WordWrite Storytelling Blog

IGTV: What You Can and Can’t Do

Posted by Louis Spanos

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So you’ve probably heard of (or seen) IGTV by now. If you’ve seen it and are too afraid to ask, here’s a quick briefing:

IGTV is Instagram’s foray into long-form video content, allowing users to upload content up to ten minutes in length. What’s unique about the platform is that it’s made primarily for vertical content (even though horizontal videos are now being supported), lending the content to handheld viewing and helping users feel like they’re watching a much longer video.

These videos can be accessed from the standard Instagram app, with users being allowed to post 60-second previews of the clip to their feed. Their followers can then opt to watch the full video on Instagram by clicking on the video or a prompt after watching the preview clip. Basically, it’s Instagram’s way of keeping users on the app, instead of leaving to go watch the same thing on YouTube.

So now that you’ve gotten the gist of what IGTV is, you might be wondering why you’d want to use it. That’s easy – when Facebook and co. rolls out a new feature, they like to prioritize it in the apps’ newsfeed to encourage adoption. As a result, preview posts are given precedence in your followers’ feed, as well as being more likely to appear on the “Discover” screen. In other words, your content gets promoted by Instagram for free.

Many brands have been slow to make the leap into Instagram’s newest feature. While the complimentary content boost is nice, it’s hard for some to justify creating vertical video content for one platform. Time and resources cost money, and the bigger the company, the stricter their content guidelines. This might give small- and mid-sized companies an edge, allowing them the freedom to move forward and create content without the restrictions bigger entities may have.

That doesn’t mean all companies have to do is hit record on their phone, though. IGTV is a great new tool, but there are some notable distinctions between what you can and can’t do. Let’s take a look at some.

Can: Post videos to feed

As we mentioned earlier, you can post a 60-second clip of the video to your newsfeed. When you initially publish your video, you can opt to share a preview of the full video. If you choose, you can also share the IGTV video to your associated Facebook page. An important note: You can only share a preview of the video to your newsfeed or share to IGTV as you publish posts – you can’t do it later.

You should absolutely share a preview of the post. They’re prioritized by the Instagram algorithm, so take advantage of it while you can!

Can’t: Change caption of the preview post

While you can publish an IGTV preview to your feed, do note something peculiar about it – you can’t edit the caption of the post once it’s live. Furthermore, the caption to each of these previews are pulled directly from the title of the video, so it may be in your best interest to name videos similar to captions for Instagram, as opposed to what you’d title a Facebook video.

Can’t: Pay to boost IGTV videos or preview posts

While the videos and preview posts get a nice boost from Instagram, you cannot put paid dollars behind either of these. The structure of the platform doesn’t lend itself to boosted posts and that includes the preview posts on the newsfeed as well. It doesn’t matter whether you use Facebook Ads Manager or try to boost directly through Instagram, you can’t put dollars behind those posts.

 


 

Can: Link the video to your story

We know, we know – relying solely on organic for your top-tier content can be a bit frustrating. Don’t worry, Instagram has a little tool that will help make up for that.

Once you post IGTV videos, you’ll now have access to share a link to your video via “swipe-up.” Previously reserved for accounts with 10K followers or more, this ability is now available for everyone after posting a video. While you can’t put paid dollars behind the video, at least you can share your content as much as you can via your story! You can’t, however, promote stories that swipe up to IGTV videos.

 

 


 

  


 

 IGTV is still a relatively new platform, and things are changing every day. As we continue to explore Instagram’s Wild West, our biggest piece of advice is to experiment. If something goes wrong you’re sure to learn something from the experience, which is arguably more valuable than any success.

 


 louis bio page

 

Want to talk to our team about how to fine-tune your social media strategy in today’s ever-changing landscape? Reach out to me directly at louis.spanos@wordwritepr.com

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Topics: instagram, digital marketing, instagram tv, social media strategy

Your Digital Marketing Strategy Starts with a Great Brand Personality

Posted by Keira Koscumb

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Do you often look at brands online and wish you could replicate their style of communication? Do your competitors’ beefy digital marketing stats make you feel anxious your company is missing some secret ingredient for success?

