A Clear View: The Clearpoint Agency Blog

Clearpoint Agency Earns Three More Awards

Posted on October 27, 2015

Public relations, social media and digital marketing agency has been recognized by PRSA, Health Care Communicators of San Diego County, and PR Daily over its 13-year history

SAN DIEGO – Oct. 27, 2015 Clearpoint Agency, Inc., a public relations and digital marketing firm, received three awards at last week’s San Diego Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Edward L. Bernays Awards. The agency continues its winning streak, having received peer-reviewed Bernays awards for every year in which it has entered the competition. To date, the agency has earned a total of 32 industry awards since opening its offices in 2002.

“Bernays Awards are earned by organizations that performed exemplary public relations work during the past year,” said Amber Albrecht, APR, president of PRSA San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter. “The awards are challenging to win because the judges are not familiar with the nominees and must critique the work completely on its own merits against work completed by PR teams of all sizes and budgets. Year after year, Clearpoint Agency proves its ability to create exemplary communications programs, earning them awards.”

At this year’s Bernays event, the Silver Mark of Excellence award for integrated communications was presented to Clearpoint for the integrated program for AleSmith Brewing Company, an award-winning craft brewery based in San Diego. As the brewery celebrated 20 years and opened a new brewing facility, Clearpoint created messaging, generated public awareness with significant earned national media, assisted with fundraising concepts, created mascot themes, and ensured the entire strategy from media relations to events was integrated and on track. This is the third time Clearpoint has earned the Silver award for integrated communications programs.

The second award Clearpoint earned was a Bronze Mark of Excellence in speech writing for SynteractHCR. The award-winning speech, entitled “Tomorrow’s Treatments Today,” focused on the opportunities and challenges in bringing new drugs and therapies to the patients who need them and was delivered by a President Obama look-alike at the company’s Washington DC reception for clients and media. This is the fifth award Clearpoint has earned for its work with SynteractHCR. Past awards include business-to-business marketing, website writing and rebranding, overall public relations campaign for rebranding, and internal communications.

The third award was a Bronze Mark of Merit for social media campaign strategies for Zodiac Pool Systems, a global leader in pool and spa product manufacturing. Clearpoint took a fresh approach to Zodiac’s social media to present Zodiac as a fun, approachable and knowledgeable brand. Clearpoint created social campaigns including a 12 Days of Christmas campaign based on Zodiac Pool products, and a “Did you Know?” educational series to increase engagement, followers, “likes,” and fans. This is the fifth PRSA award Clearpoint has earned for its work with Zodiac. Clearpoint was previously awarded for research and evaluation, integrated communications, and social media strategy and management for the pool product manufacturer.

“Every year, the PRSA Bernays submission process challenges our team to examine our creativity, strategy and skills as PR professionals in an ever-changing industry,” said Clearpoint Agency President Bonnie Shaw. “To submit your work and have others in your profession say it’s award-worthy is extremely meaningful to our team. We are honored to be recognized by the PRSA year after year.”

The annual Bernays Awards are open to all agencies and organizations in San Diego and Imperial counties and recognize the finest in public relations campaigns, professionals and elements in a range of categories.

See a complete list of Clearpoint’s award-winning projects here: http://clearpointagency.com/index.php/awards/.

About Clearpoint Agency, Inc.
For more than 13 years, Clearpoint Agency has developed award-winning PR, social media and marketing communications programs for B2B and B2C clients in technology, consumer products, financial and professional services, manufacturing and biotech industries. From strategy and content development to media relations and social media, the experts at Clearpoint’s team have the experience to generate buzz for your brand and creatively communicate your message to target audiences.

Website: www.clearpointagency.com                   Twitter: @ClearpointPR                Facebook: ClearpointPRAgency
LinkedIn: Clearpoint Agency       Blog: Clear View

Contact
Julie Willis
760.230.2424
Julie@clearpointagency.com

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Marketing to a Mobile Audience in 2014

Posted on January 28, 2014

bigstock-Mobile-And-Tablet-Business-Com-53901223Throughout the last 100 years, a number of new technologies have shaken the foundation of marketing strategy. New rules, ideas and tools capitalized on the weaknesses of the popular trends before them and opened up exciting ways to reach target audiences. Before there was TV, there was radio, and before radio, there was print. Each time a new technological innovation came along, a new trend in the way an audience could be reached emerged. Marketers adjusted and adopted strategies to be successful in the marketplace; those who failed to adapt died off. The same is true today.

