5 Pivotal Social Media Trends for 2019

By Angela Kambarian, Founder of Essential Communications

http://www.kambarian.com

 

Dear savvy business professional:

Believe it or not, following trends does NOT always guarantee success. While keeping tabs on new developments in social media is crucial, there is no need to jump on the bandwagon PRIOR to clearly identifying your course of action. Make certain your social media efforts are in line with your brand and practical for your business.

So here are a few trends to watch for in 2019:

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1.Long-Form Content and SEO

When it comes to length, a well-written and high-quality article with 1,600 words is more likely to outrank an article with just 500 words. It comes as no surprise that publishers are increasingly requiring guest bloggers to submit articles with a minimum of 1,000 words. Therefore, company blogs will have to embrace long-form content to get SEO traction and draw more followers. Keep in mind that mindless content will not have much of an impact – it’s the articles offering valuable information, interesting tips and unique insights that will help you get the attention you need and give Google a reason to rank them more favorably.

2. The Rise of Video Marketing

As you may already know, videos have emerged as the preferred form of content. In fact, evidence suggests that marketers have overwhelmingly adopted video marketing to gain online visibility and increase sales. Video is a powerful tool allowing a company to put a human face on an organization; it enables prospects and customers to get to know who works and leads in a business and what makes it special. In addition, social media algorithms might give video posts better organic reach that other types of posts.

3. “Pay to Play” is Your Path to Increased Exposure

With the diminishing organic reach of business content, most businesses will have to consider investing in sponsored posts and social media ads to retain visibility. Here is the good news: social media advertising does not have to break the bank; a small investment can go a long way and help you take things to the next level. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that this trend will continue well into 2019.

4. Personal Branding Vs. Business Branding

As I pointed out before, putting a human face to a business can help build loyalty, garner trust and turn prospects into clients. Especially when it comes to small businesses…One of the best ways to humanize a brand is to promote the personal brand of the business owner or a high-level leader, which has become a staple for many organizations. Of course I am referring to guest blogging, podcasts and webinars, videos and other important tactics. Hiding behind your logo no longer works. By letting people learn more about the character and expertise of company leaders is a surefire way to build your brand reputation and set your business apart in a crowded marketplace.

5. The Importance of Individualized Content

The significance of customized marketing campaigns can no longer be overstated. In today’s world, an overwhelming majority of clients and customers expect brands to tailor their offers to their specific needs, wants and demands. To accommodate these expectations, businesses need to consider advertising and targeting campaigns on various social media channels, as the demand for individualized content continues to grow.

If you are ready to boost your PR, marketing and social media efforts, please visit http://www.kambarian.com or call 516-724-4372 today. We are looking forward to speaking with you soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 Signs Your Content Marketing is NOT Working

By Angela Kambarian, Founder of Essential Communications

http://www.kambarian.com

It goes without saying that creating riveting content is one of the most essential aspects of your marketing strategy. In fact, it requires a great deal of your time and substantial resources. Therefore, it is important that you do the right thing and make an impact, while building trust and solidifying relationships with your clients and prospects. But what if your audience does NOT like your engagement strategy? Are there any SPECIFIC signs suggesting that your marketing efforts and money are misallocated and mismanaged?

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Here are a few signs that you should reconsider and upgrade your audience engagement strategy.

1.Your surveys, articles or announcements are not getting responses

Oftentimes, new content goes unnoticed on social media. It happens even to some of the biggest and most successful brands. Believe it or not…But what if you are reaching out directly to your audience with queries, polls or surveys and getting no responses? Silence is usually a clear sign that your style is not resonating with your followers. Time to take action and make some changes!

2. The engagement you are getting is superficial

There is nothing wrong with getting upvotes or likes. Here is the deal though: in the grand scheme of things, they are pretty meaningless. Guess what: Facebook likes are not correlated to further engagement or relationship-building at all. Why? Simple. The process of liking or upvoting a post is nothing more than a knee-jerk reaction that has nothing to do with any real endorsement, delight or interest. So if this is the only engagement you are getting, that could signal a problem with your marketing approach.

