Category Archives: Content Marketing

Content Marketing

According to Google, Content Marketing can be described as:

“A type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.”

 We have seen a vast rise in content marketing as part of overall marketing strategies in business.  This realisation of the importance of good content comes from the need for online conversations to now reflect real-life conversations.  They must be two-way dialogues and not one-way broadcasts.

Communications Hub

So how do we create good content?

First off, know who you are speaking to.  Who is your audience and what are their interests?  Secondly, we must listen and engage with our customers, before we can seek to influence them in any way. Building relationships and trust are as important online as they are in real-life.

Finally, we must have very clear aims and objectives of what it is we want to achieve.  What is it we want the customer to do having read and engaged with our piece of content?  Is the content going to stand alone? Or will it be part of a larger story?  A clear content strategy is vital in achieving our overall marketing aims.

Content can be influenced by many factors throughout the year – seasonal, political, legal and financial.  Each business will also have its own particular annual cycle, where certain issues become more important at certain times of the year.  One of the masters of creating content in such a way is, without a doubt, Ryanair who take great pleasure in creating topical marketing material (sometimes a little too topical!)

So, when you are creating content for marketing, be customer focused.  Offer a good mix of created and curated content, and become a valuable source of information for your customers.  Be mindful of the 80/20 rule and don’t alway hard sell – make conversation too.

And don’t be afraid to take a leaf out of Ryanair’s marketing strategy and have some fun every now and again!

Karen Twomey is a freelance Public Relations and Social Media Consultant with Communications Hub For further information Tel: 087 7642576 or email: Karen@communicationshub.ie
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Social Media Training Cork

Due to the success of our last Social Media for Business Course in Fermoy, I’m delighted to be running a further course on Wednesday 7th December from 7 p.m. – 9.00 p.m. in Fermoy Community Youth Centre.

As a business, social media is one of the easiest and cost-effective ways to reach your customers and create awareness around your products and services.  To ensure you are using the right platforms and the right content social media training is essential – your business will thank you!

This 2 hour social media training course will teach you:

  • The best online platforms to use for your business
  • How to create engaging content
  • How to save time by using content calendars and online scheduling
  • An introduction to blogging, email marketing and SEO
  • How to manage your business’s online reputation.

Places are limited and cost €25.00 per person.

Communications Hub will be running further social media training courses, as well as blogging, online reputation management, content marketing and content scheduling courses in the New Year.

For further details or to book your place call Karen Twomey on 0877642575 or email: karen@communicationshub.ie
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Forget Control, The Web Is In Charge

Today’s news is tomorrow’s fish and chip paper….

or so the saying goes.  These old words of wisdom were often used to console those on the receiving end of unwelcome publicity. The next day would bring a new headline, and the world would move on. Well, not anymore.  The invention of new media has brought about some new words of wisdom and we’d all do well to remember them…

What goes online, stays online.

The World Wide Web has been around for almost thirty years now, and during that time has undergone a number of re-births.  It has evolved from Web 1.0 which merely ‘pushed out’ information, to Web 2.0 which allowed for two-way communication.  According to Dr. Jim McNamara in his 2007 article New Media: How Web 2.0 is changing the world, “Web 2.0 refers to a second generation of internet-based services, the key attributes of which are that they allow openness for collaboration and high levels of interactivity without requiring programming skills”.  In terms of the public relations profession, this change in technology shifted the onus of online communications from IT professionals to PR professionals.

Dr McNamara notes the key challenge in learning how best to utilise the internet is that most of what is written is out of date by the time it’s published.  And true to this, we have now seen the emergence of Web 3.0, a phrase first coined by John Markoff of the New York Times in 2006.  Web 3.0 refers to an ‘intelligent web’ which allows machines to do the thinking, instead of just following commands.  It seems likely we will just be coming to terms with the workings of Web 3.0, when Web 4.0 will emerge, offering new and more exciting methods of communication.

These changes in technology pose enormous challenges for those working in public relations.  Everything has changed, from media monitoring and analysis to media relations and corporate communications.  Media now includes bloggers, podcasters, chatroom hosts, citizen journalists and many more.  Public relations must strive to communicate in a manner appropriate to each and ensure key messages are still reaching target audiences.