The most recent shift in marketing trends has been the heavy focus placed on mobile marketing. In the first six months of 2012, marketers spent $1.2 Billion on mobile advertising, compared to $3 Billion in the first six months of 2013. The fast-growing budget isn’t slowing down either. According to a LinkedIn Marketing Solutions report on Mashable, 64 percent of marketers and agencies will increase their mobile advertising budgets this year. In fiscal terms, mobile ad spending is projected to surpass $13 Billion in 2014.

Why are these budgets skyrocketing? It’s because the average consumer spends more than half of their time online on a mobile device or smartphone. The latest TapSense mobile marketing report on Forbes.com mentions why marketers see this as a great money-making opportunity. According to the report, “79% of smartphone users are ‘smartphone buyers.’” This enormous market is still increasing in size, but there is no clear-cut path to reach them.

Currently, the most popular way to reach this demographic is through social media. According to the LinkedIn report, “17% of the time people spend on their mobile devices is on a social network.” This large target demographic already spends more than half of their online time on mobile, and a large chunk of that time is to access social media. Because of this, TapSense identifies social media as the best tactic for marketing to a mobile audience, and advises agencies to tailor their content to social network apps.

Our advice to you is to figure this mobile game out as well. The experts at MarketingProfs agree, expecting marketers “to significantly increase their investment in mobile,” because those that do “will find significant ROI from mobile marketing in 2014.”

 

This blog was contributed by Ryan Sabatini, Account Coordinator at Clearpoint Agency.

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Six Steps That Will Increase Social Media Engagement and Success!

Posted on November 26, 2013

B2B companies use social media to increase brand awareness, drive website traffic and generate leads. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 87% of B2B brands use social media to engage audiences and distribute digital content to prospective and current customers. If you’re looking to increase engagement, it is important to have a strong social media strategy. Here are six core elements to keep in mind when you implement your social plan.

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1. Make sure you know your audience and the social channels your customers and potential customers prefer. If you don’t have the bandwidth to manage all major social channels out there, pick two or three your audience seems to prefer and concentrate your presence on them.

2. Polish your social channels to perfection. This includes having a custom design or background, aligning your logo to fit the space provided, filling out accurately all fields of content, and making sure everything is consistent with your company messaging, website and brand.

3. Create an editorial calendar for your posts. News can change based on company developments, but having an ed cal handy won’t hurt. This is meant especially for holidays, national industry days, charity events and so on.

4. Monitor engagement regularly. Show your fans and followers that you are on top of it and respond to their comments promptly. Setting up email alerts will help you monitor your social media activity closely.

5. Track your analytics. If you consistently look at the analytics, you will get a better understanding of peak times when your audience is more likely to engage, which kinds of posts they find more interesting and how often you should generate activity.

6. Lastly, don’t forget the visuals. It has been proven that posts that include appealing images generate more engagement. Make sure you own the rights of the image or use public domain photos. It’s a good idea to set aside a budget for a stock image subscription.

There is no perfect formula out there to guarantee social media success. Once you know your audience well and have created solid social media channels for your company, monitor the analytics and engagement and enjoy the social space. Also, remember that you need to be ready to experiment with your posts, visuals and timing. Happy sharing!

This post was contributed by Antonia Genov, Account Executive at Clearpoint Agency.

 

 

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Social Marketing is About Making the Customer Feel Something

Posted on August 31, 2013

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A Recap of Social Fresh West 2013, San Diego, CA

Attending the Social Fresh West conference in San Diego last week confirmed for me that as much as the social and digital space focuses on technology, it takes a backseat to emotional connections. The conference featuring various au courant speakers, emphasized the need to get through all the noise, find the right place, the right time, to say the right thing in the right format AND make your customer FEEL something. At the heart of this media technology frenzy, are the hearts of people.

 

It’s all about great content.

Sarah Evans of @journchat fame said great content makes people want to share, care or swear. As far back as 2009, media scholar Henry Jenkins brilliantly noted: If it doesn’t spread, it’s dead.

Brian Solis, social space thought leader, made clear that businesses now compete for attention and relevance. Social is no longer a business tactic but rather a philosophy and lifestyle. Psychographics trump demographics. Solis introduced the concept of Generation-C (connected), defined by behavior, not age. Empowered by information, these individuals are demanding, sophisticated and vocal.

