By: Johana M. Caba, M.A.
A press kit is designed to earn media attention for your business, brand, products, events, etc. It is one of the oldest tools used by public relations professionals to earn media attention for their clients. Back in the day, press kits were printed and mailed to media contacts while now they can be sent out electronically as electronic press kits (EPK) via email. Press kits can vary depending on your industry, business size, brand, etc. There are many ways to design visually appealing press kits that get your business the media attention you want. Getting your business featured in one of the major publications in your area, region or country is a huge accomplishment. Of course, you can always pay publications to feature your business as an ad. Earning the media attention through the use of these elements and media pitching is much better for your business because it is more trust-worthy to potential customers than ads. In this post, we will go over the best tips for creating your own press kit from public relations professionals and a free Press Kit Template will be emailed to you once your subscribe to my monthly newsletter (subscribed members will receive the free template with the December newsletter).
Press Kit Design
First thing is to gather all of your materials. There is a lot that goes into a your kit whether you are a small business, a blogger or a large non-profit organization. Before you can earn media through your good work, products and word-of-mouth, you will need to have all your ducks in a row. As a public relations professional, you learn the basics of creating a media kit in your introductory PR classes. In these classes, you learn that a media kit is a collection of materials arranged in a folder, envelope or other device that includes a cover letter summarizing the content of the kit and other materials that are listed below. I had not thought about this topic for a while since I work in the government relations aspect of PR which focuses more on pitching to journalists through press releases. But, a few weeks ago, I received an email newsletter from Garrett PR, you can subscribe to their newsletter on their website. The master mind behind this agency, their social media presence and their amazing blog is Michelle Garrett whom you can follow on Twitter @PRisUs.
Now that you know what sparked my interest in creating a press kit template and providing you with their purpose, let's dive in to their design. As I said before, you need to gather your information. Things you will need:
Media Guides and Guest Commentaries
A media guide is something that a brand/business/individual/organization provides to journalists that cover their industry. A company/business can have a section on their websites dedicated for the press with materials that are typically provided through a media guide. In this section of the website, you can include your bios, stats, fact sheets, press releases, photos and videos, etc. Of course, this all depends on your business. For bloggers, this might be different. Bloggers pitch their services to PR representatives at different companies and businesses through a press kit. The main difference between a blogger kit and a company kit is the purpose. The blogger press kit works to earn partnerships and sponsorships between the blogger and the business. The company media kit functions to earn the business/brand media attention by pitching to journalists and other PR representatives at different publications.
Another thing that is a great addition whether your purpose aligns with bloggers or companies, is guest commentaries. These are written reviews, letters or other materials from individuals that have certain credentials. For example, a skin care company might include a review from a dermatologist while a blogger might include a testimonial from a previous partnership or sponsorship. It all depends on the industry, but it is always good to have some individuals ready to give commentary to either journalists or PR representatives on your brand. The purpose of these guest commentaries is to be persuasive in their nature. They help in supporting your brand/business/individual credentials and provide word-of-mouth in support of your purpose.
Social Media and the Blogosphere
Social Media has a long history and has had an enduring influence on the way people and organizations communicate. It provides a two-way channel of communication between organizations and their customers. Unfortunately, at times it is a double-edged sword when it comes to bad reviews and bad comments on the brand. Still, social media is very important to your presence online. It is a great place to make contact and communicate with brands you want to partner with and with journalists you want to pitch. There are a lot of journalists on Twitter over other platforms. It is very important for your brand to be active on social media, to reply to comments, to share good reviews, and to help customers when they ask for help. This allows your reputation to be positive, to have more page likes on Facebook, to have your products pinned on Pinterest, and to increase your reach and engagement.
The blogosphere refers to all of the blogs on different industries that exist on the internet. There are blogs on lifestyle, exercise, personal blogs, company blogs, commentary blogs, book reviews, and so forth. As a small business, it can be beneficial to pitch to bloggers because they can provide positive attention for your business/brand. They will also help increase your reach and engagement with your target audience. For example, if you are a candle brand, it would be beneficial to partner with lifestyle and decor bloggers to have them review your products. This will only cost you shipping fees as you can provide them with your products to review. If things work out and the blogger likes your product, you can always offer them an affiliate code to promote your product. To learn more about affiliate marketing, visit my blog post on the topic.
Thank you for reading my long post on a public relations press kit for your small business or blogger brand. Subscribe to my newsletter to get the free template in your inbox. Remember, subscribed members will receive the templates with the December newsletter. And, if you have any questions or need any help, comment below or reach out to me on Twitter.
By: Johana M. Caba, M.A.
