Millennial Marketing Expert Kris Ruby was recently on RT America discussing marketing to millennials. Click here to watch the full segment
New York Social Media Marketing Expert Kris Ruby of Ruby Media Group was recently featured in a CBS article discussing best practices for marketing your small business on Instagram. Click here to read the full article!
New York Social Media Marketing Expert Kris Ruby was recently featured on BRAVO discussing the “Sharenting” trend of parents who over-share on social media. To read the full feature article on BRAVO, click here
With content marketing exploding in 2017, it has morphed from managing a company blog to building entire brand newsrooms and content libraries curated by an outside public relations agency or social media management firm. So why does your company need content integration and a newsroom?
For starters, a strategic social media campaign will be extremely bareboned without solid content to back it up. Content is a critical part of any social media campaign today. At least 2/3 of your outbound social media posts should include backlinks to content that is generated by your company that lives on your site.
According to marketing expert Neil Patel, brands who succeed at content marketing experience 7.8 times more site traffic than companies who are not crafting compelling, valuable content.
This 8% increase in eye traffic on your brand is one of the many reasons why every company should create a solid digital footprint and integrated content marketing strategy. A well thought out content strategy helps prospects find you when they are looking for your services. It also helps your bottom line if your content answers sales questions that representatives previously answered by phone. Additionally, great content creation will position you as an expert in your field more than a traditional press release ever will (press releases are dead). Well thought out content will also give you the trust factor you are looking to build with media, and provides media with usable snippets they can pull into articles.
Establishing a content library or newsroom takes a lot of work, and a lot of content. However, if you already have a public relations firm or social media management firm, they can help create content for you. This has become a critical function of the PR department as the lines between PR/Social Media/Marketing becoming further blurred together. If you already have retained a firm and want to try getting more bang for your buck this month, try having your PR firm work on content marketing for you, rather than pushing out traditional press releases (that no one is reading.)
Here’s how content marketing – in partnership with PR and social media pros — can boost your marketing efforts in 2017:
What’s a Content Library? All highly successful brands have built a well-planned and executed “content library.” Also called a “newsroom,” this digital information storage space includes everything from press releases to white papers, infographics, images and videos. In fact, Fortune 500 companies build, populate and administrate completely separate websites just for journalists and editors. Mobile giant T-Mobile has three: 1) a consumer newsroom; 2) a media center for journalists; and 3) a social media “home” or library.
“Use content as your currency to create marketable content your prospects are seeking.”
What kind of content should I write about? Consider the journey your ideal clients follow to find your product or service. Go on a treasure hunt to discover all the keywords your current clients and potential prospects use to find your company and solve their problems. This includes long-form, problem-based keywords, solution-based keywords and casual language.
Tip: Use Buzzsumo to research the most highly shared articles in your industry to get ideas for what topics you should be writing about.
How can my publicist help me curate a content library? Public relations agencies and social media management firms know exactly what your content library should (and should not!) include. Your content library needs to provide solutions to your customers’ and prospects’ greatest challenges. If you deliver smart content to help make them become informed decision makers, then you can expect more highly qualified purchase decisions resulting in ideal new clients.
Don’t have a newsroom yet? One way to build a content library quickly is to repurpose old press releases by transforming them into blog posts, which can help secure backlinks and increase SEO.
Where do I distribute content? What’s the point of creating an entire content library if you don’t distribute it correctly? Once your content library is in place, make it available to as many distribution points as possible. This includes your company’s newsroom, blog, email marketing and all social media accounts – even Facebook Live or apps such as Snapchat and Instagram. All this fresh and “repurposed” content should attempt not just to entertain, but to educate, enlighten and go for “direct action” so your brand sees immediate results. Be sure your content can be easily redistributed by your brand’s fans and followers so it is easily shareable for consumers.
Need to create content quickly? Go to your sales team and have them ask current clients what they’d like to read when it comes to your business and then create content to educate them on those subjects.
How do I hire a content writer? Public relations professionals and social media management firms understand how to communicate with your different client “personas” by working with media-savvy specialty writers. Need to attract millennials? Or, how about middle-aged women with a certain amount of disposable income in Westchester County (or wherever your business may be located)? PR and social media management firms work with many different writers to capture not only the mind, but the voice of your niche market customers.
Choosing the perfect content writer for your company is like a treasure hunt. Remember, PR and social media management firms can help you hire the best writers who focus on solution-based keywords.
How do I format content? Formatting content is equally as important as the writing itself. Ever click out of a web page or a story just because it’s too long or unreadable? Think of the many ways your clients or potential clients want to consume media from your brand. For example, millennials want “punchy” copy with short sentences and bold headings. Baby boomers usually prefer longer, journalistic style articles. And Gen Z? They want to watch videos on their smartphones rather than read stories.
Need to revamp your brand? Sometimes bringing fresh content to the boardroom table can revitalize old school marketing materials and breathe new life into your brand.
