Marketing and Communications: A Crucial Part of Brand Management

Brand management is all about genuine audience engagement and its consequential consumer action—whether that is good or bad all depends on the reflexes and wit of a given brand’s communications team. When things go south, marketing professionals protect a brand’s reputation. So what is it that mar-com people know that companies don’t? Communications is all about, well, communicating, and in today’s digital atmosphere there’s no better way to connect than through the web. Marketing professionals are experts in digital communications, social media, content creation, and reputation management. To be an expert in this field you need to know the following:

1. What it takes to be a pro in digital communications

While print and TV/radio marketing is still vitally important, the crux of public relations now rests in digital communication. United Nations stats from May of this year show that there are more than three billion internet users worldwide. When the whole world is turning to online marketing, shouldn’t you be, too?

Digital communications is not just social media. Rather, it applies to e-blasts, online newsletters, blogs, ads and email correspondence with your target audience. Today, over 20 billion ads are viewed through sites like Google, Facebook and Amazon each day. Communications professionals know how to include the new audience you want without making them feel they’re being sold something. And keeping the loyal audience on board is equally important, so staying conversational with consumers will garner you profit as well.

2. How to navigate social media

Social media is a great way to connect your digital communications audience and direct more traffic to your company website. Companies that are active on social media have active followers and friends who share, like, tweet and repost status and articles that interest them. This is one of many ways to promote positive and profitable customer action.

Facebook and Twitter seem simple enough, but there’s a real art to crafting genuine and concise posts and photos that will keep a reader’s interest. And that’s not to mention Google+, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and the list goes on.

3. How to create content that grabs the reader

Advertising material is all about developing a “strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience,” according to Joe Pulizzi, founder of the online school Content Marketing Institute. Content isn’t just about throwing as much out there as possible, it’s about creating personalized material that makes your brand stand out. You want to engage a specific audience with authentic content. Having too broad a customer base will make readers feel disconnected, as if they’re not part of the conversation.

4. What to say to protect a damaged reputation

Public relations is crucial to any brand. It takes 20 years to build and five minutes to ruin a reputation, as was smartly summed up by business magnate and self-made billionaire Warren Buffet. What if your Vice President slips up in an interview? What if the company’s associated with a scandal? PR professionals handle all of the stress of the virulent consumer eye so you can focus on the next great initiative on the business side of things.

Public relations professionals know all about the ever-changing market landscape, whether it’s digital correspondence, social media engagement, content creation or reputation management. Without a PR team, your business could be lacking. Why wait?

The Public Relations and Marketing Group, a full-service public relations and marketing agency based in New York, offers all of the above mentioned services and more. For samples of our work, go to theprmg.com. Contact us at info@theprmg.com or 631-207-1057 for further information.

 

6 Ways to Improve Your Email Marketing Campaigns

email marketing

 Email marketing (newsletters and promotions) is one of the most powerful and cost effective marketing tools for small to mid-sized businesses.  It provides a good segue to convert leads into sales, and they can be completely customized to strengthen your brand. Here are six ways to maximize your email marketing success:

  1. Experiment to Create a Schedule

In order to find out what days and times are best for your company to send out emails, experiment and create a schedule. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are said to be the best days of the week to send out emails, but see what works best for you!

2. Hire a Designer to Customize your Emails

Graphics are one of the most important parts of an email. Hire a designer to help with customization and branding. This will increase the engagement of recipients, leading them to click on and read through the rest of the email. Our Science of Email Marketing says that 65% of people prefer emails with mostly images.

3. Customize the Content of your Emails

In addition to custom graphics, customizing and personalizing the written content in an email is just as important. Our Science of Email Marketing also says that the chance of your email being read increases by 14% when it is personalized and addressed to each individual person. Using a catchy subject line may also increase the chances of your email being read.