It doesn’t matter what your company sells, creating a personality that fits your brand is crucial in connecting with your customers, and the best brands leverage online outlets to do so.

A brand personality is a way to personify your company using human characteristics. Properly identifying these traits allows your audience to personally connect with your business. Just think of your personal relationships – you gravitate to people with great personalities (subjective as that term might be), not necessarily those without one.

Finding your audience:

Before you determine your business’ personality traits, consider your target audience and the voice that will resonate best with your core customer. Your company’s message should be directed toward that ideal customer.

Most customers choose a brand based on what it represents or how it makes them feel. Iconic brands like Harley Davidson or Apple have successfully created a following using very different tactics but land in very similar positions. Harley is about freedom, the open road and celebrating its customers. Apple, meanwhile, is the “cool” company – OK, don’t tell that to Droid users – with modern ads and evolving tech that makes its customers feel like part of what’s new and trendy.

The companies’ respective customers proudly support these brands because it’s not just about purchasing a product. It’s about being part of a movement, an extension of their own beliefs and morals that align with the brand’s personality.

Sharing your personality: 

When you envision your company, consider specific personality traits useful for engaging customers. Do you want your brand to be edgy or subtle? Cutting edge or established? Deciding who you are is the start to finding your brand’s voice and developing a personality online and beyond.

Once you have a personality that aligns with your audience’s perception of your brand, consider launching social media pages as a first step. Most potential customers utilize Facebook, Instagram and other platforms to learn more about a company providing a great opportunity to let your newly created personality shine!

In fact, many brands have gained exposure and engagement by using unique social media strategies alone. A few examples to check out:

  • MoonPie – Fun and a little weird.
  • Wayfair – Salesy, but great suggestions for customers.
  • Cisco – Informative without being stuffy, showing how the company makes an impact in the real world.

Identifying the personality and tone lends perfectly toward creating your digital content and brand voice. Consider the time of day you’re posting on social media, the tone of your landing pages and the look and feel of your content. All of these things tie together when customers engage your brand online.

The most important thing to remember when creating your brand personality is the connection made with existing or potential customers. A digital marketing strategy backed by a strong brand personality can play a pivotal role in the success of a business and often may be the first impression, good or bad, of your company.

 


 

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If you’re looking to boost your digital marketing efforts, get in touch with me to learn more at keira.koscumb@wordwritepr.com. 

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Topics: digital marketing, digital strategy, brand personality

5 surprising things you’ll gain from a media training session

Posted by Hollie Geitner

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Print newsrooms are shrinking. Just last month, the Cleveland Plain Dealer laid off a third of its unionized news staff. According to Pew Research, from 2008 to 2017, newsroom employment in the U.S. dropped by 23%.

It’s looking more and more bleak for the news that runs in black and white.

Despite these developments, television newsrooms have remained relatively steady — even increasing staff over the same time period by adding multimedia journalists to their rosters. Public demand for news, combined with its immediacy (viral videos, 24/7 news cycles) are indicators that having a prepared spokesperson for your business is critical, regardless of type of company or industry.

The best way to prepare for interactions with a journalist is through media training, typically a full- or half-day session in a studio-like setting with camera practice. Whether you’re prepping for a sit-down interview or a live broadcast by phone, the skills you’ll gain are valuable.

Over the years, we’ve conducted dozens of training sessions, with groups ranging from 2 to 20 people. Everyone we’ve trained has left with defined and easy to remember techniques, but here are a few additional benefits you can expect after a training session in studio.

  1. Message preparation: Getting an interview is the easy part. More difficult is honing your message. Having a tool to structure your key messages so they are memorable is critical. Our message pyramid and advance work to help whittle down your story into bite-size soundbites is the unsung hero of the entire day.
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  3. Understanding of how news outlets work: If you have gone through media training before and it was more than 10 years ago, it’s time for a refresher. With the advent of social media, the media landscape has changed drastically and the way journalists mine for stories has evolved.
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  5. Knowing where to look: Sounds simple, but this one is important. You’ll learn the best practices for different types of interviews, because each one is unique and different. We’ll help you avoid that embarrassing moment of speaking into the wrong camera during a live interview!
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  7. Answering the tough questions: Not all interviews are equal. Sometimes, even with the best prepared messages, you can be caught off-guard by a question. We teach participants how to navigate through the really tough questions to get to the answer they want to give.
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  9. Confidence: This is our favorite benefit. Without a doubt, everyone who sits down in front of the camera is nervous their first time. But after some practice with our experts, everyone leaves feeling more confident than when they arrived. They feel more in control and empowered. If you or someone on your team is a spokesperson, we’d love to talk to you about how media training can help you better share your company story. Or, click here to download our guide to crisis and media communications.

