Great Content? Yes Please!

If you’re reading this right now, it must mean that our last post had some great content that made you want more! This lets us know that we’re doing our job as bloggers, and that our audience is happy with what we’re putting out there.

Any way you look at it, the end result is the same. People search up websites every day to gain new insights and acquire new information from them, but they never search these sites to spend hours looking through glorified advertising. Here is an article giving the you a short list of reasons as to why people choose to search up websites first. With the Internet being such a worldwide resource, business owners, big and small, must accommodate this newfound audience with open arms – and with great content.

So how do we begin such a seemingly large task? Simple. Decide on how you want to present your business to your audience. What impression do you want to leave on them? Once you’ve decided this, each of your online initiatives will follow suit. Having one clear message will make it simple for you and your team to utilize multiple online outlets (blogs, videos, images, the list goes on!) but still have your online presence appear unified. Regardless of whether you’re a big or small business, this rule bares equal importance. Though the task itself may be more difficult if you have multiple brands within the company, you will still need to ensure that your audience views you as having one single personality. This will help them to distinguish you from other companies offering similar products or services. Apple is one of the leading technology companies of all time, which means their audience wants to access them at all hours of the day. To do this, they access their website. When navigating their site, it’s very obvious that no matter what piece of technology their audience is after, it is clearly an Apple product.

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You need to know and understand who you are targeting with your website, and build the entire concept of it around them. Your content must provide your audience with unique points of view. If it does not, your website will face the challenge of blending in to the thousands of other sites with similar offerings. You cannot spend the majority of your time focused on executing the design and delivery of the content as opposed to the content itself. The glitz and glamour of your site may be what initially draws viewer’s attention, but it is not enough to keep them coming back for more. Always remember your buyer persona, and spend your time creating content that will please them.

So what exactly constitutes as “thoughtful content?” What makes your content superior to other website’s? The difference should be that you are writing to help your audience, to answer their questions and to show them why you’re a worthy business to invest in. That being said, you need to do this in a way that is not self-promoting – you are not building a website around a sales pitch. Develop your content around your audience’s needs, and what you think they will find appealing. Keep it interesting! Use titles as a way to grab the reader’s attention. Little details can make a difference. Here is a link to a short article on why you should avoid the advertisement trap.

Hopefully after reading this, you feel comfortable and knowledgeable on how to build superior content and how to present it to your audience. Content brings in your audience, and your audience brings you success! (Leah)

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Connecting is Key – How to Make a Lasting Impression

Welcome back to PR Protocols! This week we’re going to talk about one of the most imperative parts of creating an online presence – connecting with your audience.

I’m sure you can all think of a company that has been taken to the next level of success by using their online presence effectively. If you can’t think of one, check out this list for the top 20 social media presences in 2014!  Social media can play a huge role in a company’s success, if done properly. As with everything, creating strong effective content takes a certain amount of expertise and research, so ensure you know what your audience wants before you start putting things out there!

An example of a brand that has used their online presence to take their company to the next level is Sweat with Kayla, an Australian fitness company. Sweat with Kayla has the largest female following in the world compared to other fitness programs. On Instagram alone, Kayla Itsines has 5.7 million followers. The reason for Itsines’ success? The ability to give her audience what they want. She never tries to sell her products through her Instagram and blog posts, she focuses on success stories and health, fitness, and life style tips. This is exactly what her consumers want, which is exactly why this has been an effective avenue for her.

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Photo courtesy of Kayla Itsines’ Blog.

Historically companies used traditional forms of advertisements to connect with their audiences, but these were a one-way street. Social media has created a two-way form of communication between the company and their consumers.  This can be both a blessing and a curse. This gives you the ability to find out what your consumers want, which is really the most important thing. However, if you’re not giving them what they want, they will likely stop coming back for more.

Anyone can create a social media page, and chances are most businesses have at least a Facebook page. What sets a brand like Sweat with Kayla apart from a company who solely just exists on the web? The content they produce. It is obvious when a company does the research and determines what their audience wants. One of the most important things to keep in mind is that you are not your audience. If you think like a publisher rather than an advertiser, you will likely be able to create strong content that your consumers want.

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Picture courtesy of Get Friday Blog.

Although this blog post has been discussing how beneficial a web presence can be to a company, that doesn’t mean every business should throw together a couple of social media pages and a website and leave it at that. You need start with a plan. What do you want to achieve thought your web presence? Who is your audience and what do they want? How are you going to achieve your goals, while giving your audience what they want?

Building a strong web presence takes time. There is so much that goes into it that are often overlook, and it can set you up for failure. This post touches on some of the most important parts to succeeding on the web, however there is so much more to it! Check out this article for 25 additional tips and tricks to creating and building your presence.

