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Researching a blog post, writing a blog post, or wishing a had written another blog post.
Jan 12, 2011, 11:58 CST
- Member Type(s): Expert
- Title:Vice President Social Media
- Organization:PR Newswire
- Area of Expertise:
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Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 9:46 AM
You can’t read an article or blog these days on Web design or SEO without seeing a reference to “user experience design” (or “UXD” if you want to look cool). It’s a hot topic, and for reasons that go far beyond aesthetics. The experience users of a website encounter have a direct effect on that site’s search rankings and conversion rate. And in the advice offered by UXD pros and SEO gurus are some important lessons for writers.
First, a little background. When we’re talking about website user experience, we’re referring to all the different aspects of content, structure, and navigation that enable a site visitor to do the things he or she wants to do, whether that means reading a white paper, registering for an event, browsing information or purchasing things. Poor UXD means that something on the site prevents the visitor from doing what he or she intended to do.
This blog post was actually inspired by a press release I reviewed for a client last week. It was long, wandering from topic to topic. It tried to tell the story of a new product along with the story of the product pipeline, as well as the story of a successful acquisition. It tried to achieve too much, and as I read through it, I really wanted to stop reading. And that is exactly what we don’t want our readers to do.
As we’re drafting press releases, we should be thinking about what exactly we want our readers to do, and then structure the content accordingly. But how do we design press releases (and other content, for that matter) to encourage readers to move forward, to the outcome we want them to take?
Here are a few ideas:
- Identify the specific outcome you want your primary audience to take. In most cases, you’ll want other constituents to read the story, too. But trying to serve all audiences in one message is tough to do. Focus the content on one audience, and one outcome, such as getting industry media and bloggers to write a particular story, generating social shares of an image or getting readers to click on a specific link.
- Focus the content of every paragraph on leading the reader to that outcome. If your writing starts to veer from the path, so will your reader. Stay focused on the key message. Other messages will need their own separate vehicles, whether that means another press release or something else, such as a blog post or inclusion in a customer newsletter.
- Structure the content to enable the reader to get to the desired outcome. It’s important to assume that most readers do not read all the way through a piece of content, unless it is meeting their needs and hooking their interest every single step of the way. This means that in addition to keeping the message focused, you need to put links where people will click them – such as right after the first paragraph, rather than at the very end of the copy where they could be easily overlooked. Weave links and access to supporting information throughout the content.
As writers, we need to think first about what our readers want to read and accomplish, rather than what messages our organizations want to convey. Press releases should march the reader straight to the key points of the story and wrap up with an inevitable conclusion. Just as marketers strive to prevent their sales funnels from leaking, and webmasters focus on increasing the time visitors spend on the site, writers need to be thinking about maintaining reader attention as they author content.
Sarah Skerik, PR Newswire’s vice president of content marketing, is the author of the e-book “Unlocking Social Media for PR.” Follow her on Twitter at @sarahskerik
Wednesday, May 8, 2013, 1:51 PM
There’s a lot of discussion these days about the role of content in the public relations and marketing strategies, and much of it is focused on the awareness-generating and attention-acquiring benefits a stream of content can produce.
However, as an organization builds out a content strategy, it’s also important to consider the role the published articles, case studies, press releases, blog posts, white papers, etc., work together to create a pathway for readers that ends (ideally) in conversion.
“Content creates the context for consumption,” noted Ninan Chacko, PR Newswire’s CEO, at the recent Content Marketing Summit hosted by the Business Development Institute. “Earned and paid media historically have been separate silos, but that’s changing. Social media has brought the two together. Audiences don’t live in the paid or the earned environments. The challenge is now how to craft content that lives across different media.”
The challenge for communicators, he went on to say, is in understanding the resulting metrics, and how engagement activities, such as social interactions, contribute ultimately to conversion.
“Ninan made a great case for engagement as a metric. While retweets, likes, and other signs of engagement might not directly translate to leads, they are invaluable when it comes to measuring the success of your efforts,” wrote blogger John Brhel of Social Eddy, in his own recap of the event, titled, “Top 5 Quotes from Content Marketing Summit 2013.“
Here is Ninan’s presentation deck, which illustrates the connection between content and customer conversion:
Monday, April 29, 2013, 10:38 AM
A snapshot of the Dove “Real Beauty Sketches” MNR. Click the image to see it live.
