content theme. Using an editorial calendar will make creating these themes easier to conceptualize. Try focusing on a key central messaging topic to keep your followers interested. For example, if you want to establish a personal brand as a top surgeon, then all of your posts should tie back to medicine and wellness. Once you establish a theme, be sure to stick to it.

Know where your content will go. Think about the social media channel where your content will appear and tailor your writing to that audience. Each social media channel has a different set of users; therefore, tailoring your voice to those unique users will help grab their attention. For example, a different editorial strategy should be used when posting your article on LinkedIn as opposed to Twitter. In addition to the home base where your content will reside, carefully outline the other channels where it will be hosted. You may want to publish the article on LinkedIn, Medium or even repurpose it as a guest post. Be sure to change the title around a bit each time you do this to avoid SEO penalties for duplicate content. If you are concerned, you can even add in a nofollow link where the second version of the content appeared.

Know your frequency limits. How much can your content team handle? It is crucial to be realistic when creating an editorial calendar. If you do not have the time or manpower to execute a blog post a day plus social media posts, do not be afraid to scale back! It is better to publish high-quality content a few times a month than to post poor content that will damage your brand equity. When deciding on how frequently to publish, plan your content around how much work will go into each type of post. For example, an attainable publishing frequency may include social media posts three days a week, a blog post once every other week and an e-book once a month. Keep in mind that a typical blog post could take up to ten hours to complete between writing, editing numerous drafts, sourcing images for the post, optimizing the post with keywords and distributing the post on social media.

Content that ranks can lead to profitability for your business for years to come!

“Content marketing never goes out of style.” -Kris Ruby

Content Marketing Takeaways:

  • If you frequently publish content, you  must be proficient in SEO (search engine optimization) for your  content to rank.
  • Content marketing must be tied into your overall business marketing strategy.
  • For content marketing to be effective, you must understand what the businesses growth objectives are to create compelling content.
  • Understand your audience. Know who you are writing for, how to reach them, and the best keywords to make your content visible on search engines.
  • Craft content that answers questions. Look at Google snippets for inspiration to see what others are asking in your industry.

Content Marketing can be overwhelming! Here are a two insider tips to make it easier on you:

1) Take free courses. There are many content marketing classes online which will help writers in this area, particularly SEO classes, which is an integral part of content marketing. Also consider taking inbound marketing courses to hone your content skills. Content marketing is integral to an inbound marketing strategy.

2) Sharpen your marketing skills. To create content that will rank and convert, you need to understand things like buyer persona, an inbound sales funnel and social reach. If the writing is good but it isn’t written to a target audience, it will ultimately fail to achieve the higher level conversion goals in your sales funnel. You cannot write content without understanding your buyer personas journey, otherwise you will be writing articles that will ultimately be tailored to a non-specific audience. If you want to understand content marketing best practices, you can also check out The Content Marketing Institute.

CONTENT MARKETING RESOURCES

This article also appeared in Observer- written by Kris Ruby.

5 Golden Rules for Crafting Your Content Strategy | Observer

Why Content Marketing is Critical In The Age of Visual Marketing | Ruby Media Group


Kris Ruby To Speak at New York Women in Communications Annual Conference at NYU

Westchester PR Agency CEO Shares Career Advice on Succeeding in the Changing Landscape of Communications

On November 22, Kris Ruby, CEO of Westchester PR & Social Media Agency Ruby Media Group, will be speaking at the New York Women in Communications Foundation’s 2014 Student Career Conference. The conference will be held at NYU’s Kimmel Center in New York City. Students and aspiring young professionals seeking advice and tips about pursuing a career in the rapidly evolving communications industry will be attending.  The full day event includes networking opportunities, informative panel discussions, essential career advice, and incomparable access to the industry’s leading experts.

The event will address the swiftly changing disciplines and unfolding opportunities in the communications industry including broadcast and radio, digital content, public relations, advertising, marketing, entertainment, fashion, beauty, food and beverage, social media, entrepreneurship and secrets to a successful job search.

“I am thrilled to be speaking on the Women in Communication Personal Branding Panel and hope my advice will inspire other young women to develop a thriving career in Public Relations,” said Kris Ruby of Ruby Media Group.

Ruby will use her experiences as an agency owner, noted social media expert and on air television commentator to provide young professionals with powerful career advice to building a personal brand.