Closing out the celebration of Clearpoint Agency’s 10 year anniversary, the following are 10 take-aways from Social Fresh West 2013 that relate to great content, being relevant and creating an emotional connection in the social space.

 

  1. Know your customer. This requires knowing how and where they will engage with you based on their current behaviors and understanding their current relationship with your brand and with your other customers.
  2. Know yourself, your organization, your products and your goals. This requires knowing how you can improve your customer’s life; knowing how you can change the relationship between you and your customers, and amongst your customers; and finally clearly defining what you are trying to accomplish for your organization. In “Groundswell,” Li and Bernoff list what organizations can accomplish in social including listening which serves a researching function and support which can serve as customer support or help. Knowing your organization includes understanding your limits and capacity: can you be accountable? Intuit’s Global Head of Social, Adrian Parker, shared that in order to maintain a healthy relationship with your customer you need to be able to provide 3 positive experiences to your customer for any negative one.
  3. Manage the “Brand Divide”. This is Solis’ term for the gap between the brand promise and the customer experience. Sometimes what you do will make your customers feel anger or frustration. This will also be shared. It will take a lot more effort to right a wrong, rather than making the effort to keeping your customers happy in the first place.
  4. Content must be mobile optimized. Marketing Strategist and Consultant Tim Hayden shared that more than 70 percent of social activity occurs on mobile devices. Consuming and sharing content should be effortless with minimal clicking, tapping or delay! Solis suggests having content “born digital” where experiences and services align with Generation-C’s expectations, consistently across all devices.
  5. Master the #hashtag. Bryan Srabian, director of social media for the San Francisco Giants (who have the most Instagramed MLB stadium), advocates simple, consistent and easy-to-remember hashtags. Tim Hayden emphasized the importance of knowing popular, no-brand hashtags (e.g. #nofilter #instagood #fail), and capitalizing on trending hashtags as discussed in Ryan’s Clearpoint Agency blog post earlier.
  6. Visuals are the new headlines. The importance of visuals was emphasized by almost all the speakers. Generation-C’s notorious short attention spans, allow you only seconds to grab them: visuals are more engaging and sharing inducing. Sarah Evans introduced the term the “Pintristification & Instagramization” of content.  Ask yourself – is this image pin-worthy and sharable? Great content is generally great looking. She strongly recommends investing in great design when budget and bandwidth allows.
  7. Quality and quantity matter. Surprisingly, research has shown that more is more. Morton’s and Billboard tweet anywhere from 30 to 60 times a day. Dan Zarrella, author of “Science of Lead Generation,” shared that unsubscribe rates are higher for campaigns that email less frequently. Also, he explained that it is important to email on a customers’ schedule, not yours. Clickthroughs are highest with new subscribers. You need to be in constant contact with your consumers or you will be forgotten.
  8. Social trumps SEO. If it doesn’t spread, it’s dead. Sharing helps index content and contributes to the leveraging of organic search. Again, emphasizing that creating great, compelling, sharable content is essential. Also, when thinking about SEO, it is equally important to consider key phrases as well as keywords. Generation-C searches questions and phrases.
  9. B2Bs marketing should go mainstream. B2Bs can benefit from B2C best practices. In B2C scenarios, brands have suffered by ignoring the relationship building benefits of social and ignoring that they are dealing with people. In the B2B world, although in theory it is a business servicing another business, the transactions happen via people who are also consumers having social experiences. B2Bs should be thinking about great content and great visuals too.
  10. Repurpose and then repurpose again. LinkedIn’s Jason Miller, noted the importance of repurposing content. He identified B2Bs as having enormous potential to create valuable content through repurposing. B2Bs generally have tons of “pre-loved” content available. This content is prime material to be reimagined into blogs, slide presentations, infographics, webinars, videos and more!

 

Whether it’s pre-loved or fresh, in the end you have to find a way to make the love connections just to give your content a pulse. If it doesn’t spread, it’s dead.

This post was contributed by Erika Couric, Assistant Account Executive at Clearpoint Agency.

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10 Steps to Getting Paid for Your Marketing Materials

Posted on February 19, 2013

In recognition of Clearpoint Agency’s 10 year anniversary, our content will be featuring posts all year long about the number 10. So here are 10 steps to getting paid for your marketing materials. Have a tenacious idea for a blog post? Let us know!

