MODERN PR AND SEO – A MATCH MADE IN DIGITAL HEAVEN

PR and SEO used to be worlds apart, with traditional PR focussing on offline strategy for a long time and SEO covering online website activity, but in recent years, demand for digital PR has risen dramatically and as a result, the two disciplines now work harmoniously.

Google’s priority at the moment is its users and brands are putting a lot of energy into ensuring their websites are safe, user-friendly and understood by search engines. Once your website is performing well from a technical point of view and optimised for people, then the fun starts.

Content Is Still King

Creating content as part of your marketing strategy is really important, although what’s fundamental is that the content is genuinely interesting, useful and answers questions that people are searching for. This is true for both PR and SEO content.

Before creating any content though, wider business goals need to be communicated and understood, then a detailed strategy can be designed to impact on those goals, allowing PR and SEO to work simultaneously. For example, seasonality and themes can be used to build a content plan and PR and SEO activity can be integrated into the plan to support one another, maximising the outcome of each campaign.

In both disciplines, quality content is paramount. For PR, it’s about satisfying the journalist and offering something that stands out and adds value. For SEO, it’s about satisfying the user and ensuring content is optimised for real people.

Link Earning

We like to use the term ‘link earning’ in place of ‘link building’ – it makes more sense when it comes to great content that deserves recognition. The higher the quality of content, whether that is because of its uniqueness or the detail and research behind it, the more links it’s likely to earn. It’s worth noting that content doesn’t have to be in written form – it could be a video, image, or an infographic for example – these are your digital assets.

Of course, links don’t just roll in overnight – there’s some hard work involved in getting content seen by the right people, and this is where PR comes in. Building meaningful relationships with people who work at credible, authoritative publications is key – and supporting them with strong content when they need it will help to create a lasting relationship. PR professionals know a thing or two about getting businesses featured on high quality sites and SEO professionals know that individual outreach is key. Building a targeted list of potential prospects, rather than offering content to anyone, and taking more control over the link equity passed to your website makes link earning much more effective.

Google has moved away from ranking websites based on the volume of links they have. Instead, they are championing quality, user intent and user experience. That’s not to say that links are no longer powerful – in fact, they are still very valuable, and PR activity can work as a catalyst for earning links.

Brand Authority

Brand authority is becoming increasingly important as Google hones in on the actions and opinions of users, and features such as reviews are more visible and important for brands online. Google review partners such as TrustPilot make it easy for customers to share their experiences and gives companies the chance to listen. If you are confident in your product or service, implementing a review system could give your website a boost in online visibility, as well as persuade potential customers to buy from you. Reviews will have to be monitored closely of course, as part of a brand’s reputation management – once a core element of PR, and now seemingly blurred between PR and SEO.

Authority can also be achieved by generating coverage and links from relevant, reputable sources which allows you to position your business as an expert and helps you to gain credibility for your brand.

Ultimately, your PR and SEO activity can and should be working in tandem, and be completely aligned with your wider goals, to give your business the best possible results and to build a brand that lasts.

O Communications is an integrated creative agency in Newcastle. Need some help with your combined PR & SEO strategy but not sure where to start? Drop us an email on letstalk@opr.co.uk 

The travel and tourism companies that are nailing it on social media

Travel photography is arguably one of the most attractive types of photography out there. Whether it’s a luxurious beach on the billboard in the middle of October urging you to book that winter break or a canvas of New York’s skyline in your home décor store – for many people it doesn’t get much better than seeing and visiting stunning places across the world.

And of course, it is images and stories that make us want to visit those destination in the first place. In 2017 alone, 39.2 million overseas visitors came to the UK and spent £24.5 billion and although this figure keeps increasing, with the uncertainty of Brexit on the horizon it couldn’t be more important for the tourism industry to take action now to engage tourists.

With an array of creative assets to wow across advertising campaigns, it’s no wonder that the travel and tourism industry are really nailing it when it comes to their social media platforms.