“Kris Ruby has built a strong brand as a social media expert on network television. She is a force to be reckoned with and I know attendees are going to learn a lot of valuable information from her,” said Brittany Hennessy of New York Women in Communications.

Some of the communications companies represented at the conference will include FOX5, Mashable, Barclays Center, Huffington Post, Fashionista.com, Kaplow, ABC-TV, The Muse, LinkedIn, The Wall Street Journal, Good Housekeeping, USA Today, NYC Mayors Office of Media and Entertainment, to name a few. Keynote speakers include Anne Fulenwider, Editor-in-Chief, Marie Claire Magazine and Rachel Sklar, Writer/Editor, Founder of Change The Ratio and TheLi.st.

 

new york women in communications foundation career conference flyer

 


Top 11 Digital Communications Trends for 2015

Westchester PR Agency CEO Shares Industry Insights with Rye Business Owners at Serendipity Labs 

On November 6th, Kris Ruby, CEO of Westchester PR & Social Media Agency Ruby Media Group, hosted a digital communications workshop at Serendipity Labs in Rye. Over 30 people attended the event. During the workshop, Ruby discussed media budgeting for 2015 and answered Q & A’s from attendees.

“It is important to properly allocate resources for a cross channel strategy that aligns with your overall business objectives. Every solid PR or Social Media plan starts with a cohesive strategy,” said Kris Ruby of Ruby Media Group.

“Kris Ruby gave attendees powerful guidance on allocating media budgets to obtain the greatest exposure,” said Serendipity Labs Corporate Marketing Manager Jodi Gordon. “We wanted to give our members an opportunity to experience an interactive PR and Social Media workshop and the event was a huge success.”

In case you missed the workshop, here are Ruby’s top 11 trends and key ideas to consider when creating a proactive digital communications strategy in 2015.

STRATEGIC PLANNING

The most effective campaigns today link back to an increase in overall business growth. For example, a successful campaign could be measured by an increase in new diners, members or customers by X percent. The best way to measure this is through benchmarking and data analysis. The expectation of PR practitioners as “data analysts” has become standard. Benchmarking is critical in determining campaign results. Clients want to see an ROI (return on investment) on all social media and PR spends. Calculating media impressions, Facebook fan likes or website visits is not enough to stay competitive today.

USER GENERATED CONTENT

With the rise of social media, traditional media gatekeepers are taken out of the equation. If you want to get your story in the hands of the media, figure out what story you want to tell and what content is valuable to your audience.

STOP SELLING, START GIVING

Social media is inherently about branding to a focused audience.  It is about the ability to quickly get in front of prospects, current clients and leads, and to establish an online relationship with them and build customer engagement.  Social media marketing differs from traditional marketing in that it does not focus on immediately establishing the value of your services or products, but rather it is about establishing you as an icon and thought leader in the industry—to create an awareness of your name and brand.  It is not a specific advertisement for a given product or service—it is about brand engagement.

SINGLE MESSAGE CONTENT STRATEGY

Your social media strategy should be in alignment with your business objectives. Be able to identify the message you want people to take away from your company in one sentence. By utilizing the single message content strategy, all content across multiple channels should tie-in to the message you are looking to share.

SOCIAL MEDIA DRIVEN PR

The best PR campaigns are those that are cohesively integrated between social media and public relations. Social media should be used to complement a PR campaign to drive continued media exposure and interest of editors for your business. Utilize social media to share press placements, connect with bloggers, and get on the radar of editors while executing multi-platform PR campaigns. Use social media such as Twitter to search for and pitch journalist queries in real time and build an ongoing relationship with reporters. One of the best ways to get a journalist to read your pitches is to engage with them on Twitter. Take a vested interest in what they write and re-tweet content that you find useful. Furthermore, use social media to research the beat they cover before you pitch them.

CONTENT MARKETING- THE NEW SEO

When crafting your message, you need clarity, conciseness and connection. All good stories are simple at their core. Think short sentences, and think of your audience and your unique connection to them before writing content. Content marketing is the new SEO. The goal is to craft relevant content to make it easier for your prospects to find you.

ATTRACTING AND ENGAGING CUSTOMERS WITH RELEVANT CONTENT

Before crafting an editorial calendar, think about the unique pain points your prospects experience and how you can help solve them. Then, craft content accordingly. All of your content should engage long lead prospects with informative, unique and educational tips that show you are an expert in the field vs. telling them through promotional marketing.