The biggest viral story this month was undoubtedly the latest in the Real Beauty campaign from Dove. Titled “Real Beauty Sketches (#wearebeautiful),” this installment clearly illustrated the issues women have with negative self-perception.
And while I could spend a lot of time talking about the genius of this campaign, I’m going to focus on how the organizations behind the campaign – Unilever, Ogilvy Advertising and Edelman – chose to promote the campaign.
Days later, the global Tweet stream is still going strong.
It’s not unusual at all for a brand to promote a new advertising campaign with a press release. In most cases, the press release is pretty standard, describing the campaign, the related calls to action and special offers for customers. The press release for the Dove campaign, however, took a different angle.
An exemplary headline:
Instead of focusing on the campaign, the PR team at Edelman focused on some of the stories underlying the campaign, and they did so right out of the gate with a compelling headline:
FBI-TRAINED FORENSIC ARTIST CONDUCTS A SOCIAL EXPERIMENT TO ILLUSTRATE THE ONGOING STRUGGLE WOMEN HAVE WITH RECOGNIZING THEIR OWN BEAUTY
Dove® “Real Beauty Sketches” Campaign Reveals the Dramatic Difference Between Self-Image and What Others See
This is a fantastic headline, for a few reasons:
- The headline elegantly captures the two key themes of the press release.
- Credibility for the story is built immediately noting that an FBI-trained forensic artist is at the center of the social experiment the campaign illustrates.
- It doesn’t waste space with the brand name or campaign title. Those are relegated to the subhead, which neatly describes the Real Beauty Sketches campaign itself.
- It is almost tweetable, checking in at 136 characters (with spaces) but I’m not going to quibble length, because the descriptive language employed in this example works, and is necessary.
This is the kind of headline treatment I’d like to see on more press releases – one that leads with facts and story elements, rather than a brand announcing something. It reminds me of advice I heard Kevin Helliker of the Wall Street Journal give PR people and years ago: Write the headline you want to see in the paper, and use that in your pitch email and press release headline.
Followed by a near-perfect lead:
The writer of this press release set the hook with the lead sentence, and followed immediately with salient facts that ensured the reader didn’t go anywhere but onward:
The way women depict themselves is dramatically different from how others perceive them. Over half (54%) of women globally agree that when it comes to how they look, they are their own worst beauty critic1, which equates to a staggering 672 million women around the world.2
Once again, we see restraint employed when it comes to brand mentions. The brand and campaign aren’t mentioned until midway through the opening paragraph.
Now, let’s be clear: I’m not anti-brand, not at all. But I think most will agree that the lead sentence from this release is leagues better than the more standard-issue (and, let’s face it, boring) lead we see so often. You know the one I’m talking about:
XYZ organization, a leading provider of whatever, is proud to announce today a jargon-laden description of something.
The lead paragraph doesn’t exist for to extol the virtues of the organization issuing the release. It exists to set up the story and develop the reader’s attention. Whether the goal of the press release is gaining media coverage or engaging the audiences or driving social awareness (or any combination thereof,) a well-written lead will go a long way to securing the results you want to see for the campaign.
My advice when it comes to leads is simple:
- Don’t confuse the lead with the boilerplate. Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to leave company information out of the lead. The exception is material news from a public company, when putting the company name and ticker symbol in the lead is standard practice.
- Use the lead to develop the story.
- Think back to the inverted pyramid of journalistic writing. Put the key points at the top of the message.
- The lead and the headline should work together to describe and then start to develop the story – even in a press release.
“Unselfish” story angles
The body of the release is devoted to developing two stories, offering an up-close look at the forensic artist who did the sketches of the subjects, and at the underlying issue of negative self-perception. I use the term “unselfish” to describe this approach, because it puts the audience first. The focus on the artist’s professional background and his experience with the campaign is meaty stuff. Any reporter covering this story would be interested in these details. And for the more casual reader – the millions of individuals who read, tweet and share press releases each month – the detail on the artist lends powerful credibility and authenticity to the story.
