PR tips: What does your brand say?

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Five must have FREE PR tools for entrepreneurs

I am a big fan of using tools in business to improve organisation and efficiency and there are plenty out here claiming to do it all. As a PR professional I am always on the lookout for the latest technology that can add business value and ultimately enhance and make working life easier.

However a lot of these helpful tools do come at a large price for example tools like newswire services, media contacts and monitoring services like Precise, Gorkana and Cision can be very costly. They are useful tools but for this blog I have put on my frugal hat to highlight some free must have tools for PR… in no particular order.

Hootsuite or Tweetdeck  – great for managing social media allowing you to sync up your facebook and twitter accounts and schedule posts etc.

Google – this one goes without saying people Google everything these days and it comes in handy for PR research and much more.

Flipboard – keeping abreast of emerging news is very important and I really like this ‘Flipboard app’. The magazine style layout allows you to select topics of interest. If you’re not keen on the layout there are other options like Feedly.

Google alerts – I’ve always used this service and set up specific alerts for each client project to stay on top of client news. Google alerts  is a free service and is easy to use, it allows you to determine whether you want updates as and when they come or all complied into one email alert at the end of the day to avoid your inbox overloading.

Google docs  – is good web-based collaborative office software that is easy to use for your daily tasks and can save shelling out on a Microsoft office suite. Google allows for easy sharing of documents. Dropbox is also great for sharing documents and data with clients/colleagues.

Now reviewing this list you would think that I’m sponsored by Google, but I’m not, it just so happens that they have great tools that are free to use.

Feel free to comment on any free tools that you find useful.

Video content is king: 5 reasons you should use video content for your business

Go to any seminar on business or marketing these days and you’ll hear a speaker say content is king, and how important content marketing is for you business and they are right.

Well a great way to communicate your content and business messages is via video. Video is a method I often recommend to clients as it is taking content marketing by storm.

Did you know that viral video marketing campaigns can increase click through rates up to 750% according to marketingexperiment.com. With big numbers like this it’s no wonder why businesses are becoming more and more interested in video content.

Video content is the way forward, by 2017, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic, according to Cisco.

Cisco also predicted a good few years ago that video content will account for almost 90% of all internet traffic, so if you were or are on the fence about dipping your toe in, I’d suggest you jump right in.

Here are five reasons why you should produce video content for your business,

  1. Videos are shared more than links and text posts combined on social media platforms like Facebook and twitter.

 

  1. It’s not just a young thing; the kids are always at the forefront of technology and embrace it but over 65% of people who watch online videos are between the age of 35-64yrs old.

 

  1. Videos are a great method as they can be easily digested and shared as many people are put of streams of written information.

 

  1. Videos offer potentially huge reach with avenues like YouTube receiving more than one billion unique visitors every month, which is more than any other channel, apart from Facebook.

 

 

  1. One in three Britons view at least one online video a week – that’s a weekly audience of more than 20 million people in the UK alone.

 

I often work with clients to produce creative video content be it a corporate video, animation or hard hitting drama, we can help you achieve your goal and reach your target audience. To find out more please do get in touch.

Social media is important to your business

Five top social media tips!

Are you using social media to build your brand or business? Well if you’re not, why not? It’s a great way to engage with your audience. With an estimated over 320million businesses, customers, stakeholders, consumers, to engage with on twitter, over 1.55billion on Facebook, 300million on istagram what are you waiting for!

It’s not just celebrities and young entrepreneurs that are taking advantage of social media, beauty bloggers, fashion, hair bloggers etc are all involved and cashing in.  There have been many rising stars born from social media. People that have managed to build a career out of it, generate an income from it, are now ‘Instagram  and YouTube famous’ getting paid to promote and endorse  products to their large following.

Whether you’re a start up, established business, entrepreneur, sole trader you should learn to use social media. If you have a marketing and PR department this is something that they would handle. However if you would like to get involved but have no idea where to start here are my five top tips.

Youtube – The video sharing platform with over 1 billion users

  • Setting up an account is easy, but don’t forget to brand your page to make it authentic.
  • Finding a format that works for you and being consistent with it is important. The most successful YouTubers have developed concepts and maintain a regular schedule.
  • You can use keywords tags to help your audience find your videos, but do be specific and try to avoid popular generic search terms like “health”.
  • Try reaching out to communities that are relevant to your videos, it makes sense to put your content where people are watching that kind of content already.
  • Link them all, post YouTube videos to your other social media accounts.