4. Incorporate Calls to Action

Offer something in your email, like a download, a coupon or a free consultation. This will entice your audience to take action in response to your email. For example, add “Download our free coupon today!” or “Contact for a free consultation!” to your email. Also, use phrases like “for a limited time only,” and “offer ends July 1,” to create a sense of urgency.

5. Track your Results

Using an email marketing software, such as Streamsend or Constant Contact, can help you see how many people are actually reading and clicking through your email. Tracking your results is a way to see if your emails are effecting your subscribers in a positive or negative way.

Monitoring click through rates and conversion rates are the two most accurate ways to track results. The higher click through and conversion rates you have, the more relevant your email was to the audience.

6. Use a CRM

Consider using a CRM  (for more information read A CRM Overview: What is It? And Do I Need It?) to pull in your data- specifically CRMs are a great way to store information on prospects.

With the correct programming, CRMs can take the contacts you make on your website, on social media, via email etc. and import them to a central location where you can effectively cultivate relationships, and ensure that your sales cycle is efficiently managed.

Web Ads, E-newsletters, and Takeover Emails

With the continued rise in the value of social media and the resulting ability to hyper-target ads, many publications have now realized the gold mine on which they are sitting.

When newspaper subscribers or website visitors give their email addresses to these companies, they often “opt in” to receive certain emails. Maybe it’s a weekly sports update, or daily business headlines; these subscribers have now opened themselves up to be advertised to in a whole other way. Because the reader can choose what emails he wants, based on his interests and preferences, he effectively self-selects his demographic. If he indicates an interest in local restaurants and entertainment, proprietors of such goods may rightfully believe that this reader will be likely to take an interest in their offerings as well.

Some news sites have even gone so far as to offer their subscribers “opportunities from our advertisers.” These emails are completely taken over by an advertiser and go out to the site’s opt-in list on the advertiser’s behalf. I wanted to go over some of the ways that advertisers and news sites are working together to bring relevant content to interested consumers locally.

Newsday has three such opportunities. There are eight themed enewsletters that go out either Monday through Friday, or once a week. All of these newsletters allow for a 3.5×3” cube ad near the top of the email. They can be targeted to subscribers in specific zip codes and paid for by the thousand. Newsday also offers an email message called AdMail, which allows advertisers to completely take over an email with their own text and images. Though the advertiser will never be given the subscriber list, they will receive a click-through report informing them of who and how many took interest in their ad. Newsday AdMails can only be targeted by county and go to about 60,000 subscribers in Suffolk and 45,000 in Nassau at $50/thousand.

The third option for advertisers looking to reach Newsday subscribers is the new Daily Deal program. This is a collective buying opportunity, similar to Groupon. The advertiser offers a product or service for at least 50% off and splits the resulting proceeds with the email agent. Newsday’s version goes to over 10,000 subscribers and includes a free half-page print ad and banner ads on the website during the day their deal is scheduled to run (only one advertiser deal per day). There is no up-front cost to the advertiser, though the program is what is known as a “loss leader,” since vendors end up only receiving roughly 25% of the usual price for an item.

The LI Press also offers banner ads in their weekly KIOLI (Keep It On Long Island) newsletter, which goes to 50,000 subscribers, and takeover AdMail messages that can target specific groups of people. The AdMail groups can be customized by zip code, gender, age and interests. Depending on the specificity of the list, the cost per thousand can be as high as $100 or more, but this price is supported by the quality of the targets. Unlike the Newsday AdMail, which is sometimes wasted on too broad a demographic, the LI Press AdMails really target those likely to have the greatest interest. Of course, these ads also include the valuable click-through reports.

The LI Pulse offers their Executive Eblasts, which go to the “über consumer[s] and VIPs of the region,” but are, in our opinion, overpriced at over $1,500 per email to a single list of about 7,800 subscribers ($192/thousand).

Any of these options provides a cost-effective way to target the consumers most likely to become your customers. For more information, or for help structuring a comprehensive marketing plan, contact PRMG.