Posts Tagged ‘social marketing’

Different colored silhouettes with talking bubbles.

Three Cs of Communication during COVID

How to appropriately address clients amid the pandemic

The pandemic has changed almost every nuance of our lives; however, it shouldn’t change your communication with customers. Now — more than ever — is a critical time to reach out to your clients, family and friends, and effectively show compassion and interest in them. Many individuals have more time than ever before to reflect and communicate.

Be authentic in your approach and seek creative ways to safely stay in touch with your clients. People appreciate the reassurance of being connected to familiar networks. Just because many aspects of life have stopped, do not let your connection to customers falter.

There are three key components of empathetic and appropriate communication during Covid. A genuine approach that is on target for your intended demographic is a thoughtful and ideal bridging of the lack of in-person communication. This effort also helps to maintain existing online and virtual relationships.

Classic Communication

Now is the time to engage and reaffirm relationships with customers. What worked in the past with you and your clients? Was it a phone call, in-person, a facetime call, email, text, or even snail mail? Whatever was working, never abandon that line of communication. Don’t suddenly start texting a client who up till now only communicated with you in person. Rather, educate your clients on the many options they have for engaging with you.

If your client base is on a newsletter system, this is an excellent source to reiterate ways to get in touch with you. Create a menu of options for clients and let them pick the communication method that is best for them.

Consistent Communication

Don’t recreate the wheel. Use the same information on all the types of communication that you have available, and make sure it is up to date on your website. If you have a physical address, you can always check in with Google address, Yelp, Yahoo, etc., to make sure all of your information is up to date.

You need not wait for a website to fail or a phone line to go down for a client to become extra stressed. Create multiple means of communication to ease your clients’ potential stress. This way, there is a consistency to your relationship and they will have numerous ways to get ahold of you in emergency and non-emergency scenarios.

Clairvoyant Communication

Customers have been inundated with robotic communications, automated messages, spam phone calls, excess emails, random texts, etc. Make your communication channels honest and simple. A customer in crisis does not want to wait on hold for 20 minutes only to be connected to another operator for assistance. Be extremely up-front and honest about how you want people to communicate with you during business and non-business hours.

Society is stressed. Individuals are stressed. Now is not the time to add to your customers’ agendas. When you reach out to communicate needs, wants or even future plans, be clear about timelines and expectations.

Communication is how we maintain human relationships. While in-person meetings and group sessions are not possible, clients still want to communicate. Use your existing resources like eblasts, newsletters, phone calls, and social media to reiterate the numerous ways you want to engage with your audience. The result will be that when the pandemic passes — and it will — you and your company will have maintained a seamless and helpful communication line with your clients. They will be happy and you will too.

Advertising vs Public Relations

Advertising Versus Public Relations

When you or your clients see information about a product or service, do you know if the information is provided as advertising, or is it considered public relations? Knowing the differences can help you decide what might work best in your marketing efforts.

Advertising

Advertising is described as a paid, non-personal, one-way public communication that draws public communication towards a product, service, company, or any other thing through various communication channels, to inform, influence and instigate the target audience to respond in the manner desired by the advertiser.

Advertising can be done through print ads, radio or television ads, billboards, flyers, commercials, internet banner ads, direct mail, etc. Social media platforms are now a major source of advertising.  The advertiser has exclusive control over what, how and when the ad will be aired or published. Moreover, the ad will run as long as the advertiser’s budget allows or determines it is effective.

As advertising is a prominent marketing tool, it is always present, no matter if people are aware of it or not.

Public Relations

Public Relations is a strategic communication tool that uses different channels, to cultivate favorable relations for the company. It is a practice of building a positive image or reputation of the company in the eyes of the public by telling or displaying the company’s products or services, in the form of featured stories or articles through print or broadcast media. It aims at building a trust-based relationship between the brand and its customer, mainly through media exposure and coverage.

Public Relations can be called as non-paid publicity earned by the company through its goodwill, word of mouth, etc. (It is often referred to as “earned media”).  The tactics used in public relations are publicity, social media, press releases, press conferences, interviews, crisis management, featured stories, speeches, news releases.