 
Get in touch with us today!


 

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Hollie Geitner is Vice President, Culture and Brand Ambassador at WordWrite Communications. You can get in touch with her via email at hollie.geitner@wordwritepr.com or follow her on Twitter at @JustHollieG

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Topics: crisis communications, media coaching and training, key message plan, media communications

TMI: How often should I be launching digital campaigns?

Posted by Erin Hogan

AdobeStock_208453772 As marketing consultants, we get a lot of questions from clients about engaging with target markets. Who should we be targeting? How do we engage with them? When should we reach out? And in what format? On what channel? With what spend? But time and time again, one question seems to pop up more frequently than all the rest:

How much is too much when it comes to digital marketing?

While there is no silver-bullet answer to this question, I will say those who ask are probably not doing enough to engage their audiences in the digital space.

That’s because many of the core tactics used by digital marketers (email, social, digital ads, etc.) hit the industry fast, and I mean FAST. The birth of Google in the late ‘90s sent shockwaves through the marketing world, completely altering the way businesses communicate with their audiences. Now, we’ve entered a world where inboxes are ripe with coupon codes and free shipping offers and voice commands on your phone can trigger a Facebook ad. Unsurprisingly, many marketing professionals are still trying to sort through the aftermath to find their niche.

However, even if the medium has changed, the way in which you rationalize your marketing efforts shouldn’t. Frequency of communications, much like the other questions I’ve outlined above, should always be based on audience preferences.

Here are three surefire ways to ensure your digital marketing cadence is on track.  

  1. Refer to your buyer persona and refine if necessary: For those who are unfamiliar with the term, our friends at HubSpot define a buyer persona as a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. A good buyer persona often includes a mix of demographic information and user preferences to paint a picture of a company’s perfect prospect. Ideally, this would also include information about communication preferences.
    Over the years, we’ve found that while companies might have a general sense of what their target market is, the majority of their marketing decisions are based on educated guesses, rather than hard facts. This is where inconsistencies in message delivery creep in.
    The best buyer personas come from in-depth conversations with current customers. If you have questions about how often you should be connecting with your target market on social media or through email, just ask! There is no harm in sending a quick survey to your network so you can better understand their needs.
  1. Use data to drive your decision-making: Over the past few years, you’ve probably heard the term “big data” thrown around once or 12,000 times in marketing meetings. Though seemingly overused, the hype is most certainly real with this one. Even the simplest of digital platforms today will give you more data than you know what to do with. And while understanding human behavior is an artform, these tools can probably tell you what I plan to wear tomorrow, let alone how often you should be communicating with a prospect.
    Take a look at how your communications have performed in the past and use that to guide future thinking. For instance, say you’re sending six emails a month to a specific segment, but you’re seeing the most engagement on emails one and four, or you start seeing unsubscribes on email six. That could be a sign you’re sending blasts too frequently.
    On the flipside, perhaps you’re seeing a ton of engagement on your emails and are considering sending more. Try adding in another offer or two within your existing campaign schedule and see if there is any change then adjust up or level off from there.
  1. Follow the golden rule of marketing: One of the main reasons clients ask us about the frequency of communications is because they’re afraid of oversaturation. They feel if they send too many touchpoints they will turn potential customers off. In a way, they’re right. Inundating customers with an email every day and blasting ads to anyone and everyone can paint a negative image of a company. However, this is the exception rather than the norm in most cases. These tools, scary as they seem, are there to make your life easier, not hinder potential growth.That said, if you’ve followed the steps above and you’re still feeling apprehensive about how often you’re engaging with your audience, always rely on the golden rule as a fall back: Treat others how you would want to be treated.
    Chances are you’ve been the victim of information overload in the past and haven’t even noticed it. Or maybe you did, but it wasn’t enough to tip the scales one way or another. Either way, when in doubt, put yourself in the user’s shoes – nine times out of 10, your gut will guide you in the right direction

Get in touch with us today!