Whether you’re looking for images, tips, videos and podcasts, reviews or stories, social media can be THE place to find them and this has only strengthened with the rise of the travel influencer.

So if you’re a fan of travel and tourism, who should you be following for that spark of inspiration? Here’s our pick of 5 companies that have got their social media right, from the content they feature to the tone of voice to suit their audience.

  1. Booking.com

One of the most popular sites for planning a trip away, Booking.com excel at social media as well as their holiday packages. With millions of followers across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the travel website shares gorgeous images to entice you to visit a new destination.

social media - Booking.com

They are also quite good at responding to queries that are left on their posts, even negative ones, and the addition of their Facebook booking chatbot means you can search for your next holiday without leaving the platform.

2.National Trust

Conservation organisation National Trust is the largest membership organisation in the UK and has a whole range of beautiful sites across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

social media - national trust

Across social media they share stunning images submitted from visitors, hints and tips in the form of podcasts and useful information on upcoming events across all of their sites. Often accompanied by witty remarks, their posts usually receive high engagement figures and their weekly #NTChallenge on Instagram is a firm favourite with top followers. For those looking to engage their audience a bit more, they are a great company to keep an eye on.

3. Parkdean Resorts

Packed with competitions and discount offers, holiday park operator Parkdean Resorts are great to follow on Facebook and Twitter if you’re looking for that next family getaway.

social media - parkdean resorts

Combining images and video content across their posts, Parkdean Resorts ensure that their content is interesting and always relevant to their target audience.

Their video content is fantastic, from walkthrough videos of accommodation to exciting promotional videos featuring their range of activities and facilities at the parks.

4. Airbnb

One look at Airbnb’s social media profiles and you’ll be desperate to get on holiday. The platform has the highest combined followers out of the five we have featured on this list, mostly due to rise in popularity of the ‘home away from home’ holiday and the desire to stay in an instagrammable property.

As well as featuring snaps of their most luxurious properties across the world, the online marketplace also shares stories from users, tips for destinations and new experience opportunities available on the platform.

Airbnb are also extremely good at offering quirky and unique prizes to their audience and they recently used a sponsored video on Facebook to promote a competition to win a #NightAt the Great Wall of China. Naturally, the post racked up plenty of interest for those desperate to bag the chance.

social media - Airbnb

5. Visit Kielder

Kielder Water & Forest Park is a popular visitor destination in Northumberland and their social media channels are jam-packed with ideas for days out and updates on what is happening at the park.

social media - Kielder

For fans of animals, the area is home to a wide variety of wildlife including inquisitive red squirrels, otters and foxes, and photos are often shared from those lucky enough to spot them! Make sure you use #wildatkielder to share your finds at the park and get involved in the conversation.

Feeling inspired to improve your social media channels but not sure where to start? As a creative agency, we have plenty of experience in social media management, so why not drop us an email on letstalk@opr.co.uk and we’ll see if we can help!

GET CREATIVE: HOW TO SPICE UP YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media is arguably one of the most popular and most effective way to market your brand and engage with your customers. Whether it’s customer service tweets, streaming live videos on Facebook or snapping gorgeous photos on Instagram – the opportunities really are endless.

As a creative agency, we talk about social media a lot at O and that’s because we really do recognise how powerful it can be. In our Social Media Spotlight series, we looked at Instagram, Linkedin, Facebook and Snapchat and how you can use all four of them for business and we’ve explored social influencer marketing in more detail on numerous occasions.

Working across every social media platform each day, we’ve seen what works and what doesn’t. So for the second part of the GET CREATIVE series, we’re looking at how you can spice up your next social media campaign to create something really exciting.

With social media, you can reach people at the click of a button. There are 2.19 billion monthly active users on Facebook, 1 billion monthly active on Instagram, 336 million monthly active on Twitter and 191 million active daily users on Snapchat*. That’s A LOT of people. But with that many people all competing for their voice to be heard as well, it can be a daunting task to come up with something fresh and engaging to increase those followers and get an audience interacting.

Social media is all about creating eye-catching content, but what else can you be doing?