Key Differences Between Advertising and Public Relations

Adverting draws public attention to products or services through paid announcements. Public Relations uses strategic communication to build a mutually beneficial relationship between the public and the company or organization.

  1. Advertising is a purchased media, whereas, public relations is considered earned media.
  2. While advertising is a monologue activity, public relations is a two-way communication process. The company listens and responds to the public.
  3. Advertising is used to promote products or services with the objective to induce the targeted audience to buy. Public Relations aims to maintain a positive image of the company in the media, with an indirect result of those effected becoming customers.
  4. In advertising, the advertiser has full control over the ad, such as when, how and what will be displayed. In public relations, the company pitches the story, but has no control how the media uses or does not use it.
  5. In advertising, the ad placement is guaranteed, but there is no such guarantee of placement with public relations.
  6. In advertising, as long as you are willing to pay for it, the ad will be published or aired. Usually in public relations, the story is only published once, but it might be published in many media.
  7. Credibility is higher in public relations than advertising. This is because customers know it’s an ad and may not believe it easily and be skeptical. For Public Relations, third party validation improves credibility.
  8. Advertising mainly uses paid announcements (ads) to draw public attention to products or services. Public Relations is the use of strategic communication that aims at building a mutually beneficial relationship between the company and the public.

Advertising and Public Relations both use communication channels to inform and influence the general public. While advertising is a highly expensive marketing tool, it can reach a large number of people at the same time. Public Relations is “free of cost” implied endorsement along with validation of the third party.

megaphone blaring breaking news

Tips for improving and increasing the reach of your press release

the modern digital age is changing the way journalists rely on information gathering

While traditional press releases – distributing promotional news about your services, products, brand or business through mass communication channels – should still be part of your communications cannon, the modern digital age is changing the way journalists rely on information gathering.

Muck Rack and the Zeno Group, for example, published a survey last year that produced some surprising results: only 3 percent of journalists worldwide rely heavily on press releases distributed via newswires. Even more telling: 53 percent of U.S. based journalists don’t rely on press releases at all.

Consider these additional findings from the Muck Rack and Zeno Group survey:

  • More than 41 percent of journalists consider the potential “shareability” of a story when deciding what to write about
  • 63 percent of journalists in the U.S. and 68 percent of journalists worldwide track how many times their stories are shared on social media 
  • 27 percent of journalists choose Twitter as their primary news source

To be clear: Press releases are not dead. Even in today’s digital bonanza, they’re still a formidable medium for delivering your message, especially when that message is well written, informative and has a strong hook.

Still, these findings, if nothing else, should compel communications professionals to rethink how they communicate – and build relationships – with journalists that go beyond an email and a formulaic press release.

To bolster your message, consider implementing these three additional strategies.

Follow reporters that cover your beat on social media.

Make sure to follow reporters that cover your industry on social media platforms. A journalist’s tweet may spark a pitch for a story idea or the opportunity to become a source or an expert for a forthcoming article or column.

The more familiar you are with the journalists that write about your industry, whether it’s trends, news or thoughts, the more you’re likely to understand the kind of stories they’re looking for.

Share, share and share some more.

When your business is featured in a publication, video or blog post, share the story to your own social media followers.

And always tag the publications and reporter that wrote the story. Spreading good news extends the story’s reach for your business, and it also benefits the publication and the reporter.

It’s a win-win situation for generating visibility across the spectrum.

Make your pitch personal.

Distributing a mass pitch is easy, but it’s not advisable. If you’re going to do the research to craft a press release, ensure that you devote time to developing customized angles and narratives that are personalized for the specific reporter or outlet you’re pitching.

Journalists receive dozens of pitches every day; make yours stand out by personalizing your pitches and letting reporters know why, specifically, they’re the right person to cover your pitch.

Additionally, think beyond text: the inclusion of infographics and videos in your release is proven to generate more attention.

https://www.prdaily.com/report-journalists-are-ditching-the-press-release/

social media orange

3 social media strategies to increase leads, likes and longevity

Remember the days prior to social media? Nor do we. Just about every business – big and small – has a designated social media manager or consultant that’s responsible for tweets, content posts, audience engagement, follows, shares, comments, insight and data reports and messaging.