 

erin-hogan

 

Want to talk digital? I’m here to listen. Shoot me an email at erin.hogan@wordwritepr.com and I’m happy to help.

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Topics: digital marketing, digital strategy, buyer persona, data mining

Three steps to unpacking your company Story

Posted by Hollie Geitner

If you’ve been following us awhile you know we are the agency of Story. WordWrite was the dream of our founder and CEO, Paul Furiga. He believed thoughtful and powerful storytelling had a place in the business world and he sought out to make it happen. As we define it, Story answers the questions why someone would want to do business with you, partner with you or work for you.
 
“Companies that understand the power of their Story can use that Story to attract and engage their best-fit clients,” explains Paul Furiga in his soon-to-be-released book, “Finding Your Capital S Story: Why your Story trumps your brand.”
 
Most businesses know their why. Today, it’s not uncommon for companies (in any industry) to host internal brainstorm sessions or bring in consultants to help them uncover why they exist. One could surmise this practice has become more popular since the bestselling book, “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek hit the market 10 years ago. But when it comes to sharing their why, many companies mistakenly focus on quippy taglines and bold marketing materials. 
 
What should they do instead? I’m glad you asked. Distilling down the why is the critical first step in business storytelling. The next, is compiling the elements of the Story. This is your big idea and now you have to unpack it. Here is a simple breakdown of how you can do that:

  1. Identify your character(s). Potential characters could be your customer, an employee, a business partner or your founder. These are the voices to your narrative and their experiences are woven together to make your story unique.
  2. Determine what represents your turning point. This might be a roadblock, a challenge or obstacle, a dream unrealized.
  3. Give people a reason to care. Is there a moral or educational lesson in the story? What emotion do you want your audience to feel? AdobeStock_108637469 STORY resizedHow can you make the story relevant to them?

The best way to get started is to write what you know and to keep your audience in mind at all times. Do you have customer success stories at hand? Were you a part of a special project or campaign? Are there compelling points in the organization’s history? These are all places to look when considering potential examples that can powerfully illustrate your why.

As you craft your Story, consider archetypes. What? Another great question. Archetypes define types of characters we might find in a story. Think of every Disney movie you’ve ever watched as a kid or with your children or grandchildren. There were heroes, outlaws, magicians, sages, jesters and explorers. That’s not to say there were clowns and court jesters in every story, or boot-strapped, gun-toting outlaws slaying evil to save a princess. It’s more of a conceptual idea. The fairy godmother as a magician and sage, a silly dwarf as a jester and a determined young woman who saves her own sister. For further illustration, consider the most compelling stories of all time – David and Goliath, Don Quixote or To Kill a Mockingbird. Now you can begin to see how the archetypes take shape.

When you think of your company why, what role do you play in the story? Are you a magician because your company invented a solution that seamlessly and invisibly solves a significant challenge for your clients? How about a sage? Are you the expert in your particular field that shares advice and best practices to help clients? A hero? Did you come to the rescue of a customer in crisis? 

With all of this advance work and preparation done, you have the clear, identifying elements of a great Story. Stop focusing solely on your tagline and think deeper. Ask the hard question – do your customers, employees and business partners understand why you are the best option for them? Beyond what you tell them in your marketing materials, have you actually given them examples and reasons to emotionally get behind you or invest in you?  If not, you’re at risk of losing them at any moment. In the 21st century, it takes more than fun campaigns to win hearts and minds, it takes powerful stories that evoke emotion and lead to action.

If you’d like to talk Story, we’re game. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you uncover, develop and share your great, untold Story. 

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Topics: story, storytelling

A communications failure with lessons for everyone

Posted by Hollie Geitner

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Not everyone cares. I know, that sounds pretty harsh. But, recognizing this reality may be the key to a successful communications program. As a young PR professional, this was a lesson I learned the hard way.