BLOGGER RELATIONS

In the new world of media relations, you are essentially selling content. If the content is weak, a blogger risks losing subscribers. Remember, bloggers are only going to push forward interesting content that will increase viewership. Make it easy for the blogger to run your story and you will increase the likelihood of being featured.

INTERACTIVE SPONSORSHIPS

From a PR and advertising perspective, there has been a big shift in client’s expectations on ROI of sponsorships. It is no longer enough to purchase a sponsorship to “get the brand out there.” Clients want to strategically align their brands with event sponsorships that link back to an increase in business. The sponsorship model of the future will be more interactive and give clients an opportunity to engage directly with prospects vs. standing behind a table collecting leads. The most effective sponsorships will embrace the new mindset of Westchester Executives and understand how to meet their needs.

REAL TIME MARKETING

Real time marketing is all the rage. Follow the news cycle and look for connections to trending stories. If you have a genuine tie-in to the story, let the media know. If it’s a breaking news day, find any tie in that is truly authentic. This applies to social media marketing and Public Relations campaigns.

MEASURE, MEASURE, MEASURE!

The best way to re-engage fans is to measure what is working and what your fans really connect with. One mistake brands make is getting lost in the editorial content calendar shuffle. They are so obsessed with posting and keeping up with the social media rat race that they forget to actually measure what’s working. Pause. If you are not continually measuring what has the greatest impact with your audience, you will lose followers, and it will ultimately damage the value of the community you are trying to create.

Kris Ruby, CEO of Westchester, NY-based Public Relations agency, Ruby Media Group, at a roundtable hosted a digital communications workshop

Top 10 Media Interview Tips

Worried about your next interview with the media? Do not fear! We have created a handy guide of our top interview tips to help you ace your next interview.

Interview tips from Ruby media group

Tech Expert Kris Ruby on The Snappening Snapchat Leak

Following the notorious celebrity nude photo hacking scandal, another massive online leak of 90,000 photos and 9,000 videos have been stolen off the mobile app Snapchat.

There are numerous reports currently flying around on Twitter on whether this is just a “hoax.” Regardless, this is a larger societal issue in social media that needs to be addressed. We need to be having the conversation about digital privacy more openly with our teens. Here’s why:

recent study from Purdue University found that among 21 year olds, 80 percent had sent or received a sext and 46 percent had sent a nude selfie.

Childhood pornography territory: This is not a regular “celeb” photo hack scandal. We are talking about a massive leak of private photos shared between young adults and teenagers. Snapchat claims 50% of its users are between 13-17 years old. So, if you start sharing these photos, you are basically sharing child pornography.

Snappening Implications:  There are long-term implications here for teens who may have been victimized. Any time you take a photo using these apps it could end up in the wrong hands. But how are these young adults going to respond when their nude photos are posted around the Internet? They are not celebrities with high-powered attorneys and managers behind them. They are teenagers in high school who stand to lose everything. I worry about the real implication this will have on their digital reputation for the long run including suicide risk from cyberbullying.

Digital Privacy doesn’t exist: Even if the snappening is a hoax, the notion of digital privacy is the real hoax. It doesn’t exist! What you think its private isn’t, and if you don’t want your reputation tarnished for the long run, re-think what you are sending. And, think about how your parents will react when they see these photos online!

snapchat snappening leak

Insider Secrets to Crafting the Perfect Pitch

Today we listened to former CBS News Executive Producer Batt Humphrey’s Webinar on Media relations. His focus was on how to create pitches that earn broadcast coverage. Humphrey’s is a former CBS News executive with 20 years experience in network television.  Humphrey’s tips were so spot on that we felt compelled to share them with you! He discussed his experience as the Executive Producer of a network morning show, how media focus can shift at the drop of a hat, and how to craft your story to get traction in your target media outlet. If you want to learn how to make the media want to cover your story, think like a producer and read some of our top takeaway tips below.

What is a Producers job?

To find the best story. The best stories make the best media segments. Once you understand how producers think, you will be better equipped to craft the right pitch to tell your story.