It’s a big job that goes far beyond those “likes” and shares. To be a social media pro, you’ve got to master some skills.

Be creative: To stand out among your competitors, you need to create a dynamic and persuasive visual content across all your social media platforms.

Images, polls, invitations, posters, graphs, videos and illustrations don’t have to be in every post, but the eye loves visuals, and the more visuals you incorporate into your posts, the better chance you have of being noticed in what’s becoming an increasingly crowded field.

Canva, a user-friendly design tool, is terrific for creating Facebook photos and ads.

Inspire conversation: Interacting and engaging with your audience (think potential clients) is crucial to social media success – and that includes responding to comments in a timely manner.

Whether it’s a simple acknowledgement of thanks to someone who has responded positively to a post, a call to action for someone posing a question or a conversation starter that opens dialogue, you need to know how to foster communication.

That, in turn, encourages your audience to share your content, which increases your post’s longevity. And sharing content grows you audience and results in leads and “likes.”

To post engaging ads, take advantage of Facebook’s Ads Manager, a powerful tool that enables businesses to launch campaigns that reach a large audience.

Post real-time videos: Ask just about any social media pro to name the most influential social media trend of 2019, and the likely answer is live video.

Live video has the kind of human touch that doesn’t exist in text, and social media audiences can’t get enough of them.

Shooting spontaneous short videos on your smartphone and streaming them live on your social media platforms has become easier than ever with recent technological advances, and the content can range from entertaining to informative (or both). Live streams tend to be more personable and authentic than text posts, and studies have shown that social media audiences overwhelmingly prefer live video.


Real Estate Corner:
Homeowners Continue to See Housing as a Good Investment

graphic - real estate, gray

65% of
homeowners…

Sixty-five percent of homeowners nationwide view buying a house in their zip code as a “somewhat good” or “very good” financial investment, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s 2019 Survey of Consumer Housing Expectations.

As well, existing homeowners are eager to invest more in their homes, says the report, noting that the percentage of homeowners expecting to invest at least $5,000 in their homes over the next one to three years continues to increase.

social media orange

3 online tools to enhance and streamline your social marketing campaigns

We’ve found three tools that make it easier to manage your social media platforms.

A strong social media presence is one way to increase the visibility of your business, expand your reach and generate new leads:

Buffer: Buffer is a relatively simple web application that allows users to schedule social media posts across a variety of social network platforms. Dually mobile and desktop friendly, the app optimizes posts for peak engagement times (it also allows for customization) and best of all, its users receive salient feedback, via analytics, to view social media post performance, improve results and create data-driven reports for clients and managers.

Canva: That old cliché that a picture is worth a thousand words rings true with Canva, an intuitive, easy-to-master graphic-design creator that businesses can use to increase website traffic and social media engagement. It uses a drag-and-drop format and provides access to over a million photographs, graphics and fonts. You don’t need a background in design to use the tool, and with more than 50,000 templates to choose from, it’s easy to design just about anything,including those all-important info graphics.

Woobox: Engagement and buzz are key when it comes to social media, and with Woobox, an increasingly popular marketing platform, businesses can create contests, giveaways, polls, quizzes, brackets, photo contests and more, all of which encourage your audience to engage. Bonus: It allows businesses to seamlessly integrate several social media platforms while running campaigns, plus it collects and exports useful data that stems from those campaigns, an advantageous perk that all but guarantees robust leads.


Real Estate Corner
Millennials are flocking to smaller cities to buy homes

real_estate_orange

According to a recent study published by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), expensive home prices, coupled with high demand, are driving today’s youngest homebuyers to smaller cities.

“As long as supply keeps up to meet demand, and prevents costs from rising too high and too rapidly, these identified metro areas are likely to see an uptick in purchases from millennial homebuyers,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the NAR. A robust job market and affordability are two of the main factors that impact home-buying decisions by millennials, notes the report.

Let’s Connect

Discover more stories and conversations on our social media networks,
or drop us a line on our contact page.


The Independent Underwriter for
the Independent AgentSM