The issue of self-perception, which is at the heart of Dove’s ongoing Real Beauty campaign, is also discussed. Again, the press release writer provided substance – in this case, survey data – that is useful to professional media and credible with other audiences.
If the press release for this highly visual campaign had been text only, the brands behind the message would have left a lot of visibility on the table. Instead of using a plain text format (which by far still the most common press release format used today,) the team wrapped the excellent release in equally good multimedia.
Delivered in the form of a multimedia news release (“MNR” in industry parlance), the message is fully formed, wrapped in three videos that illustrate how the campaign worked and offering interesting insights into the artist and subjects.
There’s no question that the Real Beauty Sketches campaign is a fantastic piece of work. My own Facebook feed has been full of commentary from my own friends for days. And in true Internet style, it’s even spawned a funny parody.
I really like this campaign -- but I truly love the treatment the team gave the press release. Kudos to all of the people behind one of the most effective press releases I’ve seen.
Want to explore new ways to tell your brand’s story? We’d be happy to chat with you about creating a video or a designing multimedia distribution strategy that will increase discovery of your brand’s messages. We’d love to hear your ideas, and help turn them into reality. Contact us for more information.
Thursday, April 18, 2013, 3:30 PM
The pyramid of media influence
We spend a lot of time in the PR space thinking about how to optimize our press releases for maximum search engine visibility, and I’m one of the purveyors of that sort of information. Ask me about press release headline writing best practices, and be prepared to strap in for at least thirty minutes while I babble happily about keyword placement, headline length, reader drop off rates and how these factors can ultimately impact the results your message generates.
But let’s face it: fine-tuning press releases and other content individually, piece by piece, for max visibility is a bit shortsighted, because it ignores some bigger opportunities – specifically, the opportunity to help the brand’s web site (which has a lot more gravitational pull than the odd press release, blog post, backgrounder or tweet) build rank and visibility.
How PR can positively impact SEO
In reality, a good PR campaign that results in media pick up, relevant industry blog posts and social buzz can have a profoundly positive effect on crucial web site rankings. And those web site rankings play an important part in lead generation — and ultimately sales.
“A few years ago, I launched a website called FindHow, and we gave it a full-court press from a PR standpoint. In the first month of FindHow’s existence, it surpassed 15,000 unique visitors and eventually grew to around the 100,000 uniques (editor’s note: unique web site visitors) mark. After about five months, the Public Relations effort had resulted in a total of around 18,000 links to the site, primarily because of prominent media mentions that boosted the site’s credibility and aided word of mouth.” – Ted Ives, “Public Relations for SEO.”
The quote above is an SEO expert’s take on PR results. In my many years of experience with PR Newswire (eighteen, to be exact), I know that plugging PR into the brand’s SEO strategy is something many – heck, most – public relations departments overlook. In most cases I’ve seen thinking about SEO starts and ends with the optimization of a particular message, with the goal of getting the press release itself to rank in search engines. In reality, we should be thinking about how to help our brands’ web sites rank, not individual messages. PR sells itself short when the focus on results is too narrow.
Integrating PR & SEO
To get a good look at how the results a good PR campaign can integrate (and improve) a brand’s SEO program, you can’t do better than to read the first of the series on PR and SEO just published on Search Engine Land. Author Ted Ives (@tedives) (the aforementioned SEO expert) lays out a new view of PR in the series, offering perspective on how brands can more fully capitalize upon media pick up and other public relations outcomes to effect business outcomes.
Results & effectiveness – the benefits of integrating PR & SEO programs
Understanding the follow on benefits of press release distribution and media mentions in the context of a brand’s web site and SEO initiatives can do a couple things for the PR department. First, as you can see from the paragraph above, the SEO guys have measurement down. They know where traffic comes from; they know which keywords have the best conversion rates. If measuring results is a bugaboo for your PR department, cozy up your SEO team. Chances are good they already know a surprising amount about the results your PR campaigns generated.
Secondly, integrating with the brand’s SEO program can lend real power to the messaging the PR department creates. Keyword research is another facet of audience behavior that can (and should) inform the content strategy. In addition to simply using the language of your audience, paying attention to larger keyword trends and usage patterns reveals what your marketplace actually cares about. For a content creator, this information is golden.
