How to Use PR in the Sales Process

by Angela Kambarian, Founder, Essential Communications

http://www.kambarian.com

Oftentimes, converting a sales lead into a customer or a client is a challenge. What’s more, it is not always easy to get ANY type of response from your prospects – be it good or bad. It typically doesn’t occur to sales and marketing teams to incorporate PR activities into the sales process precluding them from closing deals and boosting profits. In fact, it’s a big mistake which may result in missed opportunities.

Simply put, if your sales team isn’t utilizing earned media to move your prospects through each stage of the sales funnel, then you are neglecting the full potential of your communication efforts.

The capabilities PR provides in the context of the sales cycle include some of the following:

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1.Serving as a valuable resource for your prospects, providing some of the latest updates, insights and tips outside of sales.

2. Offering crucial recommendations on how to clearly communicate your messages to various audiences.

3. Acting as a proactive information resource to elevate your company’s stature in the industry – from pointing out industry awards to gaining recognition from industry influencers to becoming a trusted source on the latest industry trends and developments.

Being proactive can make all the difference in the world

Your company should rigorously seek to secure media coverage. When good things happen, don’t keep them to yourself. Go ahead and share the news. If you sit back or rest on your laurels for too long, it is highly unlikely that your prospects will beat a path to your doors.

In addition, make sure to take full advantage of social media. It is essential that you keep your LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social channels current. This way you will attract more followers, drive more traffic to your website and potentially become a go-to resource.

Earned media hits are excellent conversation starters with prospects and could be leveraged in so many different ways.  For example if you choose to distribute a monthly newsletter to your target audience, email marketing that mentions your most recent placement goes a long way to keep your company competitive and top of mind, while your prospects are considering purchasing your offerings.

What I have found from years of experience is that significant benefits accrue when PR is integrated into a sales strategy. In fact, it can facilitate an interactive environment that prospects tend to view as informative rather than too sales-y or intrusive.

At a time when prospective clients or customers have access to a myriad of information, options and suggestions, PR serves as an added dose of stickiness and trust. According to one marketing guru, “sales still reels in the catch but PR provides the irresistible bait.”

If you are ready to boost your Public Relations, marketing and social media efforts, please visit http://www.kambarian.com or call 516-724-4372 today! Looking forward to chatting with you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The 5 Habits of Highly Successful Content Creators

by Angela Kambarian

Founder, Essential Communications

http://www.kambarian.com

As you may already know, content creation has become one of the most essential aspects of a marketing and Public Relations strategy. Sadly, very few business professionals are capable of developing riveting content that educates, informs and inspires their readers. Why? It could be due to a lack of time, expertise or creative ideas, among other things. Most folks are fully focused on what they do best, with very little energy left for writing, marketing or PR activities.

So what does it take to become a savvy content creator? What is the best way to establish yourself as an industry leader in your field and take your competition by storm?

In a nutshell, content creators produce a wide variety of entertaining or educational materials that bring value to their new and existing clients. This content can take many different forms including (but not limited to) infographics, images, blog posts, videos, ebooks, etc.

Whether you choose to develop content on your own or hire a content marketing team, there are some tried-and-true methods that can help you engage your audience and dramatically improve your reputation. While miracles do not happen and your skills may not improve overnight, the sooner you embrace the right habits and techniques listed below, the sooner you will be on your way to becoming a high-quality content creator.

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  1. Try to devote some time to writing on a regular basis

If you don’t use it, you lose it. Simple as that. Therefore, I suggest you get in the habit of writing – every day or every other day. Of course I am not talking about a highly-detailed and polished 2000-word essay on an industry-specific topic. I am talking about setting aside about 10-20 minutes just to jot down some of your thoughts and ideas. Doing so should help you work through ideas that might be cluttered in your head and potentially identify nuggets that could transform into successful strategies. Without a doubt, it’s worth the effort.

2. Identify your own voice

Are you the only one providing advice, writing articles and sharing your insights? Obviously not. Your job is to figure out how to stand out from the crowd and get noticed. Diversifying into a new content medium, promoting your content on different channels and gaining trust are just some of the things you can do to set yourself apart. How are you and your organization different from others? What can you incorporate into your story that nobody else can? How would you define your personal voice? Here is what I want you to know: Readers click on your content for the information, but they come back for the personality.