The bottom line is this: Your brand’s content should help solve your prospects’ greatest challenges. With a well-executed content library and consistent distribution, your company will stay top of mind and be positioned as a thought leader in your industry.
Ready to craft stellar a content strategy and distribution plan? Ruby Media Group brings years of PR consulting, content marketing and social media management expertise to help your company be even more successful in today’s diverse new media space.
For more information on optimizing your exposure with content marketing, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow Kris Ruby on Twitter @rubymediagroup and @sparklingruby
©2017 Ruby Media Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
There are 300 million active users on Instagram every month, and every day 1 billion photos are liked. Quality posts are better than quantity, especially on Instagram. According to Forrester research, Instagram user interactions with brands is 400% higher than on Facebook and Twitter, delivering 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter.
The facts speak for themselves – Instagram is a must for building and branding your business. However, if you are an Instagram newbie, here are 30 tips to help you maximize your Instagram exposure.
For starters, make sure your handle is recognizable and easy to search.
1. Use popular hashtags every day of the week to increase searchability. These include #motivationmonday, #transformationtuesday, #wisdomwednesday, #tbt, etc.
2. Search for people who are mentioning your brand and use the Repost app to re-gram any brand mentions. Be sure to @mention customers and tag them in posts.
3. Connect with businesses using hashtags & geo-tags and be sure to utilize the location feature on each post.
4. Create a unique hashtag that is relevant to your business that followers can use and TELL people to use it. A custom hashtag is worthless if you don’t tell anyone to use it.
5. Tag brand names, users, and locations in posts to increase searchability.
6. Show followers what is taking place in your business behind-the-scenes” and hashtag it with #BTS.
7. Increase visibility by liking and commenting on prospect’s photos. If you like and comment on photos, people will come back to check out your account and are more likely to follow you back.
Golden Rule: like and leave a heartfelt comment on ONE photo per day.
8. Offer exclusive content – if you are launching a new product or service line on Instagram, try creating an exclusive offer and offer followers a unique code to track how effective the promotion was.
9. Leverage user-generated content by running a photo contest. Use all images, even those that do not win, to help promote the brand as fresh content.
10. Run Instagram celeb “takeovers” with local celebs or influencers to drive more traffic and engagement back to your page.
11. Focus on the entire post, not just the image. The image may be the star, and the hashtags may offer context, but the caption tells a specific story and gives insight into you as an expert and the context of the photo.
12. Use apps, such as Afterlight, VSCO, Whitagram, Pic Stitch, Aviary, Lumify, Hyperlapse, Quick, Bokehful, Snapseed to edit photos. Studies have shown photos using the follower filters get more likes: Mayfair, Inkwell, Amaro, Walden and Lo-Fi.
13. Post and re-post images that show your product or service in use, while also using hashtags in conversation where your optimal follower will be.
14. Follow/monitor top trends to grow your brand’s awareness and stay on top of specific industry trends.
15. Get to know your followers to make posts more relevant to them. When someone follows you, follow them back and then analyze what your followers are interested in, what hashtags they use, etc.
16. Run engaging contests. Have an incentive for your community to share content and promote your brand with the use of prizes and giveaways. For example, National Geographic hosted a #MyAWAY Contest where users could upload photos of places that, to them, are an escape. On Instagram, they would tag the photos with #MyAWAY and at the end of the contest period, one lucky fan wins a digital camera plus goodies from NatGeo and Go RVing.
17. Reward your followers: Create lasting relationships with followers by using discount codes. Reach out and connect with influencers one-on-one. Brands that go the extra mile reward their Instagram followers see better success rates.
18. Connect your Instagram account to your website, and link all social channels to expand your reach to new or existing communities. This creates an avenue of traffic for each social media site. For example, make your Instagram account visible on Facebook. Post photos that show the lifestyle of your customers, while staying relevant to your brand. Your account should be a balance of fun pictures (pictures of cute animals or funny pop-culture references), mingled with promotional business photos).
19. “Feed speed” is a critical factor in your brand’s Instagram success. There is a fine line between agitating your followers with a daily clogging of their newsfeed and posting so infrequently that your followers forget you exist. Create a posting schedule that allows you to track what works and decide which direction to take next.
20. Post at peak times. According to a study by TrackMaven, the most effective days to post are Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Another study found that posting at 5 PM EST yields a higher engagement rate.
21. Leverage video. Use diverse visual formatting, such as 15 seconds of video or a cinemagraph (still photographs in which a repeated movement occurs.)
22. Add locations to all your post to increase searchability and geo-targeting.
23. Plan posts in advance. Use services such as Latergram, HootSuite or TweetDeck to help with this process.
24. Show appreciation for your followers by featuring them using your products or service. For example, Sharpie powers their Instagram account with fan-submitted doodles created with their line of markers & pens.
25. Like your followers photos and comment on their posts.
26. Make sure all of your graphics are consistent using a graphic design software such as canva.com Be sure to use canvas “magic resize” tool to resize images to spec to fit the Instagram specs.
