Category Archives: Blog

5 Ways AI Can Help You Enhance Content Marketing

In today’s world, AI is becoming increasingly more integrated into our daily lives, yet many people are still wary about it. (Don’t worry, this blog post isn’t being written by a bot.)

“AI adoption is forecasted to surge by 143% over the next 18 months,” according to a recent Salesforce study — meaning more organizations will begin to incorporate AI into their communication campaigns as well.

How AI Can Help Enhance Your Content Marketing Efforts?

1. Augments content creation

Creating fresh, original content for blogs, social media and your web properties is extremely important today, given what we know about Google’s algorithmic preferences. Not only does frequently-refreshed and relevant content encourage readers to keep coming back to your site, it really helps with SEO.

To lighten the workload, you can use AI content services, like MarketMuse and Automated Insights, which can write original content for you. A bit apprehensive? Consider that the Associated Press uses AI software to generate content on corporate earnings reports and, according to a NY Times article, roughly a third of content published by Bloomberg News uses some form of automated technology.

2. Eliminates tedious tasks

Data analytics is another benefit of AI. Long gone are the days of reviewing t-tests and bar graphs. According to Lingumatics, text mining is “an artificial intelligence (AI) technology that uses natural language processing (NLP) to transform the free (unstructured) text in documents and databases into normalized, structured data suitable for analysis or to drive machine learning (ML) algorithms.”

Some companies hire employees for the specific purpose of audience engagement. However, chatbots can create auto-responses that interact with stakeholders on social media platforms to promptly answer questions, like posts, and enhance customer engagement.

3. Enables personalization

Artificial Intelligence helps personalize content to enhance the stakeholder experience with your organization or brand. Through platforms like SharpSpring, you can now create specialized email marketing campaigns addressing the receiver by name, organization, and how they’ve interacted with your company online (on-website, through email, or social). AI also helps make widely-distributed emails feel more personal, encouraging users to respond and interact with your company.

Additionally, AI helps customize newsfeeds on social media based on user demographics and location, and through data analysis, predict which posts users are more likely to comment on, hide, or mark as spam. This helps measure which campaigns were more successful than others.

4. Improves customer service

AI improves customer service by asking specific questions designed to find out exactly what information the stakeholder is seeking. This helps eliminate long phone queues waiting to speak with a representative. By integrating these initiatives into content marketing, users are able to get valuable information they need without wasting time and energy. All while taking steps not to lose the human touch, especially for elevated customer-related issues.

5. Helps with sales conversion rates

Platforms like SharpSpring and SalesForce help companies keep track of the sales funnel from initial leads and contact to conversion and repeat customers. Leveraging data gathered through online engagement with prospects and stakeholders, these services are especially efficient, aggregating information into one resource for effective decision making.

Content marketing has a lot to offer and AI can support your content marketing initiatives. Contact a member of the Rosica team today at pr@rosica.com to learn more.

News Releases Are Dead… Long Live News Releases.

3 Reasons they are alive and well

Media dilution is an understatement. It’s impossible to keep up with thousands of information channels we have at our fingertips today. With media dilution, PR has completely changed. As a result, the perception is that PR’s impact has become watered down, creating a vortex that leaves public relations pros looking for ways to demonstrate ROI, add value, and meet the demands of smart in-house marketers who require measurement against pre-determined KPIs.

Long gone are the days when sending out a press release would generate meaningful coverage. With the exception of media “alerts” or “advisories,” it’s been years since we’ve sent releases to producers and reporters and expected them to take action. This change is in large part due to the fact that media outlets have very limited staff nowadays, often operating with skeletal crews and low morale. They’re inundated with emails from PR people and simply do not have the bandwidth to read them all.

It’s important to note the quality of news release writing, whether by PR agencies, PR departments, or corporations, has always been criticized by media. Several years ago, the Wall Street Journal announced (ironically through a press release) that they were no longer accepting press releases. The New York Times responded on the story the very next day. It’s also important to note, later that same week Rosica secured a front-page story on the Wall Street Journal. Through what means? A news release.

