by Kylie Stanley, Public Relations Technician
In the manufacturing arena where competition is fierce, some companies have turned to blogs as a way to increase brand awareness, become a thought leader in their space, increase their web traffic and generate leads.
In a recent post from ThomasNet called, “13 Ways to Improve Your Manufacturing Blog,” it helps businesses to recognize ways to improve within blog platforms.
Here are the key highlights:
- Write With Your Buyer Personas In Mind – When creating blog content, remember who your audience is. By establishing your audience, you can make customized content towards them.
- Use Images & Visual Elements – Enhance your story by using pictures to help break up text and keep readers engaged. Images can play an important part in increasing the reading time on your blog.
- Link To External Sources, And Your Own Content! – Help your readers through the story by providing credibility. This helps with your brand’s trust and can drive readers to conversion pages, which can boost SEO.
- Establish A Frequency To Posting Your Blogs – Make sure you’re committing to the blog by frequently posting. One way to keep up with posting is to create a content calendar and lay out all the blogs you’re doing in a month.
- Ensure Your Blogs Have A Strong Word Count – Posts under 300 words are not recommended for SEO, and when your SEO isn’t strong, consumers can’t find you online. At the same time, don’t post a blog with 2,500 words of “awful” as people will not read it.
Blogs can help to achieve your business goals and build trust between you and the consumer. Follow the rules above and check out the rest in their article to learn how to improve your blog.
How will you improve your blog posts?
by Kylie Stanley, Public Relations Technician
Are you looking for new customers or want to increase business?
Well-developed public relations can be an effective tool to boost your business and help reach your desired audience. You will be able to establish an emotional connection to your audience through your brand’s marketing.
There are many ways that public relations can benefit you, but today we will be focusing on four methods. Michelle Garrett analyzed these four methods in a post she wrote for Thomas, “Why Public Relations Matters to Manufacturers.”
Educates – Public relations helps to teach your audience about who you are and why your company should matter to them. It also provides the information to your market about your products and services.
Image and Reputation – Public relations can aid in building trust and to establish your brand in the industry. By creating a strong reputation, it can lead to credibility and provide you with lifelong customers. If your customers know what your brand stands for, they will be more likely to engage with your business.
Awareness and Visibility – Potential customers will know that your brand exists, and campaigns can spread awareness of the work that your company is doing. With awareness efforts, you can change public opinions and promote your brand’s value.
Interest – From awareness we can create interest for your brand and products. Interest helps to pull customers in and make them want to learn more about your brand or be involved.
No matter how big or small a story is, it can help to elevate your brand and increase business. Let’s take some notes by looking at some examples of past public relations stories that have created visibility.
Associated General Contractors
Associated General Contractors of California partnered up with BuildOUT California, the world’s first industry association for sustainable growth of LGBTQ+ owned and certified business. This partnership is impactful for their audience and shows that the company cares about diversity and inclusion.
Partnerships can be rewarding and can help your business stand out against your competitors.
Mergers & Acquisitions
HEPACO is a leader in environmental and emergency response services that acquired Summit Field Services from Summit Environmental Services, LLC. This expansion helps to boost business development and to add value to your brand.
In the News
RMH Systems, a turn-key automation packaging and material handling integrator, announced Ryan Howard as their new president. With newsworthy information, your customers will want to hear about any changes happening within the company.
When using all these public relations efforts, we can create powerful results and assist in your brand’s marketing.
Need help with utilizing public relations? Contact us and check out our website for more tips.
Following is a guest post from our friends over at Long & Short of It, masters of ideation, customer insights and market research. They like to say they “dig and find lots of data and then turn it into actionable insights.”
MOST COMPANIES HAVE A SET OF VALUES. MOST OF THESE STATED VALUES ARE GENERIC AND QUITE FRANKLY, MEANINGLESS.
Take this test. Pull out a copy of your organization’s values – remove your company name and logo from it. Replace it with another company name. Does it work for them? Could it apply to that company? If so, then your company values are not distinct enough to have meaning and value. A company like a person needs to have unique values similar to your personal values which cannot easily be shared by anyone else. This is important because the culture of your company is a reflection of what the company values – it guides employee behavior and decision making. The more generic the values, the more difficult it is for employees to know what to do or how to represent the company that is in alignment with the culture.
For example, here are the values of a company:
Communication – We have an obligation to communicate. Here, we take the time to talk with one another… and to listen. We believe that information is meant to move and that information moves people.
Respect – We treat others as we would like to be treated ourselves. We do not tolerate abusive or disrespectful treatment.
Integrity – We work with customers and prospects openly, honestly, and sincerely. When we say we will do something, we will do it; when we say we cannot or will not do something, then we won’t do it.
Excellence– We are satisfied with nothing less than the very best in everything we do. We will continue to raise the bar for everyone. The great fun here will be for all of us to discover just how good we can really be. (more…)
By Rosemarie Ascherl-Lenhard, PR Foreman
Recently, you’ve been hearing a lot about “Influencer Marketing” or “Influencer Relations.” But what exactly is it, how does it work and is it right for your company’s marketing strategy?
Sometimes referred to as the “new media,” a comprehensive marketing communications strategy often will include influencer relations as a tactic for expanding a brand’s awareness.
What is an influencer?
An influencer is someone that has a large social media following and actively engages with its audience to “influence” them on his or her opinions. While “influencer” might conjure up ideas of Kim Kardashian touting the latest waterproof eyeliner or designer handbag, there are influencers in the industrial, manufacturing and contractor space, as well. While some of these influencers might not boast the same Instagram audience numbers as Kardashian’s 149+ million followers, their audiences can be very significant for the market they are in.
