Three Ideas to Tap into Your Current Resources for Content

Many companies face the same dilemma. They have a selection of game changing products or services that their current customers couldn’t live without. Likewise, sales are consistent, but have seemed to top off. Breaking through that glass ceiling requires connecting with new customers, and what better way to do this than online? But after turning their attention to the company’s website and social channels, it’s quickly remembered the last message posted wished their customers a happy new year in 2018.

In order to be found online, you have to be present. Creating a website and social channels for your company is a great start, but without regular updates they aren’t doing you much good. A highly successful website creator and SEO specialist recently told me that “ongoing content is necessary more than ever.” And it’s true! Relevant, timely and informed content not only galvanizes your position as an expert in your field, but can help new customers find your website and seek out your assistance with the problems they’re facing. However, realizing your company’s need for content is only the first step. The second is coming up with enough ideas to feed the content machine.

Stick with the basics

Creating content doesn’t have to involve deep research and days of writing. One trick to creating quick, quality content is to utilize the knowledge already available to you. Chances are that, while you might consider it commonplace, many potential customers are currently searching for the basic information surrounding your products and/ or services, or the problems they solve. Consider a series of high-level, “101” type posts that provide this general information with a “contact us with any questions” hook at the end.

Have you heard the news?

There are also numerous opportunities to position yourself as a thought leader by piggybacking off of current events that might have some impact for your customers. We’re all a part of a larger industry, and your position as a product/ service provider gives you a unique perspective on news affecting your customers. We obviously don’t suggest basing any content on controversial or divisive issues. But if you can find a relevant current event and provide a unique, original and authentic comment on it, this is content gold.

Introduce the team

The larger trend of business transactions moving online, which was further accelerated by the pandemic, has left many people sick of interacting with faceless brands and chatbots. Customers want to know the people they’re doing business with, their backgrounds and their interests. What makes them uniquely qualified for their positions? What contributions have they brought to your company? Introducing your company to potential customers with a series of posts that highlight your team members could be the deciding factor in where they end up taking their business.

Conclusion

Committing to creating regular content can be daunting at first. But by utilizing these tips to get you started, and developing a mindset for identifying company news that could turn into a great piece of engaging content, soon it will become second nature. And if you need help getting your efforts off the ground, we’re here to help!

The Do’s and Don’ts of Kicking Off a Social Media Strategy

Social media is a great way to connect and engage with your customers, and a valuable asset for improving SEO and creating online brand authority. Investing in social media is continuing to be a priority for established and growing organizations. In fact, 80% of business executives think it’s very important or essential to invest additional resources in social media marketing.

Now that you have determined that social media is established as a priority for your brand, it may feel overwhelming to find the best place to start. I’m sharing a few do’s and don’ts to help guide your social media strategy development and make it a sustainable effort for your team.

DON’T need to be everywhere

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok, Pinterest, and the list goes on and on and on…

A misconception for brands just kicking off their social media presence is that they need to be on every social media platform. If you’re looking at creating a profile on ALL platforms, you may be unintentionally setting yourself up for failure.

Only focus on platforms that make the most sense for your brand and help you reach your target audience. Ask yourself a few questions to find out which platforms to start with:

  • Where does my target audience spend most of their time?
  • What frame of mind do I want my audience to be in when they encounter my brand?
  • What is the attention span of my audience?

Take these answers and choose one to three platforms that make sense for your audience.

DON’T need to post 10x a day

The philosophy of the more, the merrier doesn’t apply to social media posts. In fact, posting too much on social media can have negative consequences like cannibalizing the performance of posts and losing followers. Plus, your social media team will feel burnt out trying to keep up with this unsustainable schedule.

However, it is possible to create a social media strategy that works with your brand and not against it.

An important consideration when developing and executing a social media strategy is what is possible for your brand and your team. If you can only post on LinkedIn once a week, that’s okay! Prioritize consistency, not quantity.

