On the Grapevine...

Why Combining Content Marketing and PR Strategies Is a Good Idea

Combining Content Marketing PR

Content marketing and public relations (PR) are very similar in nature. In fact, they both share a common goal.

What common goal do they share?

Simply put, they both attempt to create, relay, and amplify a high quality message about a specific brand.

Since both avenues of business branding share common goals, there’s plenty to gain and lots to leverage by combining content marketing and PR strategies.

Still not convinced? Take a look at four reasons why it’s an excellent idea to combine public relations and content marketing strategies.  Continue reading

How Negotiations Can Power Your Content Marketing

Most digital marketers are used to negotiating while closing a deal with a client or bringing on a new hire. But what you might not know is that the same skills you use to be a good negotiator can transfer to fueling your content marketing. When you post a piece of web content, you are basically negotiating for the consumer’s time.

Negotiations Power Content Marketing

This is what makes content marketing so important. You are convincing the reader that something about your content is compelling and worth the investment in time and energy.  With the proliferation of content shock, people’s attentions are pulled towards consuming content from a million sources.  Mastering negotiations as it applies to content marketing is a powerful way to win the battle for attention.  Continue reading

Developing Buyer Personas for Higher Education

Higher Education Buyer PersonasHigher education is more competitive than it has ever been. With public and private colleges and universities, online colleges and universities, trade and vocational schools, community colleges and everything in between vying for the attention of today’s students, it is increasingly difficult to attract and enroll the best students for your school.

So how do you attract the best students? First, you need to know exactly who they are, what they do, where they go, and what they are most likely respond to. It all starts with the development of higher education buyer personas.

The problem with many college marketing programs is that they treat all prospective students the same. They develop marketing materials around what the school has to offer and then push them out through various channels without giving much thought to how they could tailor messaging to the interests of particular groups of students, and how the message corresponds to the channel that is being used to deliver it. For example, some students may be enticed by the prestige of a university while others are drawn by the future career opportunities it promises. The same university may attract those who are financially conscious, as perhaps it provides more value to its graduates in the potential for higher lifetime salaries, or it may gain the attention of those who seek to complete their degree in a shorter period of time or online from home. How could that university possibly tailor their message to ALL of these types of students while maintaining its core message and adhering to its brand identity?  Continue reading

In Marketing, Timing Is Everything

These days, messages move at the speed of light. During the presidential debates, memes and hashtags of the candidates’ comments become trending topics before they even have time to take a breath at the end of their sentence. A few hours later, those same statements have been analyzed, Twitter streams sorted through, and the morning news programs have built an entire segment around the topic. Twelve hours later, we’ve all moved onto the next story, as this has already become old news. Any regular viewer of ABC’s Shark Tank knows that the key to success for a featured entrepreneur is having a website and production system capable of handling the massive amounts of traffic they will receive during the one-hour airing of the program, regardless of whether they land a deal with the investors or not. The point is, for businesses that are able to move on a dime and capitalize on real-time conversations, there is a tremendous opportunity to be had. But if you miss that window, you’ll miss the opportunity.

timely marketingLast week, news came out that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, America’s answer to royalty, had filed for divorce. News of the breakup hit every news station and Facebook and Twitter feed – Brad was soon to be eligible again! Within a couple days, Norwegian Airlines placed a print ad in the newspaper: Brad is single. Los Angeles. From/one way, incl. taxes £169*

No fanfare, no need for an explanation. The message was simple, the timing was perfect, and when you saw it, you got the point. In fact, I didn’t even see it in print. I saw it on a friend’s Facebook profile because someone else who saw it in print thought it was so amusing that she took a photo of it and shared it on social media. And the power of social media has now taken a PRINT AD viral on social media. Think of the millions of unpaid views this message has now seen. Brilliant.

So how do you do it if you’re not Norwegian Airlines? Can you position your business to take advantage of timely marketing opportunities? Absolutely, the key is to be ready and able to move on a dime.  Continue reading

This Phrase Is The Kiss Of Death For Your Website Redesign

website redesign mistakes‘Just Be Creative’.

Marketers, web developers, and graphic designers shudder at this commonly-delivered phrase in meetings with clients. There’s nothing wrong with creativity in design of course, and you want your website to stand out from the sea of other similar companies and organizations. The problem is not with the idea of being creative, it’s in the focus on uniqueness and creativity over strategy and user experience. ‘Just be creative’ leads the web development team and the client down a path that has no strategic goal, and is one of the biggest website redesign mistakes you can make.

Before undertaking a website redesign, there are many factors that your organization should consider. Notice that the actual design is at the end of this list for a reason: the design should work toward achieving the strategic plan that you’ve laid out and should support your goals. If you focus first on the ‘pretty pictures’, you’ll end up trying to fit your strategy into a specific design, and you’ll lose sight of the path to reach your goals.

Before you start considering new designs, take some time to answer these questions:  Continue reading