In a previous job for a non-profit, I was responsible for organizing and promoting a large community event. I also had to raise money to cover its costs, which was no small task. Over time, the holiday tradition had taken on various forms and drew hundreds of thousands of people to downtown. Many businesses relied on it for their annual revenue, whether they were stores, restaurants or media entities that sold sponsorships and air time. Eventually, some big corporate sponsors became confused about who was responsible for putting it on and gave their money to media outlets instead of the non-profit that had owned the event for nearly 50 years. This meant we had less money, yet the same public expectations for a grand event. There was internal talk about cancelling it altogether.

One afternoon, I found a certificate tucked away in a file drawer. It was an official, government document. In a nutshell, I held proof that the event had been trademarked many years earlier and our non-profit owned it. This seemed like the answer to my dilemma – take back ownership so others couldn’t use it for their own financial gain. Essentially – save the event.  

I started with cease and desist letters from our attorney to the entities using the name and then sent much softer and kinder letters to area businesses, municipalities and other groups who held events with the same name. In it, we requested they pay a small fee to use the name. And, indicated we would donate all proceeds to a non-profit that helped children and families stay warm during the winter. This seemed like a good solution to a complicated problem.

As the letters were received, people got angry. This was change, and for some, it was a major one. Reporters and producers called wanting to do stories. I spoke to everyone who called and went on the record – answering all of their questions. My thinking: if I explained the situation logically to everyone I talked to, they’d surely see my side. I had nothing to hide and I was only doing this to save the beloved event.

The only problem? No one cared. Negative stories came out, we were called the Grinch and things got ugly. Thankfully, as with most things that involve change, it eventually died down and people reluctantly accepted the new reality. I, however, carried this with me for years. I failed and it hurt.

Here’s the good news, though – because of that experience, I learned the valuable lesson of preparation and message consistency.

In business, I can think of many situations that could mirror my own if not handled properly – corporate restructuring, benefits changes, product recalls, acquisitions, new brand, lawsuit, etc.  With any change, comes the responsibility of communicating it to everyone it impacts. Are you prepared? What is the ultimate goal you’re striving for? Do you know your key messages? Have you anticipated questions? What will you say to the ones you can’t or don’t want to answer? Will your audience understand the WHY behind the change?

Here are a few key takeaways to consider the next time you have a company change coming up: 

  1. Prepare everything in a detailed plan -- audience research, messages, questions/answers, roll-out cadence, timing, accountability. If this will be a major announcement, pull together a team several months in advance and meet regularly. Make sure your team members represent key functional areas within your organization. This is not a time to leave anyone out.
  2. Create a key message document. We use a “message pyramid.” This is a simple one-two-page document that organizes messages in a hierarchal fashion – overarching message at the top; three key main messages and details under each one. It is the roadmap used to prepare every communication item that goes out to the various audiences. It’s not a script that must be followed to a T; it’s more of a guide that ensures consistency across the board. Everyone works from the same core document. If it feels like you’re constantly repeating yourself or seeing the same messages everywhere, keep going – this is what consistency looks and feels like.
  3. Keep emotions in check. It’s easy to get caught up in the emotion of something, especially when it’s a project you’ve been involved with from start to finish. Ask for outside perspective from a colleague or trusted partner. What might seem logical to you, may not be received well by others. Remember my experience? Don’t do that.
  4. Get help from a communications consultant. When big change is happening, an external expert can provide perspective that you may not get from an internal audience close to the issue. A consultant can share their experiences from working with a variety of companies that may help you avoid common pitfalls. 

At WordWrite, we rely on our 3P process to help companies facing change or challenges. We create a plan, utilize a message pyramid and follow the industry-leading PESO model for sharing messages using the most appropriate platform for the target audience. If you’d like to know more about our process or companies we’ve helped, give us a shout.  

Get in touch with us today!


 

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Hollie Geitner is Vice President, Culture and Brand Ambassador at WordWrite Communications. You can get in touch with her via email at hollie.geitner@wordwritepr.com or follow her on Twitter at @JustHollieG

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Topics: public relations, PESO, communication lessons, message pyramid, key message plan

Unleashing the power of the unknown through Story

Posted by Hollie Geitner


 

 

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A famous novelist embroiled in political debate. The history of the color pink. Singer Dionne Warwick’s rise to fame. A famous biographer who forged celebrity letters. A giant nut grown on an exotic island. The adorable two-year-old whose neighborhood learned sign language, so they could communicate with her. Stories are all around us.