Here are some of our tips to make sure you’ve got a robust social media strategy to tell your brand story.

Talk to people

Engage, engage, engage! The most important part about social media is the conversations it can create and unfortunately, it’s one of the features that is often forgotten. Scheduling posts is great way to ensure that you have a constant stream of content out there but don’t forget to share current news and comment on content from other profiles. Replying to tweets that are sent to you or starting a conversation with someone that you don’t know yet is a great way to build trust and networks. A like can go a long way..

Have an opinion

Following on from being sociable, don’t be afraid to share your own opinions and passions. There’s a fine line between being clear on your opinion, and being opinionated (we all know a few of those) so getting the balance right is important. By talking about something that matters to you and being relatable, you can open doors to conversations with likeminded people.

Add some humour

Making your audience laugh can go a long way in building up engagement and increasing your following.

Greggs is brilliant at this. The bakery chain knows who its target audience is and how to communicate with people in a lighthearted way. Last week they accidentally posted a reply to a disgruntled customer as a separate tweet, but look at how it played out.

social media - greggs Tweet

Naturally their followers flocked to comment on the post with lots of ‘U Ok Hun?’ and what did Greggs do? They joined in! By engaging with customers their RTs quickly rocketed to over 1,700 and the comment thread is a hilarious read.

It isn’t the first time Greggs has made its followers laugh and it certainly won’t be the last. Although it was unintentional, why not think more like Greggs and use light humour to raise a smile?

Use more video

We spoke about video in more detail in the first part of our GET CREATIVE series as now really is the time to start putting more video out there. Whether it is a live video stream on Facebook/Instagram or short promotional videos on Twitter and Linkedin, consumers are watching more and more video each day so don’t miss out on a golden opportunity.

If you don’t have a proper video camera, grab your smartphone and shoot something. You don’t always need fancy equipment to create something great.

Tag it up

Hashtags have been a big part of Twitter and Instagram for a while now and for good reason. Engagement and followers increase when you use hashtags related to your content and geotags are a great way to show people where you are – you can even interact with others who have been in the area. Don’t forget to explore other hashtags and experiment which ones work best with your content to attract your target audience.

O is a creative communications agency in Newcastle. If you want to get more creative with your social media strategy, drop us an email on letstalk@opr.co.uk

 *Figures correct as of August 2018

 

 

THE GREAT EXHIBITION OF THE NORTH: O’S BEST BITS SO FAR

The Great Exhibition of the North (GEON) is just about reaching the halfway mark and what a journey it has been so far. Opening on Friday 22nd June, the summer-long celebration has been aiming to showcase everything that is great about the North of England.

From stunning exhibitions to live performances, events to innovative displays, there is something for everyone throughout the 80 days.

As we’ve had a good month to digest everything, some of the O team have highlighted their favourite parts so far…

Tegan Denwood, SEO and Social Manager

“I really enjoyed visiting the David Almond exhibition ‘Where Your Wings Were’ at Seven Stories. It was so interesting to see David’s work come to life and read his old notes and schedules – very inspiring.”

Sammy Sadler, Agency Marketing Manager

“So far, my highlight of GEON has been the Northern Powerhouse Business Summit at the Boiler Shop, Newcastle. Running over 3 days, it was fantastic to pop down and hear from innovative business leaders in the region and beyond. I also really enjoyed the Multiverse Arcade on the Innovation Trail at The Mining Institute, a space to discover and explore thoughts from young people on how to change the world and our perceptions.”

Sally Crossley, Account Manager

“The opening night of Great Exhibition of the North was a night to remember. Crowds were captivated by the impressive display of the UK’s largest water sculptures on the River Tyne and the North Star motifs that lit up the sky drew upon on the North East’s heritage perfectly.”

Lauren Regan-Ingram, Senior Account Manager

“I have had the pleasure of knowing David Almond for almost ten years and to see his incredible work brought to life in the ‘Where Your Wings Were’ exhibition at Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books, is fantastic. Interviewed in the lead up to the exhibition launch, David talked passionately about growing up in the North East in Felling, where he was asked ‘what are you going to write about son? Nothing ever happens.’ Now the first major exhibition of his work has opened as part of the Great Exhibition of the North. The exhibition explores themes of love, loss and hope and it’s must-see stop on the Design Trail.”

