09/12/14

Six Industry Events to Keep on the Radar for Q4 Marketing Planning

By Julian Steinforth, Expedition PR

Workplace with tablet pc showing calendar and a cup of coffee onAs the third quarter of the year is coming to an end, here are some of the key events (sorted by date) that should be on your radar for potential marketing and communications activities in Q4.

  1. Water Innovation Summit 2014, September 23- September 24, 2014, Berkeley, CA

This is a great, interactive, event for sustainability professionals that focus on the issue of water access and recycling. The Water Innovation Summit organizer warns that “if you are looking to sit back and listen to panels, you will want to skip this retreat.” Instead of speakers and panel discussions this summit offers workshops and interactive, highly moderated group discussions, to tackle issues and innovations in the water and wastewater sector from both municipal and industrial point of view.

  1. VERGE 2014, October 27- October 30, 2014, San Francisco, CA

VERGE is GreenBiz Group’s global event series focused on how technology accelerates sustainability solutions across industries and sectors. The event brings together the world’s largest companies, technology innovators, and cities, creating a broad ecosystem of players to accelerate opportunities for business, the environment, and the society overall.

  1. ad:tech New York 2014, November 5- November 6, 2014, New York, NY

ad:tech is a leading digital marketing event for marketing and technology professionals from all over the world. It is also a marketplace for buying and selling, a community for networking, a forum for exchanging ideas and an opportunity for contributing to industry trends and initiatives. Continue reading

08/12/14

3 Common Mistakes Marketers Make When Trying To Make Their Campaign Go Viral

By Julian Steinforth, Expedition PR

Photo: Markus Spiske

Photo: Markus Spiske

There is not shortage of articles that offer advice on how to create marketing content that can go viral. However, nobody can tell you for sure what mechanism works behind the phenomenon of viral campaigns: content that gets shared and commented on by millions of people worldwide.

The foundation of inbound marketing is simple: companies need to involve their audience in the creation process. David Spitz writes in his recent article for the Harvard Business Review that we need to change our thinking and ask ourselves “Who are the multipliers we are trying to reach with this campaign?” instead of “How can I make my content go viral?” For a B2B marketer aiming for a “viral” campaign could be even ineffective and a waste of marketing budget, since almost every viral content is targeting the mass market. Social media platforms have become the main source of content discovery and a major channel for audience engagement. Continue reading

07/29/14

Books You Want To Read This Summer

By Julian Steinforth, Expedition PR

Young woman reading a book lying in hammockAugust is around the corner.  Many of you will escape the city – and the heat – to get some deserved vacation. Downtime is also reading time. To help you recharge and get new ideas, we have assembled a few reading lists to help you make your pick:

Mashable’s list of “24 Must-Read Books for Summer 2014” contains everything from full-length novels to short stories and compelling non-fiction. The list offers beach fun readings such as Emma Straub’s “The Vacationers”, but also in-depth looks at the post-recession economy in Michael Lewis’ “Flash Boys”.

Alternatively, take a look at Buzzfeed’s list of 22 books that you need to read this summer. There number one is “The Lover” by Marguerite Duras, a quick read (little over 100 pages),that tells the true story of her teenage years as a French girl in Vietnam, where she met and proceeded to have a tumultuous affair with an older and wealthy Chinese man.

If you want to use your vacation to improve your leadership skills, Inc. magazine has the right book recommendations for you. The magazine compiled six books, which according to them, will help you improve the above mentioned skills. For example “Imagine: How Creativity Works” by Jonah Lehrer deals with how to be more creative, more imaginative, and more productive. So if you struggle with new ideas and changing your perspectives, this is your book.

Inc. magazine also has got the right books if you want to advance your marketing knowledge. In the list “Top 10 Marketing Books of All Time” you find 10 books about marketing that should be in every business library.

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07/18/14

These Social Media Marketing Campaigns Scored Gold During The FIFA World Cup (Part II)

By Julian Steinforth, Expedition PR

World CUp Hummels SchachThe first part of the article on how the FIFA World Cup was breaking new records for social media marketing discussed the level of social media activities on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, among others, as well as the type of content that was shared by millions of soccer fans around the world.

The second part takes a look at some of the brands that had successful marketing campaigns during the World Cup, getting fans engaged about sportswear and solar power.

Let’s start with adidas, a designer and manufacturer of sports apparel and shoes, and one of the official World Cup sponsors. About 100 athletes that participated in the World Cup had a signed sponsorship contract with adidas. The company had created a “Content Bible” of 1,000 images and 160 videos that the social media marketing could use during the Games to feature the players and tailor messages based on game outcomes. The result, over 1.6 million tweets, retweets and replies mentioned the brand during the first weeks of the tournament. The company’s YouTube audience also doubled, with more than 200,000 new subscribers since the Games started.  By showing 4 to 5 YouTube videos a day adidas gained 90.3 million views for their World Cup videos in total.