Social Media Trends are continuously changing with new algorithms, new social platforms, new features on existing platforms, and new audience psychographics. I've discussed previously the demographics and psychographics of audiences in my post on creating your own Social Media Marketing Plan. In this post, we will touch upon some psychographics that will be causing social media trends to change in 2021. These changes have already been seen with various audiences throughout this year with the COVID-19 Pandemic. Throughout this post, we will discuss various social media trends that small business owners should be aware of for 2021.
Social Media Trends
A COVID Content Focus
We just discussed 5 of the social media trends that you will be seeing in 2021. Now, let's take a moment to discuss something new. If you take a look at some of the social trends for next year on Google, you will come across articles from Social Media Today and Talkwalker that discuss COVID content as a trend. They discuss the 4 C's of COVID content which focus on communication, contactless, cleanliness, and compassion. This is becoming a big topic in marketing because according to Talkwalker, 78% of consumers want brands to help them in their daily lives. What does this mean for small business? Well, this means that consumers are looking for brands, big and small, that can provide a way to help in relation to one of the 4 C's. For example, some businesses offer contactless shopping and deliveries, and others openly communicate about their policies and what they are doing to help. This open communication and the efforts businesses are taking to keep everyone safe through contactless shopping and cleanliness demonstrate the compassion that they have towards their consumers and employees. Additionally, this is very important to keep in mind considering that more members of a business's ideal customers are more socially aware than before.
These are all trends that you need to keep in mind for your small business, brand, and content. It will be beneficial to keep them in mind when working on your marketing strategy for 2021. And, if you need any help, visit my services page and fill out the contact form to reach out to me.
By: Johana M. Caba, M.A.
A Content Marketing Strategy is one of the best ways to get some traffic to your website and guide your leads down the Content Marketing Funnel to your call-to-action. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the two huge spending holidays that businesses and consumers wait for all year long. It's the time of year where people spend money on Holiday Gifts and splurge on items like TVs and laptops. During this time, businesses join the madness by offering great discounts, free shipping all month, and great bundle packages. So, let us discuss some marketing tips that you can easily implement to increase your engagement rates and potential sales.
Analyze Your Marketing Efforts
First thing is to analyze your previous marketing efforts. You should already know what who your target audience is, where they spend most of their time online, their purchasing habits, etc. We went over how to create your own Social Media Marketing Plan for the Holidays in the last post; so, for this post, we will skip over those initial steps and start from the bottom of your marketing plan, which should be to evaluate your campaign. At this time, you should be looking at what you have done in the past in terms of marketing for the Holidays. Did it work? Were you successful? Did you increase your leads and sales? These are questions you should be asking in order to move forward with a better idea of what strategies you will use again and which ones you will change. After you analyze your marketing efforts, you should have a better idea of what to do next. For example, will you be spending some money from your budget on social media ads or on influencer marketing? Tip: Micro-influencers might do a better job at getting you engagement, leads and sales depending on your industry or niche. Then, think about what it is that you want to accomplish this year. If this is a last minute plan that you want to create and implement for the Holidays, then it's time to get working!
Read the Room
This year has been very hard on families and businesses. Economically, we are not at the place we would have been last year because of the global pandemic which has altered our way of living and caused widespread job-loss. Some of us have lost loved ones, some of us have survived the virus, and others have tried to be careful, wear masks and practice social distancing. I'm going over this because it's important that you read the room for any marketing plan. There have been many examples in the past of organizations/businesses that did not read the room before launching a campaign. Remember H&M's "coolest monkey in the jungle" hoodie scandal? And, most recently, Kim Kardashian-West's tone-deaf private island birthday party posts. You might think, what do Kim Kardashian and H&M have to do with reading the room? Well, H&M decided to move forward with a racist ad campaign that alienated customers and used an African American child to model a racist hoodie. And, as a businesswoman and business owner, Kim Kardashian decided to post her privileged and ultra-rich lifestyle posts during a global pandemic when people are struggling to put food on the table while others are dying from the virus. The point I'm trying to make is that it is very important to be aware of socio-economic trends and events occurring before launching any campaign. You need to make sure that you are not bringing negative attention to your business from your campaign. Yes, I know that not everything is going to make everyone happy all the time, but it is important that you do your research and read the room to minimize backlash and negative feedback.