The other two parts of the series focus on targeting and pitching journalists, offering good, solid media relations advice, tuned for today’s newsroom realities, and are also worth reading.
So next time you’re drafting a PR campaign, don’t limit your goals to simply generating reads for a press release or media placements. Working with the SEO team can increase the measurable results the PR team generates, and the business impact it delivers.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013, 10:37 AM
The Pulitzer Prizes for journalism were announced this week, and the winning stories represent a variety of different angles, techniques and tools that provide good ideas -- and more than a little inspiration -- for public relations and marketing communicators.
The big winner in breaking news was the Denver Post, for their use of “journalistic tools, from Twitter and Facebook to video and written reports, both to capture a breaking story and provide context,” in their reporting of the movie theater shootings in Aurora, Colo.
A review of the Post’s response to the tragic event reveals a comprehensive approach that did a variety of things well -- it delivered information quickly, created a hashtag around which people could coalesce, told the across platforms, and did a great job managing the extremely fast-moving story.
So what’s the lesson here for brands? I’m going to step away from the obvious (but relevant) crisis communications parallel, because the real lesson here, in my mind, is how effective communications can be when an organization makes full and specific use of the myriad channels available to us today. The Post blended channel-specific content and interaction with a heavy dose of the human touch.
Investigative and Explanatory Reporting:
The New York Times garnered awards in the investigative and explanatory reporting for long-form pieces on Wal-Mart’s use of bribes in Mexico and the business practices of Apple and other IT companies in Asia, respectively.
This infographic is a small component of one of the rich elements the Times used to illustrate this story. Click on the picture to access the full presentation of assets.
It’s no secret that we’re living in an age of radical transparency. News travels fast and sways opinion immediately. However, there is still plenty of interest in the deep dive. Even though we may spend a lot of time whipping together blog posts, case studies and social status updates, there is still interest in the nitty-gritty -- and from a brand standpoint, those are the details that can influence a potential customer. Brands shouldn’t shy away from developing longer-form, meatier content.
The New York Times racked up another win in this category, for reporter John Branch’s "…evocative narrative about skiers killed in an avalanche and the science that explains such disasters, a project enhanced by its deft integration of multimedia elements."
A snippet from the NYT story “Snow Fall.” Click the image to access the entire experience.
The winning story the Times published looks nothing at all like a traditional newspaper story. “Visually compelling” doesn’t even begin to describe it. The presentation is immersive, and encourages the reader to delve deeper into the story by embedding an array of interesting multimedia components that do more than illustrate the story.
The takeaway for brands is the sheer effectiveness and stickiness a variety of good multimedia elements can create. Utilizing a variety of multimedia elements has another benefit too -- in addition to presenting the set of content holistically, chances are good the content elements can stand alone and create their own gravitational pull and traction in and of themselves.
Here’s the complete list of Pulitzer Prize winners. Clicking on each winner’s name will enable you to access the winning story and related materials, where you’ll undoubtedly find even more ideas and inspiration.
Want to explore new ways to tell your brand’s story? We’d be happy to chat with you about creating a video or a designing multimedia distribution strategy that will increase discovery of your brand’s messages. We’d love to hear your ideas, and help turn them into reality. Contact us for more information.
Monday, April 1, 2013, 10:43 AM
Sponsorship is one of the oldest forms of advertising, and the basic principle – associating your brand’s name positively with something your target market enjoys – still holds water today. However, in today’s changed information marketplace, in which traditional media share the stage with bloggers, brands, experts and individuals, traditional sponsorships can fall a bit short. Why? Because they give people precious little to talk about. Enter cause marketing.
Cause marketing – in which a brand aligns itself and devotes resource to addressing a specific problem or supporting a charitable effort – offers brands advantages not found in other types of sponsorship or advertising, and it works particularly well in today’s world of social networks and online tribes. Here are a few reasons why:
Tribal affinity, otherwise known as market segmentation: Any marketer will tell you that segmenting your market is a good idea. Expending the brand’s resources without taking the time to target groups of people likely to have an interest in the message can be an exercise in futility – and it’s wasteful. However, the brand that aligns itself with a cause that is relevant to its best customers and prospects can create real efficiency when it comes to reaching that constituency.