The moral of this story is that sometimes you need to go against the grain. While pitch letters now dominate reporters’ email inboxes, news releases have become the path less traveled, which means you’re more likely to get a reporter’s attention. When everyone else stops distributing press releases, send them – keeping in mind the tips below.

3 reasons news releases are still alive and well:

Reason 1: News releases can be part of your overall content marketing strategy

Whether you are posting news and information on your website, sending it through an email marketing campaign, or sharing it on social, a news release represents an unexpected communique. Ask yourself: How many press releases do you, as a businessperson, receive daily, weekly, or even monthly? We are inundated, however, with e-newsletters, email marketing solicitations, advertisements, banner ads, and other overt promotional pieces.

As an example, we have many clients who send direct mail and email marketing campaigns with news releases on Rosica agency letterhead, which present as third-party endorsements in a format that is not widely used for email marketing and sales letters.

We’ve also shared releases at client conferences, meetings, and tradeshows — and synopsize, search optimize, and syndicate this content on blogs and across social media channels.

Reason 2: News release content can bolster SEO efforts

When posting a news release to PRWeb (SEO version) or PR Newswire, you are introducing fresh, branded content on the web. If you effectively build links to that release online, this content can be found by people searching for your organization’s name. This means that incorporating optimized keywords and phrases into a release is an imperative.

Google is always looking for fresh content. Posting a synopsis of a release on your website or blog provides fresh content for your site, rather than duplicate content. With the synopsis, be sure to include a link to the full news release (i.e., PR Newswire or PRWeb) online.

Reason 3: News releases help manage perception

If you effectively disseminate news release content and promote it through SEO then the likelihood of this managed content appearing on page one of a Google search for your name will be heightened greatly.

A key strategy in communications today is search engine domination. Simply put, this is about developing and promoting fresh content to manage perception online — what people find and learn about your organization. Therefore, managing the first page or two of organic search results for your name is paramount. Most people never leave page one, so this effort can help protect your image.

As you can see, news releases still have much to offer. Often times, what’s old is new again, so long live news releases.

To learn more about what news releases can do for your organization, contact pr@rosica.com.

7 Strategies for Using Social Media to Grow Thought Leadership

Does your organization have the reputation of being a true innovator in your field? Maybe there’s a person in your company who is a true subject matter expert, possibly one of your C-level executives, product/service specialists, or another key opinion leader.

In his forthcoming book entitled The Power of B2B Social Media, The Marketing Strategy You Can’t Afford to Ignore, Rosica Communications’ President Chris Rosica defines a thought leader as “an individual, brand, or company that has the reputation of being an authority in its field, one with specialized expertise; a trusted and highly sought-after resource with credible, trustworthy subject matter experts or key opinion leaders.”

When aiming to become a thought leader, it’s important to remember that thought leadership is not about being known, it’s about being known for something.

Here are seven thought leadership strategies that will help grow your social media presence:

1. Pinpoint your positioning and messaging

In a CBS This Morning interview, New York Times best-selling author and educator, Simon Sinek said, “If you don’t know why you do what you do…then how will you get people to be loyal?” Identifying a groundbreaking new positioning that differs from what your competitors are focused on, should be at the core of your organizational and marketing strategies and matrixes.

After you define your positioning statement, it is important to develop audience-specific messages, and back them up with statistics and valid reasons to believe them. Conveying these beliefs to your sales, marketing, customer service, and other internal staff members is crucial so messages to stakeholders are consistent. Then, regularly disseminate these messages through social and other channels.

2. Generate earned media to bolster social

Earned media is the (non-paid) media coverage you receive through pitching stories to targeted reporters and media outlets. In the realm of thought leadership, opportunities like television interviews, bylined articles, and op-eds are excellent ways to share your organization’s beliefs and positioning. Since media outlets typically have large social followings through earned media, you gain the ability to reach a large audience of stakeholders across multiple social channels including YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. In addition, you can synopsize the media attention you receive and syndicate it on social channels to build credibility and engage followers.