A large social media following can be relative. Nano influencers, with 1K to 10K followers, have small, niche and highly engaged audiences. Micro influencers, the next tier up, with 10K to 50K followers, are often the most informed opinion leaders in their niches and typically have a very engaged community of followers who rely on (and trust) their content.
If you are a nano/micro influencer in a niche market such as woodworking, developing relationships with companies that are promoting the tools or supplies you use can be mutually beneficial for both parties. For the influencer, it provides the opportunity to be the first to experience innovative products and share their experiences and opinions with their followers, providing appealing content that keeps their followers enthralled and looking for more. For the brand marketing products, it provides an authentic, engaging opportunity to get your products or services endorsed by an opinion leader and visibility in front of your target audience. Plus, repurposing influencer content is a great way to showcase the influencer and also add credibility to the brand.
According to research, consumers are much more likely to trust peer recommendations than advertisements. By finding the right influencers in your target audience, brands can build credibility by using a trusted source in the community and, thus, increasing sales. Even for the B2B niche, influencer marketing is about partnering with industry experts to add credibility, distribution and engagement to great brand content.
Questions to answer before launching an influencer program
Before jumping into an influencer relations program, evaluate your company and its offerings and decide if it is a good fit for a program. Does your brand have an e-commerce presence? The idea is for influencers to drive awareness (and ultimately sales), so if there is not an easy, online process in place to purchase your products, now might not be the time to launch such a program.
Do you have an active presence on social media? If not, your effort will be wasted or certainly not amplified to the level that would move the needle for your brand.
Finally, are your products or services ready and ample? No point in engaging an influencer who creates intense interest amongst his or her followers, only to frustrate the followers when the product is unavailable or on back order.
Once you’ve decided that an influencer program is a fit for your brand, you’ll want to develop a strategy and set some goals and objectives and create a process. You’ll also want to track and measure your results.
Influencer relations vs. media relations
Influencer relations, as mentioned earlier, have been likened to media relations. Build and nurture relationships with influencers in a similar fashion as you do with the media. Influencers are interested in trying products they care about and many are looking for the next big thing to show their followers, in the same way a trade media editor may be looking to write about the next industry trend. But they are different, too. People tend to engage more with influencers than they do with traditional media. While someone may read a story and not necessarily share it online, they would be more inclined to share a post or image from an influencer.
Another difference is that the collaboration between brand and influencer is typically done for a monetary fee, free products or a combination of both. If your product doesn’t lend itself to being sent out to influencers, consider planning an influencer event where you bring influencers together at a trade show or industry event to experience your products and engage with their peers, as well as the brand.
Getting started with influencer relations
You may want to consider a trial run program, especially if upper management is skeptical, to see what type of success you can expect. Remember, like anything, curb expectations and allow the program to grow and gain momentum naturally.
Influencer marketing is here to stay and is growing to be an increasingly popular tactic for reaching target audiences and gaining market share. Getting influencers to persuade your audience can drastically work in your favor when executed properly.
Have questions about whether an influencer relations program is right for your brand? Or need help strategizing or implementing your influencer program? Contact email@example.com.
Stay tuned for our next post on influencer marketing, “Tips for Implementing a Successful Influencer Relations Program.”
Marketing communications firm and One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning received a Silver Davey Award in the business-to-business integrated campaign category.
CLEVELAND – March 2019 – Sonnhalter, a communications firm marketing to the professional tradesman in the construction, industrial and MRO markets, received a Silver Davey Award in the 14th Annual International Davey Awards competition. Sonnhalter accepted the award in the business-to-business integrated campaign category for the “Shouldn’t We Be Talking?” personalized road trip campaign it developed with One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning.
Sonnhalter worked with One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning to create a personalized, integrated campaign to connect with business owners to discuss the potential benefits that they would gain from joining the One Hour franchise. With the objectives of gaining interest among prospects and softening the idea of becoming a franchisee, Sonnhalter used the simple concept of sitting down over a cup of coffee to broach a difficult topic with the theme, “Shouldn’t We Be Talking?” The theme was intertwined throughout all the touch points of the campaign and culminated in the salesperson bringing a thermos of hot coffee to the meeting.
The campaign consisted of several touch points that were personalized to communicate local market knowledge and insights and secure an in-person meeting. Communication tactics for the campaign included phone calls, emails, postcards, 3D mailings of coffee mugs and social media.
“Converting a business into a franchise of a national brand can be a hard and stressful decision, so the campaign’s goal was to make that experience feel more honest and conversational,” said Matt Sonnhalter, vision architect at Sonnhalter. “Both Sonnhalter and One Hour are very pleased with the rise in opportunities that stemmed from this campaign and are honored to be awarded for our efforts.”
The Davey Awards honor the finest creative work from small firms, agencies and companies worldwide. The Davey Awards are named after King David who defeated the giant Goliath with a big idea and a little rock. The story resembles what small firms do each year by deriving strength from big ideas instead of big budgets.
Public relations should be a part of any size company’s marketing plan. Effective communication with your current and prospective customers, industry trade publications, electronic media and the general public is not only essential to your company’s success, but a cost effective way to get your brand and products exposure.
In our latest Tip Sheet, we’ve laid out 9 strategies for making sure you’re integrating PR into your marketing efforts and how to re-use the content you produce. You can sign up to download it here.
Interested in setting up a PR program? Give us a call or email. And check out our other Tip Sheets here.