CEO SNAPSHOT: Hiplead CEO Conor Lee automates sales for B2B juggernauts

CEO SNAPSHOT: Hiplead CEO Conor Lee automates sales for B2B juggernauts

"As a political consultant, I learned two really important things that have stuck with me as a tech founder," said Conor Lee, CEO and co-Founder of Hiplead.com for follow-up.io.  "One, that the message and how you frame it matters considerably. If you want people to follow you into a early-stage company, or you want an early client to sign with you when your product is new, you have to correctly position what you’re doing and control the message."
Lee adds, "As part of that, you have to be able to stand in the shoes of your different audiences and see things from their perspective."
Read the full article here.

 

10 Pain Points PR Pros Will Face in 2018

10 Pain Points PR Pros Will Face in 2018

Seth Arenstein took a positive approach to how PR pros can up their game in 2018 for PR News. I say "positive" because there's always room for growth when we keep an open mind - even if it's painful. I also want to add a couple of my own. I'm using Seth's template...
Issue: Client wants to get press wtih no news.
Ideas for Solutions: Review content plan with client and together decide if any of those stories are newsworthy or are at best contributed articles or blog posts.
Issue: A competitor's share of voice (SOV) is much higher than your client's, but your client wants to match the competitor by a certain date.
Ideas for Solutions: Goals are important. Don't be afraid to set them. Just be realistic. Run an audit of the competing coverage and share with your client to help them understand what you're all up against and come with ideas on how to compete.
Click here to read Seth's full list. 

CNN says Anderson Cooper's Twitter account apparently hacked

CNN says Anderson Cooper's Twitter account apparently hacked

Back when I was a kid, getting "hacked" was reserved for the plot of a horror film. Today being hacked is as common as having your credit card stolen, yet one is much easier to cancel and get replaced than recovering our social identity, so we think. But, every time I read about another hacked account I am surprised by how diligent the social networks are in processing requests. Easy if you're CNN's Anderson Cooper, but not for you? Not true. You just need to know what to do. Here's a quick tip from Twitter.

1. Click here to visit the Twitter Help Center and follow their two easy steps.

And, that's it!

Evaluate Your PR Agency With Six Qualities

Evaluate Your PR Agency With Six Qualities

"The successful PR firms of the future are hybrid agencies that specialize in using content to drive a company’s business goals," writes Lisa Arledge Powell for Forbes. "If you’re looking for agency partners to take your brand to the next level, here are six qualities that your PR agency should possess in today’s cluttered environment."

 

Enterprise mobile social media strategies: Twitter's impact

Enterprise mobile social media strategies: Twitter's impact

"After weeks of cracking jokes about the change and angling to get early access to the longer tweets, everyone on Twitter can now communicate their thoughts using the longer format," writes Peter Pleckaitis for Mobile Business Insights. "What does the change mean for your enterprise’s mobile social media strategies? Here’s a look at how this one simple switch could impact the way your company engages mobile users."

7 Mobile Marketing Trends For 2018

7 Mobile Marketing Trends For 2018

Since the vast majority of us wouldn’t claim to be psychic, predicting which elements of mobile marketing are going to be the dominant trends of 2018 is a matter of research, and one that is definitely worth doing if you don’t want to be left behind. We’ve reflected on some of the biggest trends of 2017, looked at the statistics that are indicating growth, and examined the plans of some of the sector’s biggest names. What emerges are the following seven key focuses that look likely to shape the mobile marketing sector in 2018.

Digital news outlets are in for a reckoning

Digital news outlets are in for a reckoning

From The Economist...
They have had successes. Some became ninjas in “SEO” long before most print journalists knew it stood for “search engine optimisation”. They introduced “clickbait” to the lexicon. Some, like BuzzFeed and Vice, worked out that fortunes were to be made in brand-supported viral hits—or “native advertising” that looks similar to the sites’ own snazzy editorial content. They gave the internet “listicles” like BuzzFeed’s “19 Mindblowing Historical Doppelgangers” (sponsored by Virgin Mobile) and uplifting stories, like those from Upworthy, where “you won’t believe what happened next”.

 

The Return of the PR Niche

The Return of the PR Niche

Back in the day when PR was still just PR, meaning it was traditional PR and there was nothing else, we never imagined adding a new skillset or breaking out a new practice, say PR agencies who do design too. But, fast forward to 1999, and the PR firm that employed me had a web team. The next one had a social team, then design, and many now have full content marketing divisions run by former reporters.

Then conversations about who owns what ensued. And, then marketing started taking jabs – it owns social, wait, what, no. PR owns social and content. Um, nope, now we have free standing content marketing agencies, and such. What wasn’t talked about – or lobbed from one discipline to another – were the practices within the practices; those were all but ignored, tucked under the rug, outsourced.

Now, it seems those practices are making a comeback and adding more value to (traditional) PR. Here’s a quick look at those practices and where we are now.

·        Award placements – Working with clients to identify awards shows and helping clients submit for award consideration can be of great value in the age of social media. Prospective buyers always want to see which vendors are on the top lists or are being recognized in specific categories of most interest them.

·        Event marketing – There are still a good number of journalists who use an event as a “hook” to cover a story and tweet about their interviews and tag interviewees. That’s another boon in the digital age when you can meet and greet a reporter in-person, establish a relationship, get coverage, and then maintain that contact through on-going contact on social media.

