Monthly Archives: December 2012

Press Release Strategy and Words to Avoid

Public Relations is for Newsworthy Content. Do Not Use Buzzwords to Deliver Your Message.

newspaper

During a consultation meeting with a client, the topic of press release writing and distribution came up. In the past 6 months since working together on marketing strategies, this was one area that my client was not interested in. The conversation went something like this:

“Amber, I am rethinking your idea of a media campaign for 2013. I have many ideas on press release topics that I would like to share with you to get your feedback.”

I read through the topics and looked him straight in the eye and asked if he was asking my professional opinion, or if he was set on these topics and wanted me to move forward with them regardless of my opinion. He responded by saying, “My assistant and I worked tirelessly on these topics. We searched the internet for buzzwords to incorporate into each release, and we are excited to move forward with them.”

buzzwords

Buzzwords Repel Media

I waited a second or two and then explained to him that the buzzwords he found were overused and often produced the opposite results that he was hoping for. I also walked him through the process of developing relationships with the media, the requirement of press releases being newsworthy and not advertisement supplements, and the importance of SEO methods for each release.

A recent post by PR Web provided a few of the buzzwords to avoid when communicating with the media, and I added a few of my own that I have learned the past 15 years in the public relations and marketing industry. Some of the words include:

    • Forward-thinking
    • Fastest-Growing/Best/Largest/Biggest
    • Unparalleled
    • Utilize
    • Innovation/Innovator
    • Revolutionary
    • Award-Winning
    • Cutting Edge
    • Guru/Maven

Create Newsworthy Releases

I continued our conversation by explaining that titles must be short, include the keywords we had agreed upon months prior, and fit into a 60 character frame if possible for SEO. He insisted that his new logo could be considered newsworthy because it was the “Next Generation of [company].” I agreed that a new logo and image was important to get out to the community, but that an advertisement and social media campaign may be a better outlet.

newsworthyI could tell he was getting frustrated, so I changed the conversation to the items that were newsworthy to focus on. We agreed on topics that could be considered news like his open house (community event), new product roll-out (timely and relevant), and results of a poll we just completed after an intense six month fact-finding campaign. The results contradicted a recent competitors claim that was published and did not provide backup data to support that claim (the media enjoy stories that provide different opinions and spark discussions.)

My client’s excitement returned, he understood more about public relations strategies, and we were back on track. He had strong ideas, but without the complete understanding of the industry, those ideas could backfire. The internet is a wonderful research tool, but without personal knowledge you could also be pushed into a wrong direction.

Understand Public Relations Methods

Use the Internet wisely, hire professionals to perform tasks you do not have experience with, avoid overused words, and promote your business services, products, and accomplishments with press releases. Mimic your marketing efforts with social networking, and be strategic when writing content for SEO purposes.

–Amber Marketing and public relations strategist assisting businesses by filling the marketing and public relations gap. Want to learn more about how we can help you grow your business? Learn More about AGM

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Keywords: SEO, Placement, and Consistency in Marketing

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I met with a client this past week and when I asked, “How is the keyword search going?” His reply was, “I have them, but because I am not doing a lot of social media right now, I put that task lower on the priority list.” This is not something that should be a low priority. Keywords are not only for social media, but should be consistent across all forms of media. In fact, keywords need to be the base of your marketing plan (which I hope you have one, if you haven’t, view my earlier post regarding developing your marketing plan.

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Keyword is Misnamed

The term, “keyword” is sadly misnamed. It gives the impression that it can only be a single word, when it can actually be a couple of words to create a specific search variable. When choosing your keywords, remember to keep your audience in mind and the search terms they are most likely using to find solutions to their query. Do not know what your audience searches by? Ask. Conducting research is an ongoing process that every business professional should frequently do.

Why Keywords

Your goal is to be listed on the first two pages of any search. Choosing 3-5 keywords is important to reach this goal because searches are content driven. Because your content is what search engines use when organizing the results for a query an individual has typed in the search box, you need to choose your keywords wisely. Remember, content drives consumers to your website, so your selected keywords need to be included in all off- and on-line content. Keywords also should not be too long, no single words, and not a vague “vanity” keyword, but does represent your company and your audience.

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Using keywords effectively increases page ranking

A “vanity” keyword as mentioned above is a keyword that describes what you are selling in general, but not what most people will search for. Because Christmas is almost here, I’ll use an example of a jewelry company. Yes, they sell jewelry, but not many consumers will only type in “jewelry” into a search engine like Google. Instead they would most likely type something like, “stirling silver necklace.” In this example, “jewelry” is the vanity keyword, and “stirling silver necklace” is the correct use of a keyword to drive traffic.Keywords also keep you consistent with your marketing allowing consumers to remember your company and what you are offering, similar to your logo. With the use of frequent keywords in all materials like blog posts, social media updates, advertisements, and tie in with your brochures, postcards, business cards, and all other marketing collateral.