Planning & Affiliate Marketing
It's not too late to start planning your Holiday campaign. Yes, November is next week, but that doesn't mean you can't launch a successful campaign. Yes, you procrastinated and that's why you are reading this post, but you can still plan great content, create a great strategy and get your sales. After researching, knowing your target audience, reading the room, evaluating past campaigns, and setting your goals, it's time to plan. Here, you are deciding what content to post, what ads to run, where to advertise, etc. If you are a business that sells physical products, then you need to make sure your website is up-do-date and that there are no dead links. Your plan will involve promoting your products through your social media pages, having sales and discounts, offering free shipping and getting micro-influencers to promote your products. You can always reach out to micro-influencers via their emails, websites and social media accounts. Offer them an affiliate link and settle on a percentage of sales that they will get for promoting your products. Affiliate marketing is the way to go here because you aren't spending any of your own money from the budget, instead you are paying them a percentage of the product price after the customer purchases it. For more information on Affiliate Marketing for Small Business, visit my post explaining everything.
Social Media Ads Strategy
My last tip is to use social media ads. Utilizing ads is a great way to reach your target audience, get more views and engagement, and guide more people to your website. The great thing about social media is that you don't need a multi-million dollar budget to get to your target audience. It is very effective even with a very low budget. My best tips are to create engaging graphics to promote through social media ad campaigns or through boosting posts. I always suggest boosting posts that are performing well organically because they will continue to perform well after being promoted. When creating an ad campaign through social media, keep in mind that you need to know and understand your target audience. You can select geo-targeting which will allow you to target people within a certain area. This is good to do for businesses with physical locations. For online-based businesses, it is better to focus on expanding reach and guiding leads to your website rather than on geo-targeting. Another tip is to spend your ad money on the platforms that matter for your business specifically. This means that you do not have to spend all your money on every single platform. For example, some businesses might find that they receive more engagement on Pinterest than on Twitter. So, for this business it's better to focus on advertising on Pinterest. Same goes for other social media platforms. If your engagement and leads are acquired through 1 or 2 platforms compared to all 4 or 5 that you may use, then focus on spending your ad money on those specific platforms.
I hope that these 4 quick tips help you create a great plan for your marketing campaigns this Holiday Season! Black Friday and Cyber Monday are one of the hardest days to get through for sales and businesses. Remember to take everything one step at a time and if you need help, reach out to me by email or DM me on Twitter!
By: Johana M. Caba, M.A.
The Holidays are one of the busiest seasons of the year! A lot of people spend a lot of money on big and small businesses. And, I'm sure that this year you want to be ahead of the season with the current Pandemic affecting a lot of our typical holiday shopping traditions. So, in this post, let us go over how to create your social media marketing plan for your small business or brand. We will also go over blogging tips to get you ready for blogmas and for sharing your holiday posts.
Social Media Marketing Plan for Small Business
As a small business owner, you might not know where to begin your social media marketing plan. If you have the budget, I suggest hiring a social media manager to take care of your plan, content and posting. If you would rather do-it-yourself, then keep reading. It is one thing to know how to use social media to promote your products and connect to your target audience, but it is another thing to understand how to properly utilize it for an effective and strategic social media marketing plan that will help you in boosting traffic to your website and/or to your brick-and-mortar location.
So, what is social media marketing? Well, social media marketing (SMM) is the process of utilizing social media platforms and websites to promote products, content and services. But, isn't it just about posting a lot of pictures and getting followers? Well, that's a part of it but it is not as easy as it sounds. It is not easy to get followers and it is even harder to get good engagement on your posts. Think about it, how long have you been on social media, how often do you post, how many followers do you have, and how much engagement do you get per post? If you don't know the answers to these questions, then you are not going to be able to create a strategic and effective plan for your business.
The first thing you should know is that your profiles need to be optimized for the platform that you are using. You should also know that you do not have to be on every single platform. It is best to select the platforms where your target audience spends most of their time which can be two to three. If you focus on a few, you will be able to spend more time and be more consistent than trying to keep up with half a dozen platforms. For more on selecting the right platform for your business or industry, take a look at our post on the Best Social Media Platforms for your Business. Now that you have selected the platforms, let us move on with creating your plan.
Target Audience & Social Media Audit
After you have done a little research and know which platforms you will focus on, you need to do some research on your target audience. Think about who you are trying to target. Is your business targeting middle age adults, teens, senior citizens, women, men, children, etc? These are your demographics. A good strategy to use besides just thinking about who you want to target, is taking a look at who your competitors target. Your competitors should be those in your community (physical and/or virtual) that target the same group with the same products and services. You should also research the industry in general to find out some demographics. For example, you might be an online clothing brand that targets women. Depending on what you sell, you might be targeting females ages 15-40 that want trendy fast-fashion at affordable prices. You will need to research their income to understand how much they might be willing to spend. Another thing you need to look at is psychographics. So, what is the difference between demographics and psychographic? Well, demographics focuses on statistical data on a population including age, gender, race, ethnicity, income, education, etc. Psychographics focus on the classification of individuals in a population according to their attitudes, aspirations, behaviors, and other psychological factors. You can use all of this data to divide your target audience into your primary, secondary and tertiary audience. For example, your primary audience can be kids and teens who do not typically purchase their own things. So, your secondary audience is parents and your tertiary might be uncles, aunts and grandparents.
