Does Social Media Affect Search?

Google’s algorithm updates have informed the public that good search engine optimization (SEO) isn’t just about on-page optimization. Public relations now plays a big part in getting ranked higher in search engine results. Quality links from sites that have greater domain authority, such as top tier media outlets, produce higher rankings in search engine results.

Now that we know that PR can affect search, we want to define where and how social media comes into play. Google may place a high value on social media links, or they may not even matter. Can social media really affect search?

The answer is yes and no. I recently listened to a webinar hosted by Spin Sucks and presented by Andy Crestodina titled rather bluntly “How Does Social Media Affect SEO” that offered some insight.  Continue reading “Does Social Media Affect Search?” »

In or Out? Outside Marketing Communications Agencies vs. In-House Resources

Okay – I admit it. I may be a wee bit biased when writing on the subject of the relative advantages and disadvantages of using an in-house ad agency versus outsourcing to a marketing communications agency. You probably already suspected the bias because you’re reading this on a marketing communications’ agency blog. I do believe that outsourcing to an agency provides more advantages than disadvantages based on my own experiences and discussions with companies and clients over the last 20-plus years.

Despite that belief, there are always exceptions and hybrids between in-house and outsourced communications resources. What we’ve seen work best is when a company has strong marketing leadership within the organization combined with a marketing communications agency it trusts. The internal marketing leader should have a strong understanding of the company’s business and marketing objectives, serving as a driving force in developing marketing strategies that align with the company’s goals. This person should communicate these things to the agency frequently, especially as business goals or executive leadership within the organization shifts. The agency and internal marketing staff then work in tandem on the development and execution of programs to reach those goals.

An outside marketing communications agency provides advantages that just can’t be replicated in-house.

Marketing Agency Work EnvironmentAn outside perspective and objectivity. One of the most important, if not THE most important, advantages an outside agency has over in-house staff is objectivity. The agency’s view is not overly colored by internal discussions, politics, views, etc. Emotions and personalities play less of a role in agency recommendations. The most effective work comes not from a focus on how the company views its products and services but how the customer views them. A good outside agency should always be focused on the buyer and not be distracted by other motivations that are impossible to escape in an internal role. Because agencies are not employees, they’re not bound by the same limitations as employees. An outside agency helps you avoid getting tunnel vision from focusing only on your company or industry.

Continue reading “In or Out? Outside Marketing Communications Agencies vs. In-House Resources” »

Listen Up! M/C/C’s Moms Connection Leverages Influencers To Talk Headphones This Holiday

Animalz by Retrak Kids Headphones Monkey DesignOver the holidays, M/C/C and ReTrak brought the technology accessory manufacturer’s Animalz children’s headphones to the masses, just in time for the busiest shopping season of the year. Available in six loveable, soft fabric animal designs with a volume-limiter for lil’ techies, these headphones were ready to fly off the shelves. To help build awareness and interest to ignite sales with moms, the target audience, M/C/C recommended a comprehensive public relations campaign, including blogger and media relations.

Why target moms through blogger and media outreach to increase awareness and interest while driving sales? M/C/C understands their significant influence in decision-making. According to Technorati’s Media & Digital Influence report, blogs are the third most influential digital resource when making purchases, trailing behind only retail sites and brand sites. In fact, the report went on to say that consumers believe smaller communities have greater influence than larger ones. Therefore, M/C/C was sure to engage with moms on blogs of all sizes, since one in four moms reported purchasing kids’ products based on an online recommendation.

Continue reading “Listen Up! M/C/C’s Moms Connection Leverages Influencers To Talk Headphones This Holiday” »

How To Use Outreach and Content Marketing for Buzz-Worthy Campaigns

Content and Outreach MarketingWhen considering how to tell brand stories, there are many differences when it comes to marketing, public relations, advertising and branding.

But two more recent buzzphrases have been cropping up lately: outreach marketing and content marketing.

Similar to public relations, these communications methods create and maintain relationships with an organization’s key audience. Also, these two phrases can oftentimes be public-relations strategies. Here’s how to decode them:

Outreach marketing

This tactic focuses primarily on bloggers and key social media influencers who already advocate for your brand. Similar to what is used in media relations, a brand’s contact reaches out to these advocates and finds ways to incorporate the brand into the advocates’ everyday lives. These are not just people who can talk about the brand, they are extensions of the brand.

To read more, click here.

A Few Lessons in Integrated Marketing

IMG_3275Here at M/C/C, we’re no stranger to integrated marketing for clients and have experienced great results from converging digital marketing with IRL experiences for clients like FairLease and the promotion of the company’s “Random Acts of Fairness.”

FairLease is not your average car dealer. They’re more interested in helping people which is why M/C/C helped them launch a “Random Acts of Fairness” campaign around Dallas offering free food to the masses. For this campaign, we utilized several tactics that include: spreading the word through FairLease’s social media accounts that we built and managed, teasing the events to influential news sources and nearby businesses, providing event management and onsite support, generating real-time event updates, leveraging popular Twitter users and hashtags, capturing social photos and producing videos from the events. For many, it was their first interaction with FairLease, and thanks to M/C/C it wouldn’t be their last. As a result, more than 1,600 new friends engaged with FairLease like never before, and FairLease received almost 20 leads directly from this successful campaign.

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1. Over-Promise and Over-Deliver
Listen to customer feedback and decide what works, what doesn’t and how you can improve what you offer. Depending on your businesses, you can use various social media and review sites like Yelp to hear from customers. Focus on customer service above all; constantly surprise customers with how far above and beyond you’ll go for them.