DO need to maintain clear messaging and brand guidelines

Social media is a great way to meet your audience where they are, but in that process,  you need to ensure that the brand they see on social media is the same one they’ll see on your website and speak to when they call your offices.

Here are a few easy ways to ensure your brand consistency that often get overlooked:

  • Use the correct logo
  • “Talk” on social media like you would in your office
  • Share posts that accurately represent your brand

You may look at accounts like Wendy’s on Twitter and Duolingo on TikTok and think your brand needs to follow suit. I promise you don’t need to “roast” people or create “unhinged” content to get your brand noticed. Maintain your unique brand voice, and you will attract the right customers for your bottom line.

DO need to have a dedicated team

I’ve seen marketing and communications departments rely on one person to manage their social media presence. While this increases the risk of burnout for your employees, it can lead to rushed content that doesn’t meet your brand’s performance expectations.

To have a successful social media strategy and keep content ideas fresh, you may need to create or outsource a team of people.

If you need guidance on kicking off and maintaining a social media strategy, reach out to us!

4 Tips for Better PR Wiring

Every business has a story to tell, and learning how to write that story to share that message is a critical PR skill. From writing press releases to crafting a compelling pitch, here are a few tips to improve your writing and get your business noticed.

Be clear and concise

A common mistake many writers make is verbosity; often equating more words with better writing. More often, the opposite is true. A more concise sentence holds the reader’s attention because there are fewer things to distract from the main idea.

Use specific details

Clear writing is also concrete and specific, rather than vague. Was the audience large or was it a sellout in a 100-seat theater? Did you secure a large donation for your organization or did you get a $75,000 donation which was 50% larger than last year’s? Concrete details are more likely to attract media attention.

Give journalists a “reason to believe”

Don’t just tell media that your product is groundbreaking. Provide concrete reasons why it is so different from the competition. Be sure that you can back up any superlatives you are using with facts.

Proof, and then proof again

Your content won’t be taken seriously if there are mistakes. Write your copy, let it sit for a while and come back with fresh eyes to proof it. For good measure, ask a colleague to review it as well.

Anyone can learn to write compelling copy. It just takes practice and hopefully these tips will help improve your skills.

To learn more about creating compelling content, contact us!

What is a press kit anyway?

Why a press kit?

So you’ve worked with a fantastic web developer, and you’ve left no stone unturned on your website. Every question anyone could ever ask, and every need they could ever have, you have anticipated and relegated to the appropriate tab. After all, you know your website is your hardest working sales associate. But what if it’s not an existing or potential client perusing your website? What if the person behind the glowing screen is a journalist looking for company details so they can write a bang-up article about your market influence? Will they easily find the info they need to meet their deadline? Maybe not.

What exactly is a press kit?

While the elements that make up the kit can vary, the gist remains the same. The press kit (also referred to as a “media kit”) is a compilation of documents and assets journalists can easily find and navigate to give them the essentials about your organization. Journalists are BUSY; they do not have the time to click around your beautiful website like your prospects might. In fact, according to Forbes, “During any given day, a journalist will sort through over 200 emailed pitches while working on multiple deadlines and simultaneous stories.” They’ll need the facts (and photos) in one place to help them tell your story.

A press kit can be a physical kit that you might decide to take to trade shows or even mail to key journalists and influencers, or it can simply live on your website. Conversely, you could also upload all the docs onto a thumb drive and distribute them that way. Whatever you decide, make sure all elements are accurate, informative, and public-facing. Whatever you include is fair game to the media covering your brand.

What should I include in my press kit?

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What you decide to include in your press kit can vary depending on your industry, brand image, and key messaging. Below is a list of possible items.

Leadership team’s bios and headshots

Variety of your logos in different formats and file types

Fact sheet/brand background

FAQs

Recent awards and accolades

Boilerplate

Mission and core values

Notable recent press releases

Photos

Case studies

Social media handles

Media contact information

Anything else that is pertinent to your brand or business

I don’t have time for this press kit!

