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
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