Thursday, June 28, 2012

Online PR and Best Practices for Inbound Marketing

We're back with Hubspot's Inbound Marketing University.  I've just taken PR for Inbound Marketing (GF 402) with a great professor, Todd Defren from SHIFT Communications.  This is some great stuff for small businesses and startups to perform PR functions on the cheap.  Take a look at my notes below.


Introduction to Online PR

The entire Public Relations industry has been rattled.  PR used to be more of a top down approach.  It used mass media like TV, Billboards, and Radio to reach a wide audience.  It is now a virtuous cycle-type of approach.  Social Media is a big part of this.  The brand can now talk directly to the customer, which is great in a lot of ways.  However, brands are also terrified about how to monitor and respond via social media.


The mainstream media is also changing.  Staff reduction is commonplace at news stations all over the country.  Those reporters who managed to keep their jobs are now responsible for blog posts, web traffic, etc.


PR is becoming increasingly interactive and interpersonal.  It is moving towards the "Conversational Collaboration" quadrant where it is more spontaneous.  Enter inbound marketing...

The Customer

The typical process as a customer -
  1. He finds your website
  2. He visits the website
  3. He subscribes to a newsletter
  4. He signs up for demo
  5. He exchanges emails, talks to account reps, etc.
  6. He actually buys something
Before he can buy something, he has to first find out about your company.  If he does find out about your company, he must find your company credible and trustworthy.  It's an involved process, and not as probable without PR/Marketing effort on your part


Analogy: 
Imagine you are at a potluck.  What kind of neighbor do you want to be?
  1. Most Corporations: The Wallflower, they just want to watch a listen (too scared about regulations, disruption, to interact)...
  2. Some Marketers: The Blowhard, the one who doesn't listen, and is very loud and self-serving.  Marketers tend to want to be loud and noisy to make a splash.
  3. Ideal: One of Us, one who listens, engages, interacts

What is Online PR?
  • Frequently delivering relevant content through the right channels to boost credibility and findability

Online PR Goals:
  • To find Qualified Prospects (not tire kickers or looky loos)

Online PR Tactics



What to Research
  • what kind of google searches do they run
  • who else do they talk to?
  • who does the competition speak to
  • what blogs/magazines do they read?
  • who do they follow on twitter?
  • which facebook groups do they join?


How frequent is frequent?  Every Day!
  • blog post
  • go to someone else's blog and coversing
  • contributing relevant content through the social network
  • go to fb groups and provide content
  • every day pitch article to a news person
  • analyze web traffic/seo
  • attend events and broadcast content from the venue


How do you tell if your content is relevant?
  • The community will tell you if your content is relevant
  • Is your content often downloaded and distributed?
  • Is raw web traffic being generated?
  • Are there new trends in Google terms used to find your site?
  • Where are visitors coming from?  Are visitors converting?
  • Is content reflective of our brand?
  • Are your customers happy?


What kind of content are we talking about?
  • Press releases.  These must contain actual news.
  • Social media releases.  3 or 4 bullets of real news.  Using multimedia that bloggers can rip and use.
  • Video
  • Brevity - 60 minutes or less is ideal
  • podcasts
  • articles
  • blog posts
  • white papers, surveys
  • creating new widget, fb application, game, iphone app


How do you determine the right channel?
  • Did you use technorati, google analytics, cision, compete, to research?
  • use backtype to figure out where influencers comment (example: Robert Scoble)
  • Use Tubemogul to spread video content accross numerous sites
  • Use Tweetreach to see how far it's spreading


How important is credibility?
  • Context Analytics - survey:  
  • media prominence accounts for 25% of the brand value
  • PR converts better than targeted search marketing
Outbound Marketing is also important.  Forging relationships with News sources, etc. helps a lot!

How do you ensure your content is found?
  • Make SEO a factor in everything you do
  • Use Pressreleasegrader to grade your Press Release content
  • Use appropriate and consistent titles and tags across content titles, keywords, and posts
  • Put a lot of content out there to keep the crawlers busy
  • Use Google Insights
  • Use Google Analytics


What Not to Do
  • Don't Chase after everything.  Be targeted.
  • Don't spam the wall.  Ask a facebook group administrator to pass along content for you
  • Don't bore them.  Be brief and concise in content
  • Don't overuse content.  20 times a day is TOO MUCH.

Main Idea
  • Ultimately, show ROI at the site, and bring in customers
  • Use tools to track progress
    • Buzzgain
    • Blogpulse
    • Hubspot
    • Radian6

The social media release
  • webify the press release
  • a post card sized release
  • a few bullet points
  • media to attach
  • tweetable (140 char or less)

Use a social media news room
  • Create a corporate website domain
  • Stores all news, multimedia, pr, etc. online
  • blog format
  • keep it all in house

Resources:

Finally, view the Hubspot recording to take notes of your own.  I found this webinar to have some really good content, and I hope you do too.
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