It’s Valentine’s Day and whether you love all the trappings — chocolate, flowers and cards– or you think it’s a sentimental marketing program created by greeting card companies, we can all agree that what’s at the root of this day is something much more important, and that’s love.
Here are five trends to fall in love with this year, that when successfully implemented, will boost your company’s strategic PR efforts in 2017 and beyond:
Snapchat is paving the way for rethinking how businesses can, and should, use social media to engage with potential customers. More than 150 million people now use Snapchat to watch 10 billion videos every day. Evan Greene, CMO at The Recording Academy, recently said, “Snapchat will spark an instantaneous connection with music fans, driving engagement, and creating even more excitement for the Grammys.” Snapchat has become a powerful marketing tool for both B2B and B2C businesses due to the depth and ease of storytelling, being used by enterprise tech companies such as GE, Intel, Amazon and HP.
The key to effectively utilizing Snapchat is to create compelling and authentic visual stories that engage your audience. Adding geotags during a company event, hosting executive takeovers, giving behind-the-scenes looks at products or events and running promotional contests are all examples of how companies can leverage the platform in their marketing campaigns. The appeal of Snapchat is that it provides unfiltered content in “real-time” (Snapchat content is only live for 24 hours), allowing businesses to drive immediate consumption and connection. Your company can showcase your personality on the platform while communicating your values. And by embracing the time constraints that Snapchat enforces, your content gets your messages across clearly and concisely.
Technology and the internet have transformed the way businesses are able to track and measure PR and marketing campaign efficacy. Companies and their agencies are using advanced tools to measure the success of PR efforts. When used correctly, these tools demonstrate clear value, engagement and solid results, which in turn will deliver a strong ROI. At Karbo Communications, we use a combination of Google Analytics, media monitoring services, social media analytics and additional customized metrics, to communicate results to our clients. By implementing these tools and others like them, you’ll be able understand exactly which of your PR programs are successful and which programs need to be adjusted or eliminated.
While video itself has been a hot trend for years, socially-enabled video streaming provides companies with a new platform to communicate with their key stakeholders and ultimately drive additional success. A recent report from Cisco predicted that 75% of the world’s mobile traffic will be video by 2020. Live video continues to amass millions of views on Periscope and more recently has reached billions of views on Facebook. We’ve worked with our clients to utilize Periscope in order to live stream webinars and customer conferences and frequently use Instagram’s new live video feature to show our clients, partners and associates what’s going on behind the scenes at our company retreats, community service outings and events. Socially distributed live video is a simple way to showcase what a company is doing in real-time, giving potential customers and partners an easy, first-hand look into what makes you unique.
The PR industry has followed the growth of the internet as more content is moved online and to digital platforms. As a result, there’s an increasing focus on tying PR efforts to SEO campaigns in an effort to drive website traffic, downloads and audience growth. For content to be shareable, it must be fully optimized and relevant to your online marketing presence, making SEO expertise and basic web analytics a vital skill for PR professionals. However, SEO is no longer about packing your content full of links and keywords. At Karbo Communications we advise our clients on the terms and trends they should be leveraging via our social media channels, blog content, and website content. Learning to align PR and SEO goals will ensure that your company’s content is both high quality and optimized for search.
This trend gained a lot of traction in 2016 and will continue to develop as PR professionals learn to leverage a broader set of influencers and contributors to increase product and company awareness. It’s not just about finding an industry analyst or celebrity to discuss your company or product. It’s about identifying a genuine advocate who can successfully communicate your value to their following. This involves being creative and partnering with a PR team who knows your industry in and out, and can help you prioritize your markets and understand the right influencers. We spend a great deal of time communicating with emerging and current influencers that effectively drive action for our clients.
Public relations is an ever-changing industry. As it continues to evolve, it will be important to develop a strategic plan to implement these five trends, and create customizable tactics for each of them depending on your market, objectives and target audience. By doing this, you’ll be able to not only meet, but exceed expectations, and deliver quantifiable, high quality results.