We get it. The thought of tracking all this information down, not to mention pulling it together in a cohesive and on-brand fashion, is not likely something you have time for. As you now realize, this is an essential piece of your communications puzzle, and you want to get it right. If you’re feeling overwhelmed (or irritated) right now, give us a call. We have created many, MANY kits through the years and would love to help you develop an impactful collection of stats and assets that best communicate who you are and why your business matters.

Lessons from the Jeopardy Debacle

Answer: This beloved TV show has made severe missteps in the last few weeks.

Question: What is Jeopardy?

Fans of the game show Jeopardy, including me, have been eagerly watching to see who will be taking over as host for the beloved Alex Trebek, who died last fall. The show has had 14 guest hosts filling in as the producers determined who would take over.  These guest hosts were essentially trying out for the gig in public and fans were very vocal on their favorites. After much fanfare over choosing a host, the show announced that Mike Richards, the current executive producer would be the new host.

Richards had filled in as the first guest host and did a credible job. But fan perception was that the show needed to find someone quickly to do the show after Trebek’s death, and Richards was only hosting until the other guest hosts were sorted out. It was never made clear that he was trying out.

The outcry was swift and loud. Adding to the mess, it was discovered that Richards had some pretty ugly skeletons in his closet from comments he made years ago on his podcast “The Randumb Show”. Richards apologized for his careless words, but the damage was done. He agreed to step down as host (without ever starting) but will remain as executive producer. The show is now in damage control mode from several PR crises of its own creation.

Here are a few takeaway lessons:

  • Communicate your intention clearly to your audience. The show should have announced that Richards was a candidate for the job and taken away his role as producer. While he stated he was not involved in the selection, it appears that he just chose himself, and the guest hosts never had a shot at the job.
  • Be careful what you post online. Once you post something, it never really goes away. Richards found this out the hard way when he tried to delete the offensive material, only to discover it had been archived.
  • Review your posts before hitting send. It’s better to err on the side of caution on social media and not post something if it can even remotely be considered offensive. The internet has a long memory and while Richards apologized for the remarks he made many years ago, the damage was done.
  • Be sure to vet job candidates thoroughly. The show had months to do a deep dive into each of the candidates, but it appears (rightly or wrongly) that they didn’t really vet Richards at all, since he already worked on the show.

The show has enough fans that this won’t mark the end of the show. Fans will be willing to forgive one mistake, but the show will need to be extremely careful with its next hire.

Three Ways a Podcast Can Help Your Content Marketing

It seems like almost every business website nowadays has a blog. Amirite? And for good reason. Blogs act like your company’s very own magazine or newspaper. They provide a way for you to post company news, talk about new products or services, comment on recent events, or drop some knowledge on your current and/or potential customers to show off your smarts. And, even better, you’re also the editor and publisher. There are no style guides by which to abide, so you can write using your brilliant wit and hilarious slang [see above example: Amirite?] to brighten up your posts and give the reader an inside look into your company’s personality and culture. It’s a proven scientific fact that 100 percent of people prefer to do business with companies that they like on a personal level. Ok, there’s no science to back that up. But I certainly believe it to be the case. So then, why do so many companies overlook the podcast as another vehicle to get their two cents out there while showing how great/ fun/ likeable they are?

For some, the mere mention of the word “podcast” conjures up images of a professional, soundproofed studio replete with audio technicians, producers and hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of high-tech recording equipment and editing software. And while it’s true that most top-end podcasts use similar setups, this is without a doubt the exception to the norm considering how the majority of podcasts are produced today. Over the last few years, smartphone apps and free online services like Anchor and Libsyn have made the recording, editing and distribution of podcasts both quick and easy.

So, since we’ve dispelled the “I can’t afford it” myth, let’s talk about three ways a podcast can help your content marketing.