3. Even established clients or customers are no longer reacting to your posts

Here is the challenge most business professionals face when it comes to social media: It can be quite challenging to develop a powerful engagement strategy to attract new contacts, while keeping your existing customers engaged. Loyal customers may feel as if they are being taken for granted if most of your content is tailored towards new prospects. I am sure you are well aware of the fact that it costs five times more money to attract a new customer than it does to cultivate, nourish and solidify existing relationships.

4. You are using customer data for marketing rather than engagement

There is nothing wrong with utilizing customer demographics, purchasing history, website analytics and other metrics for marketing purposes. Most businesses have to do it. Let me assure you that customers are keenly aware when they are being used. While you may gather customer data for marketing, keep in mind that you can create some resentment if that’s ALL you are doing. What you should do instead is use the data you collect to develop compelling, riveting and educational content.

5. Your customer onboarding efforts are not attracting eyeballs

Let’s face it: customer onboarding is a crucial part of any engagement strategy. It includes webinars, training sessions, instructional videos, newsletters and other communication materials. By the way, the “aforementioned” communication strategies may help you turn your regular customers into loyal ones. They may even become your brand ambassadors and spread the word about your products or services.

Final thoughts…

If your content is not doing its job and generating results, do a content audit and figure out what isn’t working and why. In some cases you may need some tweaking or, perhaps, bigger changes and even a heavier investment. Keep in mind that there is no instant gratification. Content marketing is a long game and your gains will take time to show up in your bottomline.

If you are ready to boost your PR and marketing efforts, visit http://www.kambarian.com or call 516-724-4372 today. We are looking forward to speaking with you soon!

 

 

 

 

5 PR Trends That Will Help You Succeed in 2019

By Angela Kambarian, Founder of Essential Communications

http://www.kambarian.com

As we enter the last weeks of 2018, it may be a good time to upgrade your marketing plan and devise a new course of action. As they say, “the world is changing a mile a minute” making it difficult to stay on top of things, set yourself apart or maintain trust in a rapidly evolving business environment.

When it comes to PR trends, they run the gamut from influencer marketing to storytelling to the unprecedented growth of artificial intelligence.

To ensure your PR strategy is on-point come the New Year, I suggest you check out my list of some of the most essential trends that may impact your marketing efforts. Armed with these insights, you will be better equipped to start off 2019 on the right foot and propel your business forward.

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1.There is a Sharper Distinction Between Public Relations and Media Relations

According to Scott Meerman, 2019 is the year that PR pros finally realize that that PR and media relations are different activities. PR means using many different ways of communicating with constituents. How? By creating compelling, educational, or inspirational content. Media relations is just a subset of PR and mainly focused on working with reporters, editors or producers and urging them to tell a story.  Make sure you do NOT limit your strategy to media relations. Try to develop a full and comprehensive PR strategy and create fascinating content – not just for the media but also for ALL your constituents.

2. The Rise of Artificial Intelligence

One of the biggest changes I foresee is AI impacting the way PR professionals operate. Some of the more mundane, tedious and time-consuming tasks can be automated making them good candidates for AI.

So what exactly is Artificial Intelligence? AI is the development of computer systems that perform the following tasks: create media lists, transcribe audio and video into text, predict media trends and monitor social media, among other things. That being said, relationship building, creative strategy development, trust building or story telling will remain the provenance of business professionals.

3. The Role of Native Advertising

I am sure you have had this experience – you are perusing a news or entertainment site and stumble upon an engaging article. When you look for the author, you find tiny print that reads “Sponsored Content” and possibly a brand name. This is just one example of how native advertising works and why it’s so effective at reaching people. According to communication experts, this trend is more likely to continue as publishers are driven to develop and grow new forms of revenue.

4. Earned Media Continues to Expand

If you are serious about boosting your PR efforts, embracing all earned media ( including influencer marketing and word of mouth), is a smart way to go. Keep in mind that in addition to publicity, speaking engagements or trade show participation, backlinks are a vital part of earned media that boosts your SEO score and gets your brand seen by a wider audience.

5. Fake News Frenzy Intensifies

Here is another powerful trend that continues to heat up. Of course I am talking about fake news. What started a few years ago as a theory, has rapidly evolved into an all-out war against against news media outlets – and journalists are feeling the heat. Currently many of them are in a fight to win back trust and restore credibility. This effects the way PR pros operate. As they prepare campaigns, develop content or craft press releases, they must be alert to any potential threats to their brand’s reputation. Therefore, it is important to be specific in terms of quotes, cite all sources and remain hyper-vigilant when it comes to statistical data.