Kayleigh Hepburn, Senior Account Manager

“I’ve been working with some of my hospitality clients to develop exclusive offerings for their customers as a nod to Great Exhibition. One of these is an overnight stay at a Newcastle hotel plus a history tour of the city’s best bits. Not only do promotions like this allow businesses to deliver one-of-a-kind experiences to their customers, it’s also great content for us to share.”

Laura Ivory, PR Executive

“The city has such a buzz right now and I’m loving it! As I’ve lived here most of my life, I’ve almost taken what Newcastle has to offer for granted so I would say that that Great Exhibition of the North has made me realise the city’s beauty again.

“A stand out event for me would have to be Fenwick’s Hepple Gin Window Experience. What a treat it was to have the opportunity to partake and be one of the first people to step inside of Northumberland Street’s iconic window.”

 Rebecca Connolly, PR Executive

“I really enjoyed the Great Exhibition of the North Launch on the Quayside. I loved the street performers, there was so much to see and it was such an amazing atmosphere. The drone light display definitely stole the show, it was just fantastic!”

Kari Owers, Managing Director

“I’m in love with the whole atmosphere and vibe along the Quayside, especially when sitting at the new By the River Brew Co, opened just in time for the Great Exhibition of the North – a great spot to enjoy the fountains in the river Tyne.”

For more posts from the team, head over to the O Blog! 

GET CREATIVE: THE IMPORTANCE OF USING VIDEO

Crowded marketplaces and busy social media feeds can make it seem like an impossible task to get your brand noticed. But with a bit of creativity, you can turn anything into something that’ll grab your audience’s attention.

The digital world offers us vast amounts of opportunities when it comes to getting creative. Ideas and the ability to collaborate with anyone in the world is available at the click of a button and that’s just the start. The amount of media types available to us on digital platforms are growing each day, whether that’s Apple releasing a new software update or Facebook adding a new feature.

In our new mini-series we’re going to show you how to get creative with your brand storytelling. To kick off the series, we are looking at the popular format of video and how you can make your videos stand out.

Video is quickly becoming the most preferred way to consume information. This shift in audience behaviour has prompted journalists to implement much more video content into their news outlets and marketeers are now scrambling to create exciting videos to include in their campaigns.

With mobile video consumption having already grown by 16% in the UK, which is likely to rise with smartphones and their ever-expanding features for social platforms such as the IGTV, it really is time to consider using video marketing.

But how can you ensure that you’re creating something exciting? How do you really stand out from the crowd even if you’re only using simple tools?

Live Streaming

Live streaming isn’t a new feature but it has certainly increased in popularity recently. When Periscope began waving the flag for live streaming over on Twitter, it was a huge deal for vloggers and users of the social media platform alike. But it hasn’t been until the addition of Facebook and Instagram’s live streaming feature that the tool has really been taken notice of.

Nowadays, it couldn’t be easier to document something as it is happening. The beauty of live streaming is that it doesn’t have to be polished and perfect, it’s supposed to be raw footage and people tend to expect mistakes.

Experiment with live streaming by capturing your workplace in action – it could be behind-the-scenes sneak peeks of the office or going live at an event you’re attending.

Filters & Stickers

Gone are the days that Snapchat filters were just for those wanting to add cute dog ears to their selfies. You are now able to create your own Snapchat filters which can be used when someone is in your geographical location or during an event. This is a great way to engage an audience and stamp your brand identity across multiple Snapchat Stories.

On Instagram and Facebook you have the options to add stickers and there is quite a selection. Tag your location, boast about the temperature, embellish with emojis or ask your viewers a question – as well as adding the fun element to your Stories, it adds much more depth to both videos and images and can create conversations.