  • Channeling All the Good Vibes

By starting a podcast, you’re creating a new owned media channel to reach out to your prospects. Sure, they might read your blog or scroll through your social channels in between tasks at work. And that’s good. But imagine if you had the opportunity to chat with them on their daily commute. The majority of podcast listeners consume content on their daily drives to and from work. Talk about a captive audience! This gives you the chance to add some color commentary to a point you discussed in your recent blog post, or go further in-depth about an issue you touched on in a social post. Wise buyers like to be well informed, and this additional channel lets you round out the messages you communicate on a regular basis.

  • Adding Personality to Your Brand

If one of the major benefits to writing your own blog is the chance it gives you to show off your personality, just think how much further you could take things with a podcast. Audio-based content lets your customers hear the enthusiasm and passion for your work in your voice, that even the best writers struggle to capture in a blog post.

  • Reach More People

By throwing your hat in the podcast ring, you’ll be reaching out to a new pool of potential customers that might have never heard of you before. Research shows over 57 million Americans listened to podcasts in the past month! And anyone worth their salt in the marketing world knows to never underestimate the power of reaching a prospect organically.

There you have it. I hope you’ll see that by starting a podcast, you’re opening up a new avenue for your content. There are opportunities to amplify the content you’ve already created in new and more colorful ways, while adding a new touchpoint for interested prospects to learn more and for existing customers to further deepen their loyalty for your brand.

So if you’re on the fence, thinking about how to get your podcast started or needing help creating a content calendar for future episode topics, we can help!

4 Tips for Banging Out a (Quality) Blog Post

So, you’ve been asked to contribute a blog post to your company’s content corral, and you’re not sure where to begin. Keep calm and read on; it’s easier than you think!

Blog posts are better when you write what you know

Have you ever heard the saying if you do what you love, then you’ll never work a day in your life? The same principle applies here. If you write about a topic you know, it will organically be a more enjoyable read for your audience and easier to write for you. Pick issues where you have some level of expertise or passion. You’ll also want to be sure to include links to other pieces of content about your subject (preferably from other writers who also had a good handle on the matter) for an added layer of credibility and to help your SEO.

Write your blog post for a friend

But, my friends don’t care about the airspeed of an unladen swallow; they won’t read my blog post, you say. Understood, but you need to write the same way you speak. If you write your blog post with a friend in mind, you’re less likely to use jargon and other unnecessary “big words” that only complicate and bog down the content for your reader.

Pepper your post with some eye candy

Don’t forget to give your reader’s eyes a break. According to a study done by Neilsen Norman Group, your audience will only read twenty percent of what they see on your page. Because of that, we want to use visuals to keep their attention and provide them with something memorable to connect your content to. The best types of visuals include:

  • Infographics
  • Charts and Graphs
  • Custom Images

And, as a bonus, if you share your content on your socials and include your image, you’ll enjoy a thirty-seven percent higher engagement rate!

Tell your reader where they can go

This is a lot nicer than it sounds, promise. You’ll want to direct your audience on what their next steps should be, also known as a call to action or CTA. Do you want them to call you for more info, fill out a form field, read another blog post? It’s up to you, but now that you’ve got ‘em, don’t leave ‘em hangin’. This is your chance to create another touchpoint with your audience, be sure to keep that communication going.

Write on!

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So there you have it. With these quick tips, you’ll create such unique content for your company’s website your boss will ask you to make it a weekly occurrence! I kidd, I kidd! But hopefully, it’s a little less intimidating and a lot more doable. And, hey, if you are the boss, and you want to take the content creation off your employee’s plate, give O’Keeffe PR a call; we’d love to help you both out!

5 Reasons to Incorporate Video into Your Content Marketing

At O’Keeffe, we like to say that we specialize in helping our clients tell the right story, on the right channel, to the right audience, at the right time. And right now, it’s the right time to incorporate video into your marketing plans in order to stay relevant in the constantly evolving digital landscape. Here are five reasons we recommend adding video into the mix:

Video Improves SEO

Having video content on your webpage improves your SEO. In 2020, 93% of all online experiences began with a search engine. And 75% of those web searches didn’t go past the first page. According to market researcher Forrester, you’re 53 times more likely to appear on the first page of a Google search when you have a video on your website.

