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Five Common Digital PR Problems

By: Guest | April 28, 2011 | 
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Stacey AceveroStacey Acevero is the social media community manager at Vocus and PRWeb.

Marketing today looks very little like it did even the last four to five years.  The explosion of the social and niche destinations continues to change the marketing landscape for small and large businesses alike.

If you are newer to the world of digital marketing, your campaigns may be springing a leak or two.

Take a look at the five common digital PR problems below and how to fix them.

You’re the victim of high bounce rates:  Let’s say you have created an integrated campaign focused on topically relevant keywords to generate traffic to your landing pages.  However, when you check your site analytics, you see a high number of visitors clicking to you once, and then leaving.

The fix: Be sure your content is consistent between all channels.  If your news releases are saying focused on one message and visitors can’t find a logical link to the content you have sent them to, they are unlikely to stay around. It’s important that your call to action (CTA) be consistent with the content as well. If your information is education-based then the CTA should be softer, such as “download a whitepaper” or “sign up for a webinar.” Someone searching for, and finding your content, via broader phrases isn’t likely ready to speak to a salesperson or request a demo.

You’re scattered amongst segregated audiences:  You’re pushing your message everywhere you can think of that potential customers might be hanging out. But if you aren’t putting thought into how the campaigns complement one other, you’ll have a random group of followers rather than a community of groupies.

One way companies’ get an irrelevant audience fast is by offering too many giveaways for increases in ‘likes’. Be careful of growing metrics too quickly by attracting people who aren’t your core audience and won’t stay around after the contest is over.

The fix: Don’t just think of how to attract an audience, employ ways to help the audience grow itself – think “shares”, “likes”, retweets, and blog forums.

One of the most successful ways to grow a relevant audience is by engaging with them. Ask a topically-relevant question each day to start conversations. Once they are used to connecting with you, and coming back for more, the likelihood that they see your content – and share it – will increase.

Your blog has the blahs:  According to recent info from InsideView.com, the average social media activity for the Fortune 100 companies includes seven blog posts per month.  If you aren’t putting similar amounts of effort into your blog, chances are your audience will go to where the content is frequent and valuable.

The fix: Create a blog content calendar to help provide structure and keep the team on-task. Create a stream of creativity-inducing channels with RSS feeds from thought leaders and news sources in your industry. Weekly news round ups and adding your thoughts to new research is a great way to stay relevant and not get bogged down in trying to concept ideas.

You’re missing small opportunities:  You may have a grand presence on Facebook and Twitter but have you researched niche sites?

The fix: Research where else your audience might be seeking content, chatting or sharing. For example, threadless.com is a community-based site for T-shirt lovers where the community designs the shirts which are produced and sold.

Your brand is hidden in the landscape:  You’ve distributed news releases, even added images and video.  You’ve tweeted new announcements and posted to Facebook, but you’re still lost in the crowd.

The fix: Find something about your brand that stands out and then promote it!  The digital marketplace is sprinkled with standouts and crowded with posers.  In any competitive landscape, unique is not only attractive it’s essential.

Re-visit your campaigns to see how messages can be tweaked or simplified to truly let your differentiators shine.

The quote “within the problem lies the solution” applies to digital PR challenges perfectly. Luckily, the net offers enough solutions to cover any issues you’ve encountered and even more for the ones you (hopefully) won’t.

Stacey Acevero is the social media community manager at Vocus and PRWeb. Part of the PR team and an early adopter of social media, she blogs frequently about public relations, social media, marketing, and search engine optimization at BloggingPRWeb.

12 comments
NancyM.
NancyM.

These are great tips. I do see many businesses making these mistakes, specially the contests to gain followers. Many people follow for the contest, then unfollow later. It is better to gain followers who will stay even if it is slower.

3HatsComm
3HatsComm

Like that you included fixes for these mistakes, Stacey. There was a guest post on blogging mistakes on Mark Schaefer's Grow a little while ago, lots of 'blahs' to avoid. My only thing on that - and your smart suggestion for a planning calendar - is to consider the purpose of the blog. Not all blogs are about conversation and engagement, gotta remind myself of that. Is the point sales, then yes watch that CTA and bounce; if you're educating and establishing credibility to a certain audience, maybe 7 really good posts a month are enough, if you're using the time to engage and carry those messages elsewhere.

My favorite piece of advice: look for niche sites. Not everyone is 'social' in the way we think, but they are online. So maybe you're fish don't bite on FB or Twitter. But they do watch videos (who doesn't) and they do search; the diehards and heavy-hitters, they know that secret fishing spot and hang with all their buds; as a smart marketer, the trick is to find that prime fishing hole, then as you say match the messages across the board, and make them relevant to this audience. FWIW.

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

I love your list Stacey. I personally view a Grand Presence on Facebook and Twitter is kind of deceiving with so few Tweets, Wall Posts, and Brand Pages viewed or visited. If that is the crux of your strategy your competitors will each your lunch. And while that can be nice accents to your integrated strategy Twitter is struggling and Facebook is dying a slow death which I think will nose dive next year when they IPO. So Brands and Businesses need to look at the big picture and not what they read on Mashable for advice, which is why I don't read Mashable LOL

I actually have had more impact for clients courting smaller blogs with real readers who are passionate about a subject than using the shiny network of the moment.

Cindy King
Cindy King

Great point Stacey! I've also noticed how marketing has changed lots over the last few years in part thanks to the web. The one thing I'd noticed and this probably falls into many of your points here, is that many marketers don't "tie up all of loose ends". This is something you notice on the receiving end. I really notice how well things are "tied up" when I run into a company that executes their marketing well.

Jk Allen
Jk Allen

Hi Stacey,

I won't even act as if I'm familiar with all that you've covered here (not a marketer)...but I will say that you eloquently delivered your message effective enough for a layman like me to gather an appreication for what you shared. I'm not oblivious to subject, but I don't want to position myself inaccurately.

I do have a blog, so the point you made about the average number of blog post per month (7) is worth of my attention. Because my goal is of course growth.

Thanks Stacey

staceylamiller
staceylamiller

Thanks so much for reading Justice. Sending messages without evaluating who your audience is and where they are is an easy way to become frustrated because you won't see the results you are expecting. It takes a little time and research but as always, is worth it.

Justicewordlaw
Justicewordlaw

You were correct with all of the various problems and ways of fixing those issues. Trying to find where your niche people are hanging out at is one of the biggest things that a lot of people do not do. You want to really narrow down your focus and be consistent in your approach to your audience.

staceylamiller
staceylamiller

@3HatsComm I totally agree with your piece of advice. My "secret fishing spot" is niche forums. There's a forum for EVERY topic under the sun, and though we may not be able to find people for a niche on FB or Twitter, I guarantee you'll find them on a forum somewhere.

staceylamiller
staceylamiller

@Cindy King Watching marketing and PR converge over time has been really interesting (and makes me happy quite frankly) because integrated efforts make things run smoother. What are some examples of the "loose ends" you mentioned above?

staceylamiller
staceylamiller

@Jk Allen Everyone has a different content writing schedule for their blog, and there isn't any right or wrong number, the key is being consistent. Plan your blogs ahead of time and research on what days or times you have the highest readership or social shares. Look at titles and subjects of past blogs that have gotten a good number of shares, and create similar content. Appreciate the read JK!

Justicewordlaw
Justicewordlaw

@sacevero Yeah, the research part is where people truly fail at sometimes. That is the boring part of the experience but if you take the time of doing that. The results you would receive would be endless.

3HatsComm
3HatsComm

@sacevero Agreed. I have my fun forums, just need to find those 'looking for that certain type of marketing advice' forums. ;-)

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