For 90 minutes each Sunday morning I settle in with my coffee and take in some of the most beautifully told stories from around the world. Sometimes I cry, other times I smile or feel anxious. But, without a doubt, I feel something after watching each and every segment.

CBS Sunday Morning is a newsmagazine style television program that focuses on feature stories, as opposed to the hard news the network delivers during the week. It has aired weekly for 40 years as the broadcast version of the magazine supplement that appeared in Sunday newspapers like the New York Times Magazine. If numbers are any indication – and they certainly are in television – the show is a great success. According to AdWeek the program average 6.22 million viewers each week, nearly 2 million more than the 4.36 million for NBC’s Today show (the No. 1 weekday morning show).

Originally anchored by Charles Kuralt, one of the show’s creators, the program has only had two other hosts — Charles Osgood and now, Jane Pauley. With the exception of Bob Schieffer and a few other substitute hosts, the show has maintained a consistency that sets it apart from every other news program. Add to this its dynamic roster of contributors — comedian Mo Rocca, writer, actor and political commentator Ben Stein, former foreign correspondent Martha Teichner and actress Nancy Giles — and I can’t think of a better way to start my week.

As prolific storytellers, the contributors go deep inside a topic, showing unique angles, sharing little-known facts and capturing viewers’ attention in ways few others can. On its surface, pink is simply a color — a blend of red and white — most associated with the female gender. Did you know it was once a sign of wealth and status in France — worn by men, women and children, and used to decorate homes?

According to Peter Guber, chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment, a well-written and shared story can have a massive effect on an audience.

“It can inspire and enliven. It can move them to take action. And it can turn them into a raving fan. Never underestimate the power of your story. And never underestimate the intelligence of your audience. Play it truthfully and emotionally, create a dialogue, and you will see how the gift of story may just become the most powerful tool in your arsenal.”

Guber’s right - compelling stories move us. Think about the stories your older family members have shared with you. Each story is a moment or chapter in your family history that has shaped you in some way. Stories are memorable lessons, dreams and wishes come true, obstacles overcome and reasons for making a change. Stories aren’t just words on paper either. They are pictures and videos strung together, speeches delivered to a group or simply told one-on-one.

As you go about your day, week, month and year, pay attention to people, places and things that were once under your radar. The security guard you pass each day on your way into the office; the dirt path behind your neighborhood; the broken sign hanging outside of an abandoned old store; the box of letters passed down by your grandparents; or that charming little town only 45 minutes from you. Those are where some of the best stories can be found.

At WordWrite, we believe in the power of an authentic Story. Our true purpose and passion is to help companies uncover, develop and share their great untold stories. Without a story, there is little out there to help people decide whether they want to work with you, do business with you, be your neighbor or invest in you. Do you know your Story?

If you’re interested in learning more about how to find your Story, either get in touch with us below or join us for Agility PR Solutions’ free webinar on Wednesday, February 27 at noon. You can register here.  

Get in touch with us today!


 

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Hollie Geitner is Vice President, Culture and Brand Ambassador at WordWrite Communications. You can get in touch with her via email at hollie.geitner@wordwritepr.com or follow her on Twitter at @JustHollieG

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Topics: media relations, story, public relations, storytelling, authenticity

Courageous marketing: Why I believe more companies should follow Gillette's lead

Posted by Hollie Geitner

 

As we head into Super Bowl LIII on February 3, some commercials are already making waves on social channels. Side note: Remember when you had to wait until the actual night of the big game to see commercials? Well, those days are long gone.

I decided to finally watch the Gillette ad (The Best Men Can Be) everyone has been talking about. If you haven’t heard about this one, maybe it’s because you’ve been busy dialing your rotary phone at home. For a laugh, check out this video of teenagers trying to figure out how to use one.