Understanding your target audience might take some time and research. But, after you have identified your ideal target audience you can move on to your social media audit. The audit will consist of analyzing your own social media pages. You will look at your followers, content, engagement, and analytics. If you do not have social media accounts yet, then you should take a look at the social media accounts of your competitors. You will not have access to their analytics, but you can determine their followers, engagement rates and you can look at what content they share. This can also help you decide the type of content that you will share on your own pages. If you already have social media accounts and you are conducting an audit, you should take a look at what type of content performs best. Take a look at your engagement rate, your followers' demographics, the times that they are active on social media and so on. This can help you determine the best posting and content strategy moving forward. For more help with analytics, visit our posts onunderstanding social media analytics for small business.
Social Media Marketing Plan
To create your own strategic and effective plan, you need to first decide your SMART Goals and Objectives. SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. For example, to gain 300 new Twitter followers by December. An objective is what you aim to achieve. Your goals can be overall business goals whereas your objectives can be specific to the campaign. Goals are the outcomes you intend to achieve whereas objectives are the actions that will help you achieve your goals. After deciding your goals and objectives, you can move on to your tactics and strategies. This is set of words which people typically confuse. Tactics are the steps/actions you will take to achieve your strategy. For more information on tactics and strategies, you can take a look at our Beginners Guide to a PR Plan.
One of your strategies when creating a social media plan will be to use social media platforms to share information or content about your business, brand and products. One of your tactics will be creating a content calendar. The content calendar will help you plan out when you will be posting what and on which platforms. This will also help you determine when you will be creating new content and when you will be curating content or sharing older content. This is particularly helpful for blogs and online based businesses. You can use a content calendar to plan when you will be promoting what products and services ahead of the Holiday season. A content calendar will also help you in creating your overall Holiday campaign.
Let's do a quick review before moving on to blogging tips. First, research your market and competitors. Second, research your target audience. Third, conduct a social media audit. Fourth, set your SMART goals. Fifth, set your objectives. Sixth, set your strategies and tactics. Seventh, create the materials for your tactics. And, if you are not a small business owner, you can always share these tips and support your favorite small businesses in so many ways. Read this post from Rach Talks Business for some great ways you can support your favorite small businesses!
Holiday Blogging Tips
Blogging during the Holidays is different because you will be busy. It is the time of year where you can make the most money from affiliate marketing sales, sponsorships and other monetization tactics. There are a lot of bloggers that offer great tips and even sell their guides to affiliate marketing for beginners. Some have a list of blogging resources that are perfect for beginners like this post from Rach Talks Business on the Best Blogging Resources to Transform your Blog. For this post, we will go over some of the tips I think will help you the most during the Holidays:
By: Johana M. Caba, M.A.
Halloween or Ol'Hallow's Eve, is that time of year right before the big rush of the Holiday Season. It's busy but it is still the calm before the storm of Black Friday and so on. It is one of the busiest times of year for so many big businesses and small businesses. This year, these Holidays will be different due to the current Pandemic, but small businesses and online based businesses can still expect to make good profits. In this post, let us go over 6 social media marketing tips that you can use to boost your sales this Halloween and get you ready for the Holidays!
Optimizing your Website & Social Media Accounts
First thing is to ensure that your website and social media accounts are optimized. What do I mean by optimized? Well, when you optimize, you are ensuring that your website is accessible to search engines and that you are improving the overall chances that your website has to be indexed by these search engines. To do this, you need to make sure that you add the relevant keywords and phrases to your website's search engine optimization (SEO), edit your meta tags, edit your image tags, and make sure that you do not have any broken links. You will also need to optimize your social media accounts. Make sure that your accounts are easily found on your website, that you are posting consistently, that you respond to any customer concerns in a timely manner, and that you use hashtags to help you expand your reach. This is also a good time to audit your social media profiles to make sure that they are up-do-date, that your profile images are consistent and that your banners are consistent. Tip: Optimize your Instagram bio by separating important things into a bullet-style bio using emojis as your bullet points.