How often have you heard yourself say the same sound bites when speaking to and advising clients, colleagues, prospects, and other audiences?Marketing_small

Imagine generating money directly and indirectly from those sound bites, those pearls of wisdom that effortlessly trip off your tongue, ideas that seem so basic to you yet are crucial and eye-opening to people around you. It is completely possible to do all that – in a tips booklet. Here’s how.

1. Capture your information tidbits immediately. Recording them on paper or electronically lets you grab them as they surface. Raw format is fine, jogging your thinking to refine later.

2. Let some time pass after most gems bubble up. Rarely does everything come up in that two hours on Thursday afternoon. You may get most out in one sit-down, but even more later.

3. Refine and organize the tips. Your tips usually go into categories. Editing for grammar, consistency, clarity, and flow happens later.

 4. Include contact details. Your readers may want more from you beyond the basics. Making it easy to connect with you helps them and you. A brief “backgrounder” section identifies your qualifications.

5. Hire a graphic designer so your words look good. The finished printed product is a 3½” x 8½” tips booklet. The designer’s output is a PDF. You can sell and/or strategically give it away.

6. Send the PDF to a printing company. A first printing of 100-1,000 copies provides samples to hand out and inventory to sell. It minimizes angst over a missed typo or valuable tip, fixed in the next print run.

7. Think of who can use the booklet to promote their product, service, or cause. Your list grows as you ponder it. Your contacts are your clients (current and past), prospects, colleagues, vendors, audiences, and even friends.

8. Consider corporations, associations, publications, and groups appropriate for your topic. There are more prospects than you realize. Some prospects prefer printed copies. Others want to review the PDF.

9. Realize large-quantity buyers promote you while promoting themselves. Many bulk buyers want your contact details added to theirs. A sample booklet or PDF and cover letter with ways to increase their sales starts it all.

10. Expand your customer base and your checking account. You now reach a larger audience than you can single-handedly, thanks to your large-quantity booklet buyers. They pay you to market you as they distribute your booklet with their marketing message.

Those sound bites you have said for years now help your buyers, their clients, and your business. You get paid directly for your information product. You also get paid indirectly by generating new client sales from your booklet’s promotional activities. Yes, you are getting paid for your marketing materials, directly and indirectly from a single activity. Keep those sound bites coming as they improve your bottom line.

081412 Paulette EnsignThis post was contributed by Paulette Ensign. Paulette is an author and speaker who has sold well over a million copies of her own tips booklet and its content in four languages and various formats without spending a penny on advertising. Paulette and her company have helped thousands of people, worldwide, create solo-authored and collaborative co-authored tips booklets since 1991. Contact Tips Products International at 858-481-0890, San Diego, CA, or www.tipsbooklets.com; www.CollectionOfExperts.com; www.AssociationBooklets.com

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10 Steps to Turn Employees into Brand Ambassadors

Posted on January 08, 2013

In recognition of Clearpoint Agency’s 10 year anniversary, our content will be featuring posts all year long about the number 10. This time it’s 10 ways you can encourage your team members to become advocates for your brand. Have a tenacious idea? Let us know!

When businesses think about marketing, they often see customers as the main and more important target audience. However, employees are the face of the company and can be your most valuable brand ambassadors. We recently attended a webinar led by Elaine Fogel, president and CMO of Solutions Marketing & Consulting on “How to collaborate effectively within your organization to strengthen your brand.” According to Fogel, employees value open communication and want to be recognized. We agree and put together a list of 10 key points based on the webinar, along with a few of our own, to consider for a successful internal communication program.

1. Put employees in the first market of the company: Fogel says that employees have to be happy and engaged in order to promote the brand before they can promote externally. Happy employees will also be loyal to your brand. Brand_blog

2. Let employees get creative: during the webinar we learned that employees who are given the opportunity to collaborate at work are more likely to bring new ideas. This also ties into employees’ professional development – being exposed to new projects will enhance their skills, and will make work more fun too.

3. Create an internal marketing plan: this is the way a company promotes its brand and values to employees internally. Fogel states that employees are the face of the company, so they need to understand the vision and values in order to be able to promote it.

4. Encourage employee engagement: research shows that engaged employees are happier and deliver better customer service. We’ve seen many companies strive to provide excellent customer satisfaction, but in order to achieve it they need to ensure that their employees are satisfied first.

5. Ask for feedback: leaders often think that their way is the right way. Fogel advises leaders to not be afraid to ask employees for their points of view. This way, you will not only gather feedback, but will make them feel valuable. We have found that conducting surveys, interviews and holding regular meetings helps leaders to receive the feedback they’re looking for.

