I have a confession, I am not a PR pro.
I took one public relations class in college.
Looking back on it, I would have enjoyed my classes more had I studied PR or even advertising.
But I studied marketing.
And to earn my marketing degree at the University of Illinois, I had to take finance, accounting, and FIVE economics classes!
Like many of you, I’m not a numbers person (much to my father’s chagrin), so these classes were torture for me.
Until last year, I was the marketing manager who made up our one-person marketing team at a company that designed and built museum exhibits (Pete Salmon and I were co-workers there, as well).
It was 2009 (and I still have the notes).
From then on, I followed everything Arment Dietrich and Spin Sucks did.
My last company was one of the first in our industry to jump on the social media bus.
People thought we were wasting our time blogging (some asked us at tradeshows, “What’s a blog?”).
In all our efforts, I was self-taught.
Some things worked, some things didn’t, and some things could have been done much better—if only I knew then what I know now!
If my story sounds in any way familiar to yours (you’re the one person marketing team), I have a few tips for you.
Create Content Calendars
This is one of the simplest things you can do.
It’s also one I didn’t do because I didn’t understand them.
For whatever reason, I had a mental block when it came to content calendars and I tweeted or posted to Facebook things I found daily.
I simply didn’t understand that you could still tweet/post things that weren’t new that day. (I know—head slap!)
So my advice to you is to set aside a couple hours on Fridays and create your calendar for the following week.
Determine how many times you want to post each day, then search for that many articles multiplied by the number of days you plan to be active.
The articles should be ones which your target audience will find interesting, helpful, and entertaining.
You can create a spreadsheet or you can schedule your posts in Hootsuite or Buffer.
(If someone needs to approve your posts, a spreadsheet may be easier, or you can give the reviewer your login info for one of the other tools.)
Note: Only do this for the social channels on which you are active. You’ll still need to engage with your followers. You can’t simply schedule everything one day a week and be done.
Content Marketing: Repurposing Your Content
Something else I didn’t really grasp—nearly all publications take contributed content.
Do you have a blog or do you write somewhere else?
If so, choose a few of your best pieces and rework them for industry publications.
(Start off with niche publications. Once you get a few bylines under your belt, the bigger guys will be easier to get into.)
If you look at various publication websites, you’ll see a link somewhere which may say, “Write for Us” or “Contribute Content” or something similar.
It’s often in the page footer, or in the “Contact Us” section, but sometimes you’ll find it in the top menu bar.
Other times it will be so hidden you’ll be better off Googling, “How to write for ___?”
Once you know for whom you’re writing, check if they have any style guidelines and then start editing.
As you edit, keep these things in mind:
- What you write about needs to fit into their editorial calendar or the things they are already covering.
- This isn’t a sales pitch. If you talk about your company, you won’t get published so be sure the piece is informative not salesy.
- You’ll usually be allowed to link to your company in the byline and MAYBE one other link in the article. Be sure it’s a keyword you can rank for.
- Be sure you do not submit something that has been published elsewhere. You do have to make changes/updates to your chosen articles.
Set Up Google or Talkwalker Alerts
I’ve used these tools for years.
I’m partial to Google Alerts, but switched to Talkwalker some months ago (I still have Google Alerts sent, but I rarely check them).
Gini has talked about the benefits of these tools on numerous occasions, so unless you’re new to Spin Sucks, I doubt this is news to you.
But, even if you know about them, are you using them?
Set these up to monitor your name, company name, competitor names, product names, partner names, and any other keyword important to you.
This is a great way to stay on top of what’s being said about you, your competitors, and your market in general.
And if you set these up for keywords you’re already writing about, articles that pop up may offer a follow-up opportunity and a bigger opening to get into that particular publication (see tip two above).
The One-person Marketing Team
Now it’s your turn.
What other tips would you add for the self-taught, one-person marketing team?
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