How to Choose Keywords

This is a task that stumps many individuals. Coming up with only a few keywords can be difficult if you do not know where to begin. I will provide you with some tools to get you started for you to begin optimizing your searchability.

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One of the Best Tools is Google Adwords Keyword Tool

One  free tool that is highly rated is the Google Adwords Keyword Tool. You can search using filters like your website, a phrase, or a category. You will want to choose the keywords that may be lower on the competition scale, but rank high in the global and local search columns. You want to stay ahead of your competition, so if the competition ranking is lower with a high number of searches performed, you can compete while increasing your opportunity for visibility. Maybe a mixture of high and lower competition rankings would serve your business goals well depending on your target audience.

For example, when I type in my website as a filter, I get a large number key phrases to choose from as the picture shows below.
(view larger document)

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Google Adwords Keyword Tool
Click for Full View

For my keywords I chose: “How to Use Social Media”, “How to Social Network”, “Amber Gold Marketing”, “public relations and”, and “What are Marketing Techniques.” Notice that none of these are as the name implies, a single keyword. They do, however, accurately represent what I offer my clients.

Once you have chosen your keywords, you can now analyze them with the websites I have listed below. Although I believe that Google Adwords Keyword Tool is by far the best, other highly rated free websites are listed below:

Microsoft Ads – Must create a free account but is worth the few seconds it takes to set up.

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Microsoft Ads to Rank Your Keywords. Click on Picture for Full View

SEMRush – Perfect to view your competitors, your current ranking, and keyword effectiveness.

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SEMRush for Your Competitors Research – Click to View Full Size

SEOmoz – Free trial available

Wordstream – You will need a Google Adwords Account. If you do not use Adwords, this tool will not work for you to evaluate.

Word Tracker – 7-day Free Trial

Trellian Keyword Discovery – Free Trial – Must create an account.

Other Free Websites:

Keyword Spy, Wordz – with 30 day trial, Good Keywords, Nichebot Classic (Free, but you can upgrade for a small fee), Keyword Eye

Placing Your Keywords

Your keywords must be strategically placed in several key areas. The key areas are:

  • Place at least one keyword in each of your website and blog headers.
  • Pictures themselves are not recognizable by search engines. When incorporating images into your website and blog for example, you will want to add your keywords to the Alt Tags or Alt Text area of each uploaded photograph.
  • In your content (body), but do not use your keywords too many times as this method will produce the opposite results. That is why you should only choose 3-5 keywords for all marketing content.
  • Description area of your website or blog posts when available.
  • Use secondary keywords as your subheadings.
  • Add your keywords in your tags regardless if they relate to a particular post.
  • In your URL slug. Always edit your URL to consist of at least one keyword, and a couple of words describing your post’s topic.

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The above information are only a few of the ways you can optimize your searchability online. Remember you need to understand your business to correctly choose your keywords. Always use your keywords in all of your marketing collateral that includes traditional marketing like public relations materials and social media platforms.

I will continue to post more social media techniques to assist you in effectively reaching your target audience and increase your search engine ranking. Understanding the numerous ways of social media networking, and frequently implementing what you have learned, will help you reach your business goals.

Until next time.

–Amber
Marketing and public relations strategist assisting businesses by filling the marketing and public relations gap. Want to learn more about how we can help you grow your business? Learn More about AGM
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Follow Amber Gold Marketing on Blogger for additional insight and tools for social media, marketing techniques, and public relations Follow Amber Gold Marketing on Blogger for additional insight and tools for social media, marketing techniques, and public relations Follow Amber Gold Marketing on Blogger for additional insight and tools for social media, marketing techniques, and public relations Follow Amber Gold Marketing on Blogger for additional insight and tools for social media, marketing techniques, and public relationsFollow Amber Dixon on Stumbleupon for marketing tips, techniques, public relations, ideas, and Utah eventSubscribe to Amber Gold Marketing, social media tool, how to public relation, social network, learn more

Marketing Techniques Businesses Need to Know

Marketing Tools and Tips the Every Business Needs to Know for Social Media Marketing, Continued Education, Business Evaluation, and Additional Opportunities

Below are tips and tools that I have discovered this past month. I am confident that you will be able to use at least one of them in your professional or personal life. Understanding the tools available to you is essential when growing your business.