Animation

Video doesn’t have to be all footage that you’ve taken from a camera – why not experiment with animation like we have in our showreel? If you have someone who’s a dab hand at videography, spice up your usual videos with some animation in there to add extra information in. Short and snappy videos that communicate your message thoroughly and quickly are ideal in keeping your audience engaged.

O is a creative communications agency in Newcastle. If you want to get more creative with your video marketing, drop us an email on letstalk@opr.co.uk

 

CONTENT MARKETING AND PUBLIC RELATIONS: WHY YOU SHOULD BE COMBINING THE TWO

It’s no secret that creating great content captures attention. Whether it’s a well-written blog post, behind-the-scenes video footage, an eye-catching infographic or a witty social media campaign, content is the bread and butter in raising brand awareness both online and offline.

Content can inform, entertain, shock and trigger conversations and it’s something that we use in both public relations (PR) and marketing. So why do we often treat both communication branches separately?

Although there are differences between PR and marketing, their goals are essentially the same – to attract attention and engage an audience. With an increased demand to create exciting, consumable content on digital platforms, it couldn’t be any more important to combine marketing with your PR strategy. And that’s where content marketing comes in.

A robust PR campaign, whether it is created by a PR agency or in-house, will tell your brand story far and wide and manage your reputation with the world. Content marketing is actually an extra string to your communications bow, where you begin to create content that your customer will find valuable to themselves or their company. For example, a how-to guide on creating a social media campaign.

But what exactly is content marketing? According to Content Marketing Institute, it is:

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

When that interesting press release goes out or that exciting profile appears in a glossy mag, that will initially attract an audience from the publication that it appeared in. Chances are that they’ll go to your website or social media platforms, but what do you have on there that will make them stay? It’s likely that many of those who have taken the time to dig deeper into your brand are going to be your target audience – so how do you get them to return to you at a later stage and potentially become a customer?

Look at it this way – PR is the initial building blocks to get your story out there and raise awareness of your brand. Content marketing continues to build on that momentum, creating content that will interest and be of use to the audience you’ve attracted from that press release.

With that in mind, here are 3 ways in which you can combine PR & content marketing to attract that audience that keeps coming back.

  1. How-To Guides

A how-to guide can be created by doing some research into common questions people are asking online that your product or service can solve. You could create a visual how-to guide in the form of a step-by-step infographic, a downloadable booklet or a behind-the-scenes video with one of your experts showing how it’s done – get creative!

  1. Thought Leadership

If you are an expert in your field, sharing your expertise can ensure you are in front of the right audience and are seen as a ‘trusted source’ in the right circles. From a reactive opinion blog to something happening in the news, to a full white paper of detailed analysis, don’t be afraid to share what you think and know.

  1. Behind-the-Scenes

Content needs to be authentic, and what better way to open up the doors of your business and showcase your people and processes, brand values and day-to-day life?

You can do regular ‘meet the team’ style blogs and videos on your website, or create events that you can share a behind-the-scenes look on social channels like Stories or Facebook Live. Why not even go so far as social media takeovers by members of your team?

O Communications is a creative agency in Newcastle. If you’d like to hear more about combining your content marketing and PR strategy, drop us an email on letstalk@opr.co.uk

Getting the most out of your influencer marketing campaign

Influencer marketing has been increasing in popularity year on year and has stapled itself as a firm favourite with communications professionals across the world. Brands of all sizes are now actively working with individuals on a whole range of products and experiences. And it isn’t exclusive to just celebrities boasting millions of followers, hyperlocal influencers are now being taken seriously with their smaller yet highly engaged audiences.

If you head over to Instagram, it’s now extremely common to come across hundreds of influencers working with global brands such as Daniel Wellington, H&M and Naked Juice to promote their products in an authentic and creative way.

Becoming an influencer is even proving to be a popular dream career path for all ages, especially millennials. It’s now an achievable goal to work with your favourite brand if you are determined enough to share your love of a specific hobby or you have a flair for photography. And it’s an attractive career – the flexibility and lifestyle perks are hard to ignore and of course, there are the freebies.