3. Pay attention to your key performance indicators (KPIs)

Here is the deal: Just because you publish content online doesn’t mean you will get all the traffic your story deserves. To get your content discovered, you need to focus in on a key performance indicator and optimize your content for it. KPI is a metric you have chosen to measure how well your content is doing against your expectations. Please note that KPIs include social media traffic, direct traffic to your website, the number of visitors who use search engines, or the number of people who submit their contact information in exchange for your articles (a form of lead generation).

4. Offer solutions, not just commentary

For successful content creators, expertise isn’t everything. If you want your readers to remember your content, don’t just recite the things you know – explain why they are important and what your audience can take away from it. They are not interested in just hearing you talk. Your job is to help them solve a problem and put your market observations into terms they can understand and learn from.

5. Play devil’s advocate

As a savvy content creator, you should get in the habit of questioning the status quo. Taking the contrarian view of a piece of content can be difficult at first, but if you start to question why the author thinks this way and what happened in the industry that triggered this point of view, you will begin to think more critically about the content you are consuming. By the way, critical thinkers usually make great content creators!

If you are ready to boost your Public Relations, marketing and social media efforts, please visit http://www.kambarian.com or call 516-724-4372 today! Looking forward to chatting with you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Effective Ways to Communicate with Your Employees

Dear savvy business professional:

Are you spending enough time developing communication materials for your team members? Every business owner should revisit and re-evaluate their internal communications and give this very important strategy the attention it deserves.

Here is why.

It appears that an overwhelming majority of employees are NOT up-to-date on company information and news. In fact, according to Gallup, more than 74% of employees feel that they are missing out on the crucial information that could facilitate their progress or improve their performance. There is another research suggesting that just 4 in 10 can confidently describe to others what their employer does. Pretty amazing, isn’t it?

There is a good reason why things are the way they are. Most organizations do not put much emphasis on internal communications, which may lead to a great deal of misunderstanding, disengagement or fear. Obviously, this is not a good way to run a business.

So here are a few very important tips to improve employee communication in the workplace and strengthen your team.

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1. Cut the crap and clarify your messages

Traditionally, employee communication has been focused on broadcasting news and information in a steady cascade down. Let me assure  you that this formal approach is NOT conducive to two-way conversation. And it’s certainly NOT a good way to obtain much-needed feedback from your team members. On top of that, it tends to be quite boring and may put your employees to sleep rather than inspire or educate them. A better way to connect with them is to create a better, more riveting and more effective flow of information. Forget about a stuffy, bland stew of jargon; get rid of all your buzzwords and cliches and try to be more straightforward. Most importantly, encourage your employees to be a part of the discussion so you can dispel rumors or clear up misconceptions.

2. Stop communicating with employees the same way you did years ago

As you know, things continue to evolve in the workplace. Preferences change. Therefore, you should adjust your programs and platforms accordingly. Why don’t you poll your employees to see which channels and technologies they prefer – if no one uses the intranet, pivot to something else. And if no one pays attention to your printed or online newsletter, shouldn’t you kill it? In addition to that, make sure your communications are representative of the diversity you have on board and give everyone a voice.

3. Diversify your employee communications

That’s where you have to get creative. Take some time to develop different kinds of messages via different mediums. After all, who wants to read the same mundane messages for years on end? Have fun with your internal communications. If you discover that your emails are going unopened, send a video or an audio message. You can use an infographic or a photo essay to convey a new policy or explain a new procedure.

4. Use employee communications to empower your team

Your task is not only to inform and educate your employees, but also inspire, motivate and bring out the best in each one of them. In every piece you develop, try to incorporate an uplifting message. Don’t be afraid to include an element of empowerment for your colleagues. You can also share useful content that can help them grow professionally, creatively or intellectually. Become a source of inspiration and helpful information, address questions, solicit feedback and utilize your platform to lift up those around you. This new strategy is worth your while and eventually will pay off big time.

If you are ready to boost your Public Relations, marketing and social media efforts, please visit http://www.kambarian.com or call 516-724-4372 today! Looking forward to chatting with you.

 

 

Social Media Tools to Take Your Business to the Next Level

By Angela Kambarian, Founder of Essential Communications

http://www.kambarian.com

Dear savvy business professional, 

You are probably well-aware of the fact that in today’s fiercely competitive business environment, maintaining a social media presence is paramount to your success, increased earnings and improved reputation. If you choose to ignore social media, you are at risk of falling behind and letting your competitors take over.

Therefore, I decided to share some additional insights about a few social media tools that can help you galvanize your marketing and propel your business forward.