6. Establish a reward program: it will only reassure employees that they are doing a great job and that you appreciate their hard work. It doesn’t have to be a big bonus. If you are tight on the budget, even praise, a gift card or a random day off can be enough to make an employee feel acknowledged. Remember, every gesture counts!

7. Use the Intranet: we get dozens of emails a day, and they often get buried. Fogel suggests using the Intranet to its fullest potential. Post content, interactive displays, video presentations and more. The intranet will serve as a portal where employees can receive all the information they need from one place. We also recommend sending an employee e-newsletter or creating a marketing group that everyone is required to follow. Share stories and clips you find from the web that they might find interesting to talk about.

8. Organize team building events: we have learned that you don’t have to go crazy to spend quality time with your employees. If the company is too big, group teams together and have them go to off-site meetings. This way they will break away from the routine and will be even more productive.

9. Communicate openly: at Clearpoint, we believe that open communication at the workplace is essential. If you want employees to trust you, make sure they are “in-the-know.” For example, if the company is undergoing rebranding, tell employees and ask them for their opinion. Hold brainstorming sessions, ask them for new ideas and feedback on upcoming milestones.

10. Focus on brand building as a long term play: to motivate employees as brand ambassadors, keep them engaged throughout the year. There is usually a combination of things you need to do – and it all takes time. It all depends on your company’s culture – as PR experts we can tell you that what works for one brand, may not work for another and vice versa. So, don’t be afraid to try new strategies and tactics over time to see what’s best for your brand.

This post was contributed by Antonia Genov, Clearpoint Agency, Account Coordinator

 

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Get Busy Blogging: 10 Reasons to Blog

Posted on September 27, 2012

In recognition of Clearpoint Agency’s 10 year anniversary, our content will be featuring posts all year long about the number 10. From “10 Social Marketing Tips You May Have Missed” to “10 Reasons to Blog,” we’ll brighten your appreciation for all things 10. Have a tenacious idea? Let us know!

Whether you are a B2B or B2C company, you want to consider a blog. Blogging is a great marketing tool that along with social media will increase your online presence and enhance your company’s brand. Here are 10 reasons why you should use blogging to target your audience in a meaningful and creative way. Succesful blog

1. Become an expert. Remember, by running a business you already are an expert in certain areas. Stick to writing on topics you are already comfortable with and have knowledge about. This way you can define your niche, provide insightful information and become an expert in the area.

2. Share with the world. Okay, you’ve already found your niche and want to share your ideas and opinions with your readers. Even better, you can promote your company’s culture and tell your customers about the latest fundraisers you’ve had or fun holiday parties you’ve attended. Another big component is providing tips to your current and potential customers.

3. Expand your social media channels/platforms. Hosting a blog doesn’t require being tech savvy or knowing HTML code. There are free user-friendly platforms like WordPress and Blogger that will let you do that without knowing HTML code. They offer themes that allow you to customize your blog to best fit your company’s brand. Consider adding your blog to your website to make it easy for customers to find and boost SEO.

4. Cross promote your brand. Having multiple social media channels will help enhance your brand. With an established blog, you can’t miss on sharing your new posts via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other platforms you use. Cross promotion is important because using several social media channels will help you reach the most audience. Keep in mind that depending on demographics and other factors, certain audiences may have preferences to a particular social media channel.

5. Interact with your audience. Your readers and followers will be interested in the insight you provide on your blog and it is likely they will comment on your posts. Responding to these comments is a great way to interact with your audience, be it customers, employees or partners. This will make your blog more human and will eventually enhance your brand even more.

6. Measure results. As any other social media channel, blogging platforms provide an analytics section where you can browse the traffic and views you get as well as search terms, click throughs and so on. This is a good way to experiment with keywords and include more terms that will lead users to your blog, or even better, to your company website.

7. Educate your audience. Let’s say you are launching a tech-heavy product or offering specialty services that need a deeper explanation. Writing a blog on it will be a great way to educate your customers on the specs and details of your products and services. You can use it almost as an FAQ, but in a narrative form.

8. Attend special (VIP and invitation-only) events. Once you have a solid following and a good online influence, you could receive perks like invitations to fun private events, pre-opening parties, or even speaking opportunities. Attend these events to further promote your brand.

9. Increase your Klout score. There has been a lot said about the Klout score, but it still remains the main indicator that calculates your overall social media influence. Writing a blog will definitely help increase your Klout score and make you a specialist in the topics you want to be known for. In fact, some those special events mentioned above require a Klout of 45 or higher.

