If you missed today’s webinar “The Convergence of PR and SEO: Harnessing the Power of Content, Social and Search,” here are a few of the key points and highlights that you should know about. Led by Janet Driscoll Miller, President and CEO of Search Mojo and SpeakerBox’s own Elizabeth Shea, the webinar focused on how marketing and communications professionals can improve their PR, content marketing and SEO programs and how these elements should be coordinated.
The webinar kicked off with a focus on content – because after all, content is king. Unlike a few years back, PR efforts including authored articles and the like are now considered another form of content and utilized as such. And written content is not the only way to increase SEO either. If possible, incorporate webinars, images and videos on your Website. Videos in particular rank very high in Google search results.
Creating great content does not have to involve recreating the wheel each time either. In fact, content should be repurposed up to 5 times to gain maximum value. Have a great case study? Turn it into a press release. They key however, is to make sure the content varies enough to avoid duplicating. Google’s recent Panda update changed the algorithm of search results to reduce the amount of duplicate content. If you want all of your great content to continue to show up in search results – be sure not to reuse without rewording, to make sure it is substantially different.
Another key for increasing SEO value is ensuring content has links back to your site. These links act as votes of popularity for Google and help you to be known as an authority on a topic. So where do the best links come from? That is where PR can come in – as the best links are often from reputable news sites and blogs. If you have an article placed or comment in one, try following up with editors and authors asking for links back. Keep in mind, quality is more important then quantity, as a link from CNN is likely much more beneficial than 100 links from other sites.
New, but potentially highly impactful in the world of SEO includes Google Authorship. Google Authorship ensures you are getting the right ownership over your content. It provides a “rich snippet” in search results, helping your content to stand out amongst the other results and be more prominent on the page. While this may not seem like much, according to one study, the number of clicks increased by 150% once a rich snippet was added. You will need a Google+ profile to set up the authorship – so the first step is to make sure you have one set up. Check out the full webinar (the recording will live on our resources page) for details around how to set up Google Authorship for your blog and content. Google Authorship will also likely have an effect on PR, as the SEO value of a reporter may come into play when offering exclusives.
Janet and Elizabeth also discussed the use of social media when it comes to SEO. One of the key ways to use social to help with SEO is spreading links. By being social and sharing information, inbound links to your site will spread, showing Google that your company is talked about.
If there was one main takeaway from the webinar on how you can get your company primed for increased SEO – it would be to set up Google Authorship. It will help immensely in search results, putting your company right where you want to be – at the top of the page.
This is just a snippet of the discussion on today’s webinar. If you missed it, fear not, the full archived version is available here.
I hope you’ll join us on May 9 at 2:00 pm for our upcoming Webinar on “The Convergence of PR and SEO: Harnessing the Power of Content, Social and Search.”
The panelists will include SpeakerBox’s own Elizabeth Shea and Janet Driscoll Miller, President and CEO of Search Mojo.
If you’re a marketing or communications professional interested in improving your PR, content marketing and SEO programs and gaining a better understanding of how these three elements should be coordinated, this is the program for you.
Key topics will include:
- The 3 most important components of SEO and how they converge to drive successful search and PR campaigns
- What is Google authorship and why it’s important for SEO, content and PR
- Targeting and measuring your PR and content marketing efforts for maximum SEO benefit
- Why you should join Google+ and how you should maximize the social network
Please take a minute to register for this informative Webinar. I promise it will be time well-spent.
- Katie Hanusik
In reading though my Feedly the other day (yes, I’m trying that one out now). I came across this post from Hubspot outlining 20 “pearls of wisdom” from marketing experts.
These 20 tid-bits were pulled from a larger pool of 54 that you can download from Hubspot here.
I’ve pulled out my top five and expanded on them just a bit:
"Learn to love data and, for heaven's sake, write well." - Ian Lurie, Portent
This one really resonates with me, personally, since I love looking at our data. But, it also rings true – the truth is in the numbers. You can tell what’s working, what’s not, what you should continue to write about, how well different channels work for your company and more, just from analyzing the data.