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06/12/14

8 Tips on How to Get Market Visibility on a Shoestring Budget as a Startup

by Katja Schroeder, Expedition PR

Startup New Business Project With Rocket Image Development And LAs a startup, chances are that you only have a limited budget for your marketing program. However, getting market visibility is crucial to your business success. How can you compete against large companies with vast marketing resources? Public relations can be a powerful and efficient tool to reach your customers, if used smartly. While you might not have the same marketing budget as your competitor, your advantage will be speed and focus. Following are eight PR and marketing tips to get your company on the map.

1. Focus on key influencer network: Scan the media, the blogosphere, social media and industry events to identify the top 15-20 influencers in your sector (media, analysts, academics, etc.).
2. Compile corporate quick facts: Develop a one-page backgrounder on your business:  who you are, and what you offer to whom.  Include third party validation, such as awards and market stats, as available. Turn technical language into simple words that clearly explain the business value of your product or services. If your grandmother can understand your description, you’re good to go. Post it on your site and social media platforms like LinkedIn and Google+.
3. Include key words in press materials.  Make a list of your top 10 key words. Use GoogleAdwords’ search-based keyword tool to find the right key words that improve your search engine pick up and website traffic. Use those key words consistently in your website and press materials and as tags.

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06/6/14

Building Your Business’s Twitter Presence from Scratch

By Andrés Uribe, Expedition PR

If a Tweet is published from an account with no followers, was it ever really published? Ok, I’m kidding of course, but if you’re reading this I’m sure you know how frustrating Twitter can be when you’re just starting off and have a small following. The fact of the matter is that #Winning like Charlie Sheen and making it to 900,000 Twitter followers in 24 hours just isn’t going to happen for the majority of us. If you’re a new company and just starting out on Twitter (or Saxophonist John Klemmer and been tweeting since 2009 on a verified account with only 166 followers to date), don’t be too down on yourself if it takes you over a month just to get to 900 followers.

twitter-follow-me-iconWhile keeping in mind that there is a difference between simply getting your Twitter follower number up and having people actually interested in your product follow you; here are some techniques you can use to help put your account in front of people who will be interested in reading what you have to Tweet:

Competitors Followers – A good place to start with any new Twitter account is to look at your competitors’ Twitter accounts and follow the users who follow them. When you follow these users they will get a notification from Twitter and are usually happy to learn about a new product that is similar to something they are currently using. From here you can expand this strategy to accounts of products that your target customers might also use. Continue reading

05/30/14

The DOs and DON’Ts of Determining a Marketing & PR Budget

By Andrés Uribe, Expedition PR

Whether you’re a startup or an established company, choosing an appropriate budget to promote your product/company can be a difficult task at times. Here are two points to consider when preparing this budget:

Look-at-Me-29mc3sv (1)Do: Consider your goals. The first step of an effective marketing and PR budget is to consider your goals and how much it takes to achieve these goals. For an established company, this means looking at historical data to determine your customer acquisition cost (CAC). For a startup, this will be more of an estimation exercise, but still none the less important.

Once you have a CAC in mind, start thinking about how many new customers you want. How many new customers can your business handle? How much profit will each of these new customers produce for your company? Is it more than your CAC? If not, you want to start thinking of a way to lower your CAC or increase the profit you can expect from each customer before going ahead with your promotional plan. Continue reading

05/20/14

3 Marketing & PR Practices that Startups and Small Businesses Can Adapt from Large Corporations

By Julian Steinforth, Expedition PR

 

This Or That Way Directions On A SignpostIn many ways large companies and startups organizations have a different business culture, level of bureaucracy and organizational structure. They also have different pain points. While startups and small businesses are struggling with a limited budget and lack of in-house expertise, large organizations often have an abundance of resources but suffer from an absence of flexibility and innovation. Albeit resources are not the same, startups can adapt some nifty corporate PR and marketing practices that can work for them. Here are three winning communications practices that can lay the foundations for a successful communications strategy – even on a shoestring budget.

1.Base your brand communications on a simple, but powerful key message: You have to identify the value that you contribute to your customers and transfer it to a clear and simple message that all of your customers and other stakeholders, such as investors and partners, can understand and relate to. Do not communicate the whole facet of offers that you might have, because this leads to confusion on the customer’s side. A simple and appealing key message is the foundation to build a strong brand over time.