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Here are a few crucial strategies to add your arsenal:

Even though there are countless social media networks to choose from, your job is to familiarize yourself with all the nuances, specific advantages and demographic offerings each channel has to offer.

For instance, Facebook is a great tool for retail businesses allowing them to advertise their products, post content and interact with followers. Twitter is another popular network offering a few advertising options and an opportunity to post ads. Snapchat is an unconventional marketing tool; unless you are selling to millennials, you can forego using this network and focus on others. Pinterest works best for businesses with specific niches, such as travel, beauty, food, health or fashion. Instagram targets individuals between the ages of 18 and 29 and enables businesses to connect with a millennial market.

Post compelling images

According to one study, riveting images resulted in a 94% increase in total post views on social media. Besides, young millennials have an insatiable appetite for the visual which should prompt you to create eye-catching photos to boost your online presence.

Post often and post conistently

While consistency is key to your success, I want you to be aware that there are optimal times to post on different networks.

When it comes to Facebook, aim to post at least once a day between 1pm and 4pm. Twitter may require a whopping 15 posts per day to get the best impact. You should post one to two times on Instagram, with the first one around 8am-9am and the second one in the afternoon around 2pm.

Armed with these valuable insights, you will be better equipped to enhance your marketing campaign, step up your game and stand out in a crowded marketplace. Good luck with your endeavors!

If you are ready to boost your Public Relations, marketing and social media efforts, please visit http://www.kambarian.com or call 516-724-4372 today! Looking forward to chatting with you.

 

 

 

 

How to Craft a Riveting Brand Manifesto

By Angela Kambarian, Founder of Essential Communications

http://www.kambarian.com

Dear savvy business professional:

How do some of the most successful and inspirational leaders build a loyal following? They create a core message that clearly articulates the purpose of their organization. It is NOT about your product, what it is or how it works; it’s about explaining why people should care about your organization and its cause which may ultimately result in a bigger support for your brand and increased influence. In other words, buyers purchase the “why” of your organization, not the “what” or “how”.

Resonating with your audience and connecting with your prospects on a deeper level is what appeals to the part of the brain responsible for action. Simply put, if you can evoke emotion, you can influence behavior. If you fail to accomplish that, you will have a hard time closing a deal and selling your product. Therefore, the best way to go is invest your time and creativity into writing a brand manifesto. Let me assure you – it’s worth the effort.

So what is a brand manifesto? In a nutshell, it describes why your company exists, its purpose and why people should care about it. It’s an emotional story that “pulls heart strings”, captivates your prospects and inspires them to support your business. In addition to that, it can help you gain more visibility among potential job candidates and attract top talent.

Here are a few straightforward suggestions on how to develop a brand manifesto that will transform your image, your reputation and your business.

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1. Clearly identify the reason your company exists and why anyone should care

As I stated above, your brand’s purpose drives your entire brand manifesto. Keep in mind that without it, your message will lack authenticity and look more like a manipulative poorly-constructed sales pitch. There are quite a few phrases to avoid, such as “We are number one!”, “We are the best”, “We deliver”, etc. Remember: your “best-in-class” features are NOT going to prompt people to throw their support behind your company.

There is a better way to do it! Why don’t you consider asking your founders WHY they started the company. What encouraged them to take action, take a risk, and invest their resources into their business? What problem were they eager to solve? Was there anything in particular that bothered them? And why were they so determined to grow their company? More likely than not, your organization’s purpose may be “lurking” somewhere within the answers.

2. Explain how your company’s purpose will improve people’s lives

Most people are determined to improve their image and their lives. It’s a no-brainer. In fact, self-actualization is a universal goal that almost everyone living on this planet wants to achieve. The smartest brand marketers understand this about the human nature. Nike – define and meet your own greatness. Fiat-enjoy the life to the fullest. Levi’s – don’t ever settle in life. As you can see, these statements are powerful life mantras that improve lives and bring out the best in people. As a result, their customers imagine a future with their product or service bettering their lives. See my point? 🙂

3. Write in second or third-person to place your customers into the story you are telling

As an effective communicator, you should pull your prospects or customers in by demonstrating how your business can help them and how it can improve their lives. So if you use pronouns like “you”, “we” and “them”, you can engage your audience on a personal level and place them in your narrative.

Final words:

If you polish your communication skills, get your creative juices flowing and take the time to develop a powerful, riveting and stimulating brand manifesto, you will be better equipped to persuade people to support your brand, build a loyal following and take your business to the next level. Good luck with your endeavors!

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!