"Think of it more as publishing instead of marketing. Be authentic as a publisher and create content that helps you connect to everyone else ... because they're already connected." - Mitch Joel, Twist Image
This is a great piece of advice when it comes to creating content. It should be more about putting out content that your customer base is interested in than telling them what you offer. If you can showcase your expertise on a topic they will search out your offerings on their own. Be a resource, not a mouthpiece.
"Educate more people that the tools have almost nothing to do with the true power of social media. It's what's inside those tools that matters (uh, the content)." - Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute
As marketers we all need to embrace social channels for what they are, not for what we want to get out of them. It’s not about the tool itself but about the content that lives on it and the people that interact with that content, and you.
"The approach that will win the hearts and minds of customers leverages content and context to create marketing that intersects with a customer's lifestyle, needs, and interests." - Brian Halligan, HubSpot
I think this quote really speaks to how much a company needs to understand its customers. Not just forming a buyer persona, which is a step in the right direction, but truly interacting with and understanding what their lives are like, so that content created will not just speak to their needs but also reach them where they already live.
"Don't try to do it all. It's better to be awesome on one or two channels than to overextend on six." - Cameron Chapman, Author of The Smashing Idea Book: From Inspiration to Application
We use this phrase here at SBX all the time: Don’t try to boil the ocean. While it might seem like a great idea to be writing whitepapers, posting videos, engaging on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn, blogging and more – it may actually dilute your message. Pick the channels where your target base actually engage and find useful and start there, get really ingrained. Then if you want to branch out (or see a need to) go for it.
Any pearls of wisdom of your own to add?
Today we’re coming to you live from the second annual Washington, DC Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit (MAM Summit). We sponsored and supported the MAM Summit last year and are excited to be a part of the event again this year. We’ll be bringing you recaps of a few of the different sessions today and you can also keep up with the happenings over on Twitter by following @mamsummit or #MAMSUMMIT.
This morning I’m excited to sit in and bring you a recap of the B2B & Enterprise Marketing: What’s Working panel. The moderator of the panel is Limor Schafman, President, Keystone Tech Group and panelists include:
This group provided a very lively, engaging and fun session – which ironically was one of the things they wall agreed B2B marketing should be; rather than what it often ends up being, which, according to the panel, is dry, dull and boring.
A few of the highlights/main points from the session include:
- The marketing landscape is different than it was just 10 years ago and we owe this largely to social media. While social media channels serve a purpose, and if used appropriately can be useful, Ken also felt that they often play an integral role in creating disharmony and panic. With the rush to be on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, etc. companies are losing site of their strategy and are just shouting to the masses. One way to combat this chaos is simply to Just. Take. A. Deep. Breath.
- Just because something works for a B2C company doesn’t mean it will work for B2B. Again, Ken pointed out that all you have to do is take a look around Facebook, which is now is replete with long abandoned spots of corporate sites. This could easily be chalked up to the fact that with all the developments in social media and technology it’s easy to get distracted by chasing down the latest and greatest shiny object (SQUIRREL!). It could also be attributed to B2B companies trying to replicate B2C strategies without thinking about the right way to connect with their audience.
- This leads us to probably the greatest piece of information to come from the panel, and I will say this loudly so everyone can hear, KNOW AND TALK TO YOUR CUSTOMER. Not that “spray and pray” was really ever effective but today companies have more information and insight into who their customer is and should be using this information to their advantage. As Bob London and Ken pointed out, every minute you spend focused on social media is a minute you aren’t talking to your customers and we often get so focused on social media that we forget we’re trying to have a conversation with people. Use the data you’ve captured about your audience and create content that will resonate with them. Sure, it might be a lot of work to develop different messages or content for each audience but the results are sure to speak for themselves.
- The group cautioned though that it’s a mistake to think we just need more conversation and to try to cram more through the existing channels and instead we should be focused on making sure the conversation is meaningful. Forget how you are doing on Twitter or Pinterest, it doesn’t matter. To paraphrase from Ken, what you need be doing is focusing on how to differentiate yourself in an ever-rising sea of sameness. Focus on the message and deliver your message and content in the right place at the right time. See above regarding a lot of work but good results.