Life’s a Pitch

Crafting the best pitch

  • Before sending a pitch, think of yourself standing in front of all of the producers during their morning meeting. Can you honestly see someone going to bat for your story idea and pushing it forward in the morning editorial meeting? If not, then don’t send it.
  • You are essentially selling content. If your content is not good, the network risks losing viewers. They are only going to push forward interesting content that will increase viewership.
  • Stop pitching broadcast the way you pitch traditional editorial outlets. A producer isn’t interested in the standard release or pitch. They want to know what the story is, who the talent is, and what your unique take is. If you don’t have any takeaways for the audience, the story will get canned.

Evolving you story

You need clarity, conciseness and connection.

  • Clarity – Good stories are simple at their core.
  • Concise –Think short sentences.
  • Connection – Think of your audience and your unique element.

 PR Pitching Tips for Broadcast

  • Follow the news cycle- look for connections to trending stories
  • Know the evergreen topics for slow days
  • Use your own research- data rules
  • If it’s a breaking news day, find any tie in that is truly authentic

What content has the best chance of being placed?

  • 39% said exclusive research. Original research is always preferred by reporters.
  • 27% said Breaking news.
  • 15% said emotional stories. There is no downside to sharing a heart-warming story if you can work it into a pitch.

Key Takeaways

Your story must bring value to the audience. Be able to answer the following questions before pitching a producer:

  • What does the audience gain from the story?
  • How will it improve their business or life?
  • Does the story wow with technology or industry knowledge?
  • Is there a personal lesson to learn?

Even if you have crafted the perfect pitch, be aware of news cycles and keep away if there are tragic events. This goes without saying, but do not send releases if there is a tragic news story and don’t try to capitalize on a tragedy. If you genuinely want to establish a relationship with a producer, think like the producer and wait for a story you think you can land with a high value target. If you jump the gun, you run the chance of being blacklisted.

pitching broadcast tips for Media relations

 

 

 

 

 


Ruby’s Roundup: Top Photo Editing Apps to Enhance your Selfies 

Recently photo editing experts have pointed out some inconsistencies in Beyonce’s Instagram photos that may indicate she had them photoshopped to make her thighs looks thinner.  However, Beyonce is not the first celebrity to be accused of photoshopping personal social media posts. The Kardashians, Miranda Kerr and Britney Spears have also posted questionable photos on social media.  Because of the instant gratification component of Instagram, people think you are automatically uploading an unretouched photo to Instagram. But now with a plethora of editing apps, anyone can retouch photos without having to be a pro at Photoshop.

Stars..they are just like us.. on Social Media?

But look at how easy it is to alter a photo with these apps! 

Facetune

  • Facetune “just swipe for perfect skin” with their erase feature and remove wrinkles and lines instantly
  • Don’t like your teeth? Whiten them with the whitening feature
  • Easily remove blemishes
social media app facetune

Visage Lab

  • Easily apply “skin makeup and eye makeup” shine removal and take years off your face with the layering feature
visage social media

Selfie Photo Editor

  • Claims to transform your selfie from simple to #stunning
  • Smooth, bronze or whiten your skin
  • Change your eye color or plump your limps
  • Thin your face and cheeks- you can even use the shrink tool to shrink your nose

GoSexy- Face and body tune for selflies

  • Allows you to re shape your face and body. You can “plump your lips, lift your nose and change the shape of your body” with this app.
  • GoSlim- make yourself thinner
  • GoSexy- add curves
  • GoFit- Slimming effect on belly, waist, arm and legs
  • GoNose-lift your nose, NEW feature
gosexy app

How can you tell if photos have been edited?

With photo retouching apps so readily available, it is easy to tell which photos have been edited. Look to see if objects or lines that are supposed to be straight appear to be wavy or distorted. This most likely means that the photos were not professionally photoshopped, rather they were haphazardly altered using some less sophisticated app.  In the specific Beyonce incident, the staircase she is walking down appears to curve upwards. The reflection of the same staircase can be seen in another photo and it appears to be normal.  You can also look at the skin tone- if their skin looks completely “flawless” it was most likely retouched.

It’s a New World- Get Used to it

Retouched Instagram photos are becoming the new retouched Magazine and Advertising photos.  People expect print ads and magazines to be retouched, but NOT Instagram photos. They need to lower their expectations that everything they see on Instagram is authentic A lot of what you see on social media is photoshopped and filtered just like traditional media

What do you think about celebrities using apps to enhance their photos? Would you use any of these photo-editing apps to alter your selfies?