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5 Ways Inbound Marketing Stands Apart from Traditional Marketing

Once upon a time, marketers focused on buying advertisements, mailing postcards, and making telemarketing calls. But people's behaviors have changed, and the traditional marketing playbook must change with them. While cold calls once netted enormous volumes of leads, today more than 235 million Americans are registered on the FTC's "Do Not Call" list. And that glossy flier you sent to your loyal customers? It won't even reach half of them, as 58% of direct mail recipients never read, or even scan, their mailers.  

What’s a marketer or entrepreneur to do?  

Some of this may seem bleak, but there’s good news – and it’s called inbound marketing. This holistic, data-motivated approach cuts costs, builds higher trust and credibility, and generates quality traffic and leads. Sounds too good to be true?  

Here are 5 ways inbound marketing stands apart from traditional marketing:

1. Quality Over Quantity

With the average person seeing 6,000-10,000 advertisement messages each day, it’s no wonder we’re starting to tune them out. So how can marketers get our attention? It begins with crafting quality content. As HubSpot writes, inbound marketing attracts customers by “creating valuable content and experiences… they are looking for and solving problems they already have.” While traditional marketing is all about what you want to say, inbound marketing focuses on what your customers want to hear. Consider your last major purchase, such as a new car. Did you choose the car with the best commercial? Or, like 88% of Americans, did you research specific questions before deciding? If you answered “research,” inbound marketing materials likely helped you make your choice. 

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6 Ways to “Spring Clean” Your PR and Marketing

Spring is in the air, bringing warmer weather, blooming flowers, and the annual itch to deep clean your home. Just as you'd clean out your closet, you can clean out your PR and marketing strategy. In the end, you’ll have a more agile communications focus and a clear vision to propel your company forward. Here are six ways you can brighten up your marketing and PR efforts this spring:

1. Wipe Away the Dust — on Your PR Plan

We’re all guilty of setting goals, building a strategy to get there… and then barely looking at it again. We get so swept up by the journey that we forget where we’re going! So, wipe away the figurative dust on your marketing and PR plan and take a fresh look at your goals. Where are you now, and where do you want to be? How much progress have you made since January? Although seemingly simple, this check-in is a critical first step to help your communications program shine.

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7 Strategic Value Adds of PR Agencies

Are you a company or an entrepreneur who's just not at all sure if a PR/Marketing agency can truly help your business? Not sure if it's really worth your time or investment?

Last month, SKC outlined why engaging with a PR firm is smart business. This month, we're diving deeper and exploring how public relations and marketing specialists add strategic value to any endeavor. From counseling management to uncovering your core story to generating investor interest, here are 7 ways we can strengthen your business:

1. Insider Expertise, Outsider Perspective

A common perception is that PR and marketing teams simply write press releases and social media posts. Nothing could be further from the truth. Although it's a given your agency partner must excel in writing, one of the biggest value adds is providing a fresh perspective on your business. Agencies can analyze various facets of your company -- from what makes you unique, to your strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities for growth. But perhaps most importantly, agencies can then act on these analyses with strategy and execution that deliver success. Everything we do -- yes, including press releases and social media posts -- stems from this strategic business analysis.

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7 Reasons to Partner with a PR Agency in 2021

What a difference a year makes! With 2020 in the rearview mirror, is it wise to predict what the next year holds? Our team thinks it’s worth a shot.

While "change” might still be the name of the game, 2021 already looks full of possibilities. As COVID-19 vaccines roll out around the world, the economy bounces back, and there’s a bit more hope in the air, it’s time to recalibrate and adapt your company’s goals and grand plans. We might be a little biased, but we truly believe that now, perhaps more than ever, is the time to partner with a communications agency to be successful in a brave new world.

You might be asking, “but why should I partner with an agency?”

Ahh, we're glad you asked. This is the question that most C-suite executives have to ponder at some point in time. Before we dive into how an agency partner can help with the latest and greatest in the coming year, here are 7 reasons why engaging with a PR firm is smart business in general.