That said, there are some caveats for brands when it comes to selecting a cause.
“The issues Millennials care about most varies from country to country and its tempting to let that drive what cause you support,” notes Simon Mainwaring, a leading social branding strategist and author of the book We First: How Brands & Consumers Use Social Media to Build a Better World in his discussion of how corporate purpose can turn Millennials into brand ambassadors. “But a brand must ensure its own purpose, values and mission dictate what cause it supports to avoid accusations of greenwashing or causewashing. That way, a brand’s cause work drives Millennial engagement and reinforces the authentic for-profit narrative of the brand.”
Storytelling, otherwise known as content generation: Cause-related marketing creates a lot more traction than a fleeting brand impression, because it presents the opportunity for the brand and its partner to tell stories. And those stories can be powerful catalysts for conversations in social networks, which in turn delivers real message amplification that is positive — and relevant for the audience. Programs created in association with your brand’s non-profit partner can be rich sources of the sort of attractive and interesting pictures, videos, charts, data, graphics and stories that people enjoy consuming and feel good about sharing with their friends and followers on social media. And each piece of content derived from a brand’s cause-marketing program can
Incentive, otherwise known as the whole point of most marketing efforts: Finally, cause-related marketing provides important extra incentives for buyers to make their selections in your brand’s favor when the simple act of making a purchase in turn helps a cause they care about. Whether the consumer simply likes the idea of sending an extra dollar your cause’s way, or they’re making a conscious decision to only support brands that have sustainable business practices and give back to the community – the effect in the moment of the purchase decision is the same. The scales are tipped for your brand.
Quite a lot of thinking in the CSR/sustainable business/cause-marketing community is coalescing around the idea that these practices are no longer optional for brands – they are necessary pieces of the strategy mix. It’s difficult to disagree, from either the emotional or practical standpoints, for two reasons – people like doing business with organizations they like, and a great way to get people to like your organization is to do some good in the world and tell that story in an interesting way.
A unique opportunity for brands considering cause marketing initiatives is coming this May at the Business4Better Expo in Anaheim CA. There, representatives from the corporate side will find scores of non-profits that are primed for and seeking corporate partners.
Author Sarah Skerik is PR Newswire’s vice president of content marketing, and is the author of the e-book “Unlocking Social Media for PR.” Follow her on Twitter at @sarahskerik .
Thursday, March 28, 2013, 11:30 AM
You walked into work this morning, coffee in hand, ready to take on another week. But your colleagues are doing (what look like) sprints, papers are flying and your BlackBerry’s buzzing like a chainsaw.
You know it’s bad. All signs are pointing to a corporate crisis.
Now’s not the time to lay blame. And until time travel’s perfected, it’s up to you – the PR pro – to help your organization weather the storm.
You’re used to leading teams and guiding organizations down the right path. You try to keep a clear head about the whole thing but the office uproar is distracting.
To help you stay focused, here are some simple do's and don'ts to keep in mind when dealing with your crisis:
The last thing you want to do in the throes of a crisis is make things worse.
Remember to always refer to your crisis communications plan. But, if it gets lost in the chaos, you can fall back on these five reminders.
An ounce of planning is worth more than a pound of cure in a crisis. Incorporate MediaVantage into your communications strategy and stay on top of industry issues -- and maintain control of your brand. Learn more about our real-time media monitoring suite.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 10:00 AM
Press releases generate multiple tweets per minute.
A post on the Forbes CIO network titled, "#Accounting: Why Finance Teams Need to Get Social," garnered an unusual amount of traffic when compared to other posts on that channel. With a current tally of more than 430,000 reads, this particular post is a real outlier. A quick scan of other posts on the site suggests that reader tallies in the low four figures are the norm.
This anomaly was spotted by Lou Hoffman of the Hoffman Agency, and he highlighted it in a blog post titled, “The Role of the Hashtag in a Forbes Headline Attracting Over 400K Views.”