3. Leverage social media to manage perception

Social media is a prime channel for reaching stakeholders. On these platforms, you can completely control the narrative. As mentioned, social media is great for sharing relevant articles, industry news, and trends, as well as the key messages developed during your positioning and messaging exercise. According to Business Insider, “since 2018 social platforms have seen explosive growth around innovative video formats like Stories,” so it’s important to leverage tools like this to manage perception, educate your stakeholders, and engage customers.

4. Strengthen your content marketing efforts on social channels

It is important to generate earned media through high-quality content posted on social channels. This includes thought leadership pieces like white papers, infographics, news releases, survey data and clinical studies, and other quality content. The content you create must be authentic and relatable, even more so on social channels — where transparency and authenticity rule. Of course, it must resonate with stakeholders you’re trying to reach. It’s important to remember it should not look like an advertisement, and instead, should be more organic.

Disseminating these attention-getting assets should be systematic. Customizing content for tradeshows, social, and email is a must to strengthen your overall marketing efforts.

5. Remember that people create thought leadership

People not only serve as the conduit by which you secure earned media coverage, but their expertise promotes trust and credibility. Key opinion leaders (KOLs) and subject matter experts (SMEs) should be developed from within organizations — rather than overreliance on outside sources.

While people have their individual LinkedIn profiles and Facebook pages, company profiles are vital in the social thought leadership and branding process. Leverage your network and that of your staff and partners to tell the story and position your organization as experts through social.

6. Repurpose and leverage earned media content on social

It’s important to know you need to repurpose and cater content to fit the needs of each social platform. While it’s great to share worthy news on all social channels, it’s important to tweak them to fit the needs of each. For example, you wouldn’t post a two-minute video made for YouTube on Instagram. Instagram videos typically should be about 15-30 seconds long.

Earned and original content can and should be syndicated and promoted. Practicing this can help bolster SEO, social media, direct marketing, online reputation management, and your conference marketing activities.

7. Connect with influencers on social channels

Engaging with influencers on social channels helps your organization gain followers in return. When you know the influencers you interact with, as well as like and share their posts, you garner their attention and begin the relationship-building process.

An effective way of building thought leadership on social media is to build relationships with and follow other thought leaders. This approach can help you build your following along with credibility, connectivity, online presence, and engagement.

 

To learn more about building thought leadership through social media, email pr@rosica.com.

Social Media Marketing Trends for 2020

A new year means new technology, and with new technology comes the need to evolve. This is necessary in order to capitalize on the vast opportunities that come with new social tech tools and practices. We live in a world where trending apps and social channels change regularly. Every year, it seems a new social media platform comes along that dramatically changes the communication landscape. In 2019, the App in the spotlight was TikTok. How do you stay ahead of the curve? How do you take advantage of the latest social tools? And, what does this mean for your business?

Here are 5 tips for upgrading your social media marketing this year:

1. Use AI to your advantage

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a great way to help your customers get the information they need in an easy and convenient way. Many businesses in the healthcare, food, and nonprofit arenas have introduced AI to their marketing efforts through chatbots and online scheduling options. Integrating this technology into your organization, whether through a website, social media campaign, or online marketing effort, is beneficial to both your company and your customers and stakeholders.

2. Establish relationships with influencers

Connecting with influencers and having them talk you up is worth the time, cost and energy. This process, which is an integral part of public relations today, benefits your organization due to the importance of the influencer’s audience/reach and how they are perceived and respected. A vlogger with 300,000 followers on their YouTube channel or an Instagram account with 500,000 followers, can go far to promote your company and/or products.

3. Establish your brand’s identity

Establishing an image or guidelines for your brand helps characterize your organization. It’s not just about an interesting logo, compelling color scheme, contemporary website. It’s about standing for something and creating powerful messaging — then conducting effective marketing so you are known a key differentiator. It’s about having a unique social voice, which sets you apart, and enables you to be known for something.