10. Show diversity. Don’t think that the blog is another responsibility for the marketing manager. To keep it fresh and current you will need to post entries often. Here is where your resources come in place. Once you have your topic schedule, ask different employees to help you depending on their background and expertise.

This post was contributed by Antonia Genov, Clearpoint Agency Account Coordinator

 

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10 Steps to Rock Social Media

Posted on August 31, 2012

In recognition of Clearpoint Agency’s 10 year anniversary, our content will be featuring posts all year long about the number 10. From “10 Social Marketing Tips You May Have Missed” to “10 Reasons to Blog,” we’ll brighten your appreciation for all things 10. Have a tenacious idea? Let us know!

Social media has changed the landscape of business; it has altered the way companies and customers interact with each other. It’s important to remember that social media is not your ticket to a quick sale, or an excuse to intrude on personal space. It is about cultivating a relationship with your customers and building brand loyalty.

1. Set-up your hub. This is the place you want customers to go to view products or services and make a purchasing decision. It could be your website, blog or newsletter for example. Driving traffic to your hub via links will help convert fans and followers into customers, and will increase your search engine rankings. Every inbound link to a website informs Google that others are checking out the site, and demonstrates that it offers good content.

2. Choose your social media platform(s). Some of the most popular ones are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram. Choose the social network where you are most likely to reach your customers. Be where they are! Set realistic goals on how many social networks you can handle, because an inactive profile can actually do more harm to your reputation than not having one at all.

3. Identify your activity goals on social media. Know the outcomes you would like to receive from being on a social network, so you can take strategic steps toward achieving those goals. For example are you looking to gain valuable feedback on your products, receive more engagement on your posts, get more customer referrals, or build a community for support and customer service.

4. Determine brand positioning. Before you start promoting your business online, decide what messages you want to communicate to your fans. Are you tech savvy? Community focused? Earth friendly? Are you a financial services company that offers a better way of doing business? Find ways to weave in what your company is about. Customizing the Facebook cover image or Twitter background is a great place to start.

5. Research your target market. It all starts with research. Before you start engaging fans, you need to find out what their needs and desires are. Don’t be afraid to visit a competitor’s page for inspiration and note what types of posts are (or are not) getting engagement.

6. Make a calendar. Decide the types of posts you want to make and how many posts you will have each day/week/month. This requires a little extra work up front, but will save a lot of time in the long run and keep you focused and consistent. If you find your activity level is becoming too time-consuming, consider signing up for a social media management system or seek out a PR agency to manage social media for you.

7. Create your own content. It’s nice to share others’ content, but it’s best to share your own. That way YOUR key messages, differentiators and personality are being communicated with YOUR audience. When creating content, make it visual, concise and deliver it in a human voice.

8. Don’t wait for others. Start the engagement. When you a make a post, think, “Who can I mention or tag in this?” This is a way to gently alert someone that your post involves them. Keep in mind that this works both ways, if someone kindly mentions or tags you, comment back.

9. Promote your channel. Just like a new product on the market, promotions are necessary to let people know what exists out there. If you have a new social media profile, let people know! Embed feeds on your website or blog, add icons to your promotional collateral, and add links to your email signature and regular newsletters. If on Facebook, you may want to think about running targeted ads to help build your community.

10. Measure results. Go beyond likes and followers. Those are just numbers. Keep track of how well your posts are engaging others. Have your links been shared, pictures commented on, or polls voted on? Bitly.com is a free tool that shortens long links and measures how many times the link has been clicked. Google Analytics is another free tool that can be easily embedded into your webpage or blog to measure traffic. After you have discovered new insights, make adjustments to your strategies where needed.

Now you are ready to engage your customers and spread the word about your company. Clearpoint Agency regularly provides expert social media support to our clients, so if you feel overwhelmed, check out our social media page for ways we can help you.

This post was contributed by Rachel Hutman, Clearpoint Agency Account Executive

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Stop With ALL the Words: 11 Tips on How to Write for Today’s Busy Reader

Posted on July 19, 2012


We don’t need to tell you that it’s a competitive marketplace just to get a few shares and likes these days.  According to an infographic put out by Digital Buzz the average daily online activity involves:  294 billion emails, two million blog posts, 864,000 hours of uploaded video, and 35 million apps downloaded… and that’s just a snippet.