“The one element that makes this Forbes post different from other executive byliners lies in the headline and the use of the hashtag #Accounting,” he noted in his blog post.
I think Lou is on to something. According to HubSpot’s new LinkTally tool, the article was shared 1,200 times on social networks. And, as illustrated in Lou’s blog post, Google is differentiating between the search terms “#accounting “ and “accounting.” While I am not willing to ascribe the success of this post on Forbes entirely to the presence of the hashtag in the headline -- after all, it is a well-written discussion of a timely topic -- I do think that the headline format had something to do with the article’s success.
There’s certainly no doubt that press releases are important grist for Twitter’s information mill. A look at the live search results for “PRNewswire” on Twitter shows that people are tweeting the press releases we issue multiple times per minutes. And there are a few things you can do when writing press releases to help encourage people to tweet and share your copy.
- Try using a relevant and popular hashtag in a Tweet-ready headline – keep it to about 100 characters, and make it interesting.
- That obligatory quote? Craft it for Twitter by dropping the hyperbole and editing it down into a 100 character statement that makes a key point.
- Encourage tweeting by including the Twitter handle of anyone you quote in the press release.
- Don’t forget visuals. Twitter.com displays media in tweets, and we know that visuals do a great job of grabbing reader attention.
You can also use ClickToTweet to embed pre-loaded tweets in your messages, though I would caution against relying solely upon an embedded tweet to generate engagement. People use lots of different mechanisms to tweet, including browser extensions and social media management dashboards. You’ll be most successful when you cater to a variety of user preferences.
Why 100 characters? I thought Tweets were 140 characters?
While you can put as many as 140 characters into a tweet, there are a few reasons why limiting tweets to 100 characters (or even less) is a good idea.
- If you’re adding a URL to your tweet, allow 20 characters for Twitter’s URL shortener. All URLs on Twitter are converted to Twitter URLs automatically.
- You’ll also want to leave space for other people’s comments and Twitter handles, to encourage re-tweets.
- Research by PR Newswire shows that press releases with long headlines (longer than 140 characters) experience a significant drop in online views, so writing a Twitter-friendly headline can help boost overall results.
Author Sarah Skerik is PR Newswire’s vice president of social media, and is the author of the e-book “Unlocking Social Media for PR.” Follow her on Twitter at @sarahskerik
Tuesday, March 26, 2013, 1:02 PM
Like any business, sometimes our own story needs telling. Earlier this year, we decided that we needed to do some PR for our MultiVu business, which focuses on the production and distribution of multimedia content. It’s cutting-edge stuff, with some truly unique aspects, and it sits right between PR and marketing, and we needed to offer some explanation and raise awareness of these services.
So what did we do? We did the same thing any of you, our customers, would do. First, our team brainstormed the messaging. They outlined the key points we needed to convey from a brand standpoint, and then approached the messaging from the opposite context -- the questions our audience often asks about producing video and other multimedia content, and the various struggles that can complicate these projects.
“The hardest thing to do is to distill what you do into a short-form, engaging video,” noted Bev Yehuda, vice president of Web engagement products for MultiVu. “We had to apply what we tell our clients all the time regarding developing a video: If you don’t take the time out during the process to determine what your elevator pitch is, you run the risk of creating irrelevant content.”
With the messaging drafted, it was time to determine the medium. Since this was about MultiVu, we knew we needed to use multimedia messaging. We wanted to show our expertise (and our personality!) in a fun and friendly way, so we went with an animated approach.
Upping exposure with distribution
Once our animated video was done, we packaged it into a multimedia news release (“MNR”), which combines a variety of distribution strategies and channels.
Here’s a snapshot of the MNR we created to promote the MultiVu video.Click on the image to see the whole thing.
Of course, we could have simply shared the video socially -- and we did post it directly to a number of social sharing sites -- but the distribution component that is built into an MNR is crucial, for a number of different reasons:
- Distribution drives discovery, delivering content to relevant audiences across the Web -- on channels, via news websites and in industry niches.
- Discovery seeds social conversation, amplifying your message and increasing exposure to relevant groups.
- Social conversations deliver third-party credibility that can spur people to take action.