Back to Gillette … in all honesty, I hadn’t paid attention to what people were saying about their latest commercial and went in with an attitude of, “it’s an advertisement by a well-known brand that makes razors, what could be so bad?”

I suppose I wasn’t prepared for my emotional reaction that followed. No, I didn’t cry or pound my fists. I just had that “FINALLY” moment where I wanted to stand up and salute the person/team who came up with the message concept and who had the courage to put it out there. It’s not an easy or simple message to convey.

Perhaps you didn’t expect that reaction from me. Or, maybe you aren’t surprised at all. Here’s my break down on why the ad is so courageous and why we need more ads like it.

1, It’s timely and relevant.

The explanation of the campaign on Gillette’s website sums it up pretty well. As a general rule, before I make any assumptions about a company based on what others are saying, I head to their website and social channels to understand their side.

Here are a few highlights:

Thirty years ago, we launched our “The Best A Man Can Get” tagline. It’s time we acknowledge that brands, like oursgillette commercial, play a role in influencing culture. And as a company that encourages men to be their best, we have a responsibility to make sure we are promoting positive, attainable, inclusive and healthy versions of what it means to be a man.

In the #metoo era, in which dozens of men in prominent roles (actors, producers, politicians, newsmen, sports stars) have been accused of sexual misconduct, Gillette is brave. They’ve shown they aren’t afraid to step in and help make a change for the better because they feel it’s their duty.

For those who claim the video ad “de-masculinizes,” take a look back at some of the advertisements from only a few decades ago and how women were portrayed. Imagine how they must have felt. Such images of women and their messaging show the deep-rooted problem we have in society today, and why it’s time for companies like Gillette to do something different and meaningful. Sure, we’ve come a long way, but there is still much work to be done. Men play an integral role in this change.

2. It doesn’t aim to please everyone.

Gillette knew taking such a stand was risky from a PR standpoint, but they also weren’t doing it to please everyone – they were on a mission. Gary Coombe, president of P&G Global    Grooming, and quoted in the news release announcing the effort, has long been praised as a change maker and leader for his work in diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Real change is not possible without stepping outside of comfort zones and taking risks. Change makers seek out the difficult path and blaze the trail so others can follow. This is a good thing!

3. People buy your WHY.

A razor is a razor, right? Sure, you can add some bells and whistles, but at the end of the day, all people care about is whether or not it works, right? Wrong. As with any product or service, people have options. LOTS of options. Take a scan of the razor aisle at your nearest Target or Walmart. Want cheap? It’s there. Fancy? Yep, you got it. Sleek? Sure, you can have that too. In truth, buying decisions are based on an emotional response. According to Simon Sinek, the best leaders start with WHY – their purpose, cause or belief. Their WHY guides them when making or selling something. It’s that WHY that sets them apart from the rest of the pack. As a leader in the industry, Gillette understands this and it’s probably the very reason they can claim six of the top 10 razors on the market, based on sales.

I know some people will agree with me and perhaps many more won’t, but my goal was to point out why the video ad is smart marketing for Gillette. I believe now is the time for more companies to follow their lead. Maybe it’s not about parity in the workplace or raising young boys to be kind and empathetic men, but every company should understand and live their WHY. By doing so, they will attract the right customers – those who share their beliefs and values. As Gillette understands, no company can be all things to everyone, but they can be something very important to some.

Choose your own WHY and see where it leads. Those who follow are your people. They are your customers. They are the ones who matter.

Our StoryCrafting process uncovers a company’s capital “S” story and the reason behind why anyone would want to work for you, do business with you or partner with you. To understand why this is important, download “Tales Worth Telling: How the ageless power of stories delivers business success.”

(Image credit: Gillette)

Hollie Geitner is Vice President, Culture and Brand Ambassador at WordWrite Communications. You can get in touch with her via email at hollie.geitner@wordwritepr.com or follow her on Twitter at @JustHollieGHollie2015-5

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Topics: story, public relations, Importance of your Why, storytelling

Google Ads - Should I incorporate them in my marketing strategy?

Posted by Noah Fleming

google-ads-image

You’ve probably searched for a product using Google Search and immediately saw a high-ranking result with a small label reading “Ad.” It’s there for a reason — someone paid the popular search for it. Taking advantage of these types of ads may be useful for your marketing strategy, but properly implementing them is a little more complicated than you might think.