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05/13/14

Pro Tip: Social Media Tools That Will Change Your Life

By Andrés Uribe, Expedition PR

Most people know that, and in case you didn’t know, there are many social media tools out there for you to explore. Some, like Hashtracking and Hootsuite, can be very helpful with managing multiple accounts or keeping tabs on a marketing campaign’s internet-marketing-toolshashtag. Other social media tools, like Bad Luck Brian and Scumbag Steve, are good for a few laughs, but won’t help you with much else. After having carefully navigated the internet for social media tools and painstakingly filtered the Hootsuites from the Bad Luck Brians, here is a list of tools that might be of help on your next social media marketing campaign: Continue reading

04/22/14

5 Ways to Make a Difference on Earth Day

By Katja Schroeder, Expedition PR

Wake up, it’s Earth Day. Marketers started drumming up support for Earth Day campaigns weeks ago. It’s not too late to participate. There will be a large number of local and virtual events – organized by government agencies, non-profits and corporation – that you can take part in to show your support for protecting our planet. In some cases, participation can be as easy as a hitting the ‘like’ button on Facebook. However, considering that we are facing a number of serious environmental issues, take a moment to consider how you can support the issues closest to your heart or home and make your participation count on the long run. Here are five ways to participate.

Make a difference not just on Earth Day

Make a difference not just on Earth Day

1. Take a pledge to support an Earth Day campaign
The Earth Day website lists a number of campaigns for which you can make a pledge. Topics range from eating less meat, start composting, stop using disposable plastic to reducing energy consumption and lowering our carbon footprint.  Some of the campaigns require changing our own consumption pattern, others rally support for better legislation to protect the environment. One of the featured campaigns on the Earth Day site is “Support Environmental Education”. You can sign a petition to Congress to include funding  environmental education in the federal budget planning for 2015.

To date, over one billion people have made a pledge to campaigns on the Earth Day site. The goal is to double this number of supporters to 2 billion.  By making a pledge today, you can make a difference for an importance cause.

2. Help capture earth sounds
Help scientist Bryan Pijanowski capture the sounds of the world on Earth Day with his Soundscape Recorder smartphone app. Download the app and record a few minutes of your everyday surroundings using the smartphone app.  As reported by Wired, Pijanowski will stitch together the sonic snippets of all participants to create an unprecedented soundtrack to life on Earth. Furthermore, as he accumulates sounds, year after year, scientists could use the sounds to measure patterns and changes in our sonic environments. It’s a pretty cool way to document our surrounding. Read more about the Global Soundscapes Project here.

3. Participate in an Earth Day Twitter Chat
Take a search on Twitter using the hashtag #EarthDay to get a glance at the various types of Twitter chats happening today. Participating in a Twitter chat is a great way to listen to and participate in discussions around environmental topics. For example, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is hosting a chat on one of my favorite topics – climate change.

Here is the Twitter invite:
US EPA Research  It’s #EarthDay! Let’s talk abt #climatechange: join our 2pmEDT twitter chat. Got #science Qs? Use #AskEPA http://1.usa.gov/ZJ4dEy

To participate, sign into your own Twitter account shortly before the chat starts and use the Twitter chat hashtag to follow the discussion. You can submit a question on the topic using hashtag #ActOnClimate. If you don’t have a Twitter account, you can still follow the chat by going to twitter.com/epalive when the chat begins. For more details, see EPA’s instructions here.

4. Participate at an Earth Day event in your city
Earth Day is packed with events, ranging from large commercial festivals to internal corporate events.  In New York City, NYC Parks combined Arbor Day and Earth Day initiatives and offers hikes and tree planting sessions across the City’s five boroughs. Public Earth Day events will take place at high-traffic areas, such as Union Square and Grand Central Station. New York is also the location of the annual Green Festival, America’s Largest and Longest-Running Sustainability and Green Living trade show. It’s a giant educational forum and showcase for green products and services, including household, food, beauty, transportation, travel and wellness products.

5. Involve your company in a campaign that goes beyond Earth Day
Chances are that your company already has a good CSR or sustainability strategy in place. However, the strategy only comes to live through the employees who spearhead and support the initiatives, and it needs constant ‘’feeding”. This is your opportunity. Use Earth Day to brainstorm ideas with your colleagues about ways to make a difference as a team and company on the long run.

Small and large companies can make a difference, not just on Earth Day. It starts with identifying an initiative that helps to protect resources and sets concrete goals, such as reducing energy, waste or water usage. Take some time at Earth Day to think about initiative that you – and your company can drive – that will make a bigger and better impact on the long run.