- Lastly, along those lines, Bob Ragsdale also imparted his wisdom that every marketer needs to not only know, understand and connect with their audience but also be able to boil your message down to a simple 6-8 words. It’s easy these days to get caught up in chasing the shiny objects that companies/marketers can lose track of what their core messaging is. It’s necessary to have the self control to know what your audience is really asking for, know what your core differentiator is and then come hang your hat on it come hell or high water.
There is probably so much more to say and you can catch anything I forgot over on the Twitter stream. All in all it was a great session and I’m glad I was able to sit in and be a part of it. Stay tuned for more recaps from the SpeakerBox team today!
April Fool’s Day 2013 presented us with a wide variety of pranks, from Google’s answer to Smell-O-Vision to SpeakerBox’s move to the moors of Scotland, but as always, there are a few that one wishes were actually real. For me, it’s the BullScanner.
The faux product was the April Fool’s Day prank from Rohit Bhargava, the man behind the excellent Influential Marketing Blog. A stand-alone barcode-type scanner, the BullScanner was proposed to scan document language to create a Linguistic Relativity Score (LRS). If a score was too low, it meant that the document was full of BS – the BullScanner would then take matters into its own hands, destroying the document and punishing the creator with a savage electroshock.
Petty? Yes. Disturbingly accurate with regards to today’s business language environment? Also yes.
Business language, especially in press releases, can be an utter nightmare to deal with from a public relations perspective – “dynamic” this, “bleeding edge” that, and so on. Finding something, anything, to automate the weeding out process would be incredibly helpful – while the BullScanner is obviously a prank, it brings me back to the days of an old Word plug-in called BullFighter, which was designed to recognize and eliminate jargon within documents. The site is still live but looks mostly untouched since the heady days of XP, so I doubt it’s a viable option anymore.
So what about you? Do you have problems with jargon invading your content? Any sweet, automated tools to handle it or are we editors doomed to suffer through the tedium of manual jargon removal?
Our clients often ask us how to increase the readership of their blog and also make it a more effective driver of organic traffic to their website. While there are several things we often suggest, one of them is to vary the type of content you post. This article by WebBizIdeas on MarketingProfs expands on that idea and shares 17 different types of content that Google will love. Find the magic serum to get some love from Google, and you’ll find your blog and website moving up in the search rankings.
I’ve narrowed the list down to eight types that work well for the B2B technology community. I’ve also included links where the SpeakerBox team or our clients have used these tactics to great effect. Happy reading.
- Interviews. This certainly holds true with the SpeakerBox blog. Our Influencer Q&As, including this interview with Steven Overly of the Washington Post, are some of the most popular articles on the site.
- Lists. Lists (like this one) provide a quick and easy format for event recaps. We recently published Ten Tips for Analyst Relations after a Webinar on the same topic.
- Polls and surveys. SolarWinds frequently publishes survey results to their blog including this recent security and compliance survey.
- Resources. Everyone loves a high-value resource. Client MicroPact wrote a blog post earlier this year offering complimentary access to a Gartner research note.
- News. Client Rapiscan announced their new narcotics detection technology on their corporate blog, rather than issue a press release.
- Tell a Story: SpeakerBoxer John Terrill discusses how low PR can go in this tale of “PR Payola.”
- Predictions. D.P. Venkatesh, CEO of mPortal, shared his 2013 predictions for the mobile industry in this post.
- The Stupid and the funny. And last but not least, if you need a laugh, take a look at Jonathan Katz’s recap of the McAfee scandal, aptly titled, “Tips For When Your Company’s Founder Is a Murderous Druglord.”
- Katie Hanusik
There are a lot of things that we, as communications professionals, dislike. We dislike it when our clients, for whatever reason, aren’t included in a story that seems tailor-made for them. We dislike it when, despite our best efforts, facts are reported incorrectly. We dislike not seeing a significant impact on our clients’ bottom line as result of our communications efforts.
So yeah…just as in life in general, there’s a lot of dislike to go around in our profession. But, as everyone who knows me understands, I am the eternal optimist, a glass half-full kind of guy. With every dislike I come across, I also see about three things to absolutely love. And today, Valentine’s Day, is the perfect time to illustrate some of the things that, as a communications professional, I really, really appreciate. If I could send a bouquet of roses to each of these communications methods, I would. But, since I can’t, they’ll have to settle for this love letter of a blog post.