A 1996 report on the issues facing communication professionals, Managing the Information Superhighway, said that the role of public relations within an organisation is to act as coordinators or integrators to ensure that the material located on the internet fits the organisation’s image.  The World Wide Web may have evolved since 1996, but the role of the public relations profession still remains the same.

Every one of an organisation’s stakeholders is now a potential communicator, and every one of them holds the ability to affect the organisation’s brand.  According to Heidi Cohen (2014), President of Riverside Marketing Strategies, given the widespread corporate social media use, it is surprising that businesses continue to make the same mistakes that get them into trouble with their customers and their public. She believes such failings point to a ‘hole’ in social media strategies.  Cohen recommends providing social media training and guidelines to all employees to empower them to participate in social media and represent their organisation in a way that takes into consideration the implications of the content used and how it may be interpreted by different backgrounds and perspectives.

As we make our way through this era of fast moving technology, those who work in public relations need to accept that they cannot control the internet.  Only when they accept this, can they truly begin to formulate an effective digital plan on behalf of an organisation.

For more information on implementing an effective online communications strategy for your company contact Communications Hub.
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Why Your Business Needs to be on LinkedIn

When it comes to LinkedIn, I’ll admit I’m a relative newcomer…but like most people who discover things later in life that they enjoy, I’ve taken to it with gusto.

In fact, it’s swiftly becoming one of my favorite social media platforms.  And, I’m not alone.  According to IPSOS MRBI Social Networking Quarterly, LinkedIn registered a 5% increase in Irish users from September 2015 to January 2016.

With almost 30% of Irish professionals now having accounts, LinkedIn is becoming the social network of choice for those looking to build professional connections and showcase their skills.  And where the online masses venture…businesses quickly follow.

The benefits of LinkedIn in business are multi-faceted.  Not only is it the natural place to attract and headhunt for top class staff, but it also provides invaluable opportunities for B2C and B2B networking. Best of all, it offers companies an opportunity to grow their brands in an affordable, flexible and interesting way.

Still not convinced?

Here are even more benefits of having a company profile on LinkedIn:

  • Makes a brand more credible.
  • Improves SEO.
  • Helps personalise a brand.
  • Showcases products and services.
  • Targets specific audiences.
  • Allows for customer interaction.

While Facebook and Twitter may still be the more popular social media platforms in Ireland, those on LinkedIn (over 300 million worldwide) are there for a completely different reason – to grow and promote themselves and their business.

To really impact online, LinkedIn must form part of a social media strategy for Irish companies.  Regardless to the size of your business, maintaining a well-managed LinkedIn page will boost your company’s profile and ultimately, your business will reap the benefits.

For more information on social media strategies for your business, contact Communications Hub today.
Communications Hub
(business2community.com)
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Why Video is now King

Move over Content, there’s a new King                  in town….

With video content now receiving up to 60% more online interaction than photos, it’s becoming a key part of content marketing strategies.

According to Cisco video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic by 2017 and video-on-demand traffic alone will have almost trebled.

In the U.S. mobile video ad spend is growing faster than all other digital advertising tactics.  EMarketer states that $7.46 billion was spent by companies on digital ads, an increase of 42% from 2014.

Social media platforms are reaping the benefits of this shift to video, with Facebook reporting 8 billion video views daily, while Snapchat delivers over 7 billion videos to users each day.  This represents an unbelievable growth of almost 50% in video usage on Snapchat in just 4 months.

In this era of information overload, video is naturally engaging and easy to digest.  It also delivers a message in a more personal way, evoking more passion and emotion, and creating better community engagement.

Here are some useful tips when creating video content:
  1. Be Passionate, not attention grabbing -your audience will know the difference.
  2. Be engagement-driven, not hit driven – communities are built on interaction, not selling.
  3. Think small to achieve big – creativity wins over cost of production.
  4. One size does not fit all – have a multi-platform video strategy.

Online video is set to continue its rise and will remain an important element in marketing and communications strategies going forward. 