1. Reap the Benefits of Experience

When partnering with a PR agency, you’re working with an entire team of experts who know about, and anticipate, all the twists and turns in the road, and the best ways to navigate them. Leaning on the experience of an agency elevates your business by supplying the know-how you need to handle any PR opportunity that comes your way. In many cases, it’s also incredibly valuable to get another—more specifically, outside—perspective on your brand and business

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4 Ways to Integrate Data into Your PR

Thanks to technology, it’s much easier to gather marketing data to boost your business. But are you leveraging that data for your company's public relations?

All the little marketing data-points — those you need before a campaign, those you get during one — come together to inform how you can tailor messages to achieve the most efficient effect. Companies that analyze and use their data can see big benefits.

Here are 4 ways to integrate data into your PR to boost your business:

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5 Ways HubSpot and Other Marketing Technologies Can Boost Your Business

Once upon a time, companies large and small relied on an overwhelming number of tools to market and promote their companies. Marketers were inundated by clumsy spreadsheets, a plethora of e-newsletter programs, separate social media accounts, blog extensions, and analytics tools galore. Then along came marketing automation platforms – HubSpot, Marketo, Infusionsoft etc. – with a unifying automation approach that changed the way we do marketing forever.

Today, many companies are reaping the benefits of martech and marketing automation and their belief in it is evident in their spend, now expected to reach $25.1 billion annually by 2023. This spend translates to coveted lead generation and conversion for many marketers, with 77% stating that they convert more leads with automation. What have these companies gained by leveraging marketing automation? How have their businesses and marketing and PR processes improved?

Here are 5 ways HubSpot and other marketing technologies boost your business.

 

1. Magnify Results for Your Business

If you think your marketing team is already doing amazing and don’t need any supplemental technology, think again! As Bill Gates said, “Automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency.” Any team can benefit from marketing technology to amplify their best qualities and minimize their faults. Take I-Vitae, a company whose adoption of HubSpot turned their static webpage into a conversion funnel that brought in leads 34 times more than just their non-supported efforts alone. Their team members were very good, but with supplemental technology, they were gangbusters!

2. Your One-Stop Marketing Launchpad

Nowadays, businesses have multiple social media accounts along with websites, blogs, emails, and analytics pages. Logging into five, six or more different accounts doesn’t give you a complete picture. But consolidating your channels

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5 Reasons Why You Should Care More About PR & Marketing

“Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two -- and only two -- basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs.” – Peter Drucker

For far too many companies today, the main focus is on engineering and product development. This laser focus bodes well for creating breakthrough innovations. And while these products may indeed change the world as we know it, without marketing and PR, no one will ever know about them. This gives companies with better PR and marketing, but not necessarily better products, a competitive edge.

If you’re not convinced, here are 5 reasons why you should care more about PR and marketing:

1. Stand Out or Fade Out

First up is the debilitating syndrome called “failure to communicate.” Many companies hunker down and release seriously powerful products that surpass their competitors — something that would really make them stand out – but blow it because they do not communicate their message in clear, concise and compelling fashion. They simply bleed to death through their failure to market themselves and their products. Many companies sell razors, but Dollar Shave Club stands out in a crowded market with a clear, concise and compelling message—“An Amazing Shave for a Few Bucks.” Stand out, don’t fade out.

2. Establish Your Industry Leadership or Someone Else Will

Have you ever seen a keynote speaker and wonder what they have that you don’t? You have more experience or have made bigger strides in your industry, so why weren’t you invited on stage? Chances are these speakers are seen as industry/thought leaders. When computers were just giant machines in building basements, consider Bill Gates’ and his vision to “have a computer in every home.” Elon Musk’s promise that “we will not stop until every car is electric” pivoted the world in profound ways. Both had established thought leadership in their industries. A good thought leadership program—with speaking opportunities, contributed articles, guest posts etc.—can go a long way to getting you that keynote role, and to paving the way for your company and products to dominate your industry.