Last year, Google rebranded its advertising platform from Adwords to Google Ads, as it combined advertising within its Search, Display, YouTube, Google Play and Google Maps products into one division of its advertising suite. Now, this doesn’t affect how you would advertise on the platform, but it does help resolve any confusion about which platform to use if you are thinking about incorporating Google ads in your strategy.

If you aren’t familiar with Google Search and Display advertising specifically, you might be asking the questions, “What do they look like? Where do they appear? How do they work? How much do they cost?”

Here is a brief summary explaining the difference between the two, courtesy of WordStream.

How do they work?

The Google Search network reaches someone who is looking for a specific good or service. As a business or advertiser, you will need to build a list of industry keywords and phrases relevant to your specific service offerings. 

The Google Display network reaches millions of websites including YouTube videos, mobile sites and apps.

You can choose where you want your ads to appear, whether on specific types of pages or websites that have partnered with Google. You can read more about placements here. The format types can be an image, video or rich media format.

How much do they cost?

The cost of Google Ads varies based on the competition around your specific keywords, industry, location, quality of your advertising campaigns and time of year. This blog can be a helpful guide to get started.

Both types of digital advertising use a pay-per-click system (PPC) in which there is a bidding process and an advertiser will determine how much they are willing to pay for someone to click on their ad depending on their goal.

Ads are then ranked based on a value called Ad Rank, which is determined by your maximum cost-per-click (CPC) bid and Quality Score (Google’s rating of the quality and relevance of both your keywords and ads). The higher your quality score (1 – 10 scale) and bid amount, the better your ad positioning and likelihood that it will show up in the network you are targeting.

Well, should I use them?

It’s important to keep in mind that the Google Ads space can be extremely competitive based on your industry which will drive up the costs on single keywords, phrases and website targets.

If you are strategic about your placements and willing to shift some of your marketing budget to do some A/B testing, you can incorporate this type of advertising to reach potential new leads or customers who are actively looking for the types of products or services you offer.

If you’d like to explore options for your digital marketing strategy, reach out to us for a free 30-minute consultation.

I need help with a digital marketing strategy!

 

noah 250x250 for website

Noah Fleming is digital and inbound marketing specialist at WordWrite. You can reach him at noah.fleming@wordwritepr.com.

 

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Topics: google advertising, digital marketing, digital strategy

Looking Back at 2018

Posted by Hollie Geitner

The final days of the year feel like finishing a really great book. You can’t wait to see it all come together, yet you’re a bit sad the story is ending. Then, you pick up a new book and the excitement starts all over again.

We’re feeling this way at WordWrite. So many awesome things happened in 2018. And, like any compelling story, we had a few twists and turns that kept us on our toes. It’s been exciting and fun as we’ve shared our clients’ great, untold stories, and shared our own as well. In true book-theme fashion, we’ve provided a “Cliff Notes” version of the 2018 WordWrite Story. Here are noteworthy highlights:

WWC_2018Infographic

Just like we loved this 2018 story, we’re ecstatic about the one we’re beginning on January 1. We expect 2019 will be our best year yet – especially since we’re writing part of that story now. We’ll have LOTS of news to share in the coming weeks. As they say, it’s gonna be epic!

And most importantly, we want to acknowledge all the great organizations and people who made this story possible – our clients. In their honor, we made a contribution to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank to help them be there for those in our community who need them most. Thank you! Here’s to a great 2019 of collaboration!

As we head into the New Year, we want to make sharing your story part of our journey. Click below to learn how we can connect you with your audience using the ageless power of story.

Get in touch with us today!


Hollie Geitner is Vice President, Client Services at WordWrite Communications. You can get in touch with her via email at hollie.geitner@wordwritepr.com or follow her on Twitter at @JustHollieGHollie_1931-1

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Topics: media relations, inbound marketing, social media, WordWrite Communications, crisis communications, awards, strategy, media coaching and training, content marketing, non-profit, brand journalism, partnership, content, inbound, Pittsburgh, holidays, new year, 2018, year in review, infographic

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