Ignore it at your peril!

For further information on communications and marketing strategies for your business, contact us today.

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Why Facebook Marketing Matters

Despite the fact that 70% of Irish businesses are now on Facebook, many still don’t take it seriously as a valuable marketing tool.  

It’s an accepted fact that newspaper readership is on the decrease, yet many businesses are still investing enormous amounts of their marketing budgets on print advertising.  It often seems more acceptable to some marketers to spend hundreds on a one-off advert in a weekly paper, then to invest that money into a long-term Facebook marketing strategy.

Why is that?

Communications Hub
(mudstershop.com)

It’s hard to say.  Some companies still view social media as a ‘kids game’.  That may have been true some years ago, but now, those kids are the very customers these companies are so desperate to reach. So whether we want to accept it or not, from here until eternity, all of those leaving college and entering the workforce will be digital natives.   A generation who live their lives through the world wide web – be it researching products, booking services or purchasing goods – it all happens online.

In Ireland Facebook is still the most popular social media platform, with 60% of the population having accounts. To put that into context – 2.4 million people use Facebook in Ireland each month. That’s a lot of potential customers.  The largest Facebook demographic is 18 – 24-year-olds, who make up 29% of the Irish audience, while women tend to be more active on the platform then men.

Although Facebook has experienced a slight decrease in users over the last year or so, it is still the most used social media platform in the world.  So despite the decrease in popularity, it’s hard to see Facebook becoming any less relevant in marketing terms over the coming few years.   In fact, in Ireland 70% of social media users follow brands and businesses online.  Talk about leading the horse to water….but of course, we all know the next line to that old saying….

So, the simple truth is – If you’re not investing time and money into marketing your business on Facebook, you’re quickly becoming irrelevant.  Call Communications Hub today and let us put together a successful social media strategy for you.  

Stay relevant online

Communications Hub
(insidestudyabroad.com)

 

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Five tips for advertising on Instagram

With over 300 million users worldwide, Instagram is one of the fastest growing and most relevant social media platforms today. So why do businesses still not use it as a means of marketing and connecting with their clients? 

Communications Hub
(thestudentblogger.co.uk)

The simple answer is they are unsure how best to use Instagram. Once businesses do start strategically using the picture based social media platform, the vast majority see an instant increase in interaction and referrals to their websites.

So here are some simple tips to help you on your #Instajourney.

  • Use images/videos that not only sell a product, but sell your brand – who you want to be and the vibe you want to create.
  • Post content at least once a week (of the Interbrand Top 100 Brands 86 are Instagram users and 73% of these post at least once a week).
  • Keep it short and sweet.  Under 140 characters is a good guide and has the added bonus of being Twitter compatible.
  • Hashtag clever.  Check out what hashtags competitors are using. Think about the audience you want to reach and the action you want them to take.  There are no limits to the number of hashtags you can use, but seven or less would be a good guide.
  • Connect.  Research has shown that posts which tag other users experience 56% more engagement.  While posts that tag a location earn 79% more engagement.

And finally,  don’t be afraid to experiment.  Instagram is the home of creative content with posts showing everything from holiday destinations to homemade baking.  Work out a formula that works for your brand and your followers and, if you’re not already including Instagram in your marketing strategy, get doing it now.  #Instagram #Instamarketing #Instafun

Contact Communications Hub for more information on how to effectively market your brand on social media.

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What’s the story with content?

Ok I’ll admit it, I’m a little obsessed on content.  And when people hear me rattling on about it, most glaze over or politely smile while steadily reversing.  So what’s the story with content you may ask? Why is it so important?

(calysto.com)

While content has always been important when communicating through the traditional channels, like radio, television and newspapers, it was never really vital.  These ‘old media’ methods of advertising were one-way communications, they were broadcasts and press releases.  People listened to them because they pretty much hadn’t a choice.  These were the days before the World Wide Web, when the channels through which people got their news and entertainment were limited.  They were the days before sky plus and podcasts.  The days before we could pick and choose what information was relevant or interesting to us, and fast forward through the boring ads. Continue reading What’s the story with content?

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