Social media tools. Social media is quickly becoming the de facto way of communicating with both journalists and key stakeholders. Sites like LinkedIn continue to refine themselves and offer more avenues for getting directly to the people we want to reach. Even Yahoo! – yes, that Yahoo! – is talking about getting into the social media game. I say, bring it on – the more options we have, the better.
Inbound marketing. I love the fact that inbound marketing not only brings in quality leads but makes the ability to measure the success of a marketing program that much easier. It also affords us the flexibility to get our messages across via a number of different ways, including webinars, white papers, tip sheets, blogs and more. And it can all be very closely tracked, with success gauged not by guessing, but by actual, hard data.
Content creation. Speaking of white papers, I find them to be an excellent piece of source material, not only for inbound marketing, but for other aspects of a communication program, just like blogs, authored articles, etc. The topics covered within these pieces can lead reporters to stories written by industry bloggers, and get reporters interested in speaking with CEOs of companies to learn more about their thought processes. And all content can lead to better, highly qualified leads via search engines, collateral pieces, and more.
In all, I think there’s a lot of love to go around this Valentine’s Day – and a lot of ways to communicate and share it.
- Pete Larmey
Image courtesy Zazzle.com
So, in doing some reading today I came across this article on Ragan.com about how many spaces are supposed to go after a period. The answer my friends, is one.
Gone are the days of double-spaced documents with two spaces after each period, as well as using Courier New and adjusting the margins to try to hit the document length your teacher assigned. In fact, the article points out that the double space rule went away – at least in the AP’s eyes – because it’s no longer needed. Since we switched from typewriters to computers, the kerning of letters has changed, and the need for an extra space to ensure the reader knows where the end of a sentence is has disappeared.
While this “new” rule can be a pet peeve for me when it’s not followed, the main thing that this article got me thinking about is consistency.
Lots of times we have clients (or we ourselves) decide to buck a certain rule (ex: capitalizing the word federal or people’s titles) when it makes sense for us. And I’m fine with this deliberate AP rule breaking as long as it’s done consistently.
When creating content for a company, it’s important to follow rules (whether you made them up, or they were made up for you) across the board and communicate them clearly to all content creators. Or, if you have a number of content creators or it’s difficult to get them to follow the rules, having a stringent style and content editor can help as well.
There are many examples of style guides out there, and they can include things like what topics to cover, spacing guidelines, font guidelines, serial comma use, logo placement and more. The list of rules can be as short or as long as you need, but keeping content consistent is the key
As we wrap up 2012 and prepare for 2013, I reflect on what a great year it has been for SpeakerBox and for our clients. We are proud of their success and are encouraged by the optimism we are feeling and the opportunities that we see for clients, friends and family.
We are pleased to present our holiday video for your enjoyment..thanks for our creative content manager, Jonathan Katz, who developed the concept and stage directed the movie, and to Cassidy Kelty and Eddie O'Keefe for "lending a hand!"
Enjoy, and here's to 2013!
Happy Holidays from SpeakerBox! from SpeakerBox Communications on Vimeo.
Over this past year SpeakerBox has made a real investment in inbound marketing, not just for our clients, but also for ourselves. So, excuse me for a moment while I get a little self-promotional and highlight some of the content we’ve worked on this year.
When developing our content program we wanted to touch as many areas of interest for our clients and potential clients as possible. Many members of the SpeakerBox team have contributed to these content items and I personally appreciate the time and effort that has gone into getting this program off the ground. We have been very successful in our first year and I’m looking forward to all of the content we’ll provide our readers in the future.
The links below will take you to the content that exists on our website and you can also find a full list that will continue to be updated in real time on the SpeakerBox resources page.
PR 101 For Startups
Leveraging PR for M&A and Capital Raises
Inbound Marketing: Getting Found with Creative Content
Analyst Relations 101: Influencing the Influencers
The Five biggest Flaws in your B2B Website
No More Hocus Pocus: A Beginner's Guide to Search Engine Optimization
Acronyms, GSA Schedules and Agencies, Oh My! A Primer on B2G Public Relations
The Blueprint – Social Media and Government
Everything is on the Record: The Pre-Interview Checklist