Prepare your Campaign
You might be thinking, I'm not a huge business, why do I need to prepare a campaign? Well, a campaign will help you organize your goals, set up your key performance indicators (KPI), and it will help you create a content strategy to use. Here is a good time to look at the Content Marketing Funnel to help you decide how to attract your target audience and at which stages of the funnel to implement which tactics. This is also the point where you begin to create your Content Calendar in order to plan out when you will post new content and at what times. At this stage, you are planning your content, designing some graphics and ads, and figuring out when you will be posting for optimal engagement. You can do this by taking a look at your analytics. If you do not have a service that gives you all of your analytics from different platforms in one place, then you can go to each platform individually. For Twitter, go to their Analytics tab, same goes for Pinterest if you have a business account. For Instagram and Facebook, if your accounts are linked you can look at certain analytics in the same place, but otherwise you can look at Insights on your business pages. Your analytics will tell you at what times of day your audience is engaging the most, where they are from so you can determine the optimal posting times, their interests, gender distribution, age, and other demographics. Use this information to guide your campaign!
Promotions & Giveaways
Halloween is a great time to run some flash promotions and plan some giveaways! If you are a convenience store, with a physical location, then this is a good time to decorate your store for Halloween and have some candy sales. Otherwise, keep reading! For online based businesses and other small businesses that are not convenience stores or large warehouses like Costco and BJ's, your strategy will be different. For example, a hair salon will use social media to run special promotions like doing Halloween makeup for a lower fee, doing new hair color changes for the fall for a special discount, etc. It really depends on your business. You will need to use social media to share your discounts with your audience and promote your giveaways. It's important to take quality photos of your products or examples of your work, or make engaging graphics using tools likeCanva to design. Talking about giveaways! I will be giving away a free physical version of my planner, The Blogger's Planner. If you would like to enter this giveaway, subscribe to my monthly newsletter, follow me on Twitter and share this blog post with your followers. I will be selecting the winner on October 31st! Good luck!
Affiliates, Public Relations & Influencers
You are a small business, but you can still have affiliates, send PR packages and contact influencers. This is all a part of your overall social media/content marketing strategy! You can use affiliate marketing to get your products and services out to larger audiences by partnering with bloggers and other influencers in your industry. For example, if you are a small beauty/skin care brand, you can always contact beauty influencers and bloggers. Another example, if you are a small lifestyle brand or a small candle maker, you can always contact and partner with lifestyle bloggers and influencers. Make them affiliates and gift them your products. This way, they can try out your products and share their reviews with you and their followers. Remember, if a person sees another person that they follow give a good review of a new product or brand, then that person is more likely to become aware of the new product/brand, visit their website and purchase. This is called word-of-mouth marketing even if you hear about it on social media. And, it doesn't have to be expensive to send out PR packages. For example, with my new planner, I've sent out email style PR packages with my planner and a nice thank you note. If you have a physical product, you will want to send out physical packages, just limit the number you send out if you do not have a large budget due to shipping fees being pricey.
Create Great Content
This might sound harder than it is. Creating great content does require some skill, creativity and inspiration. With the right tools, you can create your own graphics, write your own content and plan when to share it. For a small business, you might wear many hats and might want to hire a social media manager to create the content and share it for you. They will also be able to create your strategy and help you increase your website traffic and boost your sales. If you want some information and tips on graphic design and creating your own content, visit my previous graphic design blog posts including 5 Graphic Design Tips for your Logo! To create great content, you need to know some of the basics of design, how to pair fonts, select color palettes and so on. You should also be aware of what type of content your target audience prefers. You can figure this out by taking a look at your analytics on your social media pages. Another way to figure out what type of content your target audience prefers, is to do some market research including a competitor analysis to see what your competition is sharing/promoting to their audience.
Social Media Ads
The sixth tip is to use social media ads. I say this all the time because they work, especially if you have a good budget and a good strategy. My strategy is to promote/boost my social media posts that already have good organic engagement. I do this because I know that they will receive more engagement and impressions than boosting a post that does not have good organic engagement. When boosting posts or creating social media ads, you will need to select geo-targeting if you are trying to reach a local audience, you will also need to select the demographics, your call-to-action and your budget. When promoting something to a broader audience, you do not have to select geo-targeting locations. If you are an online retailer or online small business, it's better to select a broader audience. If you have a brick-and-mortar location, then geo-targeting is better because it will show your ads to local members of your target audience which can guide them to visiting your physical location.
When you are creating your holiday campaign, you need to remember these tips. These social media marketing tips will help you boost your website traffic by increasing your reach on social media and guiding leads to your website. If you follow the Content Marketing Funnel, you can successfully guide them to your call-to-action which will be to subscribe, purchase or hire. If you want a more in-depth explanation on creating a social media marketing strategy to boost your website traffic, get Denelia Storm's new e-book Social Media Power (Affiliate) and her Free Social Media Roadmap guide today!
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