Continue to Learn

Client Management

  • Free client management program that allows you track your contacts and more. Free with upgradeable features at a low-cost.
  • Customer relationship management and sales force automation for free. Visit site.

Blogging/Website Content

  • SEO optimization for your blog content. If you are like me who has created a blog to share information and gain awareness of your company, you want to make sure that your content is optimized for SEO. Some tips include:
    • Use your titles wisely! Search engines use a set number of characters with searches, be sure you are on the list.
    • Pull quotes. By posting quotes from your content and highlighting it, you draw your reader’s attention to read the quote and want to read more.
    • Add pictures, captions, color, and graphs. Want to turn text into an image? Visit recitethis.com.
    • Use subheadings for a more attractive post while allowing the user to scan your content easily.
    • Use custom URL’s, links, labels, and the search description. Do not leave anything blank.
  • Want to learn about SEO rather than pay a company to do it for you? You can find resources at: Learning SEO.

Explore Additional Social Media Platforms

  • The platform, atthepool.com, is gaining traction in the business community. Facebook is great for connecting with individuals you already know, but this platform encourages you to connect with people you do not know, but share similar interests.
  • As I am sure you already know, a plethora of social media platforms exist and are tailored to specific groups of people. After you have identified your target market as mentioned in my post, “Before beginning a social media campaign, you must first develop a marketing plan,” you can then explore the other media platforms outside of the top 3: LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. A great way to discover these other formats can be found by visiting: http://namechk.com/.

  • Quora should not be forgotten. Quora is a lot like LinkedIn’s Answer forum (if you are not using this section of LinkedIn, you must do it now.) Quora is a social media platform that connects individuals with answers to anything he or she want to learn about. You are also able to answer a question to be viewed as an expert in your industry.

  • Do not forget to network. Traditional networking is as important today as it was before the Internet. Want to learn about meetings applicable to you? Meetup is a fantastic site to get you connected to events you need to be a part of.

Enhance Your Online Experience

  • This website allows you to schedule your tweets, expand your Twitter profile, track your keywords, and shorten URL’s for free or upgrade for a small fee. Visit Site.
  • Hootsuite allows you to track up to five social media platforms, schedule your posts, and view recent activity.
  • Analyze your headlines for the emotional marketing value (EMV) percentage. The higher your percentage, the more likely you are reaching your audience on an emotional level. This is a good thing. It has been proven that a higher emotional value engages customers more.
  • Be listed correctly on the Internet! Not sure if you are? Go to Getlisted.org.
  • Host your webcasts for free or paid sites at blip.tv, iTunes, or Libsyn.
  • Add Facebook application to your fan page. You can add static HTML pages, your twitter account, blog posts, events, shared files, and so much more. Use the applications to promote your business effectively.

Evaluate Aspects of Your Business

  • Use these calculators to evaluate the different aspects of your business.
  • Understand your competitors through research. Spend time researching your competitors through search engine inquiries, social media platform searches, and Google Alerts. With Google Alerts you can set up alerts specific to your competition and receive an email any time new information is found. It is free, requires very little time, and is effective.
  • Calculate marketing ROI with this calculator.

Additional Useful Tools

  • Have you experienced the situation that you are on-the-go and have a brilliant idea? Unfortunately, you may be away from a piece of paper or your computer. Evernote is a free solution to save your ideas, thoughts, and experiences; capture notes from meetings and events; create tasks and delegate later; and improve marketing productivity.
  • Searching for compelling data but do not want to spend a lot of time through the usual search options? Factbrowser is the tool for you. You can easily browse for data specific for an industry, geographical area, customer demographics, and technology methods.

I will post additional tools and tips as I discover them, and I encourage my viewers to share their own tips they would like to share. Want to stay connected to the AGM blog to continue learning a variety of marketing and public relations strategies? Click on the “Follow” button at the top of your screen.

–Amber

Marketing and public relations strategist assisting businesses by filling the marketing and public relations gap. Want to learn more about how we can help you grow your business? Learn More about AGM

____________________________________________________________
Follow Amber Gold Marketing on Blogger for additional insight and tools for social media, marketing techniques, and public relations Follow Amber Gold Marketing on Blogger for additional insight and tools for social media, marketing techniques, and public relations Follow Amber Gold Marketing on Blogger for additional insight and tools for social media, marketing techniques, and public relations Follow Amber Gold Marketing on Blogger for additional insight and tools for social media, marketing techniques, and public relationsFollow Amber Dixon on Stumbleupon for marketing tips, techniques, public relations, ideas, and Utah eventSubscribe to Amber Gold Marketing, social media tool, how to public relation, social network, learn more