Monthly Archives: August 2016

SEO and Small Business – How Small Tactics Can Help Your Business

Members of True’s analytics team got the opportunity to speak to small business owners at LaunchHouse, a local co-working space and community for business owners, about paid and organic search to help their business goals. The presentation was about the basics of organic and paid search and how to execute properly. Until we create or talk through one of these presentations, we often forget that when done correctly, small (but not always simple) tactics can make a big impact for small and local business owners. So, what are some of these tactics?

Get Your Website in Order

It’s important that your website showcases what you do and the answer to what problem you solve for your audience (more on that later…) is easily available. Be sure that keyword use is consistent and strategic on all site pages including: title tag, header tag, body text, link text, alt tags and file names. Also, continuing to create fresh content that talks about your services is important for showing up in organic searches.

Pinpoint Your Audience

When done strategically, paid and organic search can drive traffic to your website, increasing business and exposure. But before you begin sending your key messages out through paid search, the first step is to realize who your audience is. Sure, we would all love to think the entire world is our audience – but it’s not. To get the best leads and results, figure out who the right audience or client is that your business needs to target.

Ask yourself “who is my client?” Then, start to narrow it down by demographics: How old are they? What gender? Where are they located? Write down all the qualifiers you know about them and their interests. These questions are all vital to finding the right target audience to bring in the correct qualified people.

Solving a Problem

After figuring out your key demographic, get into more qualitative questions. This can be as easy or difficult as asking, “what problem is my client trying to solve?” Once you find out what problem they are trying to solve, think through how your audience would search to solve the problem. From there, you can position your product or service as the solution to that problem or issue. It’s also important to understand where they are in the process and what words they will be using to search.

Know Your Customer’s Habits

Pay attention to your audience’s purchasing behavior. Do they do a lot of research prior to buying? Are they impulse buyers? Are they one-time buyers or will they make another purchase? When will they do their purchasing? Will they purchase online, or is a phone call or meeting needed? Your target is the group that is ready to buy RIGHT now. Have a leaky pipe? They need a plumber now. Not in a month. They want this and need that, and they don’t want to wait.

Create an Ultimate Strategy

After determining the answers to all those questions, your business can begin to develop a strategy to reach your target audience or client through paid and organic search. A/B testing headlines and copy on ads is important, as well as adjusting your artwork. Using a strong strategy and call to action can create a successful paid ad campaign.

If you get all your ducks in a row and continue understanding how your audience is evolving, it will help you get the help you need from Google!

 

 

 

 

My Experience at the Republican National Convention

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to attend the Republican National Convention in Cleveland as a part of my on-campus job as a Marketing Assistant at Kent State University’s College of Communication and Information. When first presented with this opportunity I was hesitant, but I knew this opportunity would be a once in a lifetime experience. I don’t consider myself politically involved, I watch the news and stay informed, but you will not catch me debating with others about immigration or the economy.

CCI partnered with Purple America, an organization focused on bringing forth more civil, respectful conversations about political issues, something that is lacking in the recent election. Some of the great speakers were Matthew Dowd, political analyst for ABC News, Katie Harbath, Global Politics and Government Outreach Director for Facebook, and Dr. Ben Carson, former Republican presidential candidate. The discussions between the wide variety of panelists was eye-opening, specifically the conversation on civility between presidential candidates.

Since I am a public relations major at Kent State, I think back to what we’ve learned in classes about how to address the media, plus what I’ve learned while at True. We’ve seen even more in this election how comments can be made and then magnified on social media. Anything Donald Trump says or tweets are retweeted or posted about millions of times.

Dowd talked about comments Senator Marco Rubio made about Trump having small hands and how Rubio became a trending topic on Twitter. All for making comments about Donald Trump’s hands, nothing politically related. A candidate can make a stupid comment at an event with no research to back it up, and reporters and attendees can instantly tweet it for the world to know. The news cycle is constant now, and we don’t have to wait to hear about it on the nightly news or read about it in the morning paper.

All the panelists agreed the days of being civil with the opposition are over. It’s now a more popular tactic for candidates to focus on tearing each other apart, rather than focusing on what they can do for the country. The media covers candidates attacking each other because it’s “entertainment” verses covering the candidates’ policies or plans for the presidency. It’s the new reality of presidential elections.

No matter your political beliefs and opinions, I think anyone could benefit from attending an event like this, where the diverse panels bring forward good thought-provoking points. It made me curious about how public relations and media relations will change throughout this election with social media being such a big player. It truly opened my eyes to how these political issues captivate our country, and I walked away a more informed citizen. Getting the opportunity to see Cleveland on the “big stage” first hand, gave me an experience I won’t forget!

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Rio Olympics 2016 – How do they beat the bad press?

The countdown is on. Behind the FIFA World Cup, my favorite sporting event is almost here! Leading up to the 2016 Rio Olympics, the talk from the media across the world has been about how big of a disaster the outcome of the Olympics could be. We all remember the tweets from the Sochi Olympics in Russia about gross water and rooms falling apart…

It’s always amazing to me how the event draws millions or billions of tweets and viewers, regardless of the background issues. The Olympics are a time that countries get together and cheer with huge amounts of pride – it’s not often whole countries can get behind one team all together. Social media has been abuzz of names we all know when it comes to Olympics time: Michael Phelps, Simone Biles and Kerri Walsh Jennings. The story of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team going for the first ever gold medal as the reigning FIFA World Cup Champion has been a constant on the soccer sites.

The stories of these athletes beat the bad press with a one-two punch. Rewind to 2012, Phelps was at the end of his career, over swimming and clearly unhappy. Four years later he is on the other side of a DUI arrest, rehab stint and the birth of his son, plus he loves swimming again. What a story, right? The Today Show on NBC has been using clips of his one-on-one with Matt Lauer for months leading up to the Olympics. These athletes become role models for people of all ages in sports like gymnastics, track and field, swimming and more.

The advertising dollars spent on product or service advertising goes through the roof. AdWeek has dedicated a whole page to advertising during the Olympics. The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) released the stringent rules for the Olympics’ intellectual property. Businesses and brands need to carefully watch how they use trademarked words or phrases like: Olympic, Team USA, Road to Rio. Even if a company sponsors an athlete but is not an Olympic sponsor, they could be served a cease and desist as soon as that tweet goes out. These brands can’t even wish athletes luck.

This has always been interesting to me since the nature of social media is to use hashtags and retweet things to create buzz, but I suppose the Olympics have plenty of buzz without these brand mentions. The last factor is also the locked down security measures due to the threat of terrorist attacks. It’s sadly become a fact of hosting a huge event, one that Brazil and Rio have taken into account. The New York Times did a good job of covering this issue more in depth.

Regardless of these PR issues, I’m sure in a few weeks we will look back on the event with pride and excitement of what these athletes and teams all accomplished. I’ll be watching as they make history and bring those medals home to the United States!