3. Earn Credibility, or Risk Skepticism

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Keeping Your Edge - 14 Books to Read About PR

“A mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.”

While this quote comes from the pop culture explosion that is Game of Thrones, it doesn’t make it less true, especially when it comes to PR and marketing! Reading the techniques and strategies from seasoned professionals keeps communication skills sharp and inspires new ideas for your business. PR is constantly evolving and there is always something new to learn.

Here are SKC's list of 14 books related to PR that are must-reads for the executive eager to learn.

1. Cases in Public Relations Strategy by Burton St. John, Diana Knott Martinelli, Robert S. Pritchard, Cylor A. Spaulding

Case studies are most helpful when you're looking for ideas and thinking of ways to approach your next campaign. This collection analyzes cases using the RACE (Research, Action Planning, Communication, and Evaluation) model and breaks down how each successful campaign used best practices.

2. The Business of Persuasion by Harold Burson

As a giant in the PR industry for 70 years, Harold Burson reflects on his long career and how he built standards for the industry. The Business of Persuasion gives a peek at the behind-the-scenes of prominent communications events, including turning around Coca-Cola after New Coke and helping restore trust in the U.S. Postal Service after the anthrax scares following 9/11.

3. New Rules of Marketing & PR by David Meerman Scott

Now in its sixth edition, this book covers the best and most relevant tactics to optimize PR skills, and the step-by-step action plan can be used for any size business. The internet changed the landscape of PR and marketing, and new rules had to be defined. David Meerman Scott took on this challenge and created a classic that spent six months on the BusinessWeek bestseller list and is available in 29 languages.

4. The Father of Spin: Edward L. Bernays and the Birth of Public Relations by Larry Tye

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How PR Changed the Lives of These 4 Startups

You’re proud of your startup, and rightly so! Building a startup is no mean feat and you want to share your company with the world. As a new company looking at the giants monopolizing your industry, this can be daunting. But a good dose of PR and marketing can give you the leg up you need.

Even the big guys rely on PR. As Bill Gates said, “If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on public relations.” Not convinced it’ll work for your startup? Just take a look around! Many startups get their foot in the door for new customers and potential investors by leveraging proven public relations and marketing strategies.

Here are 4 examples of how PR changed the lives of these startups for the better:

1. TrustGo: Executing a Multi-Prong Campaign

In a crowded mobile security market, TrustGo relied on SKC’s PR prowess to put together a multi-prong campaign that led to a dramatic spike in app downloads. Additionally, the spike in media attention and coverage led to heightened interest and overtures from bigger publicly-listed companies, eventually leading to an acquisition by Baidu, the “Google of China”! As part of the campaign, we focused our PR muscles on a tenacious media outreach program and also leveraged content marketing in the form of the Quarterly TrustGo Mobile Mayhem Report. Our case study shares how we did it.

2. Zoom.ai: Zooming in on Being a Problem Solver in Eyes of Media

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Are Newswires Still Relevant Today?

The press release is approved. Let’s get it across the wire. Let’s not!

This has happened before. You find yourself in a tug of war between newswire advocates and antagonists. Each group insists their way is the only way. The advocates argue that services like Business Wire and PR Newswire offer a broader reach and deliver trustworthy content. But the cynics are up in arms about costs and insist that social media will suffice.

SKC is here to say, wires are wise to use, just not all the time. Definitely, let’s use the wire for big news such as funding rounds and major product launches, but let’s decide on a case-by-case basis on softer news like new hires and award wins.

Here are 6 reasons newswires are still relevant and helpful to companies today:

1. Make Your Release Official

A press release that “has just crossed the wire” with a date and time stamp immediately establishes itself as an “official” announcement, something that a simple release posting on your website can’t accomplish. This simple act provides you with additional gravitas, and if you’re a startup, allows you to begin building much-needed momentum for scaling your business.

2. Broaden Your Reach

Wire services have established and ever-expanding distribution channels with media touch points all over the globe. A wire-distributed release will be picked up by hundreds of portal sites, word for word, helping you broaden its reach beyond just your own company channels.

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