4. Use video

According to a recent HootSuite report, frequent TikTok consumers watched on average 46 minutes a day of content. This is noteworthy, because TikTok videos are only 15 seconds long. While the targeted demographic for this platform is typically Generation Z consumers, the app does offer several features other platforms are now integrating. Staying aware of these trends helps keep your business ahead of the competition.

If TikTok isn’t a platform your company would use, Instagram (IG) stories or IGTV are a great alternative. Instead of redirecting users to an external link, like a YouTube video, IGTV allows users the ability to watch longer videos from the app.

5. Post quality content

While it’s important to post frequently on social media to remain at the forefront of your customers’ minds (and protect your reputation online), it’s only worth doing if it’s interesting, quality content. Planning ahead and setting a schedule for content and getting several people in your organization involved in the content development process are great ways to ensure the future success of social media and content marketing initiatives.

Want to learn more about taking your social media efforts to the next level in 2020? Contact pr@rosica.com to connect with our team.

Remembering the Authentic Kate Spade on the One-year Anniversary of Her Death

By Christopher Rosica, Author of The Authentic Brand (Noble Press, 2012), which featured Spade after a series of personal interviews.

Kate Spade, born Katherine Noel Valentine Brosnahan, was truly authentic. A talented fashion designer and entrepreneur, she and her husband, Andy, created one of the world’s most respected and successful lifestyle companies, which many entrepreneurs since have sought to emulate.

When she took her life tragically on June 5th, 2018, I refrained from writing about my experience of interviewing her and Andy Spade for my book. Now, one year later, I’ll share it.

Casting for the book could not have been more appropriate; Kate was the epitome of authentic. Here are some of her authentic qualities and what we can learn from lifestyle marketing visionary Kate Spade:

1.   Initially Kate Spade launched a designer brand of fabric handbags. At the time, most high-end, high-design bags were made of leather. The sophisticated and affordable handbags she introduced were refreshingly different. She went one step further when she introduced a line of designer paper products, including stationery and gift cards. At the time, this was unheard of for a “fashion” company. Others were launching shoes, belts, and accessories. When other fashion companies went in one direction, she was bushwhacking a completely new trail. This authentic approach was her mark and the cornerstone of the brand’s success.

2.   As Kate and Andy told me “We created a world around the handbag, a true lifestyle company. We didn’t just want to sell products.” They were offering smart and tasteful lifestyle solutions and the world adored Kate for it.

3.   Kate had unmatched taste and embodied elegance. To ensure her company’s vision became a reality, she and Andy wrote a book on business manners, civility, and etiquette, publishing it and sharing it with employees.

4.   She supported the arts and a variety of other causes; she felt it was her responsibility to give back and help others – and she did.

5.   Kate put herself out there – in spades. She was highly visible, memorable, and accountable. She was the brand.

Spade was creative and always creating. In 2017, Fast Company named Kate Spade one of the “Most Creative People in Business.” Fast Company got it right; so many of her endeavors and so much of her business life demonstrated this.

Katherine Noel Valentine Brosnahan was a visionary. She was intuitive and created a movement centered not just on products, but on lifestyle.

In summing up my experience with Spade and what I’ve learned from her, I’d like to share an excerpt from our interview:

“One of the things we do is to manifest our passion in our mission statement. We always wanted to have a nice, successful business, but at the same time, we always thought of ourselves as simply creative, intelligent people. We didn’t set out to be known as savvy business people. That was never my goal in life. Our goal was to be really smart, curious, creative, and fair in business. I want to have a business that is successful but wouldn’t compromise the culture of the company for the success of the company. That may be a bad business decision, but we work here every day. We give out the etiquette book that we’ve published within the company. We have an orientation video that speaks to the idea of being smart and respectful in business. People want to work for nice people. We built it (the company) in style and graciousness.”

– Kate Spade (pages 173-174 in The Authentic Brand)

If this isn’t authentic, I don’t know what is.

Christopher Rosica

Expert Crisis Communications Council

Rosica specializes in health-related strategic internal and external corporate communications and media relations. We are helping corporations, public and private schools, universities, and nonprofits with COVID-19 communications preparedness and management.