27. Respond in real time to the latest trending content. Keep your followers entertained and engaged.
Think of Instagram as a vision board for your business. Post photos that will inspire your prospects to be part of the lifestyle that is associated with your company.
28. Include a call to action- tell people what you want them to do. This may seem simple- but it is often overlooked!
29. Reverse Engineer. If you are trying to get prospects who may be interested in your services, think about their hobbies and demographic profile. Search for hashtags that align with their hobbies, such as #yachting #countryclub or #hamptons. From there, like and comment on their photos and follow them directly. They may even follow you back! You’re welcome 🙂
30. Measure, Measure, Measure! Observe when your followers are online. What images/posts do your followers respond best to? Where are your new followers coming from? Is your brand growing or shrinking on Instagram? To refine your Instagram strategy, it’s important to know what resonates best with your audience.
By following these tips, you will maximize your Instagram exposure and, as a result, increase your brand awareness.
I recently spoke at an FIT Marketing class on the rise of social media marketing. I was honored that Dean Gamanos, the Professor and owner of an advertising agency in Greenwich, CT brought me in as a guest speaker. Dean opened up the class by talking about the different forms of marketing and communication agencies: consultants, design firms, ad agencies, media buyers, public relations agencies and Internet Agencies. I was stunned when he mentioned Internet Agencies as a new form of a marketing communication agency because it is the world I have grown up in. We are living in a Marketing Renaissance where social media marketing is coalescing all of the different facets of communications and blurring the line between the divisions. It makes me question the importance of majoring/specializing in one form of communication as I think it is critical today for any recent graduate to possess a diverse skill set which includes a “sampling” of every discipline within communications.
As a social media marketer, it is imperative to have an understanding of marketing, branding, journalism, public relations and broadcast journalism in order to do my job effectively. You need to know how to interview someone effectively, how to pitch to secure great placement for a blog post, how to pitch articles for media placement, how to build a brand both virally and offline and how to create an effective ad that can be used in multiple mediums. It is no longer sufficient to major in one discipline and think that covers it all- today’s graduates must possess a strong skill set in all of these disciplines to be effective in the communications industry. While I agree that specialization is critical in this job market, I also believe that possessing knowledge of multiple mediums is what will make you most valuable in this marketplace.
I enjoyed being asked to speak at FIT as well as participating in Deans Marketing class. He shared some relevant content including marketing tips, mistakes and tools to position your brand.
8 Principles of Successful Marketing:
- Know your product or service
- Know your customers
- Your customers aren’t listening to you
- Know your competition
- Being good isn’t good enough
- Marketing should be the most creative part of your business
- Good planning and good implementation are as important as a good idea
- Everything in your business should involve marketing
10 Common Marketing Mistakes:
- Failing to listen/ failing to observe- not doing research, not checking the competition, not observing the marketplace
- Not positioning your product or service
- Doing too many things at once
- Not focusing your selling message
- Changing strategies and selling message too frequently
- Making advertising decisions based on low rates rather then cpm’s
- Not advertising with adequate frequency
- Emphasizing short term sales increases through price promotion rater than long term brand building
- Building on fads rather then trends
- Ignoring your brands image
12 Ways to Develop a Strong Positioning for your Product:
- Be the First (Harvard, Hertz, Time Magazine)
- Be the Latest (Windows)
- Own an Attribute (Heinz Ketchup- thickest, Ferrari- speed)
- Be #1 (Toyota Camry, Ford Explorer)
- Specialize (Victoria’s Secret- sexy lingerie)
- Have a heritage
- Be Preferred (more hospitals use Tylenol)
- Focus on Use (Nike-Racing)
- Stress Quality (Chanel #5, high quality, high price)
- Price (Walmart, lowest prices)
- User group (Apple- graphic designers)
- Competitive (7-Up, Avis)
Stay Tuned: In May & April, I will be covering an exciting celebrity branding master course with Kimora Lee Simmons and Joan Rivers.
NEW Celebrity Business: Close Up and Personal with Joan Rivers and Kimora Lee Simmons Spend a day with one or two of these glamorous and super smart women and find out what it really takes to launch and maintain a celebrity brand business. Get an inside look at two different business models- each with star wattage and market longevity. Find out how these businesses work and the role and responsibilities of the namesake. Hear about three different journeys that all lead to consumer product adoration and millions of dollars in sales:
• Joan Rivers, entertainment industry “A” lister, comedic icon, media personality and brilliantly witty fashion critic talks about her highly successful jewelry business partnership with QVC.
• Kimora Lee Simmons, former supermodel and “fabulicious” icon and author talks about her role as CEO, and Creative director of Phat Fashions, which she has transformed into a lifestyle brand owned by the apparel giant Kellwood.
Facilitator: Jennifer Bartok, producer, www.celebritycatwalk.com
I was also extremely inspired by the beautiful design work the students at FIT had created. I included photos of my favorites and wanted to honor their amazing branding work!