Unfortunately, due to the rise in popularity, it is becoming increasingly difficult to decide who you should use in your influencer campaign. The obsession with reaching ‘influencer’ status has swept throughout social media, with thousands of wannabe internet stars flocking to boost their follower count to bag free products. Some have even resorted to paying for fake followers to boost up their numbers, often resulting in a follower list full of ghost accounts (followers who don’t interact with any of their posts).

Alongside potentially damaging the reputation of influencer marketing, the rise in individuals paying for followers has brand giants questioning how genuine some influencers really are. Earlier this week, Unilever’s CMCO Keith Weed spoke out about the need for the ad industry and social media platforms such as Instagram to improve transparency and measurement of its influencer marketing. Weed, who is responsible for Unilever’s marketing and communications functions, has called for urgent action to rebuild the trust between influencer, brand and audience. Speaking about how to tackle the issue, he said:

“The key to improving the situation is three-fold: cleaning up the influencer ecosystem by removing misleading engagement; making brands and influencers more aware of the use of dishonest practices; and improving transparency from social platforms to help brands measure impact. We need to take urgent action now to rebuild trust before it’s gone forever.”

As a result of all of this, Unilever has stated that they won’t work with influencers who buy followers, that their own brands will never buy followers and that the business will work with partners who increase their transparency.

Advertising transparency of any kind is always greatly welcomed but it’s unknown how or if the industry and social media will tackle this new issue. Influencers already have a responsibility to disclose their stats honestly, most of which are happy to do so, but what can we do in the meantime to ensure that we are using genuine influencers in our campaigns?

Here at O, we recognise that people buy from people, making influencers a great tool in a marketing strategy. We work with influencers with all sizes of followings across both national and regional campaigns, but we always ensure that we do our research so that we approach the right individual for the brand. Here are a couple of tips to ensure you are working with the best fit for your campaign.

Engagement
The most important part about an influencer marketing campaign is the individual’s engagement with their audience. Do they interact with comments on their posts? Do they actively talk about or comment on other profiles? Conversations go a long way in proving that you are dealing with a genuinely interested influencer who is happy to communicate with their community.

Quality of Content

If you want an influencer to represent your brand, you should ensure that the content they are creating is something that you’d want to associate with the brand name. It doesn’t matter if the individual has 1000’s of followers, if the content quality is lacking it may not be a great fit for you.

Amount of followers vs posts and activity

With Unilever’s move to ensure they aren’t working with influencers who have paid for followers, it is best practice to ensure you don’t either. Have a look at the account’s follower numbers and how much they have posted. Have they only started their profile last month and already boast over 100,000 followers? Unless they are a celebrity, it’s very likely that those followers could have been bought which isn’t going to be great for ROI.

O is a creative communications agency based in Newcastle. If you’re looking for some help in kickstarting your own influencer marketing campaign, why not get in touch on letstalk@opr.co.uk 

 

 

 

 

 

WORK EXPERIENCE: Hugo’s week at O

This month we have welcomed another talented university student into the office to get an idea of what life is like in the industry. Hugo, a final year PR & Communications student at  Northumbria University student, was at O for a week of work experience and here’s what he got up to…

With my final year of university drawing to a close, the uncertainty over a career path was becoming increasingly prevalent. I was fortunate enough to be introduced to Kari as she presented O at Northumbria University. Inspired by Kari’s integrated and contemporary approach to PR and highly impressed by the projects going on at O, I decided to get in touch.

Monday morning consisted of a warm welcoming from all members of the team, everyone’s extremely friendly and made a point of personally introducing themselves. The day kicked off with Tegan’s internal note-worthy presentation on SEO, outlining the importance of brand authority and captivating content in today’s digital landscape.

My first task was to come up with suggested social media posts for a luxury hotel in Northumberland. Much to my predilection, coming up with original social media content was a re-occurring task throughout the week, creating campaign ideas for clients across a wide range of sectors.