- Distribution increases the number of digital touch points for your brand, and if your audience values the content, it will gain visibility in search results. Search engines are informed by user activity and interactions around a piece of content.
How Content Distribution Drives Social Interaction
Prior to the release of the MNR, we shared the video itself on PR Newswire’s Facebook and LinkedIn pages. More than 1,400 of our Facebook fans saw the video, and it was liked by six and shared by three. It fared better on LinkedIn, where it was seen by 1,983 people, generated 30 click-throughs and eight shares. Decent exposure for the two minutes (if that) required to share the video with PR Newswire followers.
However, if you need proof of how distribution drives social interaction with content, you needn’t look any further than the sharing numbers the MNR generated. Readers of the MNR shared it with their Facebook friends 196 times (as of this writing).
Distributed content reaches qualified, interested audiences. And social shares have a strong viral effect, triggering more shares.
Overall Multimedia News Release Results
The social sharing was just one aspect of the visibility the MNR generated for MultiVu. Overall, adding distribution paid off for this project, tallying thousands of reads of the press release -- and tens of thousands of video views.
It’s very satisfying for us to put on a “customer” hat and use our own services to promote our messages, and witness firsthand how our networks deliver lasting results and visibility. And based upon the results of this campaign, you can look for more from these animated characters created by MultiVu -- several more videos are in the works!
Want to explore creating your own “explainer” video or learning about how multimedia distribution can increase discovery of your brand’s messages? We’d love to hear your ideas, and help turn them into reality. Contact us for more information.
Author Sarah Skerik is PR Newswire’s vice president of social media, and is the author of the e-book "Unlocking Social Media for PR." Follow her on Twitter at @sarahskerik.
Friday, March 22, 2013, 9:48 AM
I got a real surprise on Monday during the Online Marketing Summit workshop I was leading on using content to attract qualified leads.
When I asked the audience, “Have you experienced unexpected results for your brand from a particular social network?” I wasn’t prepared for the digital strategy head of a top five accounting firm who told me that Pinterest is a significant referrer of traffic for their financial services and hedge fund strategy content.
Apparently, among the juggernaut of dream wedding pictures and fantastically decadent fashion and food, a good infographic about the hedge fund business can gain real traction.
With that in mind, I hot-footed it to Danny Maloney’s session about making Pinterest work for your brand.
Maloney is the CEO and co-founder of PinLeague, and he has access to a ton of data about Pinterest usage. This is one interesting social network -- even for B2B brands.
Pinterest Drives Aspiration … and Revenue
What makes Pinterest so interesting is user intent. Pinterest is where people collect and gather ideas. They discover, they aspire, they plan. And as they do so, they are telling marketers what they like.
Obviously, Pinterest is about visuals. Users "pin" pictures, infographics, artworks and all imaginable matter of digital imagery to virtual pinboards, which can be broadly shared. The primary activity is pinning, and that’s even how users interact – there’s relatively little conversation on Pinterest. Instead, fellow pinners show their enthusiasm by re-pinning each other’s content. From that activity, brands can divine loads of intel about their audiences.
If you spend about 10 seconds thinking about it, the fact that Pinterst generates more revenue per transaction for brands when compared to Facebook and Twitter shouldn’t be a surprise. After all, Pinterest is an aspiration engine. Nonetheless, the fact that Pinterest generates significantly more referrals and more than twice the revenue of Facebook is pretty eye-opening.
Tips for Getting Your Brand Started on Pinterest
Eighty percent of the benefit your brand will probably derive from Pinterest is from users pinning about your brand. You don’t even know it’s going on, but that’s okay. You don’t want all the activity happening on your own profile. You want people to share your content. That’s how you spread the word ... er, image.
Don’t dive into a strategy until you know what’s going on around your brand on Pinterest. What is being shared? What is being said? What is being pinned and re-pinned? And who are these people that are pinning your stuff? Get a sense of who the user is before jumping in.
Then, once you’ve done this due diligence, build 12 boards for your brand. Pick five things your users love, five things they have a hard time finding and two things about your brands. Build boards according to those 12 themes, and you’ll have a good, solid start on Pinterest.
Want more ideas? Take a look at our collection of stories about Visual PR trends and tactics.