Let’s face it: Competition across all industry sectors continues to intensify. As I pointed out in the beginning of the article, with the right insights and tools you can stay on top of your game and gain the success you deserve. The 5 trends above will put you on the road for a successful, productive and exciting PR 2019.

If you are ready to boost your PR and marketing efforts, visit http://www.kambarian.com or call 516-724-4372 today. We are looking forward to speaking with you soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Upsell or Cross-Sell Your Services

By Angela Kambarian, Founder of Essential Communications

http://www.kambarian.com

The end result of upselling or cross-selling is obvious: it usually leads to increased earnings. But here is the problem: most customers or clients can see right through the “You might also like…” line and choose to stick with the original purchase.

When you explain to your customer how your suggestions are going to benefit him/her and make a difference, you can use the art of upselling and cross-selling to your advantage.

So how do you go about doing that?

Let me start off by briefly defining the aforementioned terms. Upselling is encouraging the purchase of anything that would make the primary purchase more expensive. Cross-selling is encouraging the purchase of anything in conjunction with the primary product. In other words, upselling would be suggesting paying extra for bacon on top of a cheeseburger, or suggesting the purchase of a keyboard with a new computer.

Interestingly, upselling is usually more effective than cross-selling. Think about it – it’s a bit easier to sell something related to what customers have already purchased than to sell them something that is complementary, but still, different.

Let me assure you that by knowing the difference between upselling and cross-selling, you put yourself at an advantage.

Get to know your clients and their personas

If you have ever waited on the phone for a customer service rep to help you solve a simple problem, only for them to offer at least a million of different options BEFORE learning about your situation, you can certainly understand the frustrations your customers or clients might experience. Therefore, suggestions that are impertinent and out of line with their needs, wants or challenges may not only aggravate them, but also jeopardize their relationship with your organization.

Make sure your ideas or offerings fit your client’s exact needs at the very moment he or she is discussing them with you. Look out for signals like “I wish I could do X” or “It would be great if we could try Y” that should clue you in on their biggest desires. If you listen carefully,  you will be better equipped to determine which of your products or services could help them, and offer a cross-sell or upsell. In addition to customer feedback, you could benefit from reviewing demographic and psychographic information and tie up loose ends. Don’t forget to map out customer journeys to clearly identify how they will use your product and how it will help them grow. When they get to the point where they can see results, they will start telling other people about you and your company and drive referrals.

Don’t beat around the bush: Be honest

Keep in mind that if something is off during the sales process, customers will sense it and walk away. The more transparent you are about your methodology, pricing and contracts, the more likely your customers will stick around and maybe even become your loyal advocates.

Don’t be too shy: Showcase your value

Once you have determined that the upsell or cross-sell offer makes sense for your client, your work isn’t done. Now your job is to demonstrate the value the additional product or service has to offer. That’s where well-written case studies, compelling testimonials and convincing customer reviews come in. If you have any data about increases in KPIs your clients have achieved as a result of using your services, go ahead and share it. No need to be “demure” – feel free to shed light on all the value you bring to the table and take things to the next level…without being too pushy or sales-y.

Loyalty should be rewarded

If you have a loyal customer who buys your products or services and listens to your suggestions, take initiative and reward him or her for that. There are a few different ways of showing your gratitude:

-You may send them a thank you letter

-Send them a piece of company swag

-Offer them a discount, free gift or gift card

Cross-selling and upselling are crucial strategies to earn more revenue from existing clients. Armed with these tips and suggestions, you are on your way of boosting your revenues and propelling your business forward.

If you are ready to boost your PR and marketing efforts, visit http://www.kambarian.com or call 516-724-4372 today. We are looking forward to speaking with you soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your Strategy for a Strong and Profitable 4th Quarter

by Angela Kambarian, Essential Communications

http://www.kambarian.com

 

Dear savvy business owner,

Now that we are in the middle of October, the holiday season is upon us. There is a lot to do and a lot to sort out, both in your personal and professional lives.