Throughout the week, I thoroughly enjoyed working on a leading outdoor and gardening power product. Thanks to Kayleigh and Sally’s guidance, I am now more familiar and comfortable with writing a well-structured press release that will capture the journalists attention. I suppose one of the more unacquainted tasks was phoning up editors of leading men’s magazines in attempt to run a competition for the brand… It’s not every day that you get to speak to GQ magazine!

A key take-out from my week at O is the importance of keeping up with current trends and always being aware of what is going on in regional and national press – I found this massively helps the birth of creative ideas. Having explored different areas of PR during my week at O, it has become clear that digital marketing is the aspect of communications I am going to peruse.

Being a part of such an upbeat and focussed internal culture has been a valuable learning experience and exposed me to the communication skills required to be a successful modern-day PR practitioner.

SOCIAL MEDIA SPOTLIGHT: LINKEDIN FOR BUSINESS

For our final post in our social media mini-series, we’re looking at LinkedIn, and how this platform can enable businesses to build their brand, generate sales and recruit the best talent to their workforce.

With over 500 million members, LinkedIn allows for the fostering of professional relationships in a digital world, as connections are established between members. As more people turn to LinkedIn to inspire a career move, connect with potential business partners or clients, and showcase their portfolios, it’s no wonder the platform is now deemed essential for professional success.

Whilst LinkedIn has long since been a powerful tool for individual professional development, it is also used extensively by businesses, and should not be ignored as an essential platform for brands.

Here are five ways to use LinkedIn for business…

The rise of video

The use of video content has become increasingly popular on social channels recently and businesses have been using this type of content to bring their brand to life. Businesses can make use of video on LinkedIn to share achievements, showcase their service offering, highlight data reports or survey results, give insight into their workplace, and advertise for new job openings.

One brand doing this well is KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, which actively uses video to promote its core values and ethos. Its content focuses on anything from customer stories to the activity of employees and why this makes the business favourable to work for and purchase from.

linkedin for business post example

A business should make sure its video is eye-catching, captures the attention of an audience exposed to several videos per day, and ideally is recorded in portrait mode for easy access viewing on mobile phones.

Thought leadership

LinkedIn has a feature which allows users to create and publish their own articles on the platform, and this is a powerful tool that can, and should, be utilised by businesses. From writing about on-trend issues that relate to their industry to reporting on survey insight, brand ambassadors can use these pieces of content to drive engagement and spark conversation with their connections. It’s important to use this publishing platform authentically, rather than continually pushing out sales messages, to ensure the brand remains true to itself.

Recruiting talent

Attracting the right talent to the workforce is essential for business success, and LinkedIn can help with this. Businesses are able to sponsor a position that they are recruiting for in the ‘jobs’ section of the platform, targeting qualified professionals based on criteria including their current job title, their location and their seniority level.

85% of LinkedIn’s vast membership is open to finding new opportunities, so the talent pool is huge, and this can really benefit businesses who are looking for the perfect candidate.

LinkedIn groups

LinkedIn Groups allows professionals with shared backgrounds and interests to connect, share inspiration and insight, digitally network, and recruit new talent. As a business, it’s a great way to connect with potential clients, employees or business partners.

A business can build its reputation as an expert in its industry, sharing tips and insight learned through its everyday operation that may be of use to fellow LinkedIn members.

LinkedIn groups are essential in a world of changing social media, as the shift focuses from huge pages and followings to a more intimate influence of brands within smaller communities.

For B2B businesses in particular, use of relevant and active LinkedIn groups are great for bringing together businesses and fostering professional relations, especially if group participants are outside of each other’s immediate social circle.

LinkedIn sales navigator

As part of a premium membership, LinkedIn offers another great feature – Sales Navigator. This is a tool that can be used to target potential clients and customers and really support your sales strategy.

The use of Sales Navigator is an excellent way to access data on consumers in order to reach out and engage with prospects, ultimately resulting in growth and success for a business.

Sales Navigator is used by more than 80% of the Forbes Cloud 100 to meet revenue goals, which highlights the importance of strategically using this aspect of the platform to generate sales and create growth.