·        Product reviews – While there are less product reviews these days, there are still plenty which have great significance to the market and that are influential to prospective buyers.

·        Speaking programs – Clients generally know which conferences they will be exhibiting at throughout the year and may need help from an outside agency to handle speaking submissions and secured opportunities. The closed speaking session also carries weight on many fronts from being a forum to invite journalists to and using as a platform to promote on social.

So don’t forget to include these “niche” ideas into your PR plans and get creative on how you can leverage these opportunities to magnify your PR and social efforts.

12 Content Marketing Trends You Should Be Following

12 Content Marketing Trends You Should Be Following

"To stay ahead of the curve and be one of the businesses that can successfully leverage content marketing to increase brand awareness, sales and loyalty, you need to understand which content marketing trends you should be following," writes Susan Gunelius for Entrepreneur. 
Here are 12 content marketing trends that she believes are most important for you to follow in the coming year to ensure your content investments are delivering adequate returns for your business in the long-term.

 

How to Apply Good Marketing Common Sense for Better Social Media Results

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How to Apply Good Marketing Common Sense for Better Social Media Results

Just because your social media pro is an expert at the “ins and outs” of how social media platforms work (or how to hack them) doesn’t mean that your company is going to have success with social media. Why? Your pro needs to have good marketing common sense too. If social media is a bigger and more engaging bullhorn, you must have a more experienced and polished barker spreading your message. And, surprisingly, experience isn’t only valued in the number of campaigns that pro has managed. The value is truly measured in what exceptional skills they bring to your organization. Here’s what to look for when hiring a solid social media pro.

1.      Critical thinking – The person can apply their creative marketing savvy and problem solving skills to social media. This includes figuring out who the audience is on various platforms, what’s most important to those audiences (per platform), and how best to deliver the content (ie. tone, style, type of content, hashtags, etc.).

2.      Presentation skills – Most social media pros are good at rolling up the numbers – and there are plenty of tools to help them do that too – but, there are few who can distill that information down for you, your Executives, and Board Members as it relates to your bottom line.

3.      Maturity – Sometimes content from employees, customers, or partners doesn’t get posted as you would have hoped. So, it’s key for your social media pro to learn how to pause, re-evaluate, and think about how to make best of an uneasy situation. In rare cases, crisis communications practices are needed.

4.      Collaboration - While your pro may be at the helm of your social media program, there are other people in your organization who will have good ideas when it comes to what to post onto social, where to post it, and how to post it. Some staffers may be worth listening to or watching on social, especially if they are on the front line with your stakeholders at conferences and events.

5.      Adaptability – Results don’t always turn out the way we hope. But, a good social media pro will know how to learn from pitfalls and figure out new ways to re-engage with your audiences.

6.      They get you and your business – First, they need to understand what you value in your marketing organization and how you’ve been communicating that upstream. Second, they need to have a good understanding of your business so that they can draw content from your marketing that is in align with your business objectives at a cadence that doesn’t exhaust your audiences.

7.      They use social media for their business – It’s not good enough that they use social media personally. They have to understand what’s at stake when using social for a business, how to engage with stakeholders from publishing content to responding to inquiries across platforms, and continually gently pushing themselves (and their teammates) to do better.

What additional attributes do you think a social media pro needs to have for producing better social media results? Let me know in the comments below.

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Brands heed social media but are advised not to forget word of mouth

Brands heed social media but are advised not to forget word of mouth

"On average, 19 percent of a brand’s sales — or between $7 trillion and $10 trillion in annual consumer spending in the United States — are driven by social conversations, both online and offline, according to a new study conducted by Engagement Labs, a Canadian company that analyzes conversations around brands," reported Janet Morrissey for SF GATE.
"The study, which looked at 170 brands, found that companies often wrongly saw social media as an accurate and sufficient guide for tracking consumer sentiment. Often, though, that social conversation might be much different from what people are saying in private conversations with friends and family, the study said."

 

How do Engineers Use Content in Their Buying Decision?

How do Engineers Use Content in Their Buying Decision?

"Of course, you know that engineers use content in making work-related decisions, i.e. buying decisions. Datasheets, case studies and how-to videos have always been popular with this target audience," writes Achinta Mitra for CustomerThink. "However, have you ever asked yourself the question, 'how do engineers use content?' The answer to that question is fundamental in developing an effective industrial content marketing strategy."

 

Five Marketing Automation Myths And Why They Are Wrong

Five Marketing Automation Myths And Why They Are Wrong

"The reality is, marketing automation significantly improves interactions with customers and clients in ways traditional digital marketing struggled to achieve in the past," writes Dennis Kirwan for Forbes.  "Nonetheless, I have encountered enough pushback over the last several years that I feel it's time to officially dispell a few myths I’ve dealt with regarding marketing automation."

 

4 Lead Generation Strategies for Early-Stage Startups

4 Lead Generation Strategies for Early-Stage Startups

"It doesn’t matter if you run a business with an eight-figure top line, or you’re leading a small startup that’s just trying to close on its first few sales, lead generation is something you have to focus on daily," writes Larry Alton for Tech.co. "Ignoring lead generation is not only foolish, it actually compromises the integrity of your business and erodes it from the inside out."