Some business professionals are utterly overwhelmed trying to prioritize their activities, goals and needs and reach their objectives by the end of the year. While it’s never easy to keep holiday-induced stress under control, there is still time to put together an impactful marketing strategy for the fourth quarter and end up your year with a bang. That said, there isn’t much time to waste. Get started NOW and propel your business forward.

I hope a few simple tips below will inspire you to take action and fuel your business growth in the last quarter.

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*Why don’t you spend more time catering to your most loyal clients

Lead generation is a necessary evil when it comes to building your business and your profits. While it’s crucial  to generate new prospects and dig up new opportunities, it is equally important to hone in on those who have an active purchase history with your company. I suggest you identify about 20% of social media followers or email subscribers driving the MOST traffic to your business and analyze their commonalities. Do they have a common denominator? Carefully review their demographics, locations, interests and most pressing needs and create a specific marketing campaign targeting these individuals. It would be wise to come up with a VIP customer sale or any other promotion exclusive to that target audience.

*Take time to tweak and polish your content

While you may have an overall content strategy, make sure your copy is specific to the 4th quarter. For example, if you are running a catering company, you may say something along the lines of “I am here to help you take the stress out of holiday party planning… on a shoe string budget …with our flexible catering and competitive pricing”. See my point? Just try to zero in and tailor your copy from a seasonal perspective.

*Create a sense of urgency

Well…a little bit of that may go a long way. Use your content to imply a limited quantity, time-sensitive promotions or one-off sales. Your job is to urge, inspire and motivate your clients or customers to take action. Don’t forget to take the time to schedule your activities and determine what to do or how to proceed with emails, social media posts, direct mail or publicity. In fact, anything you want to put in front of your customers should be scheduled and planned for. You may take into consideration Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas or Small Business Saturday. Let me assure you, the more you plan out, the easier it is going to be to execute your marketing or PR campaign and the more successful your communication strategy will be.

*Most importantly, be jolly!

Despite all the stress, holidays season is full of fun, joy and seasonal activities. Don’t forget to “let your hair down” and enjoy the festivities. Most clients are visual and love businesses that get into the spirit and let their “seasonal personality” shine. You may use holiday imagery in some of your promotions and posts, when appropriate. Help your clients get that warm felling when they enter your premises or jump on your website.

If you have any PR-related questions or would like to find out what marketing tools may be best for you, please visit http://www.kambarian.com, email: angela@kambarian.com or call (516) 724-4372 today. We are looking forward to chatting with you!

 

 

3 Vital Steps to Long-Term PR Success

by Angela Kambarian, Essential Communications

http://www.kambarian.com

Dear savvy business professional:

As you may know, turning your PR efforts into a smashing success and dramatically increasing your visibility is no easy feat. The competition is fierce, and most businesses are scrambling to get ahead and rise above the clutter. For consistently successful and impactful PR, you need to embrace the three vital strategies below.

Here are a few initial steps you should take to boost your PR and take your business to the next level:

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1.Figure out why people care

Let’s face it: we are living and doing business in a fast-paced world where changes occur on a daily basis. News cycles constantly shift. Some of the issues making headlines today may be forgotten in the next few days. What is hot today, may cool off as soon as the next cycle. Therefore, it essential that you figure out whether people will care about your messages…and if so, who? As soon as you address these very important questions, you will be better equipped to articulate your message and determine who to share it with. Therefore, this step is so much more than just figuring out what is “newsworthy”.

Always keep in mind that you are not the only one pitching a story to reporters. You have to set yourself apart and compete smarter to be heard. Long story short, one of the best ways to do that is to give your prospects, customers or clients what they need and what they are listening for in a way that gets their attention, sparks their interest and makes them want to know more.

2. Clearly identify your key message

You may have a few different things to say and a few crucial insights to share…However, your job is to determine what is the MOST IMPORTANT thing/issue/insight you want to mention. In fact, it should matter more than anything else. If you have no idea what that is, you are selling yourself and your business short…and just muddying your own message before it’s even sent anywhere. Once you figure out what your core message is, make sure you build all your messaging around that. Furthermore, all the people you are talking to (from clients to prospects to vendors) should receive and understand some version of that fundamental message, along with everything else you want to communicate to them.