As a result of the many digital distractions, people are skimming for information that is digestible, valuable, and easy to fit into their already busy lives. So, if you’re a blogger or web content manager, here are a few quick tips on how to write for today’s internet user:

  1. Stick to the facts – cut out the fat already. Leave the opinions and long winded examples for your next dinner party.
  2. Bullet point or list – make the most important points bolded so they stand out quickly.
  3. Use images/ videos  – not only can an image replace a 1000 words, but it helps break up the text and can add substance.
  4. Use social share buttons – if you make it easy, people will share.
  5. Stick to one topic – not only will this help you to spread out your content ideas, but people like their information in small spoonfuls these days.  Sticking to one topic won’t overwhelm your readers.
  6. Use links – linking within can keep viewers on your site, and also save you from veering off subject with explanation.
  7. Pull out quotes – and pull your reader in.
  8. Think quality over quantity – we tend to share everything on the internet, but that doesn’t mean everything should be.  Before you write, ask is this relevant to my industry and will my readers find this of value?
  9. Be unique with your titles – titles are the first thing people see in the search engines, so you’ll want to grab their attention then. *Tip: Use numbers in your titles to signify a list of short, valuable tips to your readers.
  10. Use a conversational tone – the internet is all about building a human connection with your readers and fans. Do you actually read the “Terms of Service” agreement?  We thought so.
  11. Think keywords – if you’ve got a great article, make sure people can find it. Use Google’s keyword tool to find the right keyword phrases to implement into your text and title.

Remember, we are a society that tweets in 140 characters so be fast. How did we do? Does anyone think this post was too long?

This post was contributed by Morgan Ketterman, Clearpoint Agency Account Coordinator

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I Know Your Blog is Offsite… But What Am I?

Posted on April 03, 2012

We occasionally get questions from our clients about whether their company blog should be on their corporate site or off. We’d like to discuss the pros and cons of both options, and provide a little insight into what most companies are doing.

It seems that so far, most companies house their blog on the corporate website, but there are certainly pros and cons to both options. The majority of companies are also using a development platform such as WordPress or Blogger. Customization is expensive!

 

 

Onsite blog

A blog set up directly on your business’ website
Example: www.company.com/blog

Pros:

  • Increase traffic to the main site, increasing Alexa rank
  • Increases indexing of your website by search engines, which is especially valuable if site content is not updated frequently
  • If blog is shared, tagged, linked to, etc. via social media, the website reaps the benefits
  • Keeps your audience up to date

Cons:

  • Harder to implement if custom building on site (and not using a development platform like WordPress or Blogger)
  • Website might include restrictions on length of post, etc.
  • Might lower the rank of other more important pages

Offsite blog

A blog set up on its own domain that links back to your business’ website.
Example: www.companyblog.com

Pros:

  • Your business brand has two properties online
  • Gives you two domains to rank twice for your keywords in search engines
  • Easy and quick to install, especially if using WordPress or Blogger
  • Very quality links back to main site
  • Greater flexibility with design and coding
  • Offsite is best if your blog will contain content that is unrelated or only slightly related to your main website

Cons:

  • May take longer to draw traffic to the main site
  • It can get more popular than the main site on search engines
  • Could look less professional than an onsite blog
  • Less control (based on the development platform — WordPress, Blogger, etc.)
  • If blog is shared, tagged, linked to, etc. via social media, the development platform reaps the benefits, not your corporate website

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Whole Other Option
Why yes, there is a THIRD option! You can have your cake and eat it too. If you have a prolific company (or awesome PR agency), you can have two blogs – one onsite and one offsite. This is a great option as it literally gives you all of the benefits, increased traffic on your site, high quality inbound links, multiple domain properties, etc.

Our research shows that in this event, it is best NOT to duplicate your content. That will just annoy people and search engines. Consider keeping company news on the onsite blog , and letting the offsite blog be a little more exciting. It could be commentary on the industry or opinion (food is delicious, banking is exciting, robots are fascinating!) anything that relates to the brand but is just a little beyond corporate news. This is a great example of a win-win.

So what about you? Which would you choose? Anyone daring enough to do both? The right answer depends on each company’s situation, and we’ve had clients successfully do both onsite and offsite blogs.Of course, blogs are like our babies, and we think they’re all beautiful. Just get blogging!

This post was contributed by Alexia Haynes, Clearpoint Agency Senior Account Executive

Posted in Blog, Branding, Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media | Leave a comment

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