Effective Communication’s digital account manager Rhys Gregory shares his view on the PR and digital marketing tactics that will propel businesses in 2017.
PR and marketing isn’t new, it’s something that we’ve been doing for hundreds of years in business, and it simply involves people talking to people. The only difference now is where the conversation is taking place and the format of the messages that people are consuming.
Until now, for many businesses these new technologies and marketing tactics have been out of reach due to expertise or budget restraints.
Below, I have selected the PR and marketing tactics that businesses will be using in 2017:
PR is no longer just about print
You’d be mistaken to think that PR is limited to print only. In today’s society, news is consumed in many shapes and sizes, and flows simultaneously across both online and offline channels, 24 hours a day.
When your approaching your next PR campaign, think online first.
Split your marketing by earned, owned and paid media
People are savvier than ever and can quickly distinguish between your sales and marketing messages. If your customers can, you should too.
Consider using different messages for your different channels:
Earned media – this is content that people will want to share, mention and re-post. This can include reviews and content generated by people outside of your organisation too, such as customers, industry experts, bloggers and journalists.
Owned media – this is media that is created and owned by you. This includes content generated on your website, blog and social media channels etc.
Paid media – this includes any media that you’ve paid for including pay per click ads, display ads, paid for reviews and advertorials.
Retarget your marketing
It’s very rare that you’ll buy a product or service at first view. Instead, you’ll go away, think about it, and do your own research before committing to buy. Of course, the buyer purchase cycle will vary but the principles are exactly the same no matter what industry that you’re in.
Retargeted ads are being used more and more by businesses to re-engage with people that have previously expressed an interest in what they do. As an example, displaying retargeted ads on Facebook to customers that have previously visited your website, can offer a greater return on investment than targeting completely new audiences.
Experiment with new technology
New technology is at the heart of all growing businesses and luckily, new technology is becoming cheaper and quicker to reach businesses of all sizes.
With something new being released every week, you can easily be swamped with new things to try. The important thing to remember is to try new technology and see if it works for your business. If it doesn’t, move on and try something else.
There is a lot to be said for ‘first-mover’ advantage if you find something that does work for your business and customers. Try creating your own 360-degree video this year!
Publish your own content
Instantly become your own publisher by posting news and blogs directly to your own website. This is one tactic that many businesses overlook!
Businesses often forget that they have a platform for posting news and no longer have to wait for a press release to be picked up by the media. Not only is this a great way to inform your customers and other stakeholders, but it’s a way to pull people into your website.
Optimise press releases for the web using relevant keywords and support your business’s SEO strategy. This content will help your business climb the page ranks of Google and other search engines.
Revise your email marketing strategy
Email marketing is a cost-effective and efficient way to keep your audiences up-to-date with the latest news and product developments. It’s by far the quickest way to engage with people and get your message heard.
Businesses often stop start email marketing campaigns throughout the year, usually due to a lack of time and commitment. However, if you dedicate time to planning out a series of regular emails, it can seriously help to support your marketing activities throughout the year.
It’s important to send out clear and consistent messages if you want to become part of your audiences’ weekly or monthly digest.
Better analytics and reporting
Using free tools such as Google Analytics and Trends, you can see in real-time if your PR and marketing campaigns are working. Google Analytics isn’t just about tracking website visitors, it’s much much more. You can find out exactly what businesses are viewing your website, which is great for B2Bs, and you can see if they’ve come from an advert that you’ve placed or via your PR.