Video Increases Social Media Engagement

Videos on Facebook significantly outperform still images. They garner two times the number of clicks and have a 2-3 times higher clickthrough rate. Similarly on Twitter, Tweets with videos are 6x more likely to be retweeted than Tweets with photos and 3x more than Tweets with GIFs. Why is this important? Increased engagement can lead to greater brand awareness, and ultimately a sale.

Video Builds Trust

Video content helps to establish your brand’s voice and create a more trusting environment for viewers.  Users recognize that it takes a lot more effort to put together a video and are more likely to trust what is being said by the brand. It also helps to visually see someone as an ambassador for a brand, to hear their voice and see their personality.

Video Appeals to Consumers

Today, consumers are overloaded with content from brands. Video is the perfect tool to break away from the pack and reach today’s busy consumers. For most, life is too busy to have time to read long product descriptions or dig deep into your services. Video content is a way to cut out the demand for any reading and easily engage all types of audiences. In fact, 98% of consumers say they’ve watched a video to learn more about a product or service.

Video is the Wave of the Future

According to the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, video now accounts for 74% of all online traffic, and this trend toward video-based content consumption is expected to increase. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg concurs, and he has repeatedly stated that his company will be focusing on video for the future. Simply put, creating video content is a non-negotiable if you want your brand to maintain a forward-looking marketing strategy.

Ready, Set, Shoot!

Now that we’ve established that you should incorporate video into your content marketing, it’s time to get started. If you’re looking for more insight or ways to create a video that resonates with customers, reach out to us.

Media Interviews in the Time of COVID

COVID has brought about so many changes to our daily lives, both big and small.  One significant change that doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon is that many of us, including the O’Keeffe team, are still working from home. So what do you when you have a media interview? BC, before COVID, you would head to the studio or have an interview on location. Many interviews are being conducted from living rooms, kitchens, or wherever your office is these days. You don’t have the benefit of professionals to set things up and keep it running smoothly. Here are some tips to keep in mind for your next remote interview.

Ask Questions

Ensure that you know how you are supposed to remote in and test the link before the interview. Check your sound and internet connection by having a dry run with a colleague or family member. You’ll want to make sure that you have the producer’s contact information if trouble should arise. If your interview is being conducted using your computer, don’t forget to turn off all sounds and notifications. Finally, as with all interviews, make sure that you are well prepared. Just because you are at home and perhaps more comfortable, you’ll want to be prepared to get in your key talking points.

Location, Location, Location

While you may not be the only one in your household during the day, you will want to find a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted by other people or pets. Make sure that the room is well-lit, preferably from natural light, and has a clean, neutral background. It’s fine to have objects on the walls; make sure they aren’t distracting. You’ll want the audience to focus on what you’re saying, not on your surroundings. We’re all familiar with what a great room looks like and those that are epic fails; for a few examples of both, check out RoomRater on Twitter.

Dress the Part

Even though the interview might be taking place in your home, it’s still important to dress appropriately for the audience and your company’s brand persona. While it goes without saying that you should dress professionally, that includes below the waist, unless you want to go viral for something other than your message. We’re all familiar with examples where this wasn’t advice followed and even worse.

Call in the Professionals

One thing that hasn’t changed is the need to be prepared. A media training session will help ensure that you are prepared for various questions and will represent your company well. You’ll learn how to focus on your message and make sure that it comes through in your interview. This type of practice will make you feel more comfortable, and you’ll appear more confident when faced with the camera.

The O’Keeffe team has helped numerous clients over the years prepare for media interviews. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us before your next interview.

Dan O’Keeffe Featured on “Side Hustle City” Podcast

Dan O’Keeffe, CEO & President of O’Keeffe PR, appeared on an episode of “Side Hustle City,” a podcast that shares experiences, provides inspiration and lessons learned with listeners who are working hard to achieve their dreams.

In this episode, Dan shares his perspective on how you can become a successful marketer and grow your business, even if it’s a side hustle.