2. Mix Your Energy with Commitment
Look at the big picture by taking a few minutes to write down what your goals are for the next year. Think about the skills and support you’ll need to attain them and then a few small ways to start working on achieving your goals. Don’t let a little success distract you from working hard on your business.

3. Be Open, Real and Flawed
When it comes to social media and customer reviews, don’t delete what your customers have to say. No company is perfect or has a 100-percent satisfaction rate, so don’t hide the few unhappy customers. Admit your mistakes when they happen, and in general, conduct your company’s dealings with honesty and candor. Your customers will notice and love you for it.

4. Care About the Little Things
Focus on the little things your company can do to surprise and serve your customers. Don’t take an immediate ROI or bottom-line look at this one. Happy customers will lead to gains in the long-term.

5. Stand Out and Find Your Niche
Think about your target market, look at what your competitors are doing and embrace your uniqueness! There’s only one of your company in the world.

Now that you know what others are doing as well as what we can accomplish for you, get up and give us a call! Remember, we’re experts in everything integrated.

A Little Less Content and A Lot More Marketing

Content is KingI’m sure you’re as tired as I am of hearing that, “Content is king.” I’ve talked about it in a previous blog, and the phrase has been around for several years with companies continuing to invest more time and money into content marketing. Many times what I see from companies upon implementing a content marketing program is putting too many resources towards the content development but not enough towards the marketing of that finished product. Jonathan Perelman, VP of agency strategy at BuzzFeed, has said numerous times including in a feature with Forbes, “Content is king; distribution is queen, and she wears the pants.” I love this statement because it is so true. Companies are building out large teams focused on executing content – articles, white papers, video, graphics, etc. – but fail to put the similar investment into circulation of that content.

When considering content distribution, my tip for you is to identify “homes” for your content that will contribute value towards reaching your marketing and business goals. You can categorize these homes in a few different ways: owned, earned and paid. Continue reading “A Little Less Content and A Lot More Marketing” »

Knowing the Differences Between Marketing, Public Relations, Advertising and Branding

Marketing and Advertising DifferencesBusiness owners often hear different promotional buzzwords — marketing, advertising, public relations and branding — passed around when it comes to selling a service or product. Each of these facets has its own unique identity and will produce different results.

Depending on what is being sold, the business may only need one of these strategies to target the right audience, but more often than not, it’s an integrated approach that leads to the best results.

Marketing
The action of promoting or selling products or services. This involves market research. Marketing involves anything from choosing the right location of the business, to knowing how much it costs to produce each product/service, deciding where to advertise and deciding who to advertise to. This also includes all marketing material, or “owned media,” such as brochures, websites and pamphlets. Think of someone named Brandon telling you, “I’m a wonderful fisherman.”

To read more, click here.

Should Marketers Engage in Reddit?

Most people have heard of Reddit. The platform has become a hot topic during major news events such as the Boston Marathon bombings. In the hours and days that followed, Reddit users acted as citizen journalists to report breaking news on the spot and working to identify the suspects. But when compared to other social media sites, it seems that most people don’t really understand how the Reddit community works or how their company could engage with it.

What is Reddit?

Original fan art by M/C/C

Original fan art by M/C/C

To start with the basics, Reddit is a completely user-driven social platform. By its own definition, “users provide all of the content and decide, through voting, what’s good and what’s junk. Links that receive community approval bubble up towards #1, so the front page is constantly in motion and (hopefully) filled with fresh, interesting links.”

Continue reading “Should Marketers Engage in Reddit?” »

Haters Gonna Hate: How Brands Should React

In today’s world where blogging and social media provide multiple platforms for activists and customers to voice their opinions, businesses (big and small) are continually feeling pressure and hearing overwhelming amounts of criticism not for anything the company has necessarily “done” but for who they are or what they believe. It makes me think about these three important questions:

  1. Should brands correct their haters or let the criticism fizzle out?
  2. How can brands not get consumed by the negativity and survive the heat?
  3. What are some real-world responses from brands under attack?

Continue reading “Haters Gonna Hate: How Brands Should React” »

Trans-Media Storytelling: Make Sure Your Audience Hears You

Remember in school when teachers said there were three types of learning styles? You probably took a test or quiz to figure out if you were primarily a visual, auditory or kinesthetic learner. The visual learners do best with the use of visual objects such as graphs, charts or pictures and can learn by just watching lectures. Auditory learners retain information through hearing and speaking. Then there are the kinesthetic learners who need a hands-on approach to learn new material.

The same learning styles can be applied to how people view ads or consume the news. This is where trans-media storytelling comes into play. Don’t worry – it sounds complicated, but it’s actually really easy to understand! It means that we, as marketers, need to be using multiple media platforms to tell a story.Transmedia Storytelling photo

Why do we have to use multiple platforms? Think about it this way – you have your target demographic, let’s say females ages 25-34, but how are you going to reach them? Some might be stay-at-home moms who like to watch or listen to the morning news as they get their kids ready for school. Others may be working professionals who might consume the news on their way to work, whether that’s listening to the radio in the car or reading, either via the paper or their phone, while on the subway. Therefore, if you were just trying to get your story covered on morning television, you could be missing an entire section of your targeted audience. You must meet your audience where they hang out to tell your story, and more than likely that means different platforms. Now, which platforms are best for each type of learner?

Continue reading “Trans-Media Storytelling: Make Sure Your Audience Hears You” »