So remember, you are not your audience and it is crucial that you think like a publisher rather than an advertiser. Keep these two things in mind and you will be on the right track to delivering the content your audience wants! (Shannon Macdonald)

 

As the web evolves, so do we.

This week’s post will focus mainly on the transformation of the web and how as a PR practitioner, we can stay sharp with all the new media outlets.

We can use the web as a major tool to help us not only reach out to the public, but also hear what they have to say. The internet has changed more in the past 15 years than in the past 100. Let’s go through the different Webs:

In the 90s we used Web 1.0 as our tool when communicating with the public. This was great at first, it made it easier for PR practitioners to share their messages.
Communicating information to your public and reaching a large audience at a lower cost was great. Yet there was a flaw with this version of the web, we didn’t know how
people were reacting to our information because they could not respond therefore making the communication limited to a one-way street.

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This is when we created Web 2.0 in the 2000s. At this point, everyone could communicate with each other easily. There are so many social media sites that we can join to talk to friends, people we don’t know, people we may want to get to know, a place to share old pictures, a place to share thoughts/ opinions, and much more. The internet was growing and becoming a beast of its own.

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This is when bloggers became a big thing. Keep in mind that the best bloggers have been at it for years and it has taken them a long time to gain the following that they do. It may have been hard at first, but they stuck with it and now they get to enjoy the feedback from their followers.

Last but not least, the most current version of the web is 3.0! This is the connection of two people and one machine through the web. There is now a third party connection on the web that we see all over the place, for example advertisements. You see ads everywhere and they seem to be personalized to you. Well that’s because they are. Our computers are constantly being monitored, from the sites we visit to the ones most trending. Companies pay to have their ads show up on our social media accounts, like Facebook! However, what about the ones who seem a tad odd. What about the ad about that skirt you were just looking into buying on a clothing site and all of a sudden pops up on your news feed?

This new way of communication has changed the way we do PR. As you have noticed, the Web is evolving and it is our responsibility to evolve with it. It is our responsibility to stay aware of new trends on social media and know how to connect through those same social media outlets. It is important as a PR practitioner to make sure we are knowledgeable and skilled with the newest technologies. (Samuelle Labelle)

 

Blogging 101 – Tips and Tricks to Ensure Your Blog’s Success

Welcome to PR Protocols, a blog our team has worked hard on designing to help our fellow bloggers reach their full potential in the digital age! We thought it would be suitable to use our very first blog post as an introduction into the world of blogging. Our goal is to help you fully understand what blogs are used for and why they can be a fantastic tool that many companies should utilize. We’ve put together a few short ideas that can help to ensure that your audience will gain as much as possible from your work and continue to return for more.

So, what is a blog? This is fairly simple – a blog is essentially anything you want it to be. It could be used as a personal diary. It could be a place for your business to acquire new customers and keep the old ones interested in what you have to offer. It could be a place to create lasting bonds between people or companies. Blogs have the potential to do incredible things for you and your business if you’re willing to invest your time and ideas into maintaining it. A great example of a successful business blog is REI, a blog directed at those who love the outdoors. They’ve incorporated the essentials of a great blog – relevant content, authenticity, and great visuals.

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Photo courtesy of REI’s blog.

The first rule of creating a successful blog is very basic, but very important – timing is everything. This rule applies to every aspect of your blog ranging from how quickly you respond to your reader’s comments, to how often you’re updating your content. Readers will always come back for more if you regularly put out ideas that intrigue them. Nobody will have the time, or the patience, to have to refresh your blog everyday to see if there is anything new to read – it is entirely up to you and your team to keep them wanting more.

The second rule is to always be transparent with your audience. Be passionate and creative, but always be real. It is rare that you will encounter anybody that only wants to read through advertisements and promotional content. This will often create the opposite effect that you intended it to, and people will disengage immediately. By allowing your subscribers the option to leave their own opinions within your blog, you’ve given them the chance to provide you with useful feedback while also letting them feel like you’re considering their opinions. People will appreciate your genuine content more than you think. Marie Forleo is a prime example of putting raw, interesting content out through her personal blog, Marie Foleo – Create A Life You Love. She has maintained her own blogging success by consistently providing her audience with transparency and authenticity.

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Photo courtesy of  Marie Foleo’s Blog.

The third and final rule that we will leave you with today is to connect, connect, connect. Reach out to your fellow bloggers, offer them your insight, and build relationships with them. These are the people that will help you to succeed – the ones that know how hard it can be to maintain success in the digital world. This process is an undeniably successful way to increase your visitor count while also encountering new ideas that you may not have considered on your own.

If you’re still in search of more ideas to create a memorable online presence for yourself or your business, here is a great resource to show you 10 examples of great business blogs and the background behind their success. Good luck and happy blogging! (Leah Tessier)