Facebook Tips – the social networking platform with over 1.55 billion users

  • Keep it brief and conversational, and don’t be afraid to post videos and pictures.
  • Remember there is nothing wrong with promoting deals and offers, but it’s not the right place for the super hard sell.
  • Consider testing out posting at different times of the day, you may find that your target audience are online more in the evening or the afternoon.
  • Consider using Facebook advertising –  they ‘re great for targeting specific demographics.
  • Do monitor your Facebook comments and respond to it. If you are worried about abusive comments do put up a disclaimer to say they will be removed.

Instagram Tips – online photo-sharing and social networking platform with over 300 millon users

  • Instagram is all pictures and short video clips, but you can use the text box below images to promote your products or services.
  • Ensure your profile details are up to date and have relevant web links to your business.
  • Sharing video content is great for your audience but don’t forget to add your own original content too.
  • Use # hashtags much like twitter they’re popular and help new followers to find you, and you can engage with others that share interests.
  • People are interested in your brand so don’t be afraid to show it, whether it’s a team awayday or behind the scene pictures of your video marketing, post it!

Twitter Tips – conversational platform with over 320 million users

  • Consistency is key for this platform, if you don’t post regularly, people lose interest and unfollow, however do keep in mind not to tweet just for the sake of it.
  • Hashtags # used to help identify topics of discussion e.g. #MotivationalMondays and get your posts noticed. But don’t go using the # for everyone other word.
  • With a limited number of characters to use, you have no choice but to keep your tweets short, sweet polite and to the point. You can share articles, and content of interest, get involved in conversation and debates.
  • Remember to include images in your tweets. People love to share good and funny pictures – positive quotes work well too.
  • Use short URL links from platforms like bit.ly. for linking to your content or website.

LinkedIn tips – the professional networking platform with over 400million users

  • Ensure your personal and business profile makes a good impression and has relevant up-to-date web links.
  • You can help to optimise your business page using keywords which will be helpful for SEO.
  • Join groups of interest and that are relevant for your business, don’t be afraid to post comments and engage in discussion.
  • Don’t forget you can share your blogs and articles of interest.
  • Much like the other platforms, don’t be afraid to tag connections in your post if they’re relevant, this helps to build relationships.

Snapchat – Video messaging app with over 100 million users

  • Snap chat is popular with 13-34 year olds and features 10 second videos that disappear after 24hours.
  • You have to be creative with the limited time but is worth considering if your target market fits the user profile.
  • This is a fun platform and not the one to talk shop in a formal manner, informal and laid back is key.
  • You could do a brief news flash or run competitions using a discount code which would help with tracking success of it the platform.
  • Enjoy yourself – it has lots of emoji and a new set of tricks for jokes so don’t be afraid to use them and show the human side of business.

Pinstrest Tips – photo sharing platform with over 100 million users

  • Create picture boards to match your brand, for example if you provide beauty services create beauty boards, if you run a gadget store segment your boards, kitchen gadgets etc.
  • Pinning positive quotes – very popular, just don’t over use and make sure they’re relevant to your business and brand.
  • When pinning make sure you add links so people interested in your business can be directed to your website or content page.
  • You can also add third party links to shake it up a bit and make it more interesting.
  • Be creative when naming your boards, if it’s too generic and common you won’t stand out from the crowd.

Periscope – Twitter’s live video streaming app with over 10 million users

  • Timing is key for Periscope as it is connected to Twitter – make sure to check when is the best time for you to engage listeners as you’ll use twitter to promote your live streaming.
  • The title of your video is important – be creative as this is what users will see as they scroll through the “Featured” or “Recent” streams section on the periscope app.
  • Be open – When you use Periscope, you can opt to do a private broadcast, share the broadcast on Twitter, and share your location.
  • With Periscope people tuned into your live streaming can respond and comment to you in real time. Don’t be afraid to reply to these within your live broadcast to encourage more conversation and further engagement.
  • Have fun and experiment with it – it’s still a fairly new app so there is no ‘official’ way to use it.

Remember this isn’t an exhaustive list of social media platforms; I’ve just highlighted some of the most popular ones. With a growing array of social media platforms to choose from it may feel overwhelming, but remember you don’t have to be on everyone single one of them!  It’s better to target those that are most relevant to your business and provide good engaging content to a tuned in audience.

Feel free share this, leave a comment or share tips that have worked for you!

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