The next step is to create a story around that message. Remember: nothing sells, connects or motivates better than a good story. Let me assure you that if you don’t have a story, you are at a “severe” disadvantage. In other words, people will listen longer, hear more and retain greater details if you message is expressed in a compelling story.

3.Find out what reporters are looking for

Whatever you niche or target market, there is a media realm designed to serve that niche or market. Do your homework and find out who these people are and learn what they need. Try to turn reporters and editors into your allies and let them help you get in front of your audience. You are more likely to boost your visibility, reputation and profits if you position yourself as a trusted resource and establish solid relationships with all the relevant media outlets. Let me assure you that a little bit of that goes a long way.

If you are ready to grow your business and need help with Public Relations, social media or copywriting, please visit www.kambarian.com or call 516.724.4372 today. I am looking forward to chatting with you and helping you achieve the success you KNOW you deserve!

 

 

A Few Strategies That Build a Roster of Great Clients

by Angela Kambarian, President, Essential Communications

http://www.kambarian.com

Dear savvy business professional:

As you already know, storytelling is one of the most crucial marketing strategies that has the power to impact your reputation,  improve visibility and transform earnings.  Some businesses tell scary or ugly stories, while many others create boring ones.

What YOU need to do is develop the kind of story that attracts more clients and boosts profits. When it comes to creating appealing stories , strong writing skills are important. But it’s not just your ability to write that will make a difference – it’s wise positioning that matters the most.

Below are a few story elements that are more likely to help businesses attract the right high-quality clients. At the right pricing. And in the right numbers.

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Find your authentic voice

For any business, the voice of your marketing messages is one of the most  essential story elements you can offer. Take another good look at your marketing communication materials – your brochure, website, landing page, sales letters, etc. Do you sound a little too formal or a little too stiff? Or do you come across as easy going and conversational? As you may already know, most folks attract like-minded individuals. Therefore, the personality you project into your writing voice will help you attract those qualities in your clients or prospects.

So why don’t you ask yourself what qualities your writing voice is conveying in all your marketing collaterals? Are you relaxed or agitated? Reassuringly professional or uptight? Charming or arrogant? Focused or distracted?

As a real pro you should have more control over your writing than regular people do. Use that skill to impart the kinds of qualities and attributes you want to see more of in your clients.

The quality of your website matters

It is quite hard to come across as informed and web-savvy when your website looks outdated or sloppy. I am not suggesting you should start obsessing over every new design trend or every word, sentence or phrase. But you DO need to make sure your site looks fresh, appealing and uncluttered, and the content is well-written and convincing. Simple as that.

Pay attention to your pricing

Keep in mind that price is one of the most impactful and powerful nonverbal elements of any business story. When you sell your services, you sell your time. Yeah…hours of your life…the one thing you can never recapture. Selling those hours at a discount just doesn’t make sense. Crummy clients want cheap service providers to produce generic services. Great clients need experienced,reliable and high-quality professionals with a proven track record of success and who know exactly what they are doing.

Your level of professionalism can make or break a deal

This one is old school…and extremely important. When prospects leave a query on your “Contact Us” form, make sure you respond right away. By the way, how long does it take you to get back to them? Do you have a proven system in place to address each inquiry? Are you hitting your deadlines, every time? Oh…and don’t take any client for granted. Every touch point will move your closer or further away from building a solid, long-term and successful professional relationship. Let’s face it: when it comes to dealing with service providers, oftentimes reliability is an issue. When clients are dealing with an individual who does what she says she is going to do, every time, it makes a major impact.

So make sure you address inquiries as soon as you can. This alone will make a difference in your revenue over a year. Follow up diligently. Manage your deadlines. Find ways to stay organized and on top of things. If you are swamped or have a family emergency, add a simple autoresponder to let folks know you will connect as soon as possible and give them the attention they deserve.

Here is what one well-known and well-revered marketing guru has to say about dealing with prospects or clients: ” When you want to attract and retain wonderful clients, you need to take care of them like the treasures they are. It will get noticed.” I couldn’t agree more…

If you are ready to grow your business and need help with Public Relations, social media or copywriting, please visit www.kambarian.com or call 516.724.4372 today. I am looking forward to chatting with you and helping you achieve the success you KNOW you deserve!