Whilst Sales Navigator can enable a business to locate prospects and allow it access to information on these individuals, it is only beneficial if a business has an effective communications technique to speak with this demographic. Care should be taken to ensure that a sales pitch is communicated effectively, benefits are highlighted to the lead and research is efficiently undertaken for each contact.

Nevertheless, Sales Navigator opens the door to this data and gives businesses a head start on determining the prospective clients it wishes to reach.

O Communications is a creative communications agency based in Newcastle. Looking for help with your social media strategy? Drop us a line on letstalk@opr.co.uk.

 

Why we’re still buzzing about Brighton SEO 2018

A few weeks back, the O team travelled from Newcastle to the south coast to attend one of the most popular search conferences in the UK, Brighton SEO. We spent the day listening to some great speakers talking about everything from data-driven content to dark social and we’re still buzzing from the day!

Brighton SEO started out as a conversation in a pub with founder Kelvin Newman and a few friends. Fast forward to 2018 and there are now over 3,500 professionals from over 30 countries that look forward to the conference in the popular seaside town of Brighton.

Despite the name, BrightonSEO has always had an audience whose skill sets reach beyond search marketing – those who work in PR, journalism, design and many more attend because SEO is often at the heart of marketing strategy.

So what did we learn from the conference?

Social shares are falling

Steve Rayson from Buzzsumo and Giles Palmer from Brandwatch teamed up on stage to talk through their content trends data and revealed that social shares have been declining since 2015. This is due to factors such as the rise of private sharing and Facebook algorithm changes.

During the talk, they suggested that only 5% of content gets over 300 shares and the average number of shares per piece of content is just 4 (yes, 4!) which has more than halved in the last 3 years. If you’d like to keep an eye on those ‘dark social’ shares (those that are shared privately via the likes of WhatsApp or Slack for example) you can use tools such as Get Social.

Social shares aren’t declining for everyone though – the pair claimed that New York Times is reportedly experiencing the highest number of social referrals they’ve ever had and have the most paid subscribers of all time, so it all depends on the steer of your content marketing strategy.

Understanding demographics of social networks also came up during the talk. Steve and Giles explained that 81% of Pinterest users are female, contributing 93% of shares of the platform. Reddit, however, is male-dominated (71%) and its user base is mainly under the age of 25. Audiences need to be taken into account before creating any content, as a key part of your content strategy.

As Facebook shares fall, Steve highlighted that SEO is becoming increasingly important and summarised with “Get links and let Google show off your content”.

The digital PR movement

In recent years, SEO has shifted towards the skillset of public relations in identifying and listening to audiences and creating content to earn attention, so it’s no wonder a talk on digital PR attracted a huge crowd.

During the talk, the importance of quality images was raised – images need to be able to bring a story to life and really support your content. One thing journalists want, and many marketers forget, is photos, so make sure you invest in quality photography.

Another tip to gain great coverage is to make use of online communities such as Facebook groups because whatever the topic of your story, there will be a number of engaged, online communities ready to help amplify your cause and bring it to a wider audience. You can use these communities to gather user-generated images and quotes to support your story.

The power of unique content

According to Eleni Cashell, Editor of Hotcourses.com, 29% of the internet is duplicate content – that’s content which appears in more than one location on the internet. Why is this important? Because duplicate content is one of the worst offenders from an SEO perspective. Search engines are trying to provide the best possible experience for their users and they’re working very hard to make sure content shown in search results is relevant and useful. If two websites have exactly the same content, how does Google know which one to rank? You could be losing out on a lot of organic traffic.

So how do you approach a unique content strategy that will generate great results? Research the latest trends and think carefully about a new perspective – to get in the news, the content has to be NEW. Also, consider different ways you can collect data to support your content. Having relevant statistics on hand can mean the difference between coverage on the Telegraph or no uptake at all.

Unique content can drive social shares, gain attention from the media, generate the coverage you’re looking for and secure those all-important links which are still high